About Us

Our Mission

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 1100 people each year with the aid of more than 100 volunteers, 75 staff members, and an annual operating budget of nearly $8 million.

Primo Center works in high-need communities across Chicago, operating facilities in Austin on Chicago’s west side, and Englewood on the south side, and Hermosa on the northwest side.

Our Story

More than forty-five 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 1,100 individuals in need each year find safety, stability and bright futures. Our capacity has allowed us to also help men.

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:

  1. Housing
    • 330 beds of family shelter with comprehensive services for parents and children
    • 92 units of permanent supportive housing including rent subsidies and services
  2. Trauma-informed Care
    • 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
  3. Early Childhood Development Services
    • Early childhood center
    • Evidence-based Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program
    • Child-parent psychotherapy
  4. Integrated Physical, Dental and Mental Healthcare
    • 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