A Letter From Our Executive Director


When our neighbors face difficult times, they need a place to heal and find hope again. Gateway Mission has been that haven for over 100 years. The last several years have shown a marked increase in homelessness in our community–and numbers are still rising.

At Gateway, we recognize that many attempts to solve poverty have made it easier to endure, but harder to escape.

Gateway Mission takes a holistic approach to meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those we serve.

We begin by acknowledging that we are all broken and have a common need. When we view our ministry from this place of brokenness, we understand that—just as it is true for us—only the Gospel of Jesus Christ will lead to a lasting hope for restoration and recovery. We strive to walk side by side with the hurting, providing a caring relationship which points them to a Greater Relationship that brings new life.

In addition, we are committed to breaking barriers that prevent people from finding jobs, gaining practical vocational training, and solving big challenges like poverty and homelessness. Our goal is to see individuals move from poverty to prosperity–equipping them to be in the driver’s seat of their own lives.

Through programs like Pathway and Forge, our clients have access to one-on-one Biblical counseling, life skills instruction, and onsite vocational training. This strategic combination is designed to create a path out of homelessness–helping our students transition from the shelter into positive housing options. We are confident that as we move forward with targeted growth and vocational education, the impact of Gateway Mission will continue to increase, bringing long-term solutions to those who have felt trapped in the cycle of poverty.

Gateway Mission is committed to providing these solutions through:

A new men’s center with a centralized kitchen
Renovated rooms for our women and children
More job training opportunities as part of our Forge Program

With your help, we can equip the impoverished and vulnerable with dignity and a future through the transformational power of the Gospel!

Many Blessings,

Jay Riemersma

Executive Director

The problem

Homeless trends have been artificially low since the beginning of COVID due to emergency housing vouchers that have now expired. Gateway Mission, along with other like-minded ministries–both local and national– are seeing an incredible surge since that funding has ended. The funding fostered an unhealthy dependency on government support.

The deeper problem

Most government and social programs seek to meet basic needs—visible poverty. However, this only tells part of a person’s story. True poverty is similar to an iceberg. Visible poverty is above the surface, while invisible poverty is below the waterline where much is going on. Invisible poverty is deeper and more profound than what we can see with our eyes.

Visible Poverty: Housing/Shelter, Food, Clothing, Hygiene Supplies, Transportation, Childcare, Healthcare, Employment

Invisible Poverty:


The problem is immense—and it’s growing. But the solution is found within the doors of Gateway Mission.

Using the principles found in God’s Word, our staff addresses underlying issues that often result in homelessness. Through personalized one-on-one counseling, along with practical vocational training, we can serve as a gateway to a whole new life for our hurting neighbors.

Gateway Mission sees the pain of those who are struggling with homelessness, poverty, and addiction. With love and respect, we offer these men and women—and their families—help discovering God’s plan for a more hopeful future.

In 2022, Gateway Mission had 529 men stay with us. In 2023, we have seen a 55% increase in the number of men needing our services.

To address the growing need, the former Davenport College building will be renovated to replace the current Downtown Holland men’s shelter, which has been in use for over 30 years.

The new location in the Waverly corridor houses more men and is closer to the Gateway Tech Center, where we offer onsite job training.

The new campus is also in proximity to a strong manufacturing base that will be a steady source of placement for our program graduates. The tree-lined campus provides a serene, park-like surrounding, allowing men to comfortably build stability in their path out of homelessness.

Addiction was my darkest secret… I needed to change. When I first got here, I was kind of selfish and broken in the center. But now I’m around people who love me and are giving me tools I can put into my toolbox for life.

Before, I was on my own. Now I have God on my side, He brought me this far and I know He’ll take care of me!

-Justin, a Program Graduate

Gateway Mission’s pathway out of homelessness provides robust vocational and addiction programming. This includes an expanded culinary arts training housed within the new Men’s Center.

A larger, centralized kitchen allows us to better serve the increased number of guests coming through our doors. Updated energy-efficient equipment equals a cost savings, while offering our students access to a professional culinary environment that prepares them to enter a new career.

In the next ten years we expect:

The increased cost of housing, along with the growing trend of substance abuse to cope with hardship, leave women and children among the most vulnerable in our community. The good news is that more and more women are turning to Gateway Mission. They are seeking help for addiction and practical vocational training to secure a steady source of income.

After 21 years of use, each room at Gateway Women and Children’s Center has provided approximately 380,000 nights of shelter. Even with commercial-grade furnishings in place, the residential areas are in need of renovations.

Last year,

Many efforts to alleviate homelessness have worsened the problem. With the current trajectory, we project an additional 50% increase in the number of guests in our Women and Children’s Center by 2031.

The new room renovations will ensure the ability to house the many women who come through our doors to find hope and long-term transformation.

The Gateway Spoon supports students who choose the culinary field by providing training and experience. The certifications earned are a springboard into future employment and career opportunities. Students will graduate the program with the option to continue full-time employment with Gateway or to fill vacancies in the food service industry in the Greater Holland Area and beyond.
People feel like they are powerless to improve their situation. We want to encourage and equip them to overcome.

Support and Sustenance

The Gateway Spoon combines hands-on training in an environment that fosters community connection. Our goal is within 10 years of the restaurant opening to achieve…


Gateway Mission is launching an $11.5 million capital campaign. We are committed to providing long-term solutions for those living in the margins. These four fundraising projects will increase our opportunities to help those struggling with homelessness in our community.


In addition to your regular charitable giving, would you please prayerfully consider your investment in God’s Kingdom, and our community, through our Building Hope Capital Campaign.