Monday, February 23, 2009

Good People: Inspiration Cafe

Last night, in between Academy Award segments, I viewed the 60-second True North commercial spot featuring the Inspiration Cafe. Today I decided to find out more about it.

Crystal on Leaves fine art photograph, Susan Loeb Chaplik

Dignity and Respect

Located in Uptown on Chicago's north side, Inspiration Cafe provides restaurant-style meals, case management, support groups, life-skills training, financial assistance and other services to homeless men and women in a therapeutic community that promotes dignity and respect.

Guests of the Cafe have access to the full range of Inspiration Corporation's programs, including employment training and career services, voice mail, and subsidized housing. Inspiration Cafe's goal is to help men and women overcome the causes of their homelessness and find stability by securing income and affordable housing.

Santeria fine art photograph, Christopher Gans 

Inspiration Cafe was founded in 1989 by Lisa Nigro, a Chicago police officer who began searching for a personal response to the homelessness she encountered in Uptown. She began by loading up a red wagon with sandwiches and coffee to distribute to homeless individuals on the streets.

One Inspired Evening

On March 13, 2009, Inspiration Cafe celebrates their 16th annual One Inspired Evening, which brings together more than 650 Chicago-area art lovers and friends of Inspiration Corporation for an evening of cocktails, live music, and live and silent auctions.  Now that's inspiring!

My Dream Rome fine art photography, Jennifer Jackson

Read more about the Cafe, their mission and the Inspiration Corporation HERE.

Photos displayed in this post, and part of the text, was borrowed from the Inspiration Corporation website--for details, artist information and copyright information, please visit the links above.


Beholden-To-Nature (Kenna) said...

What an inspiration! Living for the first time in a city with a sizeable homeless population has been difficult for my sensitive heart to come to terms with... been tossing a post about it around in my mind but it hasn't "composed itself fully" yet... I try to help our homeless so often in various ways, but it never feels like "enough." Reading about Inspiration Cafe was wonderful-- to see someone with such respect and heart doing such amazing work! An inspirational story of hope-- thank you for looking into it and posting this.

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