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Derrick Puts in the Work and Reaps the Rewards

“I came from a fairly stable background, but I found myself just battling ups and downs with losses of loved ones – including twin boys who were born with birth defects. I finally did have a couple of my own children and I became a truck driver. I picked myself up out of a slump, but I was always battling depression. For some reason, I would always find myself, and I’m saying always, isolated in my mind. One day, I just picked up and started using because my life had become unmanageable. Because of my addiction, I got arrested and I lost everything – my job, my house, my relationship, and my kids.

“After my release and getting sober, I came to Cara with a friend who was interviewing to join the program. I told him, ‘I’ll go there with you just to be your good luck.’ After five or ten minutes I get a call, ‘Derek, they said they can get you in. Come up.’ Well, I’m notorious for not wasting time, so I went back and they ended up inviting me to be a part of the SPRING Forward program.

“SPRING Forward is awesome and I’m a big Cara fan! Ever since I started here, it’s has been working miracles for me.  

 “Since day one, I’ve just been trying to take whatever the program has to give me. Things didn’t start changing immediately; the best things you have to wait for, you have to put the work in. It’s like Mr. Jesse says, ‘It works if you work it.’ I put the work in. I feel like wherever I end up in life is what my work did for me.

“The work I put into Cara has manifested into a job at the Chicago Transit Authority.  It has manifested into getting my life together. It has manifested into a savings account. It has manifested into being a great father again – I got to see my kids this weekend. The change from Cara keeps manifesting in so many different areas of my life. I’m just thankful to Cara for this whole reawakening across this phase of my life.”

Your support of Cara Collective is critical to furthering our mission of eradicating poverty and increasing access, equity, and opportunity. Please consider making a financial gift this June to support job seekers like Derrick. Thank you for your support!