Mission: In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Inspiration Corporation has six core values: 1) We believe in treating all people with dignity and respect; 2) Sharing high quality meals is a foundation of our organization; 3) Inspiration Corporation does not work in isolation: honest, constructive and engaged relationships enable us to achieve our mission; 4) We are committed to quality, creativity and continuous improvement; 5) We cultivate a spirit of social entrepreneurship to support our mission; 6) Every person is worthy of acceptance, assistance and support and has the right to make his or her own choices
Programs: The Employment Project offers career counseling, employment preparation training, employer outreach, a Job Club, and job placement and retention services throughout Chicago. In collaboration with Chicago House, Growing Home and St. Leonard's Ministries, and Broadway Youth Center, The Employment Project provides training and employment services to people living with HIV and AIDS, ex-offenders, and at-risk youth, respectively. Career Connections provides scholarships and linkages to vocational education that will lead directly to employment. Community Voice Mail provides free voice mail service for phoneless, homeless and low-income individuals enabling them to connect with employers, housing and service providers. Financial Literacy covers topics such as budgeting, credit and the culture of money. The Resource Center offers access to computers, the Internet, a printer, fax machine, phone and a small library for all job seekers.
While serving at the Inspiration Cafe as a volunteer, I was struck by the idea that the importance of the work done at Inspiration Corporation is not limited to hot meals, housing assistance, or career training. There is something wonderful about the idea of homeless men and women sitting at a table, ordering their meals, and enjoying conversation and comraderie in a safe and relaxing environment. When meals are served, the Cafe transforms into an oasis of dignity and respect for those navigating the hostile wilderness of homelessness.