Candidate profile: Jody Santagate
Jody Santagate is running for a five-year set on the Housing Authority with a plan to “bridge the gap” between the residents and the board of directors.
A Wareham resident for 15 years, Santagate said she has noticed a disconnect between residents and the committee.
“I think that people want transparency and I feel like they are not getting it,” said Santagate. “If I get elected, I would like to open myself up to the public and have one or more days a week when I would be available for the residents of Wareham. If they need help with paperwork applying for food stamps or housing, I will be available to help.”
Santagate has three sons, one of whom recently graduated from Wareham High School.
Santagate has previously been involved with the Wareham Tigers Athletic Association, where she volunteered as a board member and a secretary and helped transition transition Tigers from Hockomock to old Colony league, and worked as a cheerleading coach for the girls’ B-squad.
“Being a cheerleading coach was a completely new experience for me,” said Santagate. “But there was a need for a coach at the time, and I didn’t want to let the community down.”
After the birth of her first child, Santagate volunteered for the Volunteered Quincy Community Action Programs from 1998 to 1999, where she assisted pregnant women in applying for food stamps and housing within the state community.
When her son attended Head Start Preschool in Plymouth, she became a parent advisor and educated other parents and grandparents on the resources that were available to them, such as fuel assistance, food stamps, transportation, FAFSA applications, and federal grants.
After moving to Wareham, Santagate continued her work at Cape Cod Child Development, where she volunteered on the policy council from 2006 to 2009, publishing a monthly newsletter to the families of children in the Head Start program with new policies, resources and information. Meanwhile, she also tutored low income students, offering them guidance and support.
“I love helping people,” said Santagate. “I have a multitude of resources, I have a lot of connections within the housing community statewide. I am out there in the community, I see what is going on, I see what people need.”
Santagate said she strives to help people of Wareham no matter her position. Even if she won’t get elected, she is “still always going to be in the community to help someone find their resources,” and she “will always be there for assistance.”