Go Back

Demarcus Puts a Whole New Twist on Life

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. For the month of June, we are celebrating stories of hope, jobs, and opportunity.

“Before coming to Cara and Cleanslate, I was still trying to figure out how to get my life together. I was fighting a case and on house arrest at the time. I wanted to get a job and put a whole new twist on my life.

“I got a number from my sister who worked at Cleanslate. When I called, they kept it real with me, saying once I got clean, I’d be ready to work. So that’s what I did.

“When I started working at Cleanslate, they said, ‘You gotta show up and show out,’ so I said, ‘Cool, I’m ready for it.’ I learned that you always have to be ready; you always have to prepare yourself.

“A job opportunity opened up at Guardian Glass, where I work today, and I was like, ‘I’m willing to do it! It sounds kind of complicated, but I’m willing to do it; let’s go!’ Just like we say in Motivations, ‘Motivate me, what?!’

“And because of Cara and Cleanslate, I wasn’t afraid when I saw a guy the same age as me with lots of experience doing the job well. ‘I’m new and I can do it too!’ I thought.

“My motivation to keep going is my four-year-old daughter and my two-year-old son. My kids are my reason to go out of the house, take care of my responsibilities, and then come back home safe to them.”

“Each night when I leave home and step into my job, I’m happy, excited, and ready to work. I’m ready to go! Guardian Glass has a good vibe, and it’s like a family. I love it.

“You meet people who came through Cara years back that are still working here. I’m like, ‘Wow, get out of here?!’ There’s more of us that came from Cara? It’s like a family all coming together again.

“Every day, I put in so much effort so that I accomplish my goals. Work experience for me is not just work experience. I’m proud of myself because I went through trials, from nothing to something. I stuck to it, and I like where I’m at now. It was all worth it.

“My message to the Cara community is this is a great place. You get in, show up, and show out. You do your work and you can accomplish anything you want to accomplish. I guarantee you that. I’m on my way to it, and it’s nice to have this place for others.”

Read our Q&A with Demarcus’ employer and Cara Collective partner, Guardian Glass, to learn why the company joined forces with us and how our participants show up and show out on the job every day.

Your support ensures more stories like Demarcus’ will be told in our next 30 years. Please click here to consider making a gift. Plus, for the month of June, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 thanks to our friends at The Owens Foundation.