We’re all about changing lives…
Kelly Raggazino, Executive Director of Open Hearth, has been with the nonprofit organization for 19 years. Kelly was appointed Executive Director in January 2015 after holding several positions within the organization, starting with direct service work. Open Hearth started with just one program but now the organization has grown to administer a total of 13 programs to meet the various needs of our community in the area of housing, transportation, financial management, and community building efforts. Through Kelly’s leadership, in the last two years, the organization started several new partnerships, added four programs, and more than doubled its operating budget.
Outside of her executive role at Open Hearth, Kelly is the Vice President of The Community Coalition, an innovative model of collaboration among five Chester County non-profit organizations dedicated to fundraising together and sharing resources. She also co-chairs the Phoenixville Area Cross-Systems Partnership, focusing on the mission to reduce barriers of those experiencing homelessness and she serves on the board of Gateway Housing Group, whose mission is to provide programs and financial assistance to help people with a mental health diagnosis, drug/alcohol, or serious medical issue acquire or maintain housing in order to assure the best opportunity for success while actively engaged in formal treatment.
Katelyn is an American University alumna who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Justice. She began her career in social services as a Resource Coordinator at nonprofit behavioral health agency in a role that required her to manage a caseload of up to 45 clients with severe and persistent mental illness that needed housing and other various resources, such as welfare and disability benefits, substance abuse treatment, and vocational support. In this role, she developed a passion for and success with coordinating and securing permanent housing solutions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, which ultimately led to her recruitment by Open Hearth.
Katelyn joined Open Hearth’s team in May 2013 as a Program Coordinator and was later promoted to Lead Program Coordinator. In September 2015, Katelyn accepted a position at a large insurance company, where she served as the single point of contact for a highly sensitive and business critical book of business and spearheaded a project to create and implement a training and performance tool. Nevertheless, Katelyn’s passion always lied in social services and returned to Open Hearth in August 2017 as the Director of Programs.
Armed with a certificate in bookkeeping and vast customer service and administrative experience, Debbie joined Open Hearth in March 2006 as a Program Coordinator. Just like her days in the United States armed forces, Debbie rose in rank and now serves as our Office Manager, and is primarily responsible for coordinating, initiating, and performing all of Open Hearth’s clerical and secretarial duties, in addition to program and operational support.
Nettie brings to Open Hearth her diverse background in nonprofit program management. Before joining Open Hearth’s staff in March of 2015, Nettie served as a manager for Maternal & Child Health Consortium’s (MCHC) Healthy Start program. Prior to joining MCHC, Nettie worked in several capacities within the workforce development division of JEVS Human Services. She also has experience working with youth mentoring, scholarships and afterschool programs in New York City. Nettie holds a B.A. in English and Communications from Rutgers College and a Master’s degree in Education from Rutgers University.
Amber began her career in social services as a housing case manager in 2006 following her graduation from Arcadia University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology. In this role, she provided housing-focused case management to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Chester County. This experience taught her that homelessness can impact anyone and gave her a strong understanding into the array of social service systems and housing opportunities for people struggling to maintain housing stability. It also brought her in contact with Open Hearth; she soon left her case management job for a Program Coordinator position at Open Hearth in 2008.
In 2013, Amber accepted the position of Mental Health Housing Coordinator with Chester County’s Department of Community Development. Amber returned to Open Hearth in December 2016 after accepting the position of Permanent Housing Program Coordinator overseeing the Continuum of Care Permanent Supportive Housing Program that Open Hearth administers for Chester County.
Brandon earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University in 2015. During his final semester, he completed a full-time internship with Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children assisting agency case managers with their Homeless Prevention Program and shelter clients with various housing and benefits needs. Upon completing his internship, he realized he wanted to continue to make an impact in the Chester County community assisting families and individuals avoid homelessness. In February of 2016 Brandon joined the Open Hearth team as a Program Coordinator for our housing programs.
In the fall of 2017, Brandon was named the new Housing Stability Case Manager for Open Hearth in Collaboration with Friends Association and Kennett Area Community Services to provide housing supportive services to families and individuals across Chester County.
Emma joined the Open Hearth team in July of 2017 following her graduation from Immaculata University where she was a dual major in Social Work and Sociology. Having spent the year prior working in Chester County’s housing services system as an undergraduate intern, she was eager to continue working in a direct service capacity. Emma is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree at West Chester University on a part-time basis and is looking forward serving the local community for years to come.
Maizy is a West Chester University alumna who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. Before joining the Housing Team at Open Hearth in September 2017, she successfully completed internships at the Downingtown Area School District and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. In addition to her passion for working with and for people, she has a special interest in policy work within the social work profession. Maizy considers herself an advocate for those whose voices are often silenced.
Ryan joined Open Hearth’s team in January 2018 following her graduation from Millersville University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. During her senior year at Millersville, Ryan interned full-time at Bridge of Hope, a faith-based organization dedicated to helping single mothers experiencing homelessness achieve housing stability and self-sufficiency. This experience fostered the knowledge and skillset needed to excel as a Program Coordinator on our Housing Team.
Ashley joined Open Hearth’s staff during the summer of 2012 at the conclusion of her yearlong internship at Open Hearth while finishing her Bachelor’s of Social Work degree at Alvernia University. Ashley serves as the Financial Navigator for Open Hearth and The United Way of Chester County Financial Stability Center in Exton, PA. In this role, Ashley assists customers with personal and financial goal setting, which includes financial insight and resource coordination with the overall goal of supporting her customers in achieving their goal(s) of increasing income, decreasing debt, and increasing assets.
Since May of 2016, Ann Marie has been connecting and assisting Chester County employment seekers with Pennsylvania CareerLink of Chester County and the United Way Financial Stability Center (FSC) resources to achieve employment. Her services extend from Open Hearth, Inc. into the Kennett Square, Coatesville, Phoenixville, and Oxford communities. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, Ann Marie uses her degree in Education as a springboard to over 20 years of human service advocacy and support as a volunteer blood drive coordinator for the American Red Cross, board member of Joseph’s People for the Unemployed, and coordinator for other outreach efforts in southern Chester County.
She has been on the ground floor of several initiatives including Hunger and Homelessness Awareness 365 and the Chester County Single Mothers’ Conference. She originated the position of Parish Outreach Coordinator for Chester County Catholic Social Services and worked for the Wolfington Center for Community Engagement at Cabrini University.