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Marcel gets his chance to shine

Since June, Marcel has been a crew member of Cleanslate – Cara Collective’s social enterprise headquartered in the Englewood community. As a part of Cara Collective, Cleanslate provides transitional jobs in exterior maintenance to individuals who have some of the highest barriers to employment. Cleanslate workers like Marcel get the
opportunity to earn a paycheck while gaining valuable personal and professional skills.

Marcel was an immediate standout on his routes, working in Chicago neighborhoods to provide cleaner, safer streets and being a friendly presence in the community. Within three months on the job, Marcel earned a promotion. Before the year was over, he was voted by his peers to receive the Crew Member of the Year award from the River North
Residents Association, one of Cleanslate’s oldest customers. He is so proud of what he has accomplished for himself.

Before June, Marcel’s story was not as optimistic.

In May, Marcel ended an 11-year federal prison sentence. His transition was not an easy one, but he was determined to create a new beginning for himself and for the family waiting for him. He also knew he couldn’t do it alone. While living at the Salvation Army, a friend and fellow Cleanslate alum suggested Marcel check us out.

“All I want is to make my family proud of me!”

The work experience, camaraderie of his fellow crew members, and the support and guidance from his supervisors were exactly what Marcel needed to successfully begin his journey. Now, he’s not only excelling at his Cleanslate job, he’s working with the entire Cara Collective team to find permanent employment. Marcel is on the pathway to
economic security, a dream that previously seemed nearly unimaginable.

“I went through a difficult time in my life and I lost focus of myself. But Cleanslate showed me that we can all move forward and create a better future for ourselves. Now, I’m ready for my next chapter and to create something positive for my kids. All I want is to make my family proud of me!”

Your donation this holiday season is an investment in job seekers like Marcel. Please click here to make a financial gift. Thank you for your generosity!