More than 40 years ago, the Right Reverend Quintin Primo, Jr. created Primo Center to meet the needs of the most vulnerable residents on the west side of Chicago: homeless women and children. Since then, we’ve grown to understand the causes of homelessness are complex and providing housing alone is not enough to break the generational cycle of homelessness. This complexity is why we’ve developed an innovative, coordinated approach to care for parents and children that addresses physical, behavioral, educational and housing needs.
Primo Center has evolved and grown to become the largest provider of comprehensive services and homeless shelter for families and children in Chicago. Our program, Family Leadership Institute, delivers trauma-informed services to address the multiple challenges these families face. Specialized care coordinators partner with children and their families to create tailored plans that ensure their service needs are met, and to help them problem-solve and overcome obstacles.
Primo Center consistently places more than 90 percent of clients in permanent housing, with only a 5 percent rate of return to homelessness. This is in contrast to Chicago’s overall return to homelessness rate of 18 percent.
We use High Fidelity Wraparound, a proven, research-based method of engaging and supporting high-risk children and their families. When implemented correctly, peer-reviewed research shows it yields the highest level of outcomes for children. Through this method, we provide integrated physical, dental and mental and behavioral health services for children and families through partnerships with federally qualified health providers. Our trauma-informed approach allows us to meet our families where they are and develop a plan that meets the needs of individual family members, and empowers parents to support their children and families. Primo Center is at the forefront of discussions and solutions to address family homelessness here in Chicago, and in other cities, including New York City, where we are technical advisors on family homelessness.
Primo Center is more than a homeless shelter — it’s a community. Primo Center staff are compassionate, highly skilled and deeply committed to creating a safe space for clients to heal and fostering a community where they can thrive.
We appreciate the community leaders, partners, volunteers and supporters who help us advance our work through their support. We look forward to sharing with you more exciting news about Primo Center in 2020, including a new facility that will increase the number of beds from 297 to 350.
I invite you to follow our progress and find out how you can help by following Primo Center on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Together, we can create a future where no child in Chicago is without a home.
With deep appreciation,
Christine Achre, MA, LCPC
CEO, Primo Center