Fun Moments and Fantastic Developments: A Look Back at 2015
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Help Us Stock the Pantry

Stock the Pantry is a community service project that will help the low income families of Havre de Grace this winter.

The project is the idea of local Girl Scout Sydney Biggs (the HDGHA Volunteer of the Year for 2015), and will help her attain her Girl Scout Gold Award.  

The SUCCESS Project maintains a pantry of supplies year-round to assist local residents, but the need is typically greatest during the winter. Operations Manager Jackie Shaffstall says, “Some families do not have access to a car, and even if the weather is cooperative, there is not a grocery store within walking distance of the community offering affordable fresh fruit options. In addition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or ‘food stamps’ do not pay for essential non-food items, so the pantry is a crucial resource for paper and personal products.”

Of her motivation for “Stock the Pantry” Sydney Biggs says, “As a longtime volunteer at HDGHA, I have learned the startling health and financial impacts of living in a food desert.  Through this project, I hope to improve the health of hundreds of low-income adults and children while upholding the Girl Scout motto, which includes being prepared and helping people at all times.” 

You can help Stock the Pantry in one of two ways:
  1. Bring a donation of items (see our website for a list of needed items) to the lobby of the Housing Authority Administration Building (101 Stansbury Court, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 • 410- 939-2097) during regular business hours. Special pickups may be arranged.
  2. Make a tax deductible cash donation directly to the Housing Authority. All donations will be used to stock the pantry.  


Meet Jackie Shaffstall
Jacqueline “Jackie” Shaffstall  joined the staff as operations manager at the end of last year. 

Jackie will develop and implement policies, procedures and programs to manage daily operations and activities of the HDGHA within its operating budget; as well as assist with grant writing and monitoring HUD state and federal legislation to ensure HDGHA properties are within the required guidelines.

Jackie says “I am very pleased to join the HDGHA team and to build on the success of the organization thus far. I look forward to expanding our programs and partnerships, and strengthening an already great team of both professional staff and resident leaders.”

HDGHA Executive Director Nicki Biggs says, “Jackie has come on board at exactly the right time as HDGHA is in the midst of enhancing its services and making more affordable housing available to those who live and work in Harford County.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in all areas of operations management and planning, and we are excited to put her skills to use to help families and individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency.” 

2016 Events:

Mark Your Calendars for these Important HDGHA Events:
February 4, 2016
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
FREE Tax Prep from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Get an Appointment Here

April 23, 2016
ServeFest Community Beautification Project
Painting, Mulching, Planting and Lawn Maintenance
from 8:00am to 12:00pm

April 26, 2016
Annual Open House & Friendraiser
Learn more about our programs
from 10:00am to 2:00pm

June 11, 2016
Summer Jam Community Resource and Job Fair 
Outdoor Fun for the entire family from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Vendors Reserve your Table Here

November 4, 2016
Beacon of Hope Gala at Bulle Rock from 7:00 to 11:00pm
January 2016
2015 was a great year for HDGHA!
We are proud of the many things we achieved last year including:

Hosting a successful ServeFest. In April, residents worked side by side with members from area churches to beautify our community. 
Great attendance at our annual Spring Open House and Friend-raiser. In May our targeted direct mail campaign and emails resulted in new partnerships with area businesses.
Huge turnout for the Summer Jam Block Party & Community Resource Fair. In June a record crowd turned out for this fun event, and many vendors signed up for this year's event already.

Holding the 2nd Annual HDGHA Youth Bike Ride. In July children of all ages took part in this free event and received bike helmets, snacks and safety tips.

First press coverage for our National Night Out. Our annual August block party made the news this year, and we continued to strengthen our strong relationships with law enforcement.

Launching The SUCCESS Project. This affiliate of the HDGHA is open to low-income individuals and families in all of Harford County, not just residents, and teaches life skills to encourage personal economic self sufficiency. Hear Nicki Biggs talk about it in this Comcast Newsmakers interview.

Establishing  the Susquehanna Affordable Housing Corporation.  This new non-profit affiliate of HDGHA was established is committed to developing affordable housing in areas of opportunity throughout Harford County. Once the state approval process is complete, SAHC will be the only community housing development organization in Harford County focused on affordable rental housing.

Celebrating achievements of 12 residents in our Family Self Sufficiency program. Those who have taken steps towards financial independence by participating in various educational sessions received certificates at the Beacon of Hope Gala in November.

Developing a NEW and IMPROVED website. The new site went live in October and offers easy to find features plus lots more info about our programs and community.

Fantastic support for the Beacon of Hope Gala. In November the community showed its support at our annual dinner-dance. Through ticket sales and bids on auction items, guests' generosity provided winter coats to the children of Somerset Manor, helped stock our pantry and will offset costs of field trips and camps in 2016.

Giving community youth a helping hand. Children in Somerset Manor received  school supplies in September and 22 winter coats in November.

Adding Jackie Shaffstall to the HDGHA staff. Jackie joined us in December as Operations Manager. (Read more about Jackie at left.)

But at HDGHA, our accomplishments aren't something to rest on, they're something to build on. 
Already in 2016 we celebrated the success of our first resident to complete the Harford Grant Academy (see photos here) and look forward to expanding our resident programs and further enhancing the community of Somerset Manor under the leadership of our new Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator, Ellen Kunzelman. Look for more about Ellen and other plans for HDGHA in the next issue of The Beacon.
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*101 Stansbury Court, Havre de Grace, MD 21078*

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