The Cara Program

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The Cara Program prepares and inspires motivated individuals to break the cycles of homelessness and poverty, transform their lives, strengthen our communities, and forge paths to real and lasting success. Since 1991, The Cara Program has placed more than 3,000 individuals into full-time, quality jobs with leading Chicago-area companies, including several in the Fortune 500. These jobs currently pay an average wage of $10.68 per hour and at least 75% of employed Cara students (program participants) from our Job Training, Placement, and Retention Program remain at their first job placement for at least one year. To prepare students of our Job Training, Placement, and Retention Program to achieve personal and professional success, The Cara Program offers a comprehensive suite of services that includes innovative life- and career-skills training; internship and transitional employment opportunities; placement into a permanent, quality job; and a full year of individualized, post-employment support. To learn more, please visit www.thecaraprogram.org.

Validators

Jamila Jamila
I work for the Cara Program as an Individual Development Specialist. I have been here for a little over four years now. I moved to Chicago from Texas where I did a year of Americorps service working for a nonprofit serving the Vietnamese community in the Houston Area. I decided that I wanted to… More
Lynnette Lynnette
I’ve been with The Cara Program for 5 years as an Individual Development Specialist. I work with the individuals from their first day in the program through their first year of employment. I provide solutions and resources for any obstacles that occur within their personal life, whether it's… More
Julie Julie
I'm the Manager of Supportive Services at The Cara Program. I started at Cara as an Individual Development Specialist, which is a lot like a job coach, and I now manage the retention team that makes sure our students don't just get the job, but they stay in it for a full year. I fell in love with… More
Kristie Kristie
I have been working at The Cara Program for 2 years. I have been an Individual Development Specialist for the last 3 months. Previously, I worked in Human Resources, which has provided me the ability to aid individuals in their job search and ensure that they remain on their job. I found The Cara… More
Lauren Lauren
My job title is Individual Development Specialist, a combination of a job coach and case manager. I have been in this position since September 2011. My work involves providing career coaching and generalized case management services for individuals who have just become employed to ensure progress… More
Da'Sean Da'Sean
I am a Individual Development Specialist for The Cara Program I've been working her over two years. My job includes helping our students needs on a more personal level kind of like a life coach. I help them in many ways to become more self sufficient so they can succeed in life. What motivate me… More

Needs validated

Anne from Chicago, IL

A bed as I save up for our own place

I need a bed for my son and me. My work requires hours on my feet and lots of lifting. We've got a place to stay but need someplace to sleep. More

Validated by Lynnette from The Cara Program

$430of $430

Need funded!

11 supporters
Funded on 11/30/2011

Doug from Chicago, IL

Computer to keep my kids on the right track

I want to help my kids stay on the right path and a computer will help me be the best father I can be and give my kids the resources they need. More

Validated by Kristie from The Cara Program

$705of $705

Need funded!

12 supporters
Funded on 12/16/2011

Tori from Chicago, IL

Computer for my kids to succeed in school

I left a domestic violence situation and I'm now a working single mother of seven children. A home computer will allow us more time as a family. More

Validated by Jamila from The Cara Program

$705of $705

Need funded!

13 supporters
Funded on 12/12/2011

Brenda from Chicago, IL

Computer to complete my radiology degree

I need a computer and printer to do my homework. I work full time and take college classes at night. My son also needs a computer for his schoolwork. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$675of $675

Need funded!

11 supporters
Funded on 5/11/2012

Mary from Chicago, IL

Working, parenting & about to attend college; need laptop for my schoolwork

Managing a schedule of work, school, and being a mom is going to be hard, but my study time could be taken with me if I have a laptop computer. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$610of $610

Need funded!

4 supporters
Funded on 9/24/2012

Kena from Chicago, IL

Furniture to make my first apartment since recovery feel like a home

I need a new bed set to help transition from a recovery home to my new apartment. This will help me save money as I make up for lost time. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$505of $505

Need funded!

10 supporters
Funded on 6/19/2013

Jackie from Chicago, IL

I'm working on job readiness and I need a driver's license to increase my opportunities

I have years of work experience and being able to drive will open up additional career opportunities for me. My expired license is holding me back. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$35of $35

Need funded!

1 supporter
Funded on 6/26/2013

Kris from Chicago, IL

I'm newly employed, out of the shelter, & in my own apartment! I need a bed for my son.

My teenage son and I just moved into a one-bedroom apartment and he needs a bed. He is on the honor roll and needs a comfortable place to sleep. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$560of $560

Need funded!

2 supporters
Funded on 11/1/2013

Amanda from Chicago, IL

I'm free from a violent relationship. Now my son and I need furniture as we rebuild our lives

My son's outgrown his crib, & I need a small couch. I left everything behind when I left domestic violence, so these items will help as I rebuild. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$530of $530

Need funded!

14 supporters
Funded on 12/7/2013

Shirley from Chicago, IL

I'm a security guard but I don't have healthcare. I need new glasses so I can get a promotion!

I'm dead set on getting a promotion to full-time but I need glasses. Along with my hard work and attention to detail, It'll make me the top candidate. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$335of $335

Need funded!

10 supporters
Funded on 12/3/2013

Pat from Chicago, IL

I'm a mother ready to take the GED and all I need is the registration fee!

My kids promised me that they would give me their high school diplomas, and they did. Now it's time for me to give that promise back! More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$60of $60

Need funded!

3 supporters
Funded on 10/1/2013

Marie from Chicago, IL

I'm a working mother and I need living room furniture so our home feels complete

I just got promoted and got a new apartment. But after I pay rent, utilities, food, & other expenses, I don't have money left for furniture. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$505of $505

Need funded!

14 supporters
Funded on 12/15/2013

Leslie from Chicago, IL

In an entry-level job but want to become a manager. I need a laptop to improve my skills.

A laptop will improve my computer competency & increase my chances of getting a promotion. I could also use it to help my son with his homework. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$560of $560

Need funded!

6 supporters
Funded on 12/29/2013

Richard from Chicago, IL

I'm supporting my grandma on a minimum wage job. I need textbooks to further my career

I need two textbooks for a class towards my associates' degree in paralegal studies. I want to make a career change & improve my living situation. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$330of $330

Need funded!

5 supporters
Funded on 11/6/2013

Brittany from Chicago, IL

I finally hit my stride and got my own apartment; I need sheets & cooking utensils to keep moving

I need a bed and sheet set and pots and pans for my new SRO unit! Meeting this need will help me get my savings back up to what it was. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$125of $115

Need funded!

4 supporters
Funded on 11/5/2013

LaToya from Chicago, IL

I'm newly housed and I need basic necessities to round out my new home

I'm on my own for the 1st time in 6 yrs! Meeting this need will help me continue moving forward, save for my education, and start 2014 w/ less stress. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$255of $255

Need funded!

1 supporter
Funded on 12/3/2013

Keisha from Chicago, IL

My husband and I need a new bed for my daughter who has outgrown her crib!

We're moving into our first apartment, but we need a bed for our 4-year-old who's outgrown her crib. We can afford the move, just not the extra bed. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$325of $225

Need funded!

3 supporters
Funded on 3/5/2014

Darrel from Chicago, IL

I have a social work degree & I'm ready to work. I need a dental restoration to go on interviews

I need a partial to replace missing teeth that affect my smile. This will allow me to ace interviews and get a job in my field, which is counseling. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$425of $420

Need funded!

12 supporters
Funded on 4/4/2014

Denzel from Chicago, IL

Got a job! Now I need my own tools to be on a level playing field for promotion.

I am employed & working my way up, but need basic factory tools to stay safe & competitive for promotion in my job with a manufacturing company. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$270of $270

Need funded!

5 supporters
Funded on 3/19/2014

Frank from Chicago, IL

I am training for a career; I need a copy of my naturalization papers to start

I want to enroll in a WIA grant-supported certification program in IT Support, but I need a copy of my naturalization certificate in order to apply. More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$385of $385

Need funded!

13 supporters
Funded on 3/2/2014

Toni from Chicago, IL

I'm aiming for college & for a promotion at work. A computer will get me there!

Getting back on my feet after homelessness! I just moved into my own place & made 90 days on the job. A computer will help me improve my tech skills. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$560of $560

Need funded!

9 supporters
Funded on 5/1/2014

Mary from Chicago, IL

I'm stabilizing my life. I need a bed and kitchenware to continue moving forward.

I've taken big steps to build self-sufficiency. A bed and basic kitchenware will help me continue to pursue my goals! More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$336of $335

Need funded!

11 supporters
Funded on 7/15/2014

Edward from Chicago, IL

Back on track! I'm an apprentice & finally in my own home. I need a stove to cook.

I need a stove because the one my apartment came with is too dangerous to use. My wages cover the basics but not a bigger cost like a stove. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$225of $225

Need funded!

1 supporter
Funded on 5/13/2014

Tonya from Chicago, IL

Moving into stable housing & towards permanent work! I need basic necessities.

My goal is to secure a permanent position with Chicago's transportation company! To build momentum and continue forward, I need to stabilize my home. More

Validated by Julie from The Cara Program

$391of $390

Need funded!

8 supporters
Funded on 7/8/2014

Nicole from Chicago, IL

I'm a mom with BIG dreams for my family - A computer will remove countless barriers!

I need a computer to excel at work, return to school, give my kids the tools they need to take advantage of their schooling and connect with the world More

Validated by Lauren from The Cara Program

$560of $560

Need funded!

15 supporters
Funded on 5/17/2014

Sareeta from Chicago, IL

Newly housed & working towards college to be a parole officer. I need a bed to rest.

My goals are to go back to college to major in criminal justice. Due to financial constraints, I can't afford a bed right now. More

Validated by Da'Sean from The Cara Program

$0of $450

0%

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28 days remaining

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Willie from Chicago, IL

Job & place to call home after 8 yrs of homelessness! Just need kitchenware.

Kitchenware would allow me to become more self-sufficient and to live comfortably in my new place. More

Validated by Da'Sean from The Cara Program

$0of $280

0%

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