Homeless organization celebrates 2nd birthday

Published on Monday, 1 September 2014 23:39 - Written by Staff Reports

A Tyler ministry to help the homeless get back on their feet celebrated two years on Monday.

Gateway to Hope, a day resource center for the homeless, opened its doors on Labor Day 2012, according to a news release.

To celebrate, the nonprofit threw a pizza and cake party for about 150 guests.

The center provides showers, laundry, haircuts, mailboxes, storage lockers, a message center, computers, as well as social and medical services to those in need.

The operation expanded last year to include a clothing closet, GED classes and testing, food handler certificates and training, Bible study and recovery programs. Gateway also provides resume writing training and help with job applications that will get the attention of possible employers.

“The atmosphere at Gateway to Hope is warm and welcoming,” Executive Director Pat Mallory said in a statement. “It’s the nearest thing to home that many of those living on the streets and under the bridges have felt in a long, long time.”

To date, Gateway has served 44,875 guests, averaging approximately 1,870 people a month, according to the release. Just fewer than 1,000 of those found full-time employment, 235 families are now in homes and 516 people moved into a more stable lifestyle.

Gateway to Hope is funded solely by individuals, churches and foundations and is staffed primarily by volunteers. For more information, visit its website at www.gatewaytohopetyler.org .