This year, the GateHouse celebrates its 50th year of offering people a meaningful path to recovery.
In honor of this milestone, the original Gatehouse location in Lititz, PA underwent a major — and well-deserved — renovation. We spoke with Keith Stoudt, Director of Support Services at The GateHouse, to learn more about the project.
Lititz is Where it all Began for The GateHouse
The GateHouse Lititz holds a special place in The GateHouse history.
“It’s where it all began, said Keith Stoudt, Director of Support Services for The GateHouse.
As a Residential Extended Care facility for men in recovery, The GateHouse welcomed its first resident in December 1972. The facility was named after the Seiberling Gatehouse in Akron, OH, where the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was held in 1954.
Between its opening in 1972 and today, the GateHouse has grown considerably. It now oversees a total of eight transitional living houses, three residential extended care facilities (one of which is The GateHouse Lititz), and one behavioral health outpatient center.
As the original location of Lancaster County’s premier long-term recovery program, however, renovating The GateHouse Lititz for the organization’s 50th anniversary just seemed … right.
“We wanted to invest a lot of time and resources into the Lititz facility to give it the love and appreciation it deserves because it did start it all off,” Keith said. “It’s a beloved GateHouse landmark.”
The GateHouse Lititz Underwent a Complete and Total Overhaul
For some time, The GateHouse had been compiling a wish list of everything that needed to be done to upgrade the Lititz property.
As the organization approached its 50th anniversary, The GateHouse applied for and received a $200,000 matching grant from the Lancaster County Drug and Alcohol Commission. The grant gave them the resources they needed to tackle the massive overhaul.
Inside and out, the building was transformed.
The exterior of the main building was completely remodeled with new and improved vinyl siding, windows, and landscaping. The interior also underwent a massive upgrade beginning with a new paint job. Two of the bedrooms were remodeled, which included expanding one to allow for two more residents. Beyond the resident quarters, new furniture was brought in for the counselor and case manager offices.
The substantial renovation was made easier thanks to the cooperation and collaboration of the residents and staff who continued to live and work there while the upgrades were being done.
“It really was a collaborative effort between the staff, residents, and contractors”, Keith said. “It was a lot with 29 human beings living under one roof while renovations took place, but everyone understood the impact of the work being done.”
The Renovation’s Impact: Bigger Than Its Physical Repairs and Upgrades
The impact of The GateHouse Lititz renovation extends well beyond the physical transformation to the site; it has an emotional significance, as well.
“Having a building in exceptional condition makes a difference to residents”, Keith said. “Painting a living room or updating a kitchen gives individuals a sense of new-ness and helps reinforce the concept of starting over.”
For individuals emerging from the trenches of active substance use disorder, the recovery environment is crucial. If an individual’s surrounding is well maintained and intentionally designed, it can contribute to higher levels of self-esteem. It can also serve as a physical manifestation of their emotional state, thereby affecting their overall recovery journey in a distinctly positive way.
Beyond the impact of the renovation on its residents and staff, it also has an impact on the larger community, casting a positive light on those who have chosen to pursue recovery.
“When the greater public sees us and the work we put into our spaces, it can alleviate the stigma associated with addiction,” Keith said. He added that the renovation signals to those on the outside that The GateHouse Lititz is a place of value and worth and those who live within its walls are deserving of the resources it provides.
The renovation at Lititz contributes to this core value, Keith said. By investing in The GateHouse’s original home, the organization is also investing in the community it hopes to empower.
“At The GateHouse, we have a passion for social service and the human being,” he said. “We want to uplift and motivate those struggling with addiction to evaluate their place in the world.”
The GateHouse is Central Pennsylvania’s leader in accredited recovery care, recognizing the unique challenges individuals face on their journey to recovery. For 50 years, we have helped individuals in our community restore their lives and rediscover the strength of the human spirit.
We provide each client with a support system that helps them break the cycle of substance use disorder and put them on the path to recovery. The GateHouse is here for you, whether you need outpatient support, transitional living, or residential extended care programs. Reach out to us today!