An update from Cara regarding COVID-19

Cara Staff

UPDATED April 2, 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 the Coronavirus (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.

We are committed to maintaining the safety, health, and well-being of our participants, staff, volunteers, and community at large. To that end, after much discussion between Cara leadership, the following actions are being taken, effective immediately:

Cara’s offices in downtown and south side Chicago have suspended physical operations through May 1. While we are not providing in-person programming during this time, we have augmented our services to continue supporting participants in their job search through virtual coaching services via phone, email, IM, and text.

• With Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home order that began Saturday, March 21 at 5 pm, we are suspending non-essential Cleanslate operations and Cara Connects assignments to be compliant with this mandate. Our administrative teams will continue to work remotely and our participants will continue to receive virtual engagement from our program support team at Cara during this order.

• We have postponed the March 2020 Cara classic cohort, but our recruitment and admissions team is still working with prospective Cara participants to join us in April. Anyone interested in joining Cara can reach out to 312-798-3309 or

We have cancelled our Fifth Annual Cara Gala, scheduled for April 17. We still plan to honor our distinguished Cara alum, Philile Mabuza, and trailblazer philanthropists Jim and Kay Mabie in a virtual capacity next month. Stay tuned for details.

• Similarly, we have chosen to postpone our sold out April Cara Institute, which was slated to bring multiple organizations from across the country together to learn with and from each other on best practices and failures in workforce development. Our Cara Plus team is working on rescheduling this three-day gathering for later this year.

• Given these special circumstances, we need your support more than ever. As you are able, please consider making a gift of emergency assistance to ensure we are able to continue seeing our participants and the programs that directly support them. We truly appreciate your concern and commitment during these unprecedented times, and we wish you well.

Our leadership will continue monitoring all news about the Coronavirus, particularly as it relates to its spreading in Chicago and any correlation these cases may have with our community. We will continue sending updates to our entire community via email, on our website, and through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Please be sure to follow these accounts for updates.

Thank you again for being part of this beautiful community. In friendship and good health,

Your friends at Cara

P.S. Below, are resources and recommendations to stay informed about COVID-19.
Chicago Department of Public Health
Illinois Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization