Gateway to Hope will reopen Monday


Gateway to Hope, a day resource center for people who are homeless, will reopen on Monday.

Gateway announced in February that it would be temporarily closing to reassess its role in the community and hire a new executive director.

Last week, Hiway 80 Rescue Mission and Gateway to Hope's board of directors agreed to allow Hiway 80 to operate Gateway to Hope for six months. The agreement will be re-evaluated after that time period.

The agreement establishes that Gateway will provide its current facility and resources at 601 E. Valentine St. in Tyler for Hiway 80 Rescue Mission to operate.

Hiway 80 will provide staff and cover all staffing, daily program and guest service expenses over and above commitment from Gateway to Hope, according to a news release.

Gateway to Hope will continue to cover building related expenses and guest service assistance as part of its basic monthly commitment.

Initially, Gateway to Hope will open with limited service times for the general public. After a few weeks, the organization will establish a block of time for people who are participating in a higher level of programming called "Gateway to a New Life Track."

The Rev. Eric Burger, Hiway 80's executive director, said the plan is to have the morning time available for basic services and the afternoon dedicated to life skills classes or other programming.

"What we wanted to get is get a program developed beyond putting on Band-Aids," he said.

Burger said the afternoon program will not be offered for a few weeks. The first priority is to give people the opportunity to get showers and do laundry, he said.

Hiway 80 is a nonprofit organization that operates a shelter in Longview and has a Tyler Outreach Office.

It has been serving East Texans who are homeless and in need since 1955, according to a news release.

Because the organization serves two communities, it uses donations that come from Smith County in Smith County and donations that come from Gregg County in Gregg County, Burger said.