Primavera Foundation


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About Us


Mission and Vision

The Primavera Foundation provides pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization.

To promote social and economic justice, while working to build a future in which all people are assured basic human rights, a livable income, and safe, affordable housing.


Values and Goals

We believe in the intrinsic value of every individual, and that everyone deserves a voice and has the ability to make a difference.



Pathways Out of Poverty

Each year, our programs impact more than 8,000 individuals and families living in Southern Arizona. For many men, women, and families who are homeless, the first step to getting off the streets is connecting with us.Through partnerships with volunteers, neighborhoods, and a wide variety of community-based organizations, businesses, and public entities; we offer four areas of support:

Survival People in need find immediate relief and shelter through our emergency services programs as they recover from economic crisis and are assisted with acquiring the information and skills needed to live independently and offset future crises.

Stability – Participants transition to a stable lifestyle by providing safe, affordable housing and steady employment.

Security – Financial education, asset-building services, and homeownership opportunities are available for participants seeking long-term financial empowerment.

Sustainability – Committed to social and economic justice, we strengthen resident leadership and integrate community building and engagement activities in targeted areas to revitalize neighborhoods. 


Guiding Principles

We honor participants, coworkers, local neighborhoods, volunteers and the larger community through our commitment to the following guiding principles:







Our Story

The Primavera Foundation began in the early 1980’s as a response to the growing numbers of homeless individuals on the streets of Tucson. In 1983, Gordon Packard and Nancy Bissell organized a large group of volunteers to begin the St. Martin’s Soup Kitchen. Their guiding principle was that every individual has intrinsic worth and deserves to be treated with respect and compassion. Shortly thereafter, the neighborhood where the Kitchen was located filed a lawsuit to shut down the Kitchen. The court challenge went all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court and St. Martin’s was ultimately ordered to close. From that experience Nancy and Gordon moved on to renovate Pueblo Court into supportive housing for the seriously mentally ill, and they raised money to build the Primavera Men’s Shelter, which still provides shelter to up to 100 men each night, 365 days per year.

Advocacy and social change are also at the forefront of Primavera’s work and mission. In 1988, Primavera worked with the Arizona Justice Institute to file a complaint with the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) against Western Savings and MeraBank for alleged discriminatory lending practices. Both institutions agreed to provide $100 million for low-interest loans in designated low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Tucson and Phoenix. Then, in 2008, Primavera worked with a group of organizations, including Arizonans for Responsible Lending and the Southwest Center for Economic Integrity, to defeat Proposition 200. Prop. 200 was a citizens’ ballot initiative that would have made charging triple digit interest rates on payday loans permanently legal in the state of Arizona. Even though the payday loan industry outspent opponents by a ratio of 64-1, voters defeated the initiative. In 2010, the ability to charge over 36% interest for payday loans was no longer permitted.

Primavera has expanded its services and advocacy work over the past 32 years to include: drop-in centers to provide respite and assistance to homeless or impoverished community members; emergency shelter housing for families; workforce development programs that help people develop job skills, search for, and find/return to work; day labor opportunities for work through our own temp agency, Primavera Works; supportive services for military veterans and their families; rental housing that provides stable, temporary and/or long-term, affordable solutions to the community’s lack of affordable, safe housing; financial education programs, home ownership and mortgage foreclosure prevention workshops that help families work toward financial security; neighborhood revitalization programs that help neighborhoods become communities of choice; water harvesting services, and proactive community engagement that provides communities with sustainable solutions to issues.


The Squash Blossom

One understanding of the word Primavera is Spring. The squash blossom logo is also a reflection of Spring, of renewal, of rebirth and of new beginnings. Our name and our logo reflect the purpose of all of our programs, including both direct services and community building and organizing, to proclaim the humanity and worth of every individual. We believe that every person has the right to start again from a safe place and with adequate support. For those who find they are struggling with homelessness and poverty, Primavera’s programs offer that place.





Board of Directors

Primavera’s Board of Directors has sole fiduciary responsibility for the organization. The people who make up the Board are as diverse as the population we serve. One-third of the Board members are low-income and/or reside in low-income neighborhoods and several of our Board members are current or past participants. Our co-founders, Nancy Bissell and Gordon Packard, continue to be an active and integral part of Primavera as members of the Board. Board meetings are held on the third Monday every other month at Primavera's Administrative Offices located at the Jim and Vicki Click Training Center, 151 W. 40th St., in Tucson, Arizona. Members are elected every three years; officers are elected bi-annually.

2017-2018 Board of Directors 


Springboard Newsletter

Primavera's quarterly publication provides information the life of the organization, highlighting grant awards, donors, events, participants and other great information about Primavera. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter via mail or email, please email our Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

Coming Soon in Fall 2017



As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Primavera has a diversified funding base that helps it to remain a financially healthy and sustainable organization. We employ a variety of fundraising strategies throughout the year to generate revenue. These include: government contracts, corporate and foundation grants, individual donations, events and planned giving. Read more about our fundraising efforts in our annual impact reports.

2015-2016 Impact Report

2015-2016 Audited Finanicals - Coming Soon  /  2015 Form 990

2014-2015 Audited Financials  /  2014 Form 990


2013-2014 Audited Financials  /  2013 Form 990


2012-2013 Audited Financials  /  2012 Form 990


501(c)(3) Determination Letter



Community Partners

Primavera recognizes that other organizations in our community share a deep commitment to ending poverty and homelessness. Part of Primavera’s strength comes through strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships with other agencies in our community.  


Awards, Recognition, & Accomplishments


Press Releases

August 24, 2017 - Primavera Foundation Invests Half a Million Dollars in South Tucson Neighborhoods

March 14, 2017 - Grant from Arizona Attorney General's Office Supports Local Programs to Prevent Homelessness

December 7, 2016 - Primavera Foundation Commemorates National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day

October 3, 2016 - Las Abuelitas Housing Featured at NYC Cooper Hewitt