Nine, nomadic, cool and together are four words that describe Shannon Pulliam's childhood. He grew up in the city of Milwaukee with his parents and 8 siblings. His father worked hard to put his mother through school, so Pulliam spent most of his time playing with his 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Unfortunately, the experience of home eviction plagued Pulliam's childhood. As the backbone of his family, his father worked extremely hard, so hard that he hurt his back and had to get surgery. As a result, he was laid off and due to this adverse financial condition, Pulliam's family got evicted every year for almost five years. With every subsequent move, the choice of neighborhood deteriorated and the quality of housing went down. Pulliam did not want such a life for his future family. As an adult, he admires how quiet his current neighborhood is. He is not ducking bullets anymore. He gets to enjoy his yard and not worry about drug dealers.
When he grew up, Pulliam became successful in the corporate world. He managed sales, meetings and accounts. Although he was financially secure, Pulliam felt empty. He took a 60% pay reduction to explore jobs that give him a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Today, Pulliam is a Rehab Counselor with ACTS Housing. As a rehabilitation counselor, he is responsible for coordinating between the homeowner and the contractor. Pulliam makes sure that no one is cheating and that the contractors are performing up to par. He is in this field because he wants to give back to his communities and he is doing so by helping nurture homeownership.
In addition to coordinating contractors and homeowners and providing grant options, Pulliam owns a non-profit called HOME, Home Ownership Made Effective. HOME gives homeowners the opportunity to make their homes work for them. He believes that lack of resources, overcrowded neighborhoods and vacant properties contribute to poverty and crime within a community. In order to attack these stresses on the community, residents need to become homeowners. In doing so they can produce and add value to the community in the form of property taxes. Property taxes ensure the physical wellbeing of a neighborhood ––roads and sidewalks are fixed, parks are cared for and local businesses thrive. Pulliam believes that these factors create a vibrant and sustainable neighborhood.
Shannon Pulliam, Interviewed by Ever Clinton, June 2016
"I'd like to see the area that we're currently in as an extension of Downtown Milwaukee; we're so close. Chicago has the Mile, we should have something better. We're better than Chicago."