EJ is one of Inspiration Corporation’s most active participants. Part of the Wilson Men’s Hotel program, EJ’s commitment to self-improvement serves as a shining example for others. With the help of Inspiration Corporation, he has earned his foodservice sanitation license and is currently pursuing establishing his own non-profit in addition to holding down two jobs. EJ believes he “couldn’t ask for a better program.” EJ now has his own apartment and a very bright future.
Inspiration Corporation’s Meals program creates unique, supportive communities to serve participants high-quality healthy and nutritious meals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Inspiration Cafe and The Living Room Cafe serve nearly 25,000 meals annually in restaurant-style settings to provide socialization opportunities and improve the health and wellness of participants.
Meals are prepared and served by volunteers five mornings and four nights a week at Inspiration Cafe and two mornings and two nights a week at The Living Room Cafe. The menu varies each day, accommodating individual dietary restrictions and preferences. Meals include fresh produce and other healthy options. The Cafes offer weekly bagged lunches to participants and operate food pantries that are open to the public as well as to Inspiration Corporation participants. Click here if you are interested in volunteering for the Meals program.
Through a partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and Alderman James Cappleman, Inspiration Corporation began providing services to residents of the Wilson Men’s Hotel in December 2013. Wilson Men’s Hotel residents work with a clinical case manager to identify and accomplish their goals and are eligible to participate in Inspiration Corporation’s Meals program and other enrichment activities. Residents are also encouraged to take part in Inspiration Corporation’s other programs, such as Foodservice Training and Employment Services.
Personal counseling sessions are available to our participants two days a week at Inspiration Cafe. Sessions must be scheduled in advance with a case manager and are only open to our program participants.
Drop-in case management is available to the public at The Living Room Cafe in the Woodlawn neighborhood, providing counseling to address a crisis, access to direct financial assistance through partnerships with the Emergency Fund, and access to the agency’s food pantries. Case management is provided by masters of social work students at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. This service helps members of the community connect to programs offered by Inspiration Corporation or other agencies.