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Cara was founded in 1991 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Owens.

Now, 25 years later, Cara has evolved as not only a best-in-class job training and placement provider for individuals affected by homelessness and poverty, but also a vehicle for true life transformation. 

Since inception, we have placed more than 5,300 individuals into more than 7,800 quality jobs at one-year job retention rates of 70% or better, catalyzing the same number of families to stop the transfer of poverty from one generation to the next.  In addition, Cara boasts social enterprises - including one in neighborhood beautification and the other in temporary staffing - that achieve a double bottom line: more than $2 million in revenue annually and 400+ transitional jobs per year for the hardest to employ. 

The Impact

Avg 1 Yr Savings

v. U.S. average of $199

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Our Partner Programs

  • Clean Slate
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Employers

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Kellogg Company
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
  • Mariano's
  • Rebuilding Exchange
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Sodexo
  • Salvation Army
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Rivers Casino
  • Fitness Formula Clubs
  • Eataly Chicago
  • Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc
  • Gotham Greens
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • The Habitat Company
  • Union League Club
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • Hilton Chicago O'Hare
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Resurrection Healthcare
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick
  • Standard Parking
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Pierce and Associates
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Center For Working Families
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cleanslate
  • ABM Janitorial Services
  • Allied Barton Security Services
  • Bank of America
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