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Tackling Trauma with New Training Approach

December 7, 2022

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.


About AHC Inc.

AHC Inc., a nonprofit developer based in Arlington, VA, builds and preserves affordable and mixed-income housing in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. Since 1975, AHC has developed more than 8,200 apartments in the mid-Atlantic region, including 3,400 in Arlington. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities.

Media Contact: Jennifer K. Smith, Director of Communications, 703-486‑0626 x1118


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