A Candler student at a Contextual Education I site called the Gateway Center listens to an individual seeking self-sufficiency and an end to homelessness.

Gateway Center

Gateway Center works to end homelessness in Metro Atlanta through therapeutic programs and community collaboration. Gateway Center strives to provide a supportive and compassionate setting where individuals can receive the tools they need to end their homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency. Gateway Center serves all people, and houses over 300 males, including 65 Veterans. In addition, Gateway Center is the hub for Atlanta's coordinated entry projects for those experiencing homelessness. 

Site Work

Available hours: Monday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., some hours may be available on Thursdays and Saturdays 

Site work will be in person. 

Students from Candler will be responsible on Mondays for clothing distribution to those experiencing homelessness, chaplaincy, and facilitating a Speaker’s Bureau while maintaining six feet of distance, and wearing PPE.  Students from Candler will be responsible on Thursdays for clothing distribution to those experiencing homelessness, chaplaincy, and facilitating Art Therapy while maintaining six feet of distance, and wearing PPE.  Additional Saturday service opportunities exist for group volunteer engagement and participation in Gateway Center events. 

Fall 2021 Reflection Group

Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. led by Rev. Dr. Joshua M. Noblitt.

Spring 2022 Integrative Seminar

Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Please note that there may be additional changes to the spring schedule as plans for spring semester develop. For Spring CEI Integrative Seminars, you can expect a schedule similar to the corresponding fall CEI Reflection Groups, conditions allowing.

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in Gateway Center will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501 CE in the spring semester.

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Susan Reynolds will serve as the academic advisor for Gateway Center students.

Site Mission

Gateway Center works to end homelessness, and particularly chronic homelessness, by providing the support and framework people need to achieve self-sufficiency. Through therapeutic programs and services, Gateway helps homeless individuals in Metro Atlanta move into transitional and permanent housing. The core mission of the Gateway Center is to provide a supportive and compassionate setting where individuals can receive the tools, programs, and services they need to end their homelessness. Changing lives, ending homelessness.

About the Site

In 2002, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin asked the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta to study the issue of homelessness in the city, and provide recommendations on how to make substantive progress in moving chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing. The result was a Blueprint to End Homelessness in Atlanta in Ten Years. A major Blueprint recommendation was to establish a central point of care in metro Atlanta to meet the needs of the homeless in a systematic and supportive manner.

To that end, the Commission oversaw the development of the Gateway Center, a self-managed 501(c)(3) organization that opened in 2005 as the primary portal in a continuum of care for metro Atlanta’s chronically homeless individuals. The United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness remains the core partner of the Gateway Center, which is one of the largest providers of homeless services in the Southeast and has been recognized as a national best practice in the area of community collaboration.

Gateway Center houses 330 beds for men who are enrolled in residential programs and actively working to end their homelessness. Gateway Center also operates a publicly-accessible Client Engagement Center that serves men, women and children by connecting them to resources and partners in-house and throughout Atlanta. Gateway Center also operates Evolution Center, a low barrier shelter. Including those who access Gateway for point-in-time services, Gateway Center serves more than 500 people every day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Student Reflection

MDiv student Nathan Brasfield reflects on his Contextual Education I experience at Gateway Center during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility

This site requires a background check and training sessions on confidentiality, dress code, ethics, and safety. This site also requires a TB test, which will be conducted in conjunction with Emory Health Services in the fall. 

Gateway Center is 300 feet from the Garnett MARTA Station. Students who plan to rely on public transportation should consult the train schedule for more information. Parking is paid at this GWC, and students should consider alternative transportation. 

The site is accessible to those with mobility issues.

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

Gateway Center requires students wear PPE and maintain six feet of separation at all time. Students will be subject to temperature tests, and if a student is ill they will agree not to report to GWC. 

More Information on Safety Protocols

Gateway Volunteer Waiver


Gateway Center
275 Pryor Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Handicap Accessible: Y

Site Supervisor

Bec Cranford is the Director of Community Engagement at the Gateway Center. Her work in nonprofit and parachurch ministries began in 2003. Bec holds a BS in Practical Theology and Missions from Southeastern University, and an MDiv from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Bec is in process of being dually aligned with the UCC and Disciples of Christ.  

Bec has served with various local and national ministries focused on solidarity, community, justice, and mission. Bec has served as a consultant to many churches for their missions programs. To learn more about Bec visit www.beccranford.com 

Phone: 404.215.6651


Teaching Supervisor

Rev. Dr. Joshua M. Noblitt is Saint Mark’s Minister of Social Justice and Pastoral Care. His work involves leading program, advocacy and volunteer opportunities related to social justice issues in the community, and overseeing pastoral care for the Saint Mark family. Josh completed his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and began his pastoral ministry at Saint Mark in 2005. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Clinical Fellow with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and has a private psychotherapy practice in addition to his pastoral duties at Saint Mark.

Noblitt has served on numerous national and local boards, and is currently serving on the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services Advisory Board, and as a charter member of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ LGBTQ Advisory Board. He is an alumnus of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2011, New Leaders Council Class of 2013 and Outstanding Atlanta Class of 2013. Visit Josh on the web at joshuanoblitt.com.