Four-year campaign keeps beacon of hope lit

Dr. Candace Hodgkins, Richard A. Mullaney, Peggy Bryan at symbolic groundbreaking

After nearly four decades of providing substance abuse treatment, Gateway Community Services of Jacksonville embarked on its first capital campaign in February 2016 when it broke ground at its main campus on Stockton Street.

The accredited nonprofit, 37 years strong, is enhancing its capacity to provide services for people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Its $7 million capital campaign will accomplish three important infrastructure improvements or additions over a four-year period ending December 2019. 

The project began with a two-floor, 12,000-square-foot expansion at Gateway’s main Stockton Street campus, a former Holiday Inn off Interstate 10. This two-story addition will house its outpatient clinic, medication-assisted treatment area, and case management and administrative offices, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, according to Candace Hodgkins, the nonprofit’s president and CEO.

Moving these disciplines to the new space will free up areas in the current building, renovated for patient transitional housing. Patients living here will have completed treatment but still need Gateway’s support and structure to strengthen their sobriety, according to Hodgkins.

Up to 80 patients (two to a room) can receive employment assistance, child care, parenting classes, counseling and other resources for up to a year in the transitional housing.

In addition to the expansion and housing renovation at the main campus, the capital campaign will also fund improvements at off-campus transitional housing on Jacksonville’s Eastside.

The first phase of the campaign, with a $4.2 million goal by the end of 2017, has raised $1,678,500 from pledges, cash and Community Development Block Grants from the City of Jacksonville. The Delores Barr Weaver Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida also made a two-to-one challenge grant of $1 million, with $250,000 pledged so far to meet the needed $2 million in order to win the $1 million challenge.

“It is the most exciting time for our agency and for this community, especially because of the huge epidemic of heroin overdoses presently in the community, said Hodgkins who has been with Gateway for 18 years, five of those years as CEO. “We’re a beacon of hope for people who want to conquer their addiction and get their lives back on a healthy path.”

To donate to the capital campaign, go to the homepage at, scroll down to the capital campaign webpage link and then hit the red donate button.

Rendering of new lobby at Gateway Community Services

Rendering of new lobby at Gateway Community Services