Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inspiration Cafe Founder Honored On Oscar Night

Lisa Nigro, who founded the Inspiration Cafe in 1989, is the subject of an "inspirational" 60-second commercial that will air during the Oscars ceremony on February 22. "After reading thousands of inspiring stories, our team felt that Lisa Nigro's story exemplifies the purpose of TrueNorth - giving life extraordinary meaning." Read the press release about it here. Congratulations, Lisa!


  1. Congratulations, Lisa. Inspiration Corp and people like Lisa are indeed an asset to our community. My hope is that moving forward their community relations will improve so that their principles apply to the wider community as well.

  2. Sassy... Do you know anything about Inspiration?

  3. Dave, do YOU know anything about Inspiration Corp? Or are you just making a snarking comment to keep with the general tone of this site to oppose anything that helps the less fortunate?

  4. Sean- My question to Sassy was meant to create a dialogue with her and introduce her to what Inspiration does for those within the Uptown community as well surrounding communities. It was a honest question... Do you know anything about Inspiration? Its odd that you have misinterpreted one simple sentence. I'm not here to fight with people... and to answer your question; I have been with Inspiration Cafe going on six years now and have provided many of our folks with the support they need in order obtain their goals towards self-sufficiency... If you, Sassy or anyone else that posts here would like to learn more about what Inspiration provides (refer back to Sassys post, improving community relations)then please feel free to open up that dialogue with me. I will be delighted to give you a personal tour (as long as you can free up an hour or two)and maybe cap it off with a lunch at our restaurant, Cafe Too. Enjoy your evening Sean- David

  5. Inspiration Corp is an amazing organization and a true inspiration for creating a program that gives people the means to pull themselves out of poverty. Teaching valued skills as well as the pride required to succeed. Restaurants, not soup kitchens. Focus on healthy living. Not a hand out but a hand up.

    Inspiration Cafe and Cafe Too are innovative, culturally uplifting ways to get the whole community involved. I mean, improving your neighborhood by brunching? Brilliant! (Not to mention yummy.)

    David, I'm seriously curious if you have information that has caused you to question.

  6. David - gotcha. Sorry for the misinterpreted tone. Most people here seem to be looking to pick a fight.

    Good work

  7. I respectfully have tol disagree with d...

    There are a (very) few who constantly and consistantly post pugilisticly.

    Re: Inspiration Cafe... from what I've read (their website and financial reports) this organization could be a benchmark against which all these other agencies could be measured.

  8. This thread is making me laugh.

    Looks like we have three people in a tussle even though they all agree that Inspiration Corp is a great organization. Only on an Uptown blog, I guess!!!

    But see...that was sort of my point. Let's ask ourselves, "how is it that someone who works for Inspiration could misinterpret 'Inspiration Corp and people like Lisa are indeed an asset to our community?'" Although I did follow up the kudos with a slightly negative comment (more on that in a bit) I DO know A LOT about Inspiration. I have met many people who benefitted not only from a fine meal there but also from the job training opportunities. I know of what I speak. I have also been a personality on this blog for a while. So, why wouldn't someone think that I meant exactly what I said? Or, why would someone assume that I wouldn't understand Inspiration's work?

    This gets to my slightly negative comment and I'll have to be more direct this time: Inspiration has the ear of Helen Shiller. However, I haven't seen a lot of effort coming out of anyone at Inspiration to heal the divisions in this community under the principle that all people should be treated with dignity and respect. IMHO, Inspiration is one of those organizations which benefits from the status quo around here with little concern for the long term consequences. I think Inspiration takes their constituency as their external donors, their program participants and their guests. But what about Uptown as a whole community? Has Inspiration displayed the principle that all people deserve to be treated with respect and have a say in affairs that directly concern them? Or, have they occasionally looked the other way?

    I'm a fan of Inspiration but that doesn't mean that I need to love unconditionally. You caught me being provocative because this community needs leadership. Starting from the premise that ALL people should be treated with dignity is a great place to start. What is the next step?

  9. I would rather not debate with anyone about what Inspiration does or doesn't do or how people think Inspiration should do it- especially in this type of setting! Ive made the offer to contact me if you want an honest inside view and to answer any questions one may have. The ball is in your court now. The saying goes- "Don't hate, participate." Lets see who participates!!

  10. I don't need another inside view of your organization. As I have said numerous times on this thread, I support Inspiration's endeavors. How my statement "Inspiration Corp. and people like Lisa are indeed an asset to our community" was twisted into me being either ignorant of your mission/accomplishments or being someone who hates rather than participates is beyond me. I was merely suggesting that there is some room for improvement with Inspiration's public face to the wider Uptown community. Either my sentiments come as a total surprise or they do not resonate at all. If it were me, though, I would wonder why someone would say such a thing when they are otherwise supportive of your organization.

    Anyway, congratulations on the recognition and best wishes in the coming year.

  11. reading this back and forth gave me a headache.

  12. LOL, p! Me too.

    Here's the re-cap:

    Sassy likes Inspiration.
    David likes Inspiration.
    Sean likes Inspiration.
    D likes Inspiration.
    Bradley likes Inspiration.

    Fear and suspicion abound in Uptown so circumstances necessitate that these people end up squabbling over nothing. Sassy wants to know how it became this way and what makes it continue. No one bites and nothing is resolved. Everyone goes their separate ways. Inspiration continues to do good work. Sassy does too even though she is not as awesome as Lisa Nigro.

  13. Dave, I have been connecting homeless people with Inspiration for over 10 years. I used to have breakfast alot at the old sites. One guy I have worked with in a shelter outside of Uptown works in the restaurant's kitchen adn according to what he told me, will be in the video make with or by Helen Hunt. I posted as I did because your response to Sassy seemed to challenge her positive comments about Inspiration Corp. It appears she had the same impression. That's all.

  14. Lisa, I was so proud to see your efforts promoted tonight on TV.

    YOU are an inspiration, and I am proud to know you.

    - Tom