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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

JamilaJamila
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
LynnetteLynnette
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
JulieJulie
I'm an Individual Development Specialist at Cara. It's a lot like a job coach. I've worked here for almost a year and a half. I fell in love with Cara because it offers the really powerful combination of support, opportunity, and accountability. I've never seen a nonprofit like it before. I want to… More
KristieKristie
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
LaurenLauren
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

Needs validated

A bed as I save up for our own place

Member: Anne (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lynnette, The Cara Program

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

$430of $430

Need funded!

11 supporters
Funded on 11/30/2011

Computer to keep my kids on the right track

Member: Doug (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Kristie, The Cara Program

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

$705of $705

Need funded!

12 supporters
Funded on 12/16/2011

Computer for my kids to succeed in school

Member: Tori (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Jamila, The Cara Program

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

$705of $705

Need funded!

13 supporters
Funded on 12/12/2011

Computer to complete my radiology degree

Member: Brenda (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Julie, The Cara Program

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

$675of $675

Need funded!

11 supporters
Funded on 5/11/2012

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

Member: Mary (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$610of $610

Need funded!

4 supporters
Funded on 9/24/2012

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

Member: Kena (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$505of $505

Need funded!

10 supporters
Funded on 6/19/2013

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

Member: Jackie (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$35of $35

Need funded!

1 supporter
Funded on 6/26/2013

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

Member: Kris (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$560of $560

Need funded!

2 supporters
Funded on 11/1/2013

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

Member: Amanda (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$530of $530

Need funded!

14 supporters
Funded on 12/7/2013

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

Member: Shirley (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Julie, The Cara Program

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

$335of $335

Need funded!

10 supporters
Funded on 12/3/2013

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

Member: Pat (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$60of $60

Need funded!

3 supporters
Funded on 10/1/2013

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

Member: Marie (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Julie, The Cara Program

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

$505of $505

Need funded!

14 supporters
Funded on 12/15/2013

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

Member: Leslie (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$560of $560

Need funded!

6 supporters
Funded on 12/29/2013

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

Member: Richard (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$330of $330

Need funded!

5 supporters
Funded on 11/6/2013

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

Member: Brittany (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$125of $115

Need funded!

4 supporters
Funded on 11/5/2013

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

Member: LaToya (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$255of $255

Need funded!

1 supporter
Funded on 12/3/2013

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

Member: Keisha (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$325of $225

Need funded!

3 supporters
Funded on 3/5/2014

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

Member: Darrel (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$425of $420

Need funded!

12 supporters
Funded on 4/4/2014

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

Member: Denzel (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$270of $270

Need funded!

5 supporters
Funded on 3/19/2014

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

Member: Frank (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$385of $385

Need funded!

13 supporters
Funded on 3/2/2014

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

Member: Toni (Chicago, IL)
Validator: Lauren, The Cara Program

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

$245of $560

43.7500%

7 supporters
Needed by 6/15/2014

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