GATEWAY HOUSING FIRST is a community directed facilitator, developer and owner/operator of affordable, accessible supported housing for people living with disabilities and particularly those affected by serious mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders, throughout the St. Louis metropolitan region.

It is our mission to provide safe, decent, affordable, supported housing for individuals with a wide range of disabilities, complex disorders and life situations who need supports to secure or maintain housing.

Our guiding principles include:

  1. Housing is essential to health and wellness.
  2. One-size-fits-all housing does not work. Housing and service design should be developed to fit the needs of the population served.
  3. All people have a right to choose where and how they live, including obtaining a lease in their own name with all the rights and responsibilities of tenancy.
  4. The threshold for services and housing should not be so high that the most disabled and most vulnerable cannot secure and maintain residency. Housing will be accessible in every way to every person.
  5. Individuals should not be subject to an arbitrary time limit for housing; it is permanent as long as the individual wants and needs it and can conform to the requirements of their lease.

Gateway Housing First was founded in response to a well-documented, pressing unmet need for permanent, affordable supported housing for individuals and families affected by a wide range of complex disorders and life situations who need supports and accommodations to secure and maintain housing. Guided by the values and outcomes achieved by Housing First and Harm Reduction programs, GHF’s immediate focus is on increasing housing solutions for the “most vulnerable” in our region and eliminating “housing readiness” barriers. GHF housing communities are ever-mindful of the healing benefits of a supportive community. We know from experience that many of our tenants have felt isolated, lonely, and hopeless. Being a part of a supportive community that sends a message of compassion and hope is perhaps the most powerful tool in recovery. Fostering and encouraging the organic development of neighborly supports is as much the foundation of our housing communities as the bricks and mortar foundations themselves.


GHF currently operates three unique housing communities:

Gateway Accessible Housing: 22 apartments in South St. Louis County (near Jefferson Barracks), all of which are rent subsidized by HUD project-based rental assistance.

Giles Apartments: 12 apartments in South St. Louis City, all of which are occupied by households affected by serious mental health conditions, most of which are occupied by formerly homeless households, several of whom were chronically homeless. All households pay no more than 30% of their income towards housing because either they have a tenant based rental voucher or GHF self-subsidizes their rent through fundraising while working to secure a permanent government subsidy.

The North Spring House: An 8-bedroom, 4000+ square foot home for formerly homeless men who have chosen to live in community because it is affordable for even those who live on disability income or who struggle to secure routine employment paying a livable wage. It is also accessible to those who have struggled as a result of mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders to secure and maintain housing.

Additionally, GHF has two housing communities under development:

Nathaniel Rivers Place Apartments: A 32-unit new construction housing community for very low income households needing on-site support services and other reasonable accommodations to secure and maintain housing. Nathaniel Rivers Place will be financed primarily with Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity and other MHDC financing awarded in January 2016. Nathaniel Rivers will be located in North St. Louis City’s 22nd Ward and will serve households needing 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units. Construction is expected to begin before the end of 2016 and lease up will following in the winter of 2017/8.

1500 Salisbury: Our North Spring House proved so successful that we’re replicating the model at a historic mix-use property under renovation in the Hyde Park neighborhood, this time offering emergency winter shelter from November, 2016 through March, 2017 to 15 homeless women. Here, women able to work will have access to employment in the retail business soon to open in the building’s ground floor and with other social enterprises operating in the neighborhood. During the winter shelter season, GHF will assist our guests in securing permanent rental housing by winter’s end while working. 1500 Salisbury includes 8-bedrooms which will be offered for lease to 8 of our shelter guests who wish to live in community. Other shelter guests will be supported in identifying appropriate affordable rental housing.

Building Homes, Changing Lives, Creating Community

Pardon the construction,


For additional information, check out our Facebook page.