Social Impact:
Primo Center

Primo Center for Women and Children

The Primo Center’s mission is to empower families to become independent, responsible and productive. Through video production and event support, the Purpose Brand agency expands the social impact of this Chicago homeless center and spreads its message of dignity.

In 1978, the Right Rev. Quintin Primo Jr. introduced the Urban Center of St. Barnabas Church, a ministry that provided meals and services to a community. Although the church has closed, a new non-profit was launched in the bishop’s name, Primo Center for Women and Children. Today, Primo Center is the largest service provider to homeless families in the city of Chicago.

We donate services to the nationally recognized and awarded Primo Center, and our CEO co-chairs its board.

The Primo Center has a unique philosophy of care model. All employees are trauma trained and approach care holistically.

They provide:

  • Temporary and permanent housing
  • A collaborative approach to jobs, health, education, and transportation
  • Trauma-informed mental health services
  • Early childhood services
  • A violence prevention program for at-risk youth in schools and community centers in Chicago
Primo Center, which started very small, is doing amazing things to treat homeless families. They have been a role model from which other shelters can learn."
—Ralph da Costa Nunez, president of the Institute for Children and Poverty
My thought of a shelter was a big room, lots of people, so I really did not want to go. But when I went to the Primo Center on 16th and Homan, oh my God when I walked in there it just smells so nice, and I never forget Miss Rose, she greeted me and my kids with a big smile. And I got comfortable, I didn't feel so bad. They didn't judge me, they didn't question, why are you here? It was so, so nice. It was a blessing for me and my kids.
- Cortland, Primo Center current employee and former resident
What I see at Primo is a community of families working and living together and supporting one another, not as far as adults but the children as well.
- Dr. Ellen Bassuk, founder, C4 Innovations
Programs like the Primo Center for Women and Children in Chicago, headed by Christine Achre, are leading the way by developing and implementing exemplary solutions to family homelessness.
- Dr. Ellen Bassuk
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