Offering Mental Health First Aid training to all members of the community and Trauma & Resilience training to health professionals


In November 2022, a tragic incident occurred at a local supermarket in Chesapeake due to gun violence, resulting in the loss of seven lives. In May of 2019, a similar tragedy took place in Virginia Beach, where thirteen lives were lost. Recognizing the critical need for a robust trauma-informed care network and enhanced mental health services, United Way of South Hampton Roads responded by investing an initial $1.8 million into the community to promote resiliency and support healing.

United Way of South Hampton Roads was the genesis of the Hope and Healing Coalition. This coalition consists of various community partners, partners including grass roots organizations, other non-profits, and local hospital systems, that meet regularly to share about the supports they are providing to address community violence and identify gaps where services need to be concentrated with a focus on accountability, compassion, and resiliency.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): traumatic events in childhood that are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance use problems (ex. experiencing violence, abuse, neglect, having a parent incarcerated, or having a family member attempt or die by suicide- not an exhaustive list)

64% of U.S. adults have reported at least one ACE by age 18, roughly 1 in 6 adults have experienced four or more types of ACEs, ACE related health consequences cost $748 billion annually between Bermuda, Canada, and the U.S.

Families where caregivers can meet basic needs of food, shelter, and health services for children, Families that engage in fun, positive activities together, Communities where residents feel connected to each other and are involved in the community, communities where violence is not tolerated or accepted.