More than 350 from Harford and Baltimore Counties attended the community block party and resource fair hosted by the Havre de Grace Housing Authority.
[Havre de Grace, MD] June 16, 2015— The fourth annual Havre de Grace Housing Authority (HDGHA) “Summer Jam” was held June 6 in the HDGHA-managed Somerset Manor neighborhood, and drew a record crowd of more than 350 guests of all ages. The event was open to the public so attendees from around Harford and Baltimore counties took advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoyed the no-cost or low-cost family-friendly activities that were offered, including carnival style games, face painting, moon bounces, line dance lessons and more, all set to a backdrop of lively music from the on-site DJ.
In addition to the fun and games, Summer Jam was also a community resource fair, providing space for local businesses and organizations to showcase their products and services. In addition, bargain hunters had the opportunity to shop at vendor booths and everyone enjoyed the treats and other food concessions that were for sale.
First time visitors to Summer Jam commented on the warm welcome they received from residents and the feeling of true community they experienced. Vendors, too, were enthusiastic about the crowd and friendly atmosphere with many expressing a desire to return to next year’s event. As she turned in her 2016 vendor registration form, Barbara Jenkins, Program Administrator of Central Michigan University at Aberdeen Proving Ground, said, “…Summer Jam 2015 was the most fun I’ve ever had while working.” Program Manager of Harford Community Action Agency Family and Financial Development Jackie Shaffstall added, “It is awesome to see the great things HDGHA is doing for their residents and the whole community.”
Summer Jam was started four years ago by HDGHA residents to promote their community. Its main organizer is Martinea Trippett-Felton, Secretary of the Somerset Manor Residents Association. She says, “We are excited to see the support for Summer Jam grow each year. This event really reflects the nature of our neighborhood and the mission of HDGHA. We help families understand what community is all about, and our hope is that, through this event, that message spreads well beyond our block.”
For more information about HDGHA visit the community’s Facebook page.
HDGHA and its Somerset Manor community was established in the 1970’s and is the only public housing facility in Harford County. It is governed by a Board of Commissioners and managed by a small staff. The mission of the organization is to provide quality, affordable housing opportunities for moderate to low income individuals and families while promoting self-sufficiency, empowerment and neighborhood revitalization. HDGHA offers a range of programs to achieve this goal, including the Self- Sufficiency Program (FSS), Homeownership Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and more.