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Gainesville Housing Authority wins national award for health initiative
Lanier Technical College dental program “tooth fairies” Sasha Fleming and Paige Buckley demonstrate good brushing habits to children in public housing in Gainesville during a weekly class. The class was part of an initiative to promote healthy lifestyles. - photo by For The Times

 The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, which represents almost 3,000 housing agencies, redevelopment agencies and affiliates nationally, has named the Gainesville Housing Authority as winner of an Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development.

The award was presented for the GHA’s Community Health Initiative in 2014, which combined urban gardening, exercise, nutrition and hygiene to improve health, fitness and eating habits among youth in public housing.

To make the Community Health Initiative a reality, the GHA partnered with agencies and organizations including the Hall County Master Gardeners, Hall County Extension Service, Hall County Health Department District 2, United Way of Hall County, Brenau University, Lanier Technical College Dental Hygiene program, Young Men’s Service League, Georgia Mountain Food Bank, In His Name of Gainesville and others.

“We increasingly see the need for this type of programming because it’s a such an impactful use of resources,” said Beth Brown, GHA executive director.

Founded in 1949, the GHA is home to about 1,500 individual residents in 495 units scattered throughout the city.


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