For nearly 40 years, the Primo Center for Women and Children has cared for our most vulnerable neighbors on the city’s west side — women and children who are homeless.

Through housing, shelter and childcare programs, Primo Center not only places families in safe living situations, but empowers parents to break cycles of poverty and homelessness for their children.

Today, it’s especially important, as more than 40 percent of children in homeless families are under the age of six. Research shows these children are more likely to experience severe anxiety, depression or withdrawal as a result of their living situation.

To reduce this trauma, Primo Center — a United Way community partner — places families in safe, therapeutic settings where they’re encouraged to regain their independence and find permanent housing. They can also access a myriad of physical and mental health services and violence prevention programs.

Poverty and homelessness aren’t typically due to one issue or circumstance, which is why we at United Way work with a network of community partners, like Primo Center, to create a safety net for our neighbors facing hard times. By bringing together social service agencies, we’re able to combine Primo Center’s services with resources other United Way partners provide. This allows us to address a wide range of needs on a person’s road to stability.

In response to the quality of care she received at Primo Center, Ms. Jones, a young woman from North Lawndale was inspired to pen the following poem:


Illustration of the Act of Healing Poem by Ms. Jones

You, too, can be a beacon of light by ensuring our city’s most vulnerable residents are housed. Support our work to connect individuals and families to life-changing programs and services.