Gateways Board of
Directors Listing

Atty. James Dietz,

Dianna Mason,
Vice Chairperson

David Eyster,

Angelo Perruzzi,

Darlene Eddinger
Ruthanne Grant
Christine Klika
Barbara Kostelic
Mary Ellen Kovalchik
Michael Leone
Greta Magazzine
John Morvay
Steven Snyder

About Us

A Community Resource with a Caring Approach

community based group homes

A group of concerned parents established Gateways to Better Living, Inc. in 1972 as a private non-profit organization. Led by Leonard Kirtz, Sr., Gateways to Better Living offered community-based group homes for people with mental, emotional and physical disabilities.

To this day, our organization follows the principles that Kirtz and the other founders established in the early 1970s. The parents who started Gateways to Better Living wanted an alternative to institutional placement that would put a high priority on the mental and physical well-being of each individual.

Our emphasis on care and compassion resonated with the individuals and their family members. Within the first few years, our organization grew rapidly, quickly expanding from its first home on Fifth Avenue in Youngstown to over 130 beds throughout Mahoning County by 1986.

Growth and New Capabilities

javit court

Through the 1980s and 1990s, Gateways to Better Living continued to grow. In 1998, we broke ground for three new facilities, including a change of location for the Fifth Avenue site where Gateways began. As services began to change, Gateways stepped in on the ground floor. Our apartment facility opened with a Purchase of Service contract and evolved into supported living. Currently, we offer waiver services in both the Apartments, as well as, numerous other area locations.

Thanks to assistance from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the local community, Gateways broke ground on three new facilities in 1998.

Continuing with the philosophy of least restrictive environment and the best possible quality of care, in 2002 we closed our 32 bed facility on Javit Court and opened four new 8-bed homes that offered an exceptionally personal environment for our individuals.

Finding New Ways to Serve Individuals

youngstown care facility

In 2006, Gateways introduced an array of day programming services at Gateways Industries, located on Rayen Avenue near downtown Youngstown. This day program is one of our ongoing efforts to introduce new services and to adapt our offerings for the new challenges of the 21st century.

For four decades, Gateways has provided the best possible care for mentally, emotionally and physically challenged individuals with a dignified approach, and we intend to maintain this excellence of care as our services expand.


Gail B. Riess, Executive Director
James Linert, Chief Financial Officer
Mary O’Brien, Human Resource Director
Karl Ware, Program Director