Nine communities in the United States and Canada—both large and small, all engaged in the work of preventing/treating ACEs and promoting resilience—are profiled here.
These stories provide specific, richly detailed examples of how different towns, cities, states and provinces have approached the challenge of responding to ACEs. They discuss challenges and obstacles, mis-steps and lessons learned, “aha” moments and successful collaborations.
The ACEs movement is new. We are rapidly learning from those using the science of ACEs to generate creative and effective responses in a wide range of communities.
While there is obviously no step-by-step recipe that works for every locality, we hope these stories generate hope and inspire action, no matter who you are or where you live.
The Alberta, Canada Story
Located in western Canada, with a population of 4 million. Alberta’s economy and population are growing rapidly, fueled by high birthrates and immigration, both from other countries and other provinces.
View Alberta’s Success Story
The Arizona Story
The state, with a population of 6.6 million, shares a border with Mexico. A 2012 survey showed high rates of ACEs in Arizona, especially among children aged 12-17.
View Arizona’s Success Story
The Camden, New Jersey Story
A once-thriving manufacturing center now struggling with poverty, violence and abandoned housing, Camden—population 77,000—sits across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.
View Camden’s Success Story
The Iowa Story
A state with a population of 3 million in the “American Heartland.” A 2012 survey showed that 55% of Iowans had at least one adverse childhood experience, while one in five of the state’s residents had an ACE score of 3 or higher.
View Iowa’s Success Story
The Maine Story
With a population of 1.3 million, Maine is the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi River; it is also New England’s poorest state, with one in four children being raised in poverty (the national average is one in five).
View Maine’s Success Story
The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Story
With a population of 1.5 million, Philadelphia is the second-largest city on the east coast. After years of declining population, as the city shifted from a manufacturing center to a service-based economy, the number of residents rose slightly between 2000 and 2010. View Philadelphia’s Success Story
The Tarpon Springs, Florida Story
A former sponge-fishing center, Tarpon Springs is a city of 23,000 in Pinellas County, on Florida’s Gulf coast. In 2008-12, 13.5% of the city’s population lived below the poverty line.
View Tarpon Springs’ Success Story
The Dalles, Oregon Story
The largest city in Wasco County—population 13,600—located in north central Oregon. A huge dam construction project in the 1950s split the city into “two sides of the track”; the districts merged only ten years ago.
View The Dalles’ Success Story
The Walla Walla, Washington Story
The largest city in Walla Walla County, Washington—population 31,700—in the state’s southeastern region. Despite signs of growth—a flourishing wine industry and a rehabbed downtown—one of four Walla Walla children live in poverty, and gangs and drugs are common. View Walla Walla’s Success Story