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The Adverse
(ACE) Study


The City of Tarpon Springs is taking steps to become a "trauma informed community." Here to talk about what that means and how we can all be a part of this movement are Robin Saenger - Founding Director and former Vice Mayor of Tarpon Springs - and Dr. Andrea Blanch -- Senior Consultant with the National Center on Trauma Informed Care.

What is Trauma?

Events/experiences that are shocking, terrifying, and/or overwhelming to the individual.

Results in feelings of fear, horror, helplessness.

Extreme stress that overwhelms the person's capacity to cope.
Sources of Trauma

Interpersonal violence
abuse, rape, domestic violence,violent crime, gangs, bullying.

Social violence
war, terrorism, disasters, oppressive political regimes.

Chronic social stressors
racism, poverty, humiliation, cultural dislocation.

Historical trauma.

Trauma Informed Community Initiative

A Trauma Informed Community is one which is working to address trauma, its causes and consequences. For many, the word trauma brings to mind a vision of bodily harm or injury but trauma by definition is the negative impact of experiences or events that happen to children, adults and communities as a result of physical, economic, psychological or environment assault. Trauma may include physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. There is no trauma free zone in the world and everyone experiences it during the course of a lifetime. Peace 4 Tarpon TICI began in response to understanding the universality of trauma and is already gaining National attention. Several Cities around the United States are watching our evolving model very closely.
The broad-based support we are encouraging and working toward is so unusual for a city, that recently, Mayor Archie was invited to Washington, D.C. to present at the Federal level what Tarpon Springs is doing. In November of 2012, Founding Director Robin Saenger was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Dane County Trauma Summit in Madison Wi.

We want to make sure that everyone in our Community is not only aware of this endeavor but also becomes involved and takes pride in what our City is undertaking. Peace 4 Tarpon holds the vision of our community becoming a peaceful place where all are safe, healthy, cared for and educated.

We are pleased and grateful to have many partners and supporters throughout the city including The City of Tarpon Springs and Mayor David Archie,City Manager Mark Le Couris, Tarpon Springs' Police Department, Tarpon Springs' Fire Rescue, Florida Hospital North Pinellan, Tarpon Springs Library,Community Health Center, the Shepherd Center, Cops and Kids Program, Citizen's Alliance for Progress Family Center, Boys and Girls Club, St. Petersburg College, the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, the Housing Authority, the Suncoast Center, strong representation from our faith community, Tarpon Springs Elementary School, and others. We have also formed an alliance with the Juvenile Welfare Board and Pinellas County Schools as Tarpon Springs was selected as the location for the North County Children's Initiative with special focus on Tarpon Elementary. Individual community members are among our supporters, and they bring a unique and vital piece to the process of creating a Trauma Informed Community. In short, This Initiative includes everyone!

Peace 4 Tarpon is a work constantly in progress. It is a ribbon that weaves together the various groups, agencies, individuals and systems already in place who work toward meaningful, positive change and healing, reducing trauma and promoting peace. The root cause of many challenges facing our City is violence, which creates trauma. The challenges are wide-ranging, including such things as homelessness, domestic violence, crime, and many others. The idea is that if we come together, we can address many of these issues in a meaningful way. Our City of around 24,000 people is small enough for us to truly make a difference if we are unified and work toward our common goals. There are resource materials available from Tarpon Springs Library and St. Petersburg College Library.
Our facebook page is a great place to learn more about Peace4Tarpon,"like" us, post your own comments, and find many valuable articles and information!

It is our hope and long term vision that the Tarpon Springs of tomorrow will be a healthier, more thriving community where everyone is valued, cared for and where the needs of all are met.

The Trauma Informed Initiative has not only taken root but also is gaining energy and growing quickly. As we reach out into the community, we will have greater numbers of community members and partners join us.
If you would like to become involved in this Initiative or have any questions, please contact us via this website or our facebook page.

Please offer what peace/piece you can.

Robin Saenger
Founding Director
Peace4Tarpon TICI


The vision of Peace4Tarpon is for Tarpon Springs to be a trauma informed community where the needs of all are met.


To promote a widespread awareness of the costly effects of personal adversity upon the wellbeing of the community.

Desired Outcomes

* Improve student adademic performance
* Improve teacher/student/parent engagement
* Better informed parents and community partnerships
* Better integration of community services
* Improve school and community engagement
* Secure sustainable resources

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