When a building transforms a community by creating opportunities, responding to unmet needs and providing direct services it becomes a center for community change. Much more than just a building, it’s an asset—like the Gateway Community Center—an asset whose redevelopment will be a long term community investment that brings joy, stability and comfort to the lives of children, families and individuals for generations.
Located in the former Gateway West Mall, the Gateway Community Center is a human services campus assisting residents from every community in Flathead County.
Currently a work in progress, and the culmination of over 15 years of planning, the campus started as a dream of longtime Flathead County administrator Earl Bennett before his passing a number of years ago.
The facility provides a unique opportunity not only to bring together nonprofit service providers and better meet the needs of clients who would have to search for services scattered throughout the greater Kalispell area, but also to positively impact the agencies housed here by collaborating services and increasing visibility. The Center is within walking distance of the Office of Public Assistance, Child & Adult Protective Services, Family Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation. Samaritan House (homeless shelter), American Red Cross, Social Security office, Community Garden, and two Veterans Centers are also within a 2-6 block radius.
The majority of demolition and restoration work as well as materials and safety equipment for the center have been donated by local businesses, contractors and countless volunteers.
“It’s always amazing to see people coming together as a community for the community and I have yet to speak with anyone who isn’t thrilled about our plans here.” said United Way Executive Director, Sherry Stevens. United Way, fiscal agent for the center, has been championing the project since before the agency’s move there in 2009.
Some features of the campus include a food court refurbished by Glacier Bank, a health court made possible by Kalispell Regional Healthcare, a resource kiosk displaying literature from valley wide nonprofit organizations, an indoor walking trailhead sponsored by The Summit Medical Health Club, three conference rooms used by over 64 nonprofit organization and common area space that has accommodated hundreds of people for numerous events.
Nonprofit agencies currently operating at the center service approximately 1,700 clients per month with an estimated increase to over 2,000 clients per month once the remaining space is leased to additional nonprofit agencies. Onsite campus partners: AARP & VITA Tax Services, Best Beginnings Community Council, Boy Scouts, CASA For Kids, Flathead Food Bank, Girl Scouts, Literacy Center of Northwest Montana, Montana Conservation Corps, New West Medicare, Second Helpings Thrift Store, Summit Independent Living Center, United Way and the Volunteer Action Center.
The Gateway Community Center offers a warm and welcoming environment, is open 6 am to 6pm Monday through Friday, and Eagle Transit stops hourly so visit today or call 752-7266 to schedule a tour.