Our Founders had a vision to cultivate a stronger community through stewardship and hope. By the late 1960's, Dr. Leo Brown Jr. and his wife, Barbara, decided to put their passion to work and began ministry programs to work with incarcerated men. In 1971, they expanded their program to include the Purdy Treatment Center for women while simultaneously founding a summer camp for underserved youth.
Today, Progress House exists as a beacon of hope and prosperity not only for its clients, but for their family and children. As the legacy continues with the second and third generations of the Brown family at the helm, new programs and plans for facility expansion have formed alongside the existing infrastructure to expand their vision to put and end the cycle of incarceration and recidivism.
Over 16,000 served since 1972.
The Browns would continue to create more opportunities for members of the community who'd experienced hardship and, as a result, ended up in places that seemed hopeless. They believed in second chances and understood that in order to change their community, they had to start by reaching its most vulnerable. Dr. Brown Jr. did not view convicted persons as a threat to society, but rather as individuals who'd made unwise decisions without the proper support structures to lean on. He was called to do more for the men and women he'd encountered through his ministry and in 1977, despite caution and dismay from local residents, Progress House Association was established. By 2017 Progress House expanded to three locations including Peninsula Work Release and Helen B. Ratcliff House to house over 200 men and women.
Stewards of Hope
"Without a vision, the people will perish."
- Dr. Leo C. Brown, Jr. DD