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Martha Opening Doors to Opportunity

Cara Staff

 

“Everything changed when my company closed; I was out of a job. When I couldn’t find temporary work, I couldn’t pay rent. I ended up going to Pacific Garden Mission (PGM) because I didn’t have a home. They were the ones who referred me to Cara and Cara Connects.

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An update from Cara regarding COVID-19

Cara Staff

UPDATED September 17, 2020

Thank you for being part of the Cara community and for your commitment to supporting our job seekers who are ready to lift themselves out of poverty and homelessness. Like you, we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are keeping a close eye on official information and guidance from the CDC, WHO, and both the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. More…

Keith Makes Sure Everyone Counts

Cara Staff

Keith’s Story

When I connected with StreetWise in 1995, I was struggling with addiction. But I was glad my job with StreetWise gave me a chance to sell their magazines. However, shortly after starting this new position, a series of events led me to spending some time in prison.

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HHPLIFT: Lifting Up People’s Gifts and Talents

Cara Staff

“The HHPLIFT 1eleven Program hires people from underserved or overlooked communities to get them back into the workforce. For our hiring process, we often turn to Cara Connects. We train workers to make candles, bath, and spa products. Additionally, they also get trained in skills like shipping, sales, and data entry. 

I first met Alejandra, our Manager of the 1eleven Program, through Cara Connects. I knew from the very beginning that Alejandra wouldn’t be on our team temporarily; she was meant to be a part of the HHPLIFT family for the long term. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she brilliantly created our “Be a hero…Wash your hands” campaign that encouraged customers to buy or donate soaps directly supporting front-line workers in hospitals and nursing homes.

Cara Connects also introduced us to Elvin, and he kept this place afloat when COVID-19 hit. He started out in a temporary position, but we hired him permanently because we couldn’t let him leave. Elvin is so dedicated to his work; even when we were doing a lot of our work from home this past winter, he came into the office to take care of orders and shipping.

I cannot imagine HHPLIFT without Alejandra and Elvin. Both recently won an award at our annual event recognizing their work that supported our company during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so grateful to Cara Connects because they introduce us to people we want and need on our team.”

 

Click here to read Alejandra’s story of unlocking hope and self-confidence with HHPLIFT and Cara Connects.

Learn more about how #CaraConnects job seekers to opportunity, businesses to talent, emerging leaders to mentors, and employers to communities. Check back here every day from September 6 through September 17 to celebrate the intertwining stories of some talented employees and leading employers. Let’s get to work!

Alejandra Unlocks Hope and Self-Confidence

Cara Staff

“It was difficult getting back into the workforce after taking some time to become a mom. I needed assistance with resume writing, interviewing, and finding an opportunity. But when I came to Cara, I found so much more. I found hope and regained my self-confidence. 

When I was a participant beginning my Cara journey, Mr. Jesse and the Cara community showed me that I wasn’t alone. They saw the things inside of me that I couldn’t see. I am so grateful that the Cara community turned me from a caterpillar, living in her cocoon, into a beautiful butterfly; one who shares her talents and potential with the world.” 

The team at Cara Connects took my specific needs into consideration and helped me search for the right job opportunities. They made it possible for me to work for a great company while also being a mom to my young daughter. They connected me with the team at HHPLIFT, and I found another family.

At HHPLIFT, we do everything possible to support one another. For example, I had what seemed like a small idea for the “Be a Hero” campaign. When I proposed it, everyone collectively got behind me and the idea. The next thing I knew, we had our president on the phone encouraging us to run with it. I have so much love for this team and could not be more grateful to work here.

I am thankful for Cara and Cara Connects because they continued to check in with me even after I got this amazing job opportunity. They wanted to help me succeed in every aspect of my life. I moved into a new apartment, and Cara helped me get furniture to make it a home. I know Cara means ‘friend’, but I also consider the organization to be an extension of my family.”

 

Click here for insights from Ava Berry, Director of the 1eleven Program at  HHPLIFT, about her partnership with Cara Connects to find innovative leaders for her social business.

Learn more about how #CaraConnects job seekers to opportunity, businesses to talent, emerging leaders to mentors, and employers to communities. Check back here every day from September 6 through September 17 to celebrate the intertwining stories of some talented employees and leading employers. Let’s get to work!

Irma’s Second Chapter

Cara Staff

Irma’s Story

“Before Cara, I was primarily staying at home to care for my family. I was happy doing that, but I felt bad that my husband worked every day to pay the bills and the rent. When my kids got older, I was determined to find a job opportunity. Now that I’m working with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, I make my own money that helps our family. 

Catholic Charities is a great place to work. It has changed my life and the lives of my husband and children. My husband never asked me to go back to work, but I wanted to help pay the bills; I feel proud to be contributing.

I wanted to find an opportunity that I enjoyed and a team that cared about me. That’s why I went to Northwest Side Housing Center, where I was introduced to Mariel Corona from Cara Connects. She connected me with Catholic Charities, and I was so excited.

Raising kids prepared me to be successful on the job, and I found a new sense of purpose. Every day, I stay busy helping customers, stocking shelves, and working the register. When Cara Connects checks in to see how I’m doing, I tell them how happy I am in my position. It’s wonderful that they care so much about me.

Thank you to Cara Connects and Northwest Side Housing Center for helping me find this opportunity. I love my job, and I think Catholic Charities really likes having me on their team.”

Learn more about how #CaraConnects job seekers to opportunity, businesses to talent, emerging leaders to mentors, and employers to communities. Check back here every day from September 6 through September 13 to celebrate the intertwining stories of some talented employees and leading employers. Let’s get to work!

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