The mission of Primo Center is to empower families to become productive, responsible, and independent members of their community.
Who we are
Primo Center is a leader in providing family shelter and permanent supportive housing, integrated physical, dental, and mental health care, early childhood development, and supportive services to homeless families in Chicago.
The organization has considerable capacity and experience as a provider of services to families affected by extreme poverty and homelessness, assisting more than 1,000 people each year with the aid of more than 100 volunteers, 70 staff members, and an annual operating budget of nearly $6 million.
Primo Center works in high-need communities across Chicago, operating facilities in North Lawndale and West Humboldt Park on Chicago’s west side, in Auburn Gresham and Englewood on the south side, and in Hermosa on the northwest side.
Forty years ago, the late Bishop Quintin Primo, Jr. and a group of concerned leaders came together to establish Primo Center to create opportunities for families to overcome poverty.
With compassion, tenacity and many good-hearted friends, the Primo Center has responded to their needs with innovative housing, health care, early childhood development and other supportive services, addressing the unique needs of the entire family.
Thanks to the very special dedication and generosity of our supporters, board members, volunteers and staff, Primo Center has developed the capacity to help more than 1000 families in need each year find safety, stability and bright futures. Our capacity has allowed us to also help men, which led us to change our name to just Primo Center in 2019.
We’ve grown larger but no less connected than we were in 1978 to the families who come to us seeking a path out of poverty and homelessness, a way forward after experiencing domestic violence, and a fresh start in life. Primo Center has become a transformative partner for them, providing services, resources and hope to help families reach their full potential for independence.
Support and Services
Primo Center employs a holistic and innovative approach to its work, investing in four key areas to support each family:
- 279 units of family shelter with comprehensive services for parents and children
- 90 units of permanent supportive housing including rent subsidies and services
- A unique therapeutic community that provides a safe setting that helps families heal
- A harm-reduction approach that meets families where they are and motivates progress
- Early childhood center
- Evidence-based Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program
- Child-parent psychotherapy
- Coordinated health care that addresses families’ needs comprehensively
- Linkage to primary, dental and mental health care “homes”
- In partnership with Heartland Alliance Health and Howard Brown Health