AHC Residents Receive Free Chromebooks & Wi-Fi at The Spire

 

AHC residents of The Spire in Alexandria, Virginia, recently received free Chromebooks and two years of free Wi-Fi courtesy of a generous investment from Capital One. Capital One’s $174,000 investment helped AHC Inc. install the necessary equipment for a building-wide network, internet access through Comcast, and $25,000 to provide technical support and assistance to residents. Nearly 70 residents came down to sign up for internet services and their free Chromebooks.  

Representatives from Comcast were also present at the event to help sign eligible families up for free Wi-Fi for their homes for two years. Our Resident Services team is devising a plan to reach out to remaining households for internet sign-up, Chromebooks, and completing grant paperwork. 

Tackling Trauma with New Training Approach

 

This year, AHC took the important step of using a trauma-informed approach in working with residents. Why is this so important? 

“Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in residents, families, and staff ultimately enhances our services and interactions,” explains Roxana Hernandez, Assistant Director of Community Engagement. “Some of our residents have complex histories that can involve physical, emotional and sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, and oppression.” 

Over the summer, AHC created a trauma-informed training plan and started training on basic trauma awareness and response for all our staff, plus the property management partners at AHC communities. More than 50 individuals have already been trained, and by the end of January, that number will reach 100. 

“The first step for AHC is creating a shared language around this initiative. Becoming a trauma-informed organization is not about changing the work we do, but about incorporating a trauma lens into the work we are already doing,” says Stefanie Bass, Assistant Director of Resident Services and lead trainer. “The work is about recognizing the humanness in us all and improving the tools we already have to respond to one another in a supportive way.”  

At the end of the day, AHC wants to make sure – through our policies, procedures, and practices – that we are helping build resilient communities and providing quality services. 

 

Posted December 7, 2022

Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

AHC Students Start School In Style Thanks to Amazon’s Back-To-School Shop

A group of young students looks at a tablet while one boy smiles widely at the screen.

A group of young students looks at a tablet while one boy smiles widely at the screen.

Students from 26 Virginia-based AHC properties recently participated in Amazon’s free Back-to-School Shop at Harvey Hall Apartments. Nearly 500 students, along with their parents, hand-picked their own clothing, shoes, school supplies, and other items to help them start the school year on equal footing with their peers.     

Amazon’s Back-to-School Shop was a part of Amazon’s inaugural Global Month of Volunteering, an initiative dedicated to driving meaningful impact in the communities where Amazon employees live and work. The successful event hosted more than 250 families with the help of 90-plus volunteers from Amazon.   

The fun shopping experience started with a guided online shopping experience for up to $150 worth of clothing and personal items for each student. Next, each child walked over to choose from four walls stocked with various school supplies – water bottles, notebooks, erasers, mechanical pencils and more. The young scholars ended their experience with a fun visit to the sticker room. 

After touring the Back-to-School Shop, the grateful students left with a bag full of school supplies and smiles from ear-to-ear. Special thanks to our dedicated resident services team for ensuring that the heartwarming event ran smoothly. 

 

Posted September 14, 2022

Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

AHC Greater Baltimore Selected for 2022 Thome Aging Well Grant

Thome Aging Well Program; EnterpriseAHC Greater Baltimore (AHC-GB) recently received a 2022 Thome Aging Well grant to support the expansion of physical and mental health services at MonteVerde, a 300-apartment community for residents 55+ and people who are disabled. The $250,000 grant focuses on treating substance misuse and high emergency room use, reflecting the disproportionate impact of COVID and lack of access to healthcare among black and minority older adults.

The Thome Aging Well program is a four-year, $19 million initiative from Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) to help older adults living in affordable communities age safely and securely at home.

“We appreciate this partnership with Enterprise and the Thome funding that will help more than 300 seniors, a rich part of our communities,” says Paul Bernard, President & CEO of AHC Inc. “The life-changing services afforded through this grant exemplify what AHC can provide in addition to housing. Linking people to the opportunity for services ensures we treat and respect the whole person.”

Funded by the Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation, Bank of America trustee, the program awarded $4 million in grants this year to scale aging-in-place initiatives with a track record of success by 16 housing operators and public housing authorities in Maryland and Michigan.

In total, the 2022 Thome Aging Well grants will provide essential support to over 4,000 older adults to help enhance wellbeing, reduce isolation and allow them to age with dignity in their homes. Best practices learned from the grantees will be shared across the field of affordable and public housing providers serving older adults.

“Far too many adults, especially those with lower incomes, do not have the resources and support they need to continue living comfortably in their homes as they grow older,” said Stephany De Scisciolo, vice president, Impact, Evaluation & Population Health, Enterprise. “The programs supported through the Thome Aging Well grants have proved successful at improving the health and wellbeing of older adults and will make an enormous impact on the lives of thousands in Maryland and Michigan. We are honored to partner with such remarkable organizations.”

 

Media Contact: Jennifer Smith, Director of Communications, jennifer.smith@ahcinc.org

Summer Campers Take a PAUSE For Art

Recently, 1st-5th graders and counselors from AHC’s Gates of Ballston summer camp had a hands-on modern art experience. They visited Gallery 3700, home to Studio Pause’s newest exhibition, We PAUSED! Unbound.   

Studio PAUSE is an Arlington-based art studio created by award-winning artist Sushmita Mazumdar. The 9-year-old art studio is a safe space to explore creativity & celebrate community through art.  

The excited group of summer campers experienced Studio PAUSE’s newest exhibit, We PAUSED! Unbound and their first installation titled The Water Still Churns. The year-long art exhibit is a response to Studio PAUSE’s project We PAUSED! A Handmade Book for Gates of Ballston – where the summer campers live. Studio PAUSE turned the book into a display to chronicle a year of the COVID-19 pandemic to help create a space for all voices.  

After touring the exhibit, the campers created prints that described their emotions after learning more about art. Ken Krafchek, retired director of the MFA community arts program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, walked the eager students through the process of creating their timeless monoprints. Krafchek and Mazumdar were impressed with the level of detail in the camp attendees’ art.