The catalyst for Palmer was a young couple transferred from Texas who had children in a drug rehab program in Houston and wanted them to continue their counseling in Tulsa. They set up a meeting with a couple local business leaders and several philanthropists to meet with representatives from the Houston program. The Tulsa leaders liked what they heard and committed to supporting an out-patient drug counseling program for adolescents. A few of the founding supporters included Mr. Ralph Reed, President of Cotton Petroleum; Mr. Raymond Bachelor, Executive Vice President of Bovaird Supply Company; Mr. Henry Zarrow, President of Sooner Pipe and Supply; and Mr. Bill Miller of Dowell.

In 2003, Palmer expanded programming to include a 52-bed residential substance abuse treatment center for women, specializing in mom/child care as the moms can bring their children with them into programming.