Named after the Seiberling Estate in Ohio where the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was held, The GateHouse was established in 1972. In the years since then, The GateHouse has helped countless individuals in the Lancaster County community and beyond overcome addiction, change their lives for the better, and restore their spirits through recovery.
It Started as a Halfway House in Lititz
The GateHouse was founded by the Lancaster office of the National Council on Alcoholism as a halfway house for men in 1972. Four years later, The GateHouse closed due to increased competition from other halfway houses in the surrounding counties. In an effort to save The GateHouse, Halfway Environment for Alcoholics Recovering (HEAR, Inc.) was incorporated. HEAR, Inc. entered a lease for the Lititz property, and the men’s program still takes place there today.
The GateHouse for Women Opened in Mountville
In 1984, HEAR, Inc. purchased the property, and five years after that, The GateHouse for Women opened in Mountville, PA. In the years since, five other buildings have been purchased, and we have moved several times. These buildings include a separate office building at The GateHouse for Women, two recovery homes for men, one recovery home for women, and a building for The GateHouse Behavioral Health Services that offers expanded Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) services.
Continued Expanded Rehabilitation Services
Over the years, The GateHouse has expanded to offer a wide variety of services including inpatient services, residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs, transitional living services, case management, and family support. We recognize that our clients need consistent, long-term, and versatile treatment options so that they have the best foundation for their life-long recovery.
The GateHouse 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 GateHouse was named in remembrance of the gatehouse at the Seiberling Estate in Akron, Ohio, where the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was held.
The GateHouse program was closed on April 1, 1978, due to competition from other halfway houses in neighboring counties. Halfway Environment for Alcoholics Recovering (H.E.A.R. Inc.) was incorporated to save The GateHouse. Founding board members included William McNiff, Lewis Marion Moore, and F. Tucker Smith, among others. H.E.A.R. Inc.’s Articles of Incorporation were filed and approved on August 8, 1978. On November 22, 1978, H.E.A.R. Inc. signed a 10-year lease with Lancaster County for the property at 649 East Main Street, Lititz the—present men’s facility—for $1.00 per year.
On March 2, 1979, the first resident was admitted to H.E.A.R. Inc.’s reopened The GateHouse.
Understanding that Lancaster County was interested in selling the property at 649 East Main Street, Lititz, H.E.A.R. Inc. purchased the property prior to completing the 10-year lease. At that time, the property had 18 beds.
Due to growing demand for The GateHouse services, and the inclusion of an outpatient program (Project Hope), an office was built, providing a more professional counseling environment.
The GateHouse for Women was opened in Mountville. 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 West Main Street was purchased, renovated, and licensed as a treatment center for women. Prior to The GateHouse purchase, this facility had been operating as a nursing home.
The first female resident was admitted on April 14, 1989. As a result, The GateHouse became The GateHouse for Men and The GateHouse for Women. With increasing utilization of The GateHouse services and a growing waiting list for admission, the capacity at The GateHouse for Men was increased from 18 to 20 beds. Due to limited utilization of outpatient services, the outpatient program was discontinued.
A separate office facility was built at The GateHouse for Women with the goal of providing outpatient services in Mountville and moving the offices out of the residential space.
After identifying the need for housing opportunities conducive to recovery, Recovery Environments Inc. was created to provide transitional housing for individuals suffering from substance abuse who are ready to reenter the community.
Recovery Environments Inc. purchased a house in Lititz as an eight-bed recovery home for men completing treatment at The GateHouse.
With the support of a grant from the Capital Area Behavior Health Collaborative, Recovery Environments Inc. purchased a property in Lancaster to be used as a recovery house for women.
Recovery Environments Inc. purchased an additional property in Lancaster, to be used as a six-bed recovery house for men completing treatment at The GateHouse—as well as male clients coming from other treatment facilities. In May, H.E.A.R. Inc. expanded their outpatient counseling services to include the Lititz location. Two additional six-bed recovery houses for women were purchased.
In 2016, The GateHouse purchased property in Lancaster City to become the home of GateHouse Behavioral Health Services to expand Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient (IOP) services.
On June 30, 2017, H.E.A.R. Inc. and Recovery Environments Inc. merged to become one unified organization commonly referred to as The GateHouse. Recovery Environments Inc., the division that offered transitional housing in recovery residences for men and women, officially began operating as GateHouse Transitional Living (GTL).
With the support of a grant from the Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission, GateHouse Transitional Living purchased a house in Lancaster City in November, as a 10-bed recovery house for women.
With the support of a grant from the Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative, the Lancaster Drug and Alcohol Commission, and LCBC Church, The GateHouse purchased a home and began renovations at 4940 Marietta Avenue, Marietta. The board approved the transition of the residents at The GateHouse, Mountville, to the Marietta property and the use of the Mountville location as a second halfway house for men.
In November, The GateHouse relocated its administrative offices to the fifth floor of the W.W. Griest Building at 8 North Queen Street in Lancaster. The new location serves as the organization’s headquarters and provides a recognized presence in downtown Lancaster City.
In 2019, GateHouse Behavioral Health Services expanded its range of services to include a Partial Hospitalization Program—more commonly referred to as PHP.