As we are adjusting to the current state of affairs, we want to keep our participants, volunteers, and supporters updated about what is going on at Inspiration Corporation. We will be posting weekly updates about our programs and any news we have to share. Included at the end of this post are the ways you can support us during this difficult time.


  • A question we are actively working to answer is: Do our participants have access to the technology they need to stay in touch with us reliably?
    • This includes: smartphones, laptops with cameras, and internet access.


  • Currently, 30-40 participants are showing up for Meals distribution in Uptown daily. 
  • If we have extra meals, we’ve been doing some small street outreach (informal). 
  • We are looking at reaching out to other providers in the coming weeks to possibly increase distribution. 
  • Participants are reporting that they have nowhere to go during the day because shelters are closing for cleaning and libraries are closed. 
  • Participants are looking for something to do or ways to keep mentally active. 
    • There are requests for books, games, cards, and puzzles like sudoku.
  • Our Meals Coordinator is developing a short (2-3 question) survey to ask folks.
    • We will use this to assess new, unmet needs that are coming up during this crisis. 
    • We are also asking if there are additional services we can offer.
  • We are putting out hygiene items that we have available and are still offering access to mail for participants. 
    • We are in need of donations of cleaning supplies and toiletries to distribute.  

Inspiration Kitchens

  • Inspiration Kitchens is providing catering services and boxed meals for Breakthrough Urban Ministries’ shelters. 
    • This partnership is sponsored by private contributions from Waterton.
    • We will be providing 60 individually packaged meals for the Breakthrough Urban Ministries Women’s Facility shelter on 11 different days in the next month.
  • Through this partnership, there will be staffing opportunities for 2 transitional jobs students to help continue to earn income.
  • We are starting a weekly newsletter for current students with updates, video lessons, etc. 
    • Included this week were 2 video lessons and program updates.
    • Also included were resources for financial needs, job listings, unemployment, and food access.
  • We are reaching out to alumni to try to offer services. 
  • We are hearing anecdotal reports from graduates who are out of work due to crisis. 
  • This crisis is a big hit to Inspiration Kitchen’s funding model.
    • Due to the suspension of our program, we will only be able to offer 2 transitional job placements rather than the standard 6-8. This means we will only be reimbursed for a fraction of our government contracts.


  • We are rushing to adapt to the remote work environment. 
  • We are down to only 5 households who will need to move at end of month (from 17 possible a week ago). 
    • These were participants who needed to move for reasons related to disability, community violence, domestic violence, etc. and where we had identified better housing.
  • We are continuing to house people and exit homelessness. 
    • There will be 3 new move-ins at the end of April. 
  • We are trying to solve the problem of how to help people go to medical appointments, etc., without using the CTA.
    • We are exploring solutions like ride share options.
  • Our access to cleaning supplies is difficult as we have no current influx of supplies.


  • We are still maintaining a call schedule with participants.
  • One participant just got a job doing security at Walmart. 


  • City Colleges has moved all classes online, so we are in process of ensuring scholars have access they need to continue classes. 
  • All vocational programs are suspended. 

Ways to Help

If you are interested in contributing to Inspiration Corporation during this difficult time, please reach out to

  • Contributions to help us stay afloat and get through this period are needed. 
    • We will be hampered by difficulties with performance-based contracts in the Foodservice Training program. 
      • We also expect to lose significant revenue from Inspiration Kitchen’s restaurant closure and catering business cancellations. 
  • Donations of hygiene and personal care items for people coming to Meals in Uptown and books, cards, games, and things for participants who are stranded and socially isolated in Uptown would be greatly appreciated. 
  • Donations of cleaning supplies and kits for participants in our Housing program.