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 andcommunity 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. Gateway Center also operates a low barrier shelter called Evolution Center.

Students fromCandler will be divided between two sites, and will assist in a variety of ways, including offering pastoral care as chaplain interns, working as help desk assistants, leading a weekly chapel, serving as LGBT safe chaplains and facilitating poetry sessions. Additional service opportunities exist for group volunteer engagement and participation in Gateway Center events.

Site Work

Available hours: Wednesday 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and Monday at Evolution Center 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. After students are familiar with the site, there may be opportunities for some Saturday hours. 

Fall 2018 Reflection Group

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Candler, led by Bec Cranford, Site Supervisor.

Spring 2019 Integrative Seminar

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Candler, led by Bec Cranford and Dr. Susan Reynolds.

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in Gateway Center will also enroll in Introduction to Pastoral Care PC501CE 1 in the spring semester (Tuesday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.), taught by Dr. Emmanuel Lartey.

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Susan Reynolds will serve as the academic advisor for Gateway Center students and will join the group for the spring Integrative Seminar.

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.

The Gateway Center is 300 feet from the Garnett MARTA Station. The Evolution Center is five blocks from the Bankhead MARTA Station. Students who plan to rely on public transportation should consult the train schedule for more information. 

The site is accessible to those with mobility issues.


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

Site Supervisor

Site Supervisor Bec Cranford is the Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services at the Gateway Center. 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 the process of being dually affiliated with the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. 

Phone: 404.215.6651