Alice Ann Cantelow
Founder of Shepherd’s Gate
Alice Ann Cantelow’s dream was to hike the Pacific Trail when she retired. As she planned and prayed about her trip, she felt the Lord calling her in a completely different direction — to help the homeless. She was obedient and began the adventure that would become Shepherd’s Gate.
For the first year, Alice Ann helped families from her 2-bedroom house, and it wasn’t long before she realized the home was too small and the need was too great. So she began looking for a larger home to purchase with the help of a few couples from the community who were acting as her Board of Directors.
They found a larger home in Livermore, California. That was 1984, and ever since then Shepherd’s Gate has been a place for rebuilding the shattered lives of battered and homeless women and children.
Due to lack of space, the shelter had to turn away over 500 women and children in October of 1992. Shepherd’s Gate was once again looking to expand the ministry to provide vital services and housing to more families, and for a longer period of time than the standard 30-days at the current crisis shelter.
Land was eventually purchased and planning began for the 3-acre Shepherd’s Gate Campus in Livermore, California.
In 1996, after the retirement of Alice Ann and the Executive Director, the Board of Directors began to search for a couple who could lead the ministry through the construction and growth that was about to take place. The couple they found for the job was Steve and Carla McRee. The McRee’s had both the ministry background, and the business sense that Shepherd’s Gate would need as the organization continued to expand.
In May of 2000, the first phase of the 3-acre campus was opened. It consisted of two administrative office buildings, a garage/storage building, and a Residence Hall which is home for up to 30 women and children at a time. By 2006 the campus had added another Residence Hall and five-two bedroom cottages, bringing the capacity of women and children served on the Livermore Campus to 80.
In 2004, Signature Properties offered to build Shepherd’s Gate a 7,600 square feet facility on over an acre of land — and deed it to the organization free of charge! In January of 2006, Shepherd’s Gate Brentwood opened its doors.
Serving as Executive and Associate Directors, Steve and Carla McRee have seen the organization grow from a three-bedroom house to the vibrant ministry it is today — caring for hundreds of women and children every year.
Steve and Carla McRee
Executive and Associate Directors