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We have a tradition of storytelling at Cara, where we celebrate both our milestones of successes and of challenges, to help each other build our talents and grow. These stories take shape in a variety of ways - sometimes in the 'Motivations' circle, and sometimes in our hallways - where the hope offered through a powerful story gives us the fuel we need to move forward. We have taken the liberty of excerpting a few of them here, so you can have a sense of the lives your friendship can impact. We hope you enjoy!

When I think about my life before I came to St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, it can be described as a life in the pits of hell. I had lost all three of my children. My lifestyle was one of addiction, promiscuity, hopelessness, isolation, unemployment, degradation, loneliness, grave emotional...

June is a Cara student who remained committed to our training throughout her long journey towards securing her quality job. If you have been to ‘Motivations’ recently, you may know that June was with us for 29 months before securing permanent...

As a full-time student, employee and mother of three, Odette Ojeda makes the hectic schedule seem effortless as she shuffles children, classes and a career with apparent ease. But not so long ago, she was told, and often believed, she was helpless. "I didn't know I was strong," she said. "I didn't know, because I was told I wasn't able to do so...

“I was addicted to alcohol and drugs. I had a conviction on my record. I was living with my mom. I was homeless.

“For 12 years of my life, I lived a very unproductive, irresponsible and destructive life. This had to change. I used to ask myself, ‘would I die out on the street? Would my...

Earnest W. is a family man and a gentle man who unfortunately had, over the years, spent over two decades lost in an addiction.  During that time, his wife divorced him, his kids no longer wanted him around, he lost his job, he lost his friends, and he lost himself.  Living on the...

Some of you have recently received a letter from our dear friend, Cathy.  We are so proud of Cathy for her leadership as a Cara staff member, a mom and a former Cara student. 

Glenn loves his job at MPC Products Corporation. A mathematically-inclined navy veteran with a resume full of technology-related certifications, Glenn is proud of his work manufacturing parts for jet engines. At the end of a full day, he is...

Eric Weinheimer, President of The Cara Program was thrilled to get to his desk early one morning to find an email message from a woman who went though The Cara Program in 2003.

The Impact

Remain Employed

in initial job placement at one year of employment

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Our Partner Programs

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Our Supporters and Employers

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Kellogg Company
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  • Whole Foods Market
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  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
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  • Center For Working Families
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  • Bank of America
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