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Brandon Lands His Dream Job and is Just Getting Started

To honor 30 years of Cara’s work to eradicate poverty, we are sharing stories of the participants, partners, and people who made our past, present, and future possible.

“Before I found Cara, I was just out of federal prison, having served three years. At that point, I didn’t know who I was. I was drinking too much. I was using drugs. I knew I was better than this but I didn’t know if I was going to survive.

“I really had to find myself. So, I set out to do that and build myself back up.

“When I was released in April 2020, I was living in a halfway house and I started working for a temp agency in a refrigerated warehouse for a food service company. It was a paycheck, but it felt like it was my last resort. I knew I wanted more for myself.

“I had a friend who went through Cara and the CTA’s Second Chance program. I saw him come from nothing to where he was today. I wanted that for me.

“I joined Cara in September. They provided me a training schedule, and I wanted to do as much of the classes as I could at once. I was so ready to learn. I was doing Cara trainings in the morning and working in the warehouse in the evenings. On top of that, I was maintaining my responsibilities in the halfway house. I had a lot on my plate but I was going to stay focused until I reached my goals.

“I started on the bottom, but today…I can’t wait to continue growing!”

“I’m a self-motivated person but coming to Cara, I saw I wasn’t the only person going through this. It was a big push for me. And I’m very thankful for that.

“In February, I received an email that I was accepted into the CTA’s Second Chance program. I saw my name, and I couldn’t believe it. This is what I had been working toward and I achieved it!

“After two months on the job, I was able to get my own place – a two-bedroom apartment so my 11-year-old son can stay with me on the weekends. I’ve never had a place of my own like this before. It means a lot to me to have this opportunity for me and my son.

“I started on the bottom, but today, I have a plan for myself. I have goals for myself. I can’t wait to continue growing and as long as I keep putting in the effort I’m going to continue to climb. I’m in the door. I got the job I really wanted. Now it’s up to me.”

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