26 February 2009

Inspiration Corporation

Today's feature is  Inspiration Corporation, a Chicago based organization fighting poverty and homelessness, by providing dignity and respect and cultivating self-reliance to the people they serve.

The organization's mission is to "help people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self- sufficiency though the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing."

The Inspiration Corporation is formed from the Inspiration Cafe, founded by Lisa Nigro in 1989. The Cafe started as a red wagon delivering meals to the homeless. From there it grew until it opened as a formal restaurant, where homeless men and women can sit down, order from a menu, and be served. 

In 2003, Inspiration Cafe joined forces with The Living Room Cafe, founded by Jennifer Kihm, a former Inspiration Cafe intern. The Living Room Cafe offered meals and supportive services to a community on Chicago's South Side.  The merging of the two organization created Inspiration Corporation. Two years later the organization merged with The Employment Project, founded by Luke Weisberg. The Employment Project provided homeless and low-income Chicagoans with employment training, career counseling and job placement. Together these three organizations have formed one organization to have a greater impact and achieve their shared vision. 

Today Inspiration Corporation serves 2,500 individuals per year, by providing meals, support services, housing, employment preparation, and vocational training and free voice mail - serving as a catalyst for self reliance. 

For more information please visit Inspiration Corporation's website.

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