Elmer Moore, Jr. on stress, safety and generational outcomes
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority CEO and Executive Director Elmer Moore, Jr. describes investing in more secure home environments to change trajectories of lives and communities.
By Nathan Denzin | Here & Now
October 18, 2023
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Elmer Moore, Jr.:
That these real-time investments and partnerships create generational outcomes. There's so many folks whose grandkids' lives are changed by what happened before their kids are even born. It is the difference between someone being able to live in a healthy place and someone being able to live in a high-stress, unhealthy environment. And I'm not just talking about physical health, I'm talking about the cognitive load of someone feeling unsafe or insecure about where they're gonna sleep tomorrow. You know, again, it's not just a homelessness problem, although it is also a homelessness problem, but imagine thinking that you're probably gonna have to move in three months every three months, because of the relationship you had with a landlord going south because you had unstable income. Well, that person as a parent is enduring a level of stress that is absolutely gonna have impact on those kids. And when we can set that in a better trajectory, we're changing those kids' lives, they're able to pay attention in school, they're able to achieve different professional outcomes, and their kids, and their kids and those kids beyond that. That's the human outcome, you know. It's worth talking about changing the physical and built environment of this community. It's about the shape of the skyline changing. It's about trying our best, honestly, to correct some historical wrongs. You know, for centuries there have been laws and policies that created some of the disinvestment, the plight, and the wrong that we're experiencing today. Even if those laws were changed 50 years ago, the consequences of them are still absolutely present. And so it's by making strategic investments, it's by supporting and encouraging really valuable partnerships, whether that's WHEDA and the state with local municipalities and developers and non-profits and so many others, we can actually correct those historic wrongs.
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