After being sent to prison at the age of 12, Rodney became homeless upon his release 18 years later. His time on the streets and in shelters led him to Inspiration Corporation, where his case manager helped him with housing and staying focused on his goals. Several years later, he's now involved in violence prevention outreach and employed at Inspiration Corporation.
Inspiration Corporation was founded in 1989 by Lisa Nigro, a police officer who was searching for a personal response to the people she encountred on her beat. Lisa borrowed her nephew's red wagon, filled it with coffee and sandwiches, and pulled it around the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, offering a little dignity and respect to the people she encountered.
Over time, the wagon grew into a bus, and eventually a full-service cafe, where men and women experiencing homelessness could sit down, order off a menu, and be served. In the years that followed, Inspiration Corporation expanded its services beyond simply meals, to include case management, supportive services, housing and job training.