CARA CHICAGO

    Unlocking the power and purpose
    in our communities and ourselves

We help people experiencing poverty build the skills and the confidence they need to get, and keep, good jobs.

We are not your usual “job shop.” We are in truth a whole bunch more. We help people on this journey unlock something deeper within. Whether that something is as seemingly simple as more esteem, or as elusive as a career that can once and for all disrupt the generational effects of poverty, we are not just about jobs – we are about the sense of hope and the bounce of a new beginning you feel when one person’s power and purpose is finally in full effect.

TRAINING & COACHING

We work with individuals on perfecting their workplace competencies like teamwork, time management, professionalism, conflict resolution, and communication.

QUALITY JOBS

We offer meaningful employment opportunities – in our own businesses and in the private sector – that align to our participants’ experience and interests.

RETENTION & ADVANCEMENT

We provide consistent support to ensure sustained employment and ultimate career advancement – creating new beginnings for our participants and their families.

How we work with job seekers

No one’s journey out of poverty is the same, that’s why we offer shared services designed to adapt to the unique needs of each individual.

Recruitment

We recruit from a variety of different sources including dedicated referral partners, community outreach, and direct referral via our website and recruitment line.

During the recruitment process, prospective participants are interviewed to determine which of our services best addresses their needs.

Leadership Development

Through our Leadership Development services, participants receive personal and professional training to re-enter the workforce, and on-the-job experience to refresh their skills.

Resource Support

Throughout this entire experience, participants have access to Resource Support. This includes internal and referral services that range from childcare to housing to financial literacy coaching.

Placement

With the assistance of Cara staff, participants work to find a permanent or long-term placement through our employment partners or self-directed job search.

During this time, we work with participants one-on-one to perfect resumes, complete job applications, prepare for interviews, and curate best-fit matches with employment partners.

Retention

Once participants are placed in a permanent or long-term position, they work one-on-one with our coaches to apply their learnings in the workplace.

Our coaches walk alongside employed participants for one year, helping to navigate any unexpected challenges and celebrate all successes along the way.

Advancement

During their year of coaching, employed participants become Cara graduates and may opt-in to services including advancement coaching to take the next step in their careers as Cara alumni.

  • “The first time I put on a suit, I looked in the mirror and saw a boss looking back at me. I walked out the door with my head held high and the world looked so new.”
    – Corneisha, Graduate, Cara Class of October 2018
  • “I learned that my identity had been stuck to a job title, and I lost myself when I lost my job. Coming to Cara helped me find who I am.”
    – Michelle, Graduate, Cara Class of January 2020
  • “Cara became my support system that empathized with my struggles, advocated my skills to employers, and guided me toward potential job opportunities I never considered.”
    – Selvan, Service Center Associate, C&W Services
  • “For the first time in my life, I had people who wanted to help me push me in the right direction.”
    – Pierre, Cara Alum
  • “I became homeless and slept on the blue line. That was 10 years ago. Cara is a life changer. ”
    – Ronald, Cara Alum

Let’s Get to Work

Are you ready to join a community that gets to work for you? Learn more about how to start your journey.

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Our Community

Discover Motivations, our daily dose of inspiration delivered through storytelling and singing every morning and how we build community at Cara.

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Our Alumni

Hear from our graduates about their journey and success at Cara.

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Our Partners

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More Ways to Give

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Contact Us

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