Millions of Families Would Benefit

nomadland
nomadland
Director Chloe Zhao speaks with actress Frances McDormand on the set of their movie “Nomadland,” which depicts the life of a homeless woman forced to live out of her van. (AP)

Hey, Frances!

Have you recovered from filming Nomadland? Before you take on another project, let me suggest Nomadland 2, a film focusing on family homelessness. It will be even more earthshaking than #1.


Sometimes you do what you gotta do. We didn't see the true pace that I'm sure Amazon insists on in reality.


Doubling Up Doubles Depression for Kids and Adults

Strong boy faces daunting future. Photo Diane Nilan

The Ides of May, the day I just mentally snapped about depression. Not mine. I’m just hit with the pervasive nature of this debilitating condition that seems to affect more people than I can imagine. And I worry about a huge segment of the population whose circumstances breed depression.

A recent Facebook thread from a woman I know pushed me over the edge. She has experienced more than her share of trauma-inducing incidents. She ranted on a tepid political post I made, saying that our government is totally useless and beyond redemption. My attempt to acknowledge the gist of what…


Quit the Hypocrisy!

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

Mothers’ Day 2021…

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.

Hold On a Moment!

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.

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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