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Ezekiel HOPE = Home Ownership Partnership & Employment

Ezekiel Community Development Corporation/ HOPE (Home Ownership, Partnership & Employment) grew out of MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope) and its desire to promote homeownership, create jobs and lead the way in rebuilding the city.

After building 16 homes and prior to dissolving MICAH’s original initiative, which was called Ezekiel, Don Utech, Rev. Willie Brisco, and Jim Gaillard—visionaries who met through MICAH’s Jobs and Economics initiative—asked if they could absorb the nonprofit and refocus its mission on rehabbing blighted and boarded up homes in Milwaukee’s central city.

Our Mission

Building HOPE, one home at a time

With renewed and re-energized focus, Ezekiel officially reorganized its mission in 2012 with the goal of balancing out the economic injustices by

  • training individuals in the skilled trades,

  • providing expanded opportunities for minority contractors, and

  • assisting first-time homebuyers with purchasing properties

To date, Ezekiel has trained more than 400 in the construction skilled trades, rehabbed 200 homes, and sold 20 homes to first-time homebuyers.


There is a nationwide labor shortage in the skilled trades industry. Some economists expect this labor shortage to spread to spread as skilled tradesmen 'age out' and retire.



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Isaiah B., Intern

“I’ve learned a lot of things to help me in the future like critical and logical thinking, and knowledge about the electrical field. I’m now comfortable installing an electrical outlet without worry of being shocked. I also learned that the red wire is a switch-leg and it controls power coming in and out of a switch. I want to thank the team who set this program up and take time to teach kids like me…And we make money while learning!” 
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Antonio M., Trainee

“In the past I worked in a warehouse, for temporary agencies and in food service, but this is the only pathway where I see myself having a career—not just a job! I also see myself as a productive member of the community. Now I can show my kids what I do and that I’m contributing to society. This program has changed my life and my thinking,”
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Darien K.

“This training program provided me with much more knowledge and guidance than I thought I’d be getting. Jim (Gaillard) guides me through the steps and helps me with the book knowledge. I like how he talks to us and how he translates the information he gives us. He keeps it real. Since he grew up in the inner city, he understands us and the obstacles that we face in our lives. I hope that when I become a journeyman electrician that I can teach other younger, black kids as well, just like Jim taught me. This is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.”
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