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Meet Jim

He’s transforming his life at Cara, thanks to your support.

What was your life like before Cara?
I was a Catholic priest for about 15 years. But I wasn’t sure the priesthood for me. Something was missing in my life, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. So in 2007, I left the priesthood, in the middle of a recession.

How would you describe yourself then?
Directionless, aimless, withdrawn, and disappointed in myself. I was 53 years old and living with my parents.

Do you remember your first impression of Cara?
What surprised me most was all the different people who ended up being my classmates. You really learn that being poor or homeless doesn’t fit a stereotype.

Describe an important lesson learned at Cara.
I wasn’t good at thinking outside the box. Cara gave me the skills to do that and to learn more about myself. When you look at yourself and know you have to change, it can be uncomfortable but rewarding.

If you could go back in time to your first day of Cara, what advice would you give yourself?
I’d tell myself you’re on the right track. You need to change but be open to letting other people help you.

What’s your go-to song for the Motivations circle?
“Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller Band.

Describe yourself now.
More approachable, attentive, inspired…Employed.

What motivates you?
Having that feeling of accomplishment. I now have a job with the Chicago Transit Authority and it’s excited to have that feeling. Cara helped me regain my faith in myself.

Your #GivingTuesday donation guarantees Cara participants like Jim are transforming their lives. Won’t you help him reach his goal? Click here to donate. Any amount makes a difference!