Meet our graduates and hear their
stories of transformation

Cara Collective Stories


Today, I’m not afraid. I don’t hold back. I don’t hesitate. Cara taught me I deserve the best. I deserve everything this world has to offer. Now I know my worth and my value. And I can be whoever I want to be!



Regularly attending morning Motivations helped me understand that even if you aren’t having a good morning, you can make it a great day.



After finding sobriety at Pacific Garden Mission, Emmett was introduced to his new beginning at Cleanslate. His hard work and leadership skills made him an all-star crew member and caught the attention of the Chicago Transit Authority, where he’s employed full-time today.

  • “The first time I put on a suit, I looked in the mirror and saw a boss looking back at me. I walked out the door with my head held high and the world looked so new.”
    – Corneisha, Graduate, Cara Class of October 2018

Our Alumni

Raahsaan’s Story

Cara graduate and former staff member, Raahsaan Brown, shares his story of transforming his life after a life on the streets, and how he uses his past experiences to inspire future generations to break the cycle.

Melissa’s Story

Cara graduate Melissa shares her journey to overcome addiction and become the best mother to her son.

Philile’s Story

Philile Mabuza shares her story of having to flee her native country to save her and her children’s lives, the difficulties of acclimating to a new world, and the community she found at Cara.

JaShawn’s Story

In 2006, JaShawn was struggling with addiction and living in homelessness. Today, she is a Youth Program Manager and counsels Chicago youth affected by violence. In this video, she reveals how she came to Cara ready and motivated to transform her life.

Sanora’s Search

Employed Cara participant Sanora shares her story of what led her to her position with Rush University Medical Center.

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Our daily dose of inspiration—delivered through storytelling and singing every morning. This builds community and connects you to the entire Cara community.

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