Empowering people to overcome the
lifelong effects of childhood adversity.

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Sue's Story

When my husband first walked out, I was alone and didn’t know how to do anything. I had depended on him all my life. For the first six months following that I slept. I was isolated in my room, going to bed, getting up in the morning, eating, going back to bed, sleeping.

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Healing Happens Together

We combine our method of trauma-informed care with the small group process because we believe that healing happens best when it happens together. SET’s Garden Clubs are an example of our healing work done in peer groups, facilitated by a professional trained in group dynamics and behavioral health.  

Member of SET's Cherry Street Garden in the garden

During weekly club meetings, an activity is done to bring members together to solve  problems, make decisions, communicate and learn from each other. The group establishes guidelines to make the club a safe place for everyone to express themselves. The skills learned and practiced in the group sessions naturally transfer into other settings like the home and the community.

In time, club members are transformed. They are confident in themselves, and the community as a whole. They tackle challenges together and accomplish the things they want to get done. We engage people to become excited about participating in their community.

Club experiences are supported by volunteers who are willing to share their expertise in a particular area, and their passion for SET’s mission, with the community. The Cherry Street Garden Club grew from the idea of starting a community garden, initiated by volunteers Rick and Lisa. Clubs are formed by matching the needs of the community with the skills of individual volunteers.

Ensuring People Age in Place

SET supports grandparents to age in place and remain an active part of their family’s social life, providing a source of stability to children and grandchildren. We do this by providing supportive continuing care service coordination and linkages to social and health services. 

SET provides wellness clinics and educational programs to support older adults to age in place while improving their quality of life and self-sufficiency.

We understand the needs of the people we work with and the community because we do our work where people live, with onsite case managers or by going directly to a person’s home. This place-based model leads to the consistency and trust that promotes positive outcomes. 

SET has case managers in public housing buildings that work with residents to provide health screenings and educational opportunities to prevent the need for long-term care services. When people need assistance with activities of daily living and caring for their health, service coordinators link them to the services they need. People are assigned a case manager and nurse team from our Family Care program to go into their home to manage their health care needs and coordinate services. They design a cost-effective care plan to meet the needs of older adults who are increasingly challenged by aging and often frail.   

We want to ensure people will "age in place" in the least restrictive environment while improving their quality of life and self-sufficiency. People participate as active members of their own service-delivery through the process of planning and goal-setting. SET collaborates with other organizations to leverage services within the community to channel resources that are best able to meet the needs of the individual.

Senior Health and Wellbeing

SET’s work is informed by the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study which assessed associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and wellbeing. We acknowledge that many of the people we work with are suffering from the lingering pain from the trauma of ACEs. These experiences are linked to increased risk of unhealthy behaviors including smoking and alcohol use, chronic disease, impaired mental health, disability and premature death.

Unhealed trauma interferes with the activities of daily living. The most significant barrier to self-sufficiency is a person’s lack of proficiency at the activities of daily living. SET delivers a healing practice known as trauma-informed care that leads people to discover their own capabilities, so they can progress down the path to increased self-sufficiency.

 SET's small-group process facilitated by Montreal M. APSW, SET's Trauma-informed Specialist. 
We bring about healing by
  • Conducting our work in a safe, structured, familiar environment
  • Cultivating a trusting relationship
  • Offering choices
  • Supporting autonomy
  • Pursuing a person’s strengths
  • Examining what’s underneath symptoms


At a Glance

Number of People:
 2,500 grandparents and individuals each year
14 public-housing developments and over 200 scattered sites
Program Intensity:
1-3 hours average per month per person
Interdisciplinary Team:
Licensed Registered Nurses, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Behavioral-Health Professionals and Human Services Professionals




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