My Plea for Rose to Avoid Homelessness

old woman walking on sidewalk
old woman walking on sidewalk
Reno, NV is a hotbed of homelessness for seniors. Photo Diane Nilan

Not far from the shadow of Mar-a-Lago, in tony Palm Beach County, is a woman I’ll call Rose. She’s in her 70s, has known stability, purposefulness, and a paycheck. She’s now staring down what any of us in this age bracket would consider our worst nightmare, homelessness. She reached out to me with a desperate plea for help. I’m reaching out to you.

When you see the grizzled guy or gal on a park bench, belongings stacked nearby, it’s easy to figure they had it coming. …

the shelter with a child’s bike in front
the shelter with a child’s bike in front
Hospitality House in Boone, NC serves families and single adults. Photo Diane Nilan

A handful of folks sat under the overhang near the front door of this, one of western North Carolina’s few homeless shelters. Each offered me a friendly greeting. Signs on the locked front doors warned masks were required and outlined stringent safety procedures. Staff admitted me, accepted my small bag of what I knew to be helpful donations, and went to find Tina, the long-serving director of this respected facility.

Alternative to Shamefully Ignoring Invisible, Homeless Kids and Adults

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Remember the dead. Photo Diane Nilan

The longest night of the year has long been my favorite “holiday.” It has also been the occasion to commemorate those who lived and died “on the streets.”* National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, December 21, provides the occasion to remember those who died without a place to call home.

When I ran a shelter, we held this somber recognition and chanted, “remember the dead and fight for the living.” …

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Photo Diane Nilan

The Human Suffering Caused by Stupidity

Anyone with half-a-brain knows that birth — three-years-old is the most critical time of a child’s development. The respected Zero to Three organization offers a plethora of proof. No matter. We don’t value early childhood enrichment because it’s too expensive.

Turns Ice-Cold Heart to Families, Individuals

Hearts Photo Diane Nilan

Now is the worst time to be homeless in America.

Millions of families and individuals experiencing or facing homelessness will encounter an avalanche of problems while discovering that “help is on the horizon” is as fake as a political campaign ad.

Bad enough: CoVid-19, surge in evictions, lack of financial help from Congress, restricted shelter admissions because of the pandemic, and ongoing “faux compassion.”

Add another new feckless Federal plan to address homelessness and Old Man Winter (and seemingly endless natural disasters) lurking make this the suckiest time to not have a place to live.

Two harbingers are among my reasons for dismazement:

  1. The latest federal “toolbox” to address homelessness, while surprising in some admissions and suggestions, offers no hope. Congress, no matter the party in charge, is unlikely to embark upon a whole new, expensive, approach to house millions of struggling Americans. …

Covid Contributes to the Unhappiest Place on Earth

Gift shop near Disney World
Gift shop near Disney World
The tired fringe attractions in the Disney World area. Photo Diane Nilan

Poor Disney is regrouping after being battered by coronavirus. The company, with assets in the area of $193 billion, recently announced a massive layoff — 28,000 workers. Bloomberg reported that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), “…criticized Walt Disney Co. for laying off thousands of workers as a result of the pandemic, saying its spending on share buybacks and executive pay enriched bosses and investors but eroded its ability to weather a downturn.”

I’ll take it a notch further: What will happen to those who kept the parks functioning at high level for the entertainment giant? …

Trump Supporter and Non-Trump Supporter Share Views

We went to the same Catholic high school in Florida. We’re a year apart in age. We’re both Caucasian. I’ll identify her as K. She avidly supports Donald Trump. I avidly don’t, and will support Joe Biden.

How This Started

K responded privately to my inquiry to my Facebook friends:

D: For my friends still supporting DT (you’re not blocked because you’ve been civil), please read this (Heather Cox Richardson’s Oct. 2, 2020 post) and tell me how you square with his administration’s deception, for one.

I’m also curious as to how his underlying theme of nationalism /racism fits with your values?

(Since I couldn’t get my efficient table imported into Medium’s format, I’ll try to identify each section which includes a summary of K’s issues, my response, and an appropriate reference. If you decide to comment, please keep it…

A Simple Way to Help Homeless Students Succeed in School

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Communal study space (pre-Covid) Photo Diane Nilan

I’ve spent decades of my life fighting to make sure kids experiencing homelessness could get the best education possible. It’s the least we can do — to make sure they can become successful adults.

In September 1993, I was running a shelter. One of our families wanted their children to continue at the school they attended before coming to our shelter. The school district said no.

But the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness has come to the aid of the mother and the three youngsters in what its president, Diane Nilan, is calling “a David vs. Goliath battle” over their rights.

How the Naperville case-believed to be the first of its kind in the Chicago area-is resolved may have a bearing on further defining the rights of the homeless, particularly now that they are becoming a part of the landscape in affluent Du Page and in other places where homelessness had never been a big worry. …

HEAR US 30-Day Compassion Challenge for Homeless Families

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Millions of babies and toddlers lack a safe place to sleep. Photo Diane Nilan

With America clashing, crumbling and careening into chaos as evictions and foreclosures displace millions, this is the perfect time for an antidote to the national apathy infection. Nonprofit organization HEAR US Inc. announces the the rolling start of their 30-Day Compassion Challenge, starting September, issuing an invitation for participants in this free, straightforward effort.

Family Homelessness: Invisible Enigma

10 Things ‘Connoisseurs of Poverty’ Can Tell You

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Holiday Greetings! Eviction! Photo Diane Nilan

Despite warnings of seismic disaster, Congress, under the relentless “leadership” of Senator Mitch McConnell, failed to pass a relief package for the millions of meaningless citizens, aka the not-ultra-rich.

Now, with eviction moratoria crumbling like Trump’s Mexican Wall, and unemployment payments blowing like dandelion fibers, millions of previously-housed believers will need some schooling in the Invisible Enigma — family homelessness.


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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