MEET OUR FOUNDER
Christine Joy Brunson, MSW, LSW, founder of Purple House Project PA Inc., grew up in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Living in an area where the majority of the residents were of low socioeconomic status, she witnessed residual trauma of intimate partner violence first hand. When Christine was just 14-years-old, her family moved to Chandler, Arizona. This move had a big impact on Christine’s perspective. Even though she had moved to a community with a much higher socioeconomic status than her family, she quickly realized that money did not erase intimate partner violence or it’s impacts. Instead, she learned that individuals just cope differently to their experienced trauma and therefore the abuse can look different from community to community. Christine went on to study and ultimately graduate from Northern Arizona University (NAU) with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work. It was during her time at NAU that Christine was able to reconcile her own family’s generational patterns with intimate partner violence and substance abuse. Christine knew in that moment that she wanted to work with others who had also been impacted by intimate partner violence and bring healing to herself and others in the process.
Christine went on to spend a semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa and wrapped up her senior year working closely with a domestic violence agency in Flagstaff, Arizona. After graduating from NAU, Christine moved back to Pennsylvania and continued her education at West Chester University. While there she interned in a research field placement at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania. There she screened women ages 18-64 who experienced intimate partner violence and problem drinking behaviors. She went on to earn her Master of Social Work (MSW). All of these experiences, informally and formally, solidified her passion and gave her the foundation to launch Purple House Project PA, Inc. in 2016. Purple House Project, PA is a Delaware County based non-profit organization focused on supporting women who experience intimate partner violence. The mission of Purple House Project PA is to strengthen, empower, and transition women impacted by intimate partner violence via connection to essential resources that aid in the healing process.
Since establishing Purple House Project PA, Inc., Christine has continually made a positive impact on the community by creating and participating in various partnerships. Christine presented at Prevention Meets Fashion in February 2018, which is an event focused on the intersection of intimate partner violence and sexual health. In February of 2019 she facilitated a workshop at the Consortium to discuss safety planning and psychosocial stressors that women experience after surviving intimate partner violence. She has participated in panels sharing her expertise, including the Phenomenal Women’s Network in March 2019 and at West Chester University in April 2019. In the summer of 2019, she co-facilitated Camp Mississippi Smiles—a partnership focusing on taking young inner-city girls who had been impacted by intimate partner violence on a three-day overnight experience focused on empowerment through positive pro-social activities. Christine is a valuable mentor in her community, often supervising both BSW and MSW student interns.
Christine’s hard work through Purple House Project, PA does not go unnoticed. In fact, in 2018 the National Congress of Black Women Delaware County Chapter recognized Christine for her advocacy. Additionally, Christine was awarded the 2020 Philly Mayor Hero Award.
Christine is deeply committed to her passion and community. Christine’s ultimate goal is to create a "Joysource"—essentially a safe place where women can experience everlasting healing. She embodies the ubuntu spirit—the South African term meaning “I am.. because you are ”. Christine sees the good in every person she meets, and therefore she leads with kindness, compassion, and her whole heart. Christine understands that we all are connected, and she welcomes all those into the warmth of Purple House Project PA, Inc. with open arms.