Iraqi immigrant building success with the help of ECDI

For the past six weeks, the Economic and Community Development Institute has participated in the Huffington Post JobRaising Challenge. This challenge has provided ECDI with a platform to let the nation know how we help small businesses, people and the community.

Did you know we have programs that serve up to 75 percent of Ohio’s population?

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Al-Adham Construction Owner Firas Adham, a contractor who has been involved with ECDI under the Home Repair Program since November 2012.

The Home Repair Program helps contractors access markets and keep seniors in their homes. The first goal is to decrease the number of low-income seniors or disabled persons who live in unsafe, inaccessible homes and are in danger of becoming homeless.

The second goal is to provide jobs for small, self-employed contractors like Adham, who provide minor repairs and handicap modifications to homes at no cost to the homeowner.

“I am very happy for all the support I receive from ECDI,” says Adham. “It is a great opportunity to work with an organization that pushes me forward toward success.”

I find Firas such an inspiration! After immigrating to the United States in 2010, he came to ECDI looking for funding. We were able to place Adham in our training classes and today he is certified with the city of Columbus and one of the top contractors in our Home Repair Program.

Since ECDI’s inception in 2004, we have built a reputation for serving Ohio by providing key programs to our clients. ECDI is among the top six (of 74) contestants in the Huffington Post JobRaising Challenge. We are the only Ohio-based nonprofit in the running.

The Challenge is to raise more than $50,000 to bring home an additional $50,000 so we can put those monies toward providing more small business loans, more small business incubator space, and more free home repair services for low income seniors.

ecdi-2013-logoWe only have 24 hours left to bring the prize home to Ohio! Here is how you can help: If everybody who reads this donates $10 today, we can raise more than enough to win the JobRaising Challenge.

Please visit to learn more and donate before the deadline, Fri., March 1 at 11:59 p.m.