Filling the Gap
GCSM is established as the non-profit arm to the already-existing Gateway Community Services, LLC, which provides mental health services to qualifying immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The non-profit is formed to address the needs of community members outside those served by the LLC.
Its first employee (aside from Abdullahi Ali), Lacey Gale, is hired on as Director of Development, and Yahya Hussein (now a Board member) and Iman Mohamed are hired as Youth Coordinators.
The need for a hub-based model that provides space for community connections, bridge-building, workshops and trainings, and youth-centered leadership and educational activities is identified through discussions with community members.
Gateway Hubs Open in Portland and Lewiston
Community members begin using the Hubs for activities and workshops. The hub model proves to be a simple, culturally approachable, and community-oriented way to provide support and connection.
In 2017 and 2018 the Hubs host programs including: youth leadership trainings, in partnership with Maine Leadership Institute; college prep workshops; and a series of SEAMS workshops, providing panel discussion on issues ranging from immigration, housing, financial support, and more.
The non-profit hires the "dynamic duo:" Safiya Khalid and Kate Fahey. Director of Programs Kate Fahey comes to Gateway with a background in community development and activism.
Lewiston Community Resource Coordinator Safiya Khalid leads the Covid-19 Youth Coalition at Gateway. She is also a Lewiston City Councilor.
The team grows to include the Portland Community Resource Coordinator, two Program Assistants, and a rotating AmeriCorps member.
Youth Mentor Program Begins
The Youth Mentorship program begins through a grant from the Catholic Charities of Maine.