Tag Archives: Our Haven Shelter

QAC Gets Funds for Emergency Food and Shelter Programs

Queen Anne’s County has been awarded Federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the emergency Food and shelter National board Program.

Queen Anne’s County has been chosen to receive $7,022 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for these funds must do so in writing by March 15, 2013 to the Queen Anne’s County Department of Community Services – Housing Division Attn: Victoria Petrie, 104 Powell Street P.O. Box 327 Centreville, MD 21617. If you have any questions please call 410 758-3977 ext. 2062.

Queen Anne’s County has distributed Emergency Food & Shelter funds previously with, St. Martins, Living Waters Food Bank, Midshore Council on Family Violence, Sudlersville United Methodist Church, St. Christopher’s Outreach, Mother of Sorrows Outreach, The Maryland Food Bank and Our Haven Shelter.

The selection was made by a national Board that is chaired by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Local Board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A Local Board made up of service organizations will determine how the funds awarded to Queen Anne’s County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds: 1) be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal Funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capacity to deliver emergency food and or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Lend a Hand: Liz Bazzell – Helping to Launch Our Daily Thread

By Avra Sullivan

Liz Bazzell enjoys volunteering and helping those less fortunate. Recently retired from a career in sales, Liz found the ideal opportunity to use her extra time with the opening of Our Daily Thread. Our Daily Thread is a thrift shop that benefits the various outreaches of the Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance (QACCA), a non-profit organization formed by an alliance of Christian churches. Liz was familiar with the work of QACCA through the Emergency Food Pantry, which is housed at Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Stevensville which Liz attends.

Our Daily Thread opened on December 12th. “I have been so encouraged,” says Liz, speaking about the feedback from the community. “I’m really amazed at the support we have received from people as well as area businesses.” A grand opening event is planned for mid-January, and the thrift store hopes to extend its hours as more people volunteer. “We would like to have more volunteers, and anyone is welcome to volunteer,” she says.

Located behind the Cracker Barrel at 425 Thompson Creek Road, Our Daily Thread sells gently used clothing, collectibles, housewares and more. The store is volunteer-staffed and all items are donated. All proceeds from the store are used to support the various ministries of the QACCA, primarily Our Haven Shelter and the Emergency Food Pantry. Our Haven Shelter is Queen Anne’s County only cold-weather shelter, providing a safe sanctuary, food and comfort to those in need during the coldest, most difficult months of the year. QACCA’s Emergency Food Pantry provides food and necessities to those in need on a monthly basis.

When not at the store, Liz enjoys gardening and fishing. She and her husband Tom have four children and seven grandchildren.

Our Daily Thread is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am-3pm with the exception of Thursday when they are open until 6pm. For more information about Our Daily Thread, call 410-253-0945. To learn more about the QACCA and the programs they offer, visit their website at www.qacca.org.


Our Haven Shelter Provides A Refuge From the Cold

By Avra Sullivan

With the recent cold spell, many of us are turning on the heat and breaking out warmer winter clothes. We may not be thinking about neighbors or residents who have no heat, warm clothing or a place to stay. Often dismissed as a big city issue, homelessness is present in Queen Anne’s County. Our Haven Shelter is a nonprofit cold weather shelter that helps provide overnight lodging to men, women and children from December through April. The shelter also provides food, assists with clothing, and offers support groups, Bible studies and emotional help for those dealing with homelessness.

Krista Pettit has been the Executive Director of the Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance (QACCA), which founded Our Haven Shelter, for over 8 years. “I started this ministry because of the need to address housing issues in Queen Anne’s County. I called local Christian Churches for help…many of them supplying volunteers. And, the shelter and its services have grown ever since.” There currently are ten churches involved with the work of Our Haven Shelter, each providing volunteers, supplies and general support to the work of QACCA.

The shelter is located in the fellowship hall of Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester and is open to anyone needing a place to stay. Volunteers at the shelter assist with check-in, socialize with guests, serve meals and lead support groups and Bible studies. All guests have access to a leisure area that includes games, books and TV. Upon leaving, guests are provided with toiletries and a bagged lunch.

Volunteers remain on site throughout the night and handle all the duties of the shelter from laundry to meal preparation to cleaning the facility. Krista says since establishing QACCA she “has seen people receive the help they need to provide for themselves and for their families in times of crisis. Through this help, I have seen lives transformed and changed for the better.”

Many volunteers are needed for the shelter. Anyone who can help cook or wash or help with sign-in shifts is encouraged to contact Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363. Donations are welcome and can be sent to QACCA, P.O. Box 44, Chester, MD 21619 or can be made online through their website at www.qacca.org.

Our Haven Shelter will be the raffle beneficiary of The Shore Update’s Christmas By The Bay event December 6th at the Kent Island Yacht Club. Great prizes will be up for grabs as well as fantastic food, local artisans and kids’ activities.


Krista Pettit – A Lifestyle of Serving Others

By Avra Sullivan

Homelessness is not just a big-city problem; it exists here in our own Queen Anne’s County. Eight years ago, Krista Pettit recognized this need and founded the nonprofit organization Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance (QACCA), a network of area churches committed to making a difference. QACCA operates Our Haven Home and Shelter, an emergency food pantry, and the soon-to-open Our Daily Thread, a thrift store. This newest endeavor will provide deeply discounted or free clothing and other items and hopes to provide jobs for clients of Our Haven Home and Shelter. “All of this could not be possible without an amazing board of directors, and especially the countless volunteers who help,” says Krista.

Volunteers are an essential part of Our Haven Home and Shelter and its many activities. Over 200 volunteers assist with running all the programs, including Our Haven Shelter, available to anyone in need from December to April, the coldest parts of the year. Volunteers also set up and organize the 5K/10K/half-marathon Run4Shelter, an annual fundraiser now going into its fourth year. On the third Saturday of each month, volunteers spend the day distributing over 7,000 pounds of food through the food pantry. QACCA also partners with girl and boy scouts, youth groups, and 4H clubs, offering a perfect opportunity for young people to get involved in serving others. For Krista and her family, this service is not just a choice, “it’s a way of life for us.” Her husband and children are actively involved and a big part of the work Krista began nearly a decade ago.

Our Haven Home is a transitional housing opportunity that offers safe and affordable housing along with an intensive case management program. Located in Stevensville, they are able to provide up to two years of living accommodations for a family in need. “We want this to be a stepping stone for people. Rather than giving them hand-outs, we want to enable them to get things done in their own lives.” says Krista. Case managers at Our Haven Home work with individuals on job placement, child care needs, obtaining financial assistance and enrolling in drug and alcohol programs. While some of the clients come and go, Krista says she has seen amazing changes in many lives throughout the years. In fact some of the clients have returned to work and serve others as either employees or volunteers of QACCA.

QACCA relies fully on donations and volunteers. Our Haven Shelter is located in the Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester; Our Haven Home is located on State Street in Stevensville. Anyone interested in serving at either of these facilities, helping with the emergency food pantry, or working at the new Our Daily Thread thrift store can contact Krista Pettit at 410-739-4363 or visit the website at www.qacca.org. You also can support Our Haven and Home Shelter by purchasing tickets for this year’s Christmas by the Bay raffle. As the recipient of this year’s raffle, all proceeds from the raffle tickets will go directly to Our Haven Home and Shelter.

Holiday Bazaar

Saturday, November 10, 2012, there will be a Holiday Bazaar to benefit Our Haven Shelter -Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance.

Come for artists, crafters & vendors then stay for lunch!

9:00am-2:00pm at Kent Island United Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Rd, Chester.

Contact 410-643-4039 for more info.

The Need is Here Dinner

Please help us raise funds for the upcoming winter season at Our Haven Shelter by purchasing a carry out dinner.

Date : Friday, October 28, 2011
Time : 11am – ?

Pick Up : Union Wesley United Methodist Church, 110 Union Wesley Circle (across from Chester post office)

Menu : Fried Chicken, homemade mac-n-cheese, greens, sweet potatoes, rolls and dessert.

Price : $9.00

To place an order, please call Pam Boyce at 443-480-5798 or Sandi Wiscott at 410-739-7859

Help the Homeless

Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance, Inc. (QACCA) has partnered with Hardees Restaurant to eradicate homeless in our community. A special Community Night at Hardees will be held the first Tuesday of every month from 5pm-8pm starting February 1, 2011 at the Kent Island Hardees Restaurant in Stevensville.

Why is this night so important? Because QACCA cannot continue to operate Our Haven Shelter and Our Haven Transitional Home without the community’s support! Your help is needed to raise sufficient funds to continue operating these programs and expanding services to the poor in Queen Anne’s County. “We need the community to come out and eat at Hardees the first Monday every month! Receiving 20 percent of all proceeds during this evening’s time frame will greatly help our operating budget!” explains Krista Pettit, QACCA Executive Director. “An amount of $13,000.00 is still needed to keep Queen Anne’s County’s only cold weather shelter moving forward this fiscal year. We know this program will help us in reaching that goal.”

Queen Anne’s County Christian Assistance opens its doors every winter to men, women, and children in need of emergency, winter shelter. This service is open seven days a week from 6pm – 6:30am throughout the months of December through April. “So far this year has been our busiest”, says Pettit. “We have seen 10 guests nightly with phone calls coming in for shelter requests daily. We expect to serve over 50 this shelter season.” Services have expanded with the opening of Our Haven Transitional Home – a program that provides long term housing with an extensive and intensive case management component.

“Hardees Restaurant has been a huge supporter of Our Haven Shelter by providing monetary contributions as well as man hours and donations to our 5K/10K event. They continue to express a sincere willingness to work alongside QACCA to assist their programs. This is clear as they open their doors to QACCA and offer 20 percent of all proceeds from Community night” said Krista Pettit.

“The commitment from Hardees Restaurant is long term.” Says Michael Cato, Vice President of Operations for OTAC . “We are willing to help see this program succeed by raising funds and showing our support.”

All restaurant guests during the February 1st Community Night will be served by QACCA’s Board Members. These are the individuals committed to seeing the Shelter and Our Haven Home succeed. They have a goal to raise $500.00 that night. Come out and help them beat this goal and in so doing beat homelessness! For more information on this program or QACCA, please call 410-739-4363.

Our Haven Transitional Home Dedicated

A place for those in need of safety has opened its doors with the dedication of Our Haven Home. Our Haven is a transitional house offering safe and affordable temporary shelter with an intensive case management program for up to two years.

“This is a momentous occasion,” said Krista Pettit, executive director of Queen Anne’s County Christian
Assistance, or QACCA, the group which spearheaded both Our Haven winter shelter at Kent Island United
Methodist Church and the transitional home. Members of the group, along with officials from the Maryland
Department of Housing and Community Development and local officials, recently cut the ribbon for the house
and guests were then given a tour.

Public and private partnerships are the key for projects like this, said County Commissioner Paul Gunther. “The
government is learning to work closely with private enterprises so we can develop this kind of project,” he
said. Gunther gave much of the credit to Pete Scanlon, Director of the Queen Anne’s County Department of
Housing and Community Services and Executive Director of the Queen Anne’s County Housing Authority. “My
hats off to Pete…and to everyone who was involved in this project,” said Gunther. Funds for the project came
from federal funds administered through a state Community Development Block Grant.

Countless volunteer hours also went into restoring the house, which has been occupied since September.
“These are people who come together for the greater good…who had a vision to provide those in need with
basic necessities,” said Allison Calhoun, vice-president of QACCA Board of Directors and a shelter volunteer.
Our Haven Shelter opens for its fifth year next month through April 2011. For more information about the
shelter and QACCA, visit the website at www.qacca.org.

Vera Bradley Bingo

The Friends of Our Haven Shelter will be holding a Vera Bradley Bingo featuring Vera Bradley & Baekgaard products at Kent Island American Legion Post, Route 8 South, Stevensville, on June 5, 2010.  Doors open at 1 PM, Bingo begins at 2 PM.  Cost $20 in advance/$25 at door.  Tickets include:  20 games (9 faces per game), one raffle entry, and one Door Prize entry.  Also offering:  50/50, two Raffles, and Chinese Auction.  Proceeds benefit Q.A.C.C.A./Our Haven Shelter (Queen Anne’s County’s ONLY cold-weather homeless shelter).  Food & refreshments available.  For tickets/info, call 410-604-2246.

Shelter Fundraiser

Friends of Our Haven Shelter and TNT Jewelers have joined forces to present “Cash for Gold for Shelter Out of the Cold”on March 5 from 10 am – 6 pm and March 6 from 9 am – 4 pm.  Bring your old, used, broken, or unwanted gold, platinum and silver jewelry to TNT Jewelers, 1239 Shopping Center Road, Stevensville, and receive top $$$ on the spot and help Queen Anne’s County’s ONLY cold-weather homeless shelter. Info:  410-604-2246.