Characteristics of Gateway Families

Characteristics of Gateway Families

  • Over 80% female headed
  • Almost half of single mothers are under age 20, with an average of two young children
  • Many families are fleeing abusive domestic situations
  • Few of these families have chemical dependency issues (because DCFS takes custody away from homeless addicts and sends the adults to specialized shelters)
  • Most families housed in hotels were living with friends or relatives between losing their homes and applying for Emergency Assistance
  • Average length of stay at Gateway is 6 to 8 weeks
  • They arrive at the hotel with few possessions, including clothing
  • Few of the adults in these families are employed
  • Because of the lack of cooking facilities, families are forced to buy expensive prepared food, whose cost greatly exceeds their Food Stamp and WIC allowances