Quit the Hypocrisy!

apple pie
apple pie
Ellie made the best apple pies! Photo Diane Nilan

hits a tender spot for me. Sunday, May 9 is the day my Mom, Ellie, died back in 2013. She had a great life, and she was able to bow out gracefully before the past 5 years or so of off-the-charts insanity (not mentioning any vile names). But, as the pandemic unfolds — still! — mothers continue to get the short end of the stick in our country, thus my call to eschew Mothers’ Day.

Seeing as we are all born to a mother, you’d think we’d have a bit of respect for those who’ve assumed that role. We have…


Pistol-packing mamas you aren’t! And you make a brilliant case for improving the offerings of education rather than making gun dealers rich. If logic has any place in this conundrum, yours wins by a long shot.


As Billions in Federal Assistance Roll Out, Who’s Thinking?

proud to be american flag on building
proud to be american flag on building
Proud, so proud! Photo © Diane Nilan

Unprecedented. In the three decades I’ve worked in the field of homelessness, I’ve never seen the outpouring of federal housing and homelessness resources that have been unleashed under the American Rescue Plan. I’m delighted!

The devastating impact of CoVid-19 combined with record-breaking homelessness, pre and post pandemic, makes the timing perfect. If implemented, not only will millions of people be rescued from thousands of dollars (each) of past due rent, but affordable housing will be created to begin to ease decades of reductions of public and private housing, greatly easing homelessness across the board.

But, as I read articles of…


You don’t want to know.

house fire
house fire
The unexpected house fire. Photo Diane Nilan

A family I know in North Carolina just suffered the disaster that most families fear — a fire wiped out their home. This family falls into the not-rich, not-at-the-bottom-poor category, like most families across the country. They are now devastated. Fortunately, no one was injured. They were able to farm out their smaller pets, but have four large dogs to deal with.

Another fire story from Maryland, a grandmother, her daughter and three grandkids lost their home to a fire recently. They have rotated through four motel rooms for the past month, disrupting their fragile stability. …


I guffawed at the 12 day shower record!

I'm on year 15, or is it 16? of full-timing, from being a totally newbie. I too downsized from a 27' Class C to a 24' Class B, and was happy I did. It's usually just me in my rig, and I work on the road, filming documentaries of family homelessness.

I can relate to all your learning experiences. Every. Drop. Of. Water.

I ended up writing a memoir/social narrative about my experiences and the people I met. For those interested, https://bit.ly/2ITtkZz

Thanks for your post! It's validating!


Old debts, sold for pennies on the dollar, being used to harass the defenseless.

Vultures on patrol. Photo Diane Nilan

Back off, Bub! You’re putting unnecessary hurt on a friend of mine. She’s been through enough, including years of homelessness as she tried to raise her daughters without support from their fathers. Get your hands off her stimulus check!

“Gloria” messaged me in total fear after seeing this half-assed “article” about stimulus checks being garnished. She and her daughters have lived through years of austerity that would make these two-bit lawyer-debt collectors splutter like a clump of lard dropped in a hot frying pan. The teaser article she sent stated,

“New $1,400 stimulus checks are poised to get final approval…


Millions of homeless kids and parents don’t count

This baby has plenty to cry about, starting with homelessness. Photo Diane Nilan

I want to raise the ante of Suzette Hackney’s USA Today opinion column, “COVID-19 could devastate the homeless. How will America pick up the pieces?” (Jan. 30, 2021)

In addition to worrying about the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness, and about the extreme undercount for HUD’s annual point-in-time count, it’s even more concerning that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has persisted at a gross dismissal of those experiencing homelessness in the U.S, ignoring millions of families and individuals who have no place to live.


Your history lesson is brutal, compact, and concise. I don't think "thanks" is the right word, but you know what I mean.


Thanks, Matt! Much of what you said resonated with me. My new book, Dismazed and Driven - My Look at Family Homelessness in America (https://bit.ly/2ITtkZz), is a memoir/social narrative, and reflects my 15 years of solo travel across the backroads chronicling stories from invisible homeless families.

It's been quite a journey, and having been harassed by friends to write a book, I was able to finally come up with the combo book, which from initial feedback really works.

The self- promotion thing is the bite, as Ivan also mentioned. …


Until the Vultures Swoop In.

Once a person loses their house trailer, the most affordable housing — a tent is about the last option. Photo Diane Nilan

In the heartless pandemic-fueled sweep of non-paying “deadbeats” from rental housing, plenty of innocent households are being pushed to the streets. A particularly egregious eviction process ravaging the last bastion of affordable housing, the house trailer, aka manufactured housing gets little attention. We’re not talking recreational vehicles, another story for another time.

To no surprise, private equity firms are scooping up mobile home parks with a devious strategy to get rich(er) by upending income-challenged house trailer-owners. NBC news recently reported:

“Since the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have piled into the manufactured home sector. Because manufactured homes are difficult…

Diane Nilan

Founder/pres. HEAR US Inc., gives voice & visibility to homeless families & youth, ran shelters, advocate, filmmaker, author, 15 yrs. on US backroads.

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