Meet Christopher

Cara Staff

He’s transforming his life at Cara, thanks to your support.

What was your life like before Cara?
I basically worked my whole adult life. I was in construction management and did a bunch of work for the city. But one night, I was a victim of a home invasion. I woke up to someone shoving a gun in my face. It was terrifying!

After that, a friend gave me a gun to keep at home. I just wanted to feel safe again. I put the gun in my glove box and was on my way home when I got pulled over. I was arrested for carrying a gun without a permit. Chicago had just passed the mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months and a felony. Because of my arrest, I lost my job and no one wanted to hire me with a felony on my record.

How would you describe yourself then?
I didn’t think anything would turn around for me. I was on a downward spiral. Negative. Challenged. I wasn’t ready to give up trying to get back on my feet. But doing it on my own wasn’t working. I was working hard to find a job. I was getting a lot of interviews and they would get great. But whenever they asked about my background, the conversation would end. I’d never hear from them again. Eventually, I knew I couldn’t do this on my own.

Do you remember your first impression of Cara?
I could tell that Cara wasn’t just about a job. It’s about changing your entire lifestyle. My first few weeks, I didn’t understand what was happening, and I almost left. It had nothing to do with what was happening here, it had to do with me. But I fought through it because I knew something good would come out of it

Describe an important lesson learned at Cara.
I knew I needed to change everything about myself. The way I thought, what I did on a daily basis. I was so depressed, I’d start drinking as soon as I got up in the morning. I didn’t want that. I needed structure. Cara has given that back to me.

If you could go back in time and give past Christopher a word of advice before his first day at Cara, what would that be?
I would stay stick it out and see it through because good things are going to come through Cara.

What’s your go-to song for the Motivations circle?
“We are the Champions” by Queen.

Describe yourself now.
I’m still very outgoing, but now I’m positive and very goal oriented. Cara gave me a glimmer of hope and positivity came from that hope. I knew I needed to change everything; the way I thought, what I did on a daily basis.

I had hit bottom, but now I’m building myself back up and nothing will keep me from reaching my goals! I’m so grateful that everyone at Cara took a chance on me when I was at my lowest. I’ll never forget that.

Your donation guarantees Cara participants like Christopher are transforming their lives. This year, won’t you give the gift of hope? Click here to donate. Any amount makes a difference!