Gateway Community Services has been treating residents of Jacksonville, Florida for over 35 years. Over time, it has grown into a multi-track facility with detox, residential and outpatient services for adults and adolescents. It also offers a variety of aftercare and transitional services including halfway houses and online substance abuse counseling.
GCS’s adolescent programs include a long-term residential facility for boys and girls, outpatient services and a dedicated adolescent detox facility, New Beginnings.
Accommodations and Food
The young clients in residential treatment are accommodated in two facilities—one for boys and the other for girls. The facility treats up to 24 boys at a time and 12 girls. Residents sleep two to three in each room and share dorm-style bathrooms. The facilities have a common area for TV watching and there are basketball and volleyball courts for recreation. While personal cell phones are not permitted during treatment, residents can use a unit phone to call home.
GCS’s kitchen services prepare meals off-site and bring standard American cafeteria-fare to the facilities for each meal. Staff often arranges special meals for the teens in treatment including taco night and baking activities.
Treatment and Staff
Residents requiring detox are admitted to GCS’s adolescent unit—New Beginnings—before entering residential treatment. Detox is usually four days long, but may last up to 10. Once clients enter residential treatment, most stay for four to nine months. Each resident’s treatment plan includes daily group and individual therapy and are also required to attend several 12-step meetings each week. GCS hosts several on-site 12-step meetings and clients are transported to community meetings as well. Families are also required to attend therapy with clients and are invited at the discretion of the treatment team.
Staff includes Master’s-level therapists and addiction counselors, as well as LPNs—all of whom are experienced in handling trauma cases. Residents with dual diagnosis are also treated, providing their substance abuse diagnosis is primary. Young people who require medication management and on-going therapy for a mental health issues are taken to off-site appointments with a psychiatrist.
In partnership with the Duval County school system, GCS has established its own on-site public school where residents attend classes each day. Tutors visit the facility on evenings and weekends to provide additional academic support.
GCS also offers standard outpatient services for adolescents. After an assessment, a treatment plan is created that includes group therapy once or twice a week and individual therapy as-needed. Most clients complete outpatient treatment in 10 to 12 weeks with family members invited to individual therapy sessions for therapy. While the outpatient track doesn’t require 12-step meeting participation, it is strongly recommended. Many residents choose to step down in to the outpatient program after completing residential treatment.
GCS transports the adolescents to a nearby fitness center twice a week to work out. Weekend recreational trips include bowling, movie outings and professional basketball games.
Additional services include an online counseling service and counseling services in Spanish. GCS is also in the midst of a seven-million dollar capital campaign to renovate its Stockton Street facilities.
Gateway Community Services has deep roots in the Jacksonville community with over 35 years of successfully providing substance abuse treatment. Its on-site public school allows residents to stay up-to-date on their school work. With both a long-term residential program and an outpatient program, Gateway Community Services ensures that adolescents have ample opportunity to experience supported sobriety as they take their first steps in recovery.
Gateway Community Services
Boy’s Recovery Center-The Wally Green Recovery Campus
940 Bridier St
Jacksonville, FL 32206
Girl’s Recovery Center-Mills House
2951 Parental Home Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32216
Gateway Community Services Residential Cost: Sliding scale and insurance. Reach Gateway Community Services at (904) 387-4661 and by email at [email protected]. Find Gateway Community Services on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
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Photo courtesy of By AndrewAvitus (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)