CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Flossie Segal has impacted hundreds of lives. She is the co-founder of Gateway Homes in Chesterfield. A transitional residential treatment program for adults living with mental illness. Individuals who otherwise would be institutionalized or face homelessness.
"I think everyone has the potential to change the world," Segal said. "I think I’ve been a change agent all of my life."
Flossie opened the first facility on Richmond’s Northside in 1981. There were three residents.
"And we grew. We really grew exponentially," she recalled.
The current 41-bed facility opened in Chesterfield in 1983.
Flossie, a New York native, recognized the need for Gateway after her daughter was misdiagnosed with mental illness.
"There was much stigma about mental illness and I looked around and said there has to be better facilities than we have now," she said.
Gateway’s CEO Lynda Hyatt called Flossie an inspiration to others.
"She is a person who does not want to exclude anyone," Hyatt said. "Everyone marvels at her persistence and her candor. Her forthrightness and the delivery of the messages that she has. We appreciate that."
The 92-year-old woman, with a zest for life, said she still lived by an adage she learned at a young age.
"If you saw someone who had less than you, you would try to help them," she said.
Flossie was recently recognized for her dedication to Gateway Homes. She was honored at the National Philanthropy Day celebration in Richmond last month.