Leo Adorno

Leo Adorno has been a part of the Pine Street Inn team for 29 years, working in numerous roles throughout the organization. Currently, Leo is the director of housing placement for Pine Street’s “Place Me Home” program, where he works with the City of Boston to place chronically homeless people into permanent housing.

“I have a lot of empathy for the people we work with,” says Leo. “I was homeless for about a year and a half at one point due to issues with addiction. While I’ve been in recovery for 35 years, I can identify with and understand people who are struggling.”

A native of Puerto Rico, Leo came to the Boston area when he was 17. While he began his career working as a carpenter, Leo decided that he wanted to help others following his time in a recovery program. “I wanted to do something different with my life,” Leo said. “I originally started part-time at Boston Night Center, which was a program run by Pine Street. Since then, I’ve held many different roles here, including on the outreach team for 17 years, as the director of the Men’s Inn, Holy Family, and Shattuck shelters, and now at Place Me Home.”

In his current position, Leo matches clients to housing that fits their individual needs. For some, that means that on-site support services are not necessary but help is needed with first and last month’s rent, budgeting, or obtaining a new ID. For others, supportive housing is necessary. In those cases, Leo places people into Pine Street residences where support staff help tenants deal with financial issues, obtain medical and behavioral health care, addiction treatment, and more

“This is not a job you can do unless your heart and soul are in it,” Leo says. “All of the heartbreaking moments we may face are balanced out by those times you see a person get the keys to their new apartment and open their door for the first time with tears of joy in their eyes. This job brings me incredible happiness and has made me a better person.”