Walter Moreau

  • Name
  • Walter Moreau
  • Title
  • Executive Director
  • Organization
  • Foundation Communities
  • Years as Executive Director
  • 17 years and counting. I used to go to One Voice meetings and feel like I was in the younger crowd, but not so much anymore.

  • What does your organization do?
  • Foundation Communities provides affordable homes and supportive services to over 5,000 residents. Most of our families are working lower wage jobs, and about 800 are formerly homeless. We do income taxes for free for over 20,000 households, as well as an array of other financial services – so feel free to send us clients. The last two years we helped over 11,000 folks understand and sign up for health insurance.
  • How did you become interested in this work?
  • After college I was searching for some meaningful way to use my degree in economics. On a trip to Los Angeles I got to spend time on skid row with the SRO Housing Corporation of LA. Meeting residents of their housing was inspirational, and learning about the complex financing lit up my mind. So I returned to Texas with the goal to build supportive housing. I got the housing ‘bug’.
  • What drives your passion?
  • Our residents and their success drives my passion. Seeing this model of housing and services really work makes me want to continue.
  • Did you have a mentor or role model?
  • My first mentor was a guy named Wink Dickey, the Executive Director of Dallas Habitat for Humanity in the early ‘90s. He had his flaws, but all he wanted to do was build houses and cut the crap. He could not tolerate strategic planning and long meetings. I also came to respect another Dallas housing director named Duane McClure for his completely out of the box, trial and error, non-linear approach to solving problems. I’ve never met a more creative ED.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?
  • Aside from raising money, I’d say angry neighbors and long waiting lists. I could complain about the workload and related stress of being Executive Director, but that will not get me anywhere.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?
  • I really like this quote by Barbara Jordan: "I've always felt that as long as you're alive, you should be doing something that makes a difference. You don't have to do big, gigantic things; just do them incrementally."
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?
  • - Ask for money.
    - Avoid long meetings.
    - Get stuff done.

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