Staff

Kait Gillis-Hanna

Executive Director

Kait provides strategic direction and oversight to BHA: its mission, vision and programs. She is also responsible for financial and property management for the organization. Kait has a B.A. in Corporate Communications from Susquehanna University and an M.B.A. from Villanova University. Kait lives in Mechanicsburg with her husband, four kids and their two dogs.

Marilyn Bellesfield

Director of Program Policy and Development

Marilyn oversees the development of BHA housing program policies and procedures, community outreach and collaboration efforts, and implementation of best practices for housing programs working with families experiencing homelessness. Her other responsibilities include implementing staff training and growth opportunities as well as monitoring program goals and data outcome measurements. Marilyn has a B.A. in Family Studies from Messiah College and over 32 years of experience serving families experiencing homelessness in the Harrisburg area. She has been with BHA for 10 years. Marilyn, her husband Mark, and their three children live in Etters, PA.

Tiffany Burrows

Major Gifts Officer

Tiffany works in donor relations, connecting with supporters by cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting them to further the mission of BHA. Tiffany is originally from Philadelphia and came to the Harrisburg area to study at Messiah University. She received her bachelor’s degree in German Studies and master’s degree in Strategic Leadership. She worked for six years in higher education in the fields of Admissions and Development prior to coming to BHA. 

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Sarah Swankler

Program Director

Sarah serves as the supervisor for the Family Advocate Case Managers equipping them with the skills, tools, and support needed to serve the families in the Transitions, Side By Side, and Youth Programs. Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Messiah University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Shippensburg University. Sarah has a background in child welfare as a Children & Youth Caseworker as well as working in drug and alcohol treatment as an Outpatient Counselor. Sarah, and her husband, currently reside in Elizabethtown, PA and are members at The Alliance Church of Elizabethtown.

Ella O'Bell

Family Advocate

Ella leads the weekly youth program that fosters resiliency and emotional regulation while also creating an environment for growth in children of all ages. She manages all youth programming with the program staff while training and supervising volunteers and Youth Program Assistants. She is also the Side By Side program coordinator. She aides the Side By Side families by teaching budgeting skills and how to maintain a rental unit, while also connecting them to resources/supports in the community. Ella has her Bachelor's degree of Psychology with a minor in Human Services from Elizabethtown College, which is also the town where she currently resides.

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Sofia Malone

Family Advocate

Sofia works with families in the Transitions program. She has an associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Harrisburg Area Community College, and many years of experience working in property management, subsidized housing, and Rapid Rehousing programs, and case management.

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Vanessa Foltz

Family Advocate

Vanessa leads the weekly youth program that fosters resiliency, emotional regulation, and growth, while also working with families in the Transitions program. She has her bachelor’s degree in Social Services from Geneva College, located in Beaver Falls, PA, and has previous experience providing housing stability to young adults in the Dauphin County area. Vanessa has lived in Harrisburg her whole life but loves to experience the world through travel.

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Gillian Sumpter

Volunteer Coordinator

Gillian oversees the recruitment and management of BHA’s volunteers.

Abbey King

Director of Operations

Abbey oversees financial and personnel matters in addition to daily office management at BHA.She is also the point person for volunteer work groups. Abbey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Eastern University.Abbey and her daughter, Miya, live in Ono. 

Dennis Saylor

Property Manager

Dennis oversees the general maintenance of BHA's current properties in use, as well as the renovations of new properties being developed. His entire career has been spent in the construction and carpentry trades. Dennis, his wife Ann, and their children reside in Manheim and attend BHA member church, West Greentree Church of the Brethren.