In fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, 2012, Inspiration Corporation continued to see an increased demand for services as the impact of the recession touched more people.

We came face-to-face with challenges, or as we see it opportunities, to demonstrate our resiliency and capacity.  Inspiration Corporation provided assistance to more than 3,000 people facing homelessness, deep poverty and/or recent incarceration.  I want to take a moment to share the inspiring and remarkable efforts of program participants, volunteers and staff over the past year.

  • Our wonderful, dedicated volunteers and staff served 36,481 nutritious meals at Inspiration Cafe and The Living Room Cafe, a 15% increase over last year.
  • Our Housing program provided permanent housing and counseling for 308 formerly homeless individuals and families, many of whom live with mental illness and substance use issues; overall, 88% of households remain permanently housed after two years.
  • Our social enterprise restaurants continued to increase their revenue:  Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park earned $253,759 in sales (180% of goal) and Inspiration Kitchens – Uptown earned $206,613 (103% of goal).
  • Inspiration Kitchens and The Employment Project achieved a record number of 176 job placements, a 17% increase over last year.
  • The Employment Project provided $64,471 in tuition and training grants to help 76 graduates upgrade their job skills; 92% of people who completed their program became employed in the field for which they trained.
  • Our programs provided $284,674 in direct grants to participants, helping them to obtain and maintain employment and permanent housing.

We were able to achieve all of this because of the amazing generosity of everyone who supports our mission: to help Chicagoans affected by homelessness and poverty lead healthier and more productive lives.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many individuals and families!

Shannon K. Stewart
Executive Director & CEO