Pierce House, developed by the Chicago non-profit La Casa Norte, whose mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness, is a newly constructed 5-story mixed-use building that consists of supportive and administrative spaces for La Casa Norte and 25 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. The comprehensive community center provides integrated wraparound services including a homeless youth Drop-in Center, community healthcare center, café and food pantry, housing location and prevention services, as well as emergency toiletries and clothing. The building is a bold statement focused on providing an innovative and environmentally-friendly home for residents, employees, and community.
In addition to the large open lobby functioning as a welcoming beacon to the neighborhood, it is large in scale to minimize focus on individuals entering the facility, preserving their privacy. Visitors are immediately greeted by staff at the entry desk who can direct them to spaces throughout the building. The programs and functions requiring additional privacy are located near the back of the building, accessible via protected entry points. Similarly, residential entry is separate and secure to protect residents’ confidentiality. Many of the residential units face a private, distinctively-shaped interior courtyard in the center of the building. The Teen Center located on the ground floor provides an open performance stage for youth to enjoy with a workspace and computer lab as well as comfortable furniture. The exterior glazed street façade provides striking transparency while bringing abundant natural light to the interior of the building. La Casa Norte Pierce House has received LEED Gold Certification.