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Cleanslate - Social Enterprise of the Month

In October 2011, Cleanslate was featured as No Margin, No Mission's Social Enterprise of the month. Cleanslate was recognized for its strong track record of proven outcomes and entrepreneurial approach to neighborhood beautification and transitional employment. No Margin, No Mission is a social enterprise and national consulting practice that helps nonprofits, funders, and grantees diversify revenue, expand impact, and build a lasting future through entrepreneurship, innovation, and business strategy. No Margin, No Mission gives back to the community by recognizing and making financial contributions to established social enterprises known for their innovative practices. Click here to read more about Cleanslate's recent honor.

2009 Chicago Neighborhood Development Award

In February 2009, The Cara Program was selected as the recipient of the prestigious Chicago Neighborhood Development Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in community building and especially the achievements of community-based organizations working to build healthier neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area.  The Cara Program was specifically recognized for its capacity in building a multi-layered service in the Mid-South Side, through the Career Pathways Resource Center, the Quad Communities Center for Working Families, The Cara Program, and The Cara Program’s social enterprise, Cleanslate.   Please click here for a brief video on our programs that earned this award. 

2009 Chicago Association of Minority Recruiters' Institution of the Year Award

In September 2009, The Cara Program was named the 2009 Institution of the Year by the Chicago Association of Minority Recruiters (CAMR).  The Cara Program received this honor in recognition of its impact on the field of human resources and efforts to help men and women to secure permanent, quality employment with Chicago’s businesses.  Founded in 1986, CAMR is a Chicago-area non-profit “designed to create a network of minority professionals interested in development and community outreach.”

2009 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder Award

The Cara Program was extremely honored to have been named a 2009 Neighborhood Builder by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in November 2009.  Awarded to leading charitable and non-profit organizations, Neighborhood Builders are recognized for their distinguished community engagement.  The Cara Program was selected as a 2009 recipient in recognition of its commitment to community development, post-employment support, and student career advancement.

2008 South East Chicago Commission Don Michael Randel Community Service Award

Dedicated to neighborhood partners who have helped to revitalize South East Chicago, this award recognizes key community leaders for their celebration of community.   The Cara Program's social enterprise Cleanslate – a leading neighborhood beautification business with a dual mission of also empowering individuals facing high employment barriers to secure and sustain quality employment – was honored in the spring of 2008 for its contributions to community safety, neighborhood cleanliness, and block-by-block pride throughout South East Chicago.

2008 New Communities Program Community Heroes Award

In recognition of the neighborhood beautification services Cleanslate provides along the Cottage Grove corridor, and the personal outcomes individuals through this program have achieved, the New Communities Program recognized Cleanslate in the spring of 2008 as being among the Community Heroes who have helped to breathe new life within the Quad Communities, and who have directly contributed to this community’s Quality of Life plan.

2007 Partner Appreciation Award from Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)

Annually, this Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) recognizes outstanding partners who have provided services to CHA and CHA residents without the benefit of a service contract.  The Cara Program was honored with this award from CHA in the spring of 2007 for providing “invaluable contributions to Chicago Housing Authority Residents and the Plan for Transformation of Public Housing.”  Our organization was the only workforce development agency awarded that year, which we accredit to our success in placing CHA residents and relocatees into quality, permanent employment.  Past honorees include People’s Energy, University of Chicago, and Partnership for New Communities.

2007 Mayor Daley’s Greenworks Award

This “green products” award was presented to The Cara Program in the spring of 2007, in recognition of Cleanslate’s active contribution to the city’s recycling efforts and overall commitment to creating litter-free zones throughout the city.  In 2007, Cleanslate cleared sidewalks, public gardens and vacant lots of 20,000 bags filled of recyclables, and over 28,000 bags of trash.

2007 Cook County Crime Prevention Private Service Award

This award was presented to Cleanslate in September of 2007, in recognition of its contribution to public safety particularly in the River North community, where it worked on weekends to maintain safety and cleanliness along the primary corridors of this thriving neighborhood.

2007 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence

This award, which was presented by The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase and ShoreBank, endows “extraordinary nonprofit organizations with a grant and recognition that celebrates the ability to put value-based goals into action, making a notable difference in a Chicago community.” The Cara Program was selected out of 23 nonprofits who were nominated for this year’s award and evaluated on “compelling mission and vision, organizational strategy in relation to goals, board and staff leadership, financial management, funding model, fundraising and external relations program, evaluation outcomes, sense of integrity and sense of purpose and values within the organization and among key constituents.” 

2006 Goldman Sachs Capacity Building Award

The Cara Program was honored by global investment firm, Goldman Sachs, with a two-year capacity building grant (Spring, 2006 – Spring, 2008) focusing on leadership development, strategic planning, financial management and technology. We received this award after an extensive interview and application process, where Goldman’s review board sought to identify true innovators, with a strong reputation for consistently driving results. The Cara Program is proud to report that it is the only organization in Chicago to be given this honor (and one of six throughout the world).

The Impact

Job Placements

graduates placed into quality jobs since 1991

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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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