I got the chance to talk briefly with Alexia Rousseau who manages the Gateway House. I had to ask how did she get into this business? "I've been down and out before. Someone helped me out of it and I'm returning that favor to others, showing you can get somewhere. You're not stuck."
"Gateway House is similar to a halfway house in some ways and yet we branch in a few different ways. Our goal is to give second chances to those that have not always been given the option, for those that feel stuck in a bad place and for those that truly want to get their life on the right track. We've been there before and Gateway's goal is to help provide the means to let individuals find their own way up. Our goal is to help fit individuals back into the community at the same time as providing the community connections and relationships, opening them to new way of thinking."
Gateway House is not our typical commercial meet and greet. In fact it's not selling anything. Instead it's giving folks the tools to get ahead. "We have a set of 10 rules at Gateway that need to be followed in order to help us help you. The most important always being to be a productive citizen. This is a place for anyone and everyone that is down on their luck because of finance reasons, struggling with addiction, or having rough patches with the law. We are here to help, not judge. We're also here to provide you the starting platform you need - a bed to sleep in, food, jobs, counseling, medical and even faith-based lessons if you choose."
I ask Alexia if the program was working. "We opened last month and are currently still taking residents or walk-ins. We also have a rotation with the DA's office to help provide counseling options, check-ups and community service opportunities for repeat offenders."
Her final words of wisdom "You always have a second chance at Gateway House."