As soon as single mothers step through the gates of The Gatehouse in Grapevine, their family is given a place to call home, Program Director Chelsea Hinman said.

The Gatehouse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was started in 2015 with the goal of helping single moms become self-sufficient. The nonprofit organization supports moms and their children by providing them with a rent-free apartment and child care while they complete either the career track or the education track.

The background

The career track was the only program offered before an education track was added in March. When the pandemic began, Hinman said they noticed a desire among mothers applying for the program to go to school in order to secure a higher-paying job.

“It wasn't so much, ‘I need to get back on my feet in a career’; it was, ‘my career was furloughed as a result of COVID[-19], or my paycheck is no longer affording what I need, so I'm needing to go back to school to increase my earning potential,’” Hinman said.

While in the career track, single mothers work full time while building stability and the skills needed to keep supporting themselves after the program ends, according to the program details. The education track is for moms with two or less years left in an undergraduate or master’s degree program at a campus located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Mothers in the education track attend college as full time students and receive a monthly stipend to purchase food and other necessities for their families so they can focus on being a student.

Zooming In

The Gatehouse includes fully furnished one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in a gated community that features a playground, a chapel, a sports court, a grill and picnic area, and a pond stocked with fish, Hinman said.

Children of mothers participating in one of The Gatehouse’s programs attend Grapevine-Colleyville ISD or Legacy Early Learning Academy in Grapevine, depending on the age of the child. Up to 95 families can be accommodated at The Gatehouse's facility.

The Gatehouse program is not funded by any government entity, instead funded by donations and volunteers. Volunteers—age 18 and older—help with campus beautification, seasonal events and setting up apartments prior to tenant move-ins, Hinman said. There is also an Amazon wishlist where donations can be purchased.

Quote of note

“We understand that while things may be hard in the temporary, there is hope,” Hinman said. “We would be more than happy to walk along that journey with [single moms] to provide them with the community, with the support, with the resources, but also the accountability to make sure that she's getting to where she needs to be by the time that she graduates from our program.”