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Referral & Admissions

Photo by Alyce Henson
We know that we cannot solve the problems of homelessness and poverty alone, so we partner with a wide range of organizations to serve those in need.

Life & Career Skills

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We don't shield students from the realities they will face in the workplace; rather, we recreate the workplace here at Cara (and we have a bit of fun, too).

Quality Job Placement

Photo by Alyce Henson
Every student that participates in Cara is guaranteed a quality, permanent job, provided that they comply with the rigor of our training.

Job Retention & Stability

Banana Republic mounted our Great Wall, where we honor students' 1st year on the job. (Photo by
We not only meet with employed students on a regular basis to discuss their work performance, their budget, and their plans for the future, but we also seek them out in their moments of crisis. (And when there's reason to celebrate, we're there in droves.)

Cara provides hope, opportunity and most of all, community, to individuals who need it the most. 

"Your training and guidance at Cara meant more then you will ever know. It put my life in perspective and has allowed me to stay on track which has equipped me for the journey I am now embarking on.  Here it was my health was failing, my home was gone, my friends and family had turned their backs, literally no job and no money.  But you never gave up on me.  

Without you all, I would have never transformed my thinking. I would still be stuck in who I was instead of accepting who I am and changing the things I could change.  It was at graduation that your caring, motivating and encouraging words festered in me a will to survive - because not only did my daughter need me, but how could I give up when at least one person believed in me, and I was going to make you proud.  I was going to make Cara proud."
Lakeisha P., 2004 Cara Graduate, Private Investigator & National Epiliepsy Advocate

Click here for an overview of our service delivery model at work.

The Impact

The Cara Program is a 4-Star Charity

Charity Navigator has awarded The Cara Program its most coveted 4-star rating!

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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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