History and Background of Gateway Center
Gateway Center of Monterey County, Inc. (Gateway Center) is a private, not-for-profit community based organization that provides a wide range of services, which include: residential care, developmental training, and activity programs for adults 18 years of age and older who have been diagnosed as intellectually disabled.
In the last 56 years, Gateway Center has accomplished the following:
Its predecessor organization, Monterey County Association for the Mentally Retarded, was founded in 1954 by a group of parents who wanted to foster the development of programs for the intellectually disabled. Gateway Center has been providing a variety of services in Monterey County for over 56 years to adults with intellectual disabilities and their families by enabling our clients to achieve more independent and satisfying lives within the community.
- Provided a school program in 1954 for developmentally disabled children who were then ineligible for existing school programs. The Monterey County Office of Education now operates this program.
- Developed an adult day activity program in 1963 that continues today.
- Developed and operated an infant stimulation program in 1963 that is now run by the Monterey County Office of Education.
- Developed a residential/respite program in 1975.
- Developed and operated a workshop and supported employment program in 1983. This was sold in 2001 to Hope Services.
- Developed and operated the first adult development program serving the severely to profoundly handicapped as a day program in 1985.
- Provided and continue to provide residential services to 47 adults in two locations.
- Developed a senior day activities program in 2001.
- Expanded services to Salinas in 2003 by opening another senior day activities program.
- Obtained funding in 2009 from the San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) to downsize and develop a new service option for the community.
- In 2011 opened Monterey County's first Intermediate Care Facility for the intellectually disabled—habilitative.
Our mission is to provide a caring and stimulating environment where people with intellectual disabilities can achieve their individual goals safely and with dignity.
Gateway Center's core values are guided by the following principles that permeate all of our work:
- Respect individual needs and provide an opportunity to socialize, reducing isolation.
- Enable people with special needs to manage their own lives.
- Provide individualized services.
- Understand and respond to the special needs of each individual while instilling a sense of order and balance, thereby supporting self-reliant individuals.
Our constituency consists of adults with intellectual disabilities. Due to the lifelong disabilities this population has, we closely work with them to develop as many independent skills as possible. For one person, it may be learning to brush their teeth. For another, it may be learning to feed themselves. The result is a slow and incremental change. As our clients age, we have found that they tend to develop Alzheimer’s and senile dementia at an earlier age than the norm. This produces added challenges in an already challenging situation. The intellectually disabled adults we serve suffer from one or more of the following diseases: Down's syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, brain damage (diagnosed before age 18), autism, or a number of other debilitating diseases. Gateway Center provides our clients with help and instruction in basic living (our residential component)—personal hygiene, feeding and clothing oneself, social interaction. Our day programs provide additional social interaction, volunteer opportunities, community activities, and additional skill building. These programs allow our clients to develop their skills and abilities within a caring and accepting environment.