Why Do We Disregard Families?

Millions Left Homeless on the Streets

Diane Nilan


We knew, months ago, that the eviction moratorium deadline was going to end with a bang. The Delta virus lurked and festered, now worse than Round One of Coronavirus. The concurrence of two major crises multiplies their impact. For the most part, we’ve dismissed both significant events, as millions of babies, toddlers, kids, parents and single adults hit the streets.

The steady dribble of news stories about evictions didn’t seem to fire up any great efforts to circumvent this disaster except for the gallant efforts of Congresswoman Cori Bush. Granted, the on-the-ground agencies charged with distributing $46 billion of rent relief were still reeling from dealing with untold virus hell. Our federal legislators, otherwise occupied with multitudes of disasters from the previous administration, reacted too little and too late.

The few news stories that adequately described the unfathomable hardships of those facing eviction, didn’t ignite a compassionate response to ease the suffering. This story focusing on the Savannah, GA area, reflects the reality across the land.

I’ve made a couple of short videos of families in covid-caused homeless situations. Just listening to these beleaguered parents describe their agony melted me. Jamie, a stalwart mom in Raleigh, NC with her family, poured out her description of life in their crappy, expensive no-tell-motel room. Four parents in Dane County, WI, also descriptively shared their woes — doubled up and/or self-paying thousands in pricy motels.

What stands out as I interview: how little help is available to families in homeless situations.

While resources have been directed to helping families impacted by the pandemic, a significant group seems to miss this unprecedented federal largesse. Why?

Because they are not homeless enough.

The Wisconsin State Journal recently reported on both the issue of invisible homeless families and the unprecedented approach Dane County plans to take to address these families’ needs.

Historically — Families Don’t Count

babies in high chairs in a shelter dining room
Two toddlers anchored in highchairs in a shelter dining room. Photo Diane Nilan



Diane Nilan

Founder/pres. HEAR US Inc., gives voice & visibility to homeless families & youth, ran shelters, advocate, filmmaker, author, 18 yrs. on US backroads. hearus.us