Stephanie Primm | Executive Director of Knox County Homeless Coalition and Hospitality House
“It’s an invisible problem here on the midcoast,” explains Stephanie Primm. “One of our clients said it best: ‘Homeless people hide quite well here in rural Maine.’” As executive director at the Knox County Homeless Coalition (KCHC) and Hospitality House, Primm has facilitated the growth of homelessness programs, which have achieved a 90-to 95-percent success rate of sustainable independence for clients who move into permanent homes and continue to participate in the programs. Currently, the coalition offers shelter and sustained comprehensive support for clients. In May, the organization began building a tiny house prototype in conjunction with Midcoast Habitat for Humanity that will increase its supportive shelter capacity, a first step toward Primm’s vision of permanent affordable communities for low income families. Recently the board has approved a plan to begin exploring new social entrepreneurship ventures to help generate funding. The work can be draining, but Primm is encouraged to see quantifiable change in her community in educational achievement and earning potential, among other indicators, and clients often return to the organizationas volunteers and advocates. Through multiple collaborative partnerships with organizations that include Preble Street, Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, and New Beginnings, Primm hopes to find sustainable connections to resources and funding, as well as begin to create affordable housing and living-wage jobs through partnership and collaboration.