Go Back

Cara Awarded $700k Funding From Stand Together

Cara and Stand Together staff and Catalyst members at our 2018 Tribute to the Stars event.

Stand Together has announced $3.55 million in commitments to continue its series of community-based investments during National Poverty Awareness Month – including a $700k investment to Cara. The grants will grow the impact of eight of Stand Together’s partner organizations helping individuals to find and maintain meaningful work and better job opportunities.

“A meaningful job is the most direct path out of poverty, but it’s so much more than that. It restores dignity, hope and purpose,” said Evan Feinberg, Executive Director of Stand Together. “There are so many barriers facing the chronically jobless – addiction, mental health issues, criminal records and often a lack of needed skills. Thankfully, there are non-profit social entrepreneurs that help individuals tap into their unique gifts and talents, overcome barriers, and realize their full potential.”

The effects of consistent unemployment ripple throughout families and communities, driving other behaviors that lead to persistent poverty. Stand Together works with dozens of organizations committed to helping individuals realize their potential and find a path to sustainable employment, independence and community contribution through effective personal and professional development programming.

This investment will be utilized by Cara to fuel its expansion efforts as it seeks to bring its unique service delivery model to more communities, while also deepening its impact in Chicago as well.

“Day after day, we see countless people who show us what true courage looks like. This catalytic gift helps us honor that courage and create many more opportunities to help get transformative numbers of people back to work and back to hope in the process,” said Maria Kim, President and CEO of Cara, a member of Stand Together’s Catalyst Network and recipient of its latest investment. “With Stand Together’s investment not just in our local practice, but in our overall mission, we will get the help we need to do this at scale.”

About Workforce Development Catalyst Network members:

Chrysalis (CA) Chrysalis is a social enterprise dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. Stand Together will continue its work with Chrysalis to streamline their operations and optimize their existing processes as they continue to explore future expansion opportunities.

Per Scholas (NY+) Per Scholas serves unemployed and underemployed adults with the intelligence and motivation to enter and succeed in high-quality information technology careers. Eighty percent of Per Scholas graduates find verified employment. With Stand Together’s support, Per Scholas will be able to meet growing employer-demand for their Platform by Per Scholas model that provides employers and prospective employees with a customized training curriculum tailored to the specific needs of an employer partner.

Cara (IL) – Cara helps people affected by poverty to get and keep good jobs, and more importantly rebuild hope, self-esteem and opportunity for themselves and their families in the process. They produce hundreds of jobs each year, at retention rates over 20 points higher than national norms. With Stand Together’s support, Cara is poised to ignite a national movement around gainful employment over the next three to five years by deepening their impact in Chicago and expanding into new markets across the nation.

NPower (NY+) NPower creates pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities. This investment will support NPower’s plans to drive efficiencies as they expand into new markets, pilot new training programs, and strengthen their existing programming to better meet shifting workforce needs.

WorkFaith Connection (TX) The WorkFaith Connection’s mission is to help people in transition build a new life through work and faith. Through their eight-day Boot Camp, they equip students with the skills needed to conduct a successful job search and become productive employees. With this investment, Workfaith will be able to strengthen its business development capability to recruit additional employer partners, allowing Workfaith to serve twice as many clients without reducing their 78 percent employment rate.

Women’s Bean Project (CO) Women’s Bean Project is a social enterprise committed to changing women’s lives by providing stepping stones to self-sufficiency. With this investment, Women’s Bean will improve operating efficiencies to meet the growing demand for their products and increase the number of women they serve.

i.c. Stars (IL) Since 1999, i.c. stars has identified, trained, and jump-started technology careers for Chicago-area low-income young adults who, although lacking access to education and employment, demonstrate extraordinary potential for success in the business world and for impact in their communities. With this investment, i.c. Stars will be able to pilot a new program increasing the number of participants served by 19 percent and begin to identify key needs to sustain a larger program as they look to deepen their impact in Chicago.

Orion Industries (WA) Orion’s mission is to change the lives of people with barriers to employment by building esteem and creating opportunities through training, education and successful business platforms. This investment will strengthen Orion’s organizational development to support their social and workforce development programs that have experienced tremendous growth over the past decade.

These organizations are part of Stand Together’s growing Catalyst Network of more than 100 community-based organizations working to break the cycle of poverty in America across six issue areas: Addiction and Mental Health; Financial Empowerment and Entrepreneurship; Housing and Homelessness; In-Prison, Reentry and Second Chances; Workforce Development; and Youth and Education. Throughout National Poverty Awareness Month, Stand Together will be announcing additional investments in some of the most effective members of its Catalyst Network. To see more work by Stand Together’s Catalysts in the Workforce Development portfolio, click here.

Stand Together is a social change organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by supporting the creative solutions of individuals and communities around the country. Founded in 2016, Stand Together strengthens communities by investing in social change-makers that can break barriers for individuals in poverty so that they can realize their full potential.