“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou
I hope your year is off to a great start. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the impact the events of 2020 had on all of us, but that is not the purpose of this note. As the days get longer and the sun shines a bit brighter, I have a renewed sense of hope for Primo Center and everyone touched by our work.
We are witnessing hope rising around us. From the changing leadership in our Nation’s Capital, to the increased focus on racial equity and justice, there is a sense of rejuvenation in our lives that often occurs during times of change. There is hope for Primo Center’s residents, especially those who are looking for a beacon of light to guide them. For the first time in our Nation’s history, and even closer to our home in Chicago, we have women of color serving at the highest levels in their respective governments.
Primo Center had the privilege of recently hosting Chicago’s first African-American woman and openly gay Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, and her wife, Amy Eshleman, at our Sangamon shelter location. During the tour, the Mayor met and interacted with several of the shelter’s residents and children. It was such a beautiful sight to watch our children, many of whom resemble the Mayor, meet someone in such a role as Mayor Lightfoot in person. It gives them hope that they too can one day rise to the ranks of Mayor, or even Vice President or President!
We have experienced immense growth in our organization over the last 40 years. Despite this growth, we remain true to the late Bishop Primo’s vision to create opportunities for those experiencing poverty and homelessness. While I certainly drive the vision at the top of the organization, I am witnessing a new generation of diverse leaders rising in the ranks to ensure that Primo Center is in a strong position to continue serving for years to come.
As I look at this year, I am already seeing so many opportunities arise for underserved populations, for Primo Center’s families, and Black and Brown families across the Nation. These opportunities are proof that the work we are doing at Primo Center is paying off. With this in mind, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to you for supporting us in our mission to empower families to become productive, responsible, and independent members of their community. May your 2021 be filled with peace and hope.
Christine Achre, CEO, Primo Center