Cara’s mission is to unlock the power and purpose within our communities and ourselves through quality employment to achieve real and lasting success. This is accomplished trough an innovative spectrum of services including training, career development, transitional jobs, permanent job placement, and intensive support, that empowers individuals affected by homelessness and poverty with the skills, confidence, and resources needed to secure permanent employment.

Cara operates two social enterprises. The first is Cleanslate, an exterior beautification business formed in 2005 that provides transitional jobs to individuals with high barriers to employment. Cleanslate works in 34 communities throughout the Chicagoland area, serving as a true catalyst for community renewal.

Cara’s other social enterprise, Cara Connects, is a contract staffing firm dedicated to sourcing quality candidates to fill critical entry-level positions at leading Chicago-area companies. Employers who partner with Cara Connects gain access to a highly motivated, hand-selected pool of candidates who are eager, excited, and ready to hit the ground running.

In FY18, Cara created more than 900 transitional and permanent jobs through their nonprofit and two social enterprises.