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James Rouse once said:
"By building an image of the possible, we not only leap over a lot of roadblocks that would defeat us, we also generate a whole new constituency of people who want to see that image realized. By creating the image of the rational potential of a city, we generate the power to carry it forward. Without vision, there is no power. Piece-by-piece, project-by-project, never harnesses the power that is available to the city." The Enterprise Foundation.


James Rouse was a businessman who initiated the Enterprise Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding the design and construction of housing for low-income families and individuals.

Patty Rouse and her late husband, Jim Rouse, launched the foundation in 1982 with a simple mission in mind: To see that all low-income people in the United States have the opportunity for fit and affordable housing, and to move up and out of poverty into the mainstream of American life.

Since then, through the perseverance and leadership of the Rouses, Enterprise has worked with 940 nonprofit organizations in 280 locations across the country. Together they've built or renovated more than 86,000 houses and apartments and improved the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.

On September 29, l995, President Clinton presented Mr. Rouse with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor to recognize his humanitarian service.

Brooks Robinson, National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman, spoke about this remarkable man:
"Jim Rouse was a person of irrepressible decency. You could see it in his eyes, the gentleness and a softness always focusing on doing the right thing. Scripture tells us that the creator took six days to create the world and everything in it. Jim knew it would take longer than six days but he was working on it to the very end. After all, he might say, it's a little more complicated to rebuild and renew than to create from scratch. No doubt, Jim has by now submitted plans for rearranging the cloudscape of heaven."

Jim Rouse passed away on April 9, 1996, at age 81. He was honored and remembered by many people, including President Clinton. "Jim was a remarkable man who contributed a great deal to our nation during his extraordinary life. His vision and skill helped revitalize America's cities and enabled millions of people to find decent, affordable housing. I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to meet a man of such purpose and accomplishment."

Patty Rouse continues the work that she and her husband began together. In 1998, she was recognized by The National Housing Conference for her lifelong contributions.

Photos courtesy of The Enterprise Foundation
Last changed on: 3/13/2013 11:45:06 AM

The Enterprise Foundation Jim Rouse launched The Enterprise Foundation in 1982 with a simple mission in mind: To see that all low-income people in the United States have the opportunity for fit and affordable housing.

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