The Gate House was founded and managed by the Lancaster County office of the National Council on Alcoholism as a halfway house for male alcoholics, with the first resident being admitted in December, 1972. The Gate House was named in remembrance of the gatehouse of the Seiberling Estate in Akron, Ohio, where the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was held.
The Gate House program was closed on April 1, 1978 due to competition from other halfway houses in neighboring counties. Halfway Environment for Alcoholics Recovering (HEAR, Inc.) was incorporated in an effort to save the Gate House. Founding board members include William McNiff, Lewis Marion Moore, and F. Tucker Smith, among others. H.E.A.R., Inc., Articles of Incorporation were filed and approved on August 8, 1978. On November 22, 1978, HEAR, Inc. entered into a 10-year lease with Lancaster County for the property at 649 E. Main St., Lititz, PA 17543 at $1.00 a year. This is where the men’s program continues to reside.
On March 2, 1979, the first resident was admitted to HEAR, Inc.’s re-opened Gate House.
Understanding that Lancaster County was interested in selling, HEAR, Inc. purchased the property at 649 East Main Street prior to completing the 10-year lease. At that time, the program had 18-beds.
Due to growing demand for The Gate House’s services and the inclusion of an outpatient program (Project Hope), an office was built, providing a more professional counseling environment.
The Gate House for Women was opened in Mountville, PA. After surveying referral agencies, it was discovered that the need and support for a halfway house for women in Lancaster County existed. Through the support of Pennsylvania’s PennFree Grants and an anonymous donor, the property at 465 W. Main St. was purchased, renovated, and licensed as a treatment program for women. Prior to The Gate House purchase, this facility had been a nursing home.
The first female resident was admitted on April 14, 1989. As a result, The Gate House became The Gate House for Men and The Gate House for Women. With increasing utilization of Gate House services and a growing waiting list for admission, the capacity of The Gate House for Men was increased from 18 to 20 beds. Due to limited utilization of outpatient services, the outpatient program was discontinued.
A separate office building was constructed at the Gate House for Women. With the future goal of providing outpatient services in Mountville and the desire to move the offices out of the residential areas, HEAR, Inc developed a portion of the property that had been farmed after the initial purchase of the property.