At NMIC, we often talk about how much pride we take in building futures, changing lives, and empowering communities. That’s because these are more than words for us. We don’t just offer free services; we’re providing our clients with the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential as community assets.
This is why when you donate to NMIC you’re actually investing in our community members—and they go on to strengthen our neighborhoods.
These past two weeks, we’ve shared our client’s stories here and here. Today, we’re doing something different. Meet Fred Arcoleo. He’s not a client of ours, he’s a client of our first worker coop, Ecomundo.
Fred has lived in Washington Heights for 22 years. He is a teacher at a local high school, an artist, and a loyal customer of Ecomundo Cleaning. Some time ago, Fred became ill and was no longer able to clean his own apartment. He remembered his friend Jennifer, a former NMIC staff member, telling him about a worker-owned small business she had helped get started through her work with us. Intrigued by the idea of a small worker-owned cooperative where the owners shared their profits with each other, he booked a session.
It was a “saving grace. Really, they saved me,” Fred told us. Working with a coop was a completely different experience. By making the business model communal, the dynamic among the workers and between them and Fred was unlike anything he’d ever experienced. “It’s a beautiful thing, I love how they operate. Our whole society should be more like this.”
Fred has since gotten better and was married last year. He still books Ecomundo to clean his apartment despite the added expense because he feels it brings a bit of equity to the neighborhood. He’s built a rapport with the worker-owners who clean his home and is continuously amazed by their “outstanding work ethic” and partnership. His wife, a former cleaner herself, is meticulous with high standards for cleanliness. He says, even she thinks Ecomundo’s work is done thoroughly.
What makes Ecomundo Cleaning so special? For one, it’s a small green cleaning business entirely owned by its members. More than half are survivors of domestic violence, many of whom were referred by our Domestic Violence Project. Others came to Ecomundo through other NMIC programs or organizations throughout the city. You can book their services here.
We are proud of how far Ecomundo has come since its founding in 2012. Last year, they booked $550,000 in revenue which provided a living wage for all 18 member-owners. Together, they’ll reinvest money to grow their business. These investments will translate into more profit in the future!
NMIC is putting power back into collective community hands. By providing these innovative tools, we are helping our clients break cycles of violence and poverty. It wouldn’t be possible without your support.
Help us bring equity to our community.
Yours in Solidarity,