Located near downtown Greenville on Rutherford Street, the nonprofit organization Gateway more than lives up to its name, not only in its physical location but as an organization that has helped thousands during its 34-year existence. Gateway celebrated the completion of its capital campaign and new facilities on Friday, Nov. 6, in a ceremony recognizing the founding executive directors and the current staff and members.
Gateway assists those with serious mental illness through various programs including transitional housing, prevocational training and transportation services. It follows a clubhouse model, which is mental health rehabilitation that provides members, who are participants in the program, with opportunities and education, relying on their strengths to support them living a productive and meaningful life.
The organization broke ground in March 2019, and the new 20,000-square-foot building opened for Gateway’s services in August.
“None of this would be if it wasn’t for, first of all, our dedicated staff and our committed members of Gateway,” said Gateway’s executive director, Randy Redlinger. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”
During the event, Marian and Fred Carpenter — who served as chairs of the capital campaign — revealed the organization had raised more than $6 million after setting a campaign goal of $5 million. “With your gifts, we will now be able to grow and serve over twice as many members. We are sincerely and deeply grateful to each person who said ‘yes’ to Gateway,” said Marian Carpenter.
More than 160 donors contributed to the campaign, Redlinger said.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette also spoke at the celebration, praising Gateway as a model organization that provides needed services for the Greenville community and its workers. She said that Gateway’s work has been praised across the state.
Joe McLaughlin, Gateway’s board chair, led a dedication of the new building to founding directors Phil and Nancy Emory, who led the organization for 34 years. Nancy Emory said that the success of Gateway had to do with preserving the dignity of its members.
“It started at the clubhouse, recognizing that even though they were cut down in early adulthood, by mental illness, that they still had enormous talent and enormous gifts to bring to the world,” she said.
Greenville Mayor Knox White also attended the ceremony. He congratulated the staff of Gateway while highlighting the continued need to support mental health services.
“Gateway House as a gateway to the city of Greenville means a whole lot,” said White.
For too long, people didn’t address mental illness, said White, adding that the new building with its wide windows open would stand as a symbol. “It’s exciting to see because it is time for people to recognize mental illness, and how it touches everyone,” he said.