Family Homlessness Surging

“In the shadow of the stately state capitol building in Raleigh, NC, homelessness abounds.

The following article is published here with permission. 

See the original video at the link below:

PTLN 4.3.21

Capital Failure – Family Homelessness Surging

By Diane Nilan

Raleigh, NC-Invisible Family Homelessness takes many forms. Motels are often one stop, albeit expensive, when families can’t stay with family/friends. Most often, families pay their own way, with sporadic agency help.

Families also double up, stay in campgrounds, sleep in vehicles, squat in abandoned buildings, or stay in shelters.

In the shadow of the stately state capitol building in Raleigh, NC, homelessness abounds.

Not only the visible kind, the forlorn men and women with no place to rest, wash up, eat, or just be. That’s bad enough, but families. By the thousands.

Lawmakers and unaware residents might think all is well because of one family shelter taking care of this invisible crisis. No, not by a longshot.

Motels in and around Raleigh are filled with desperate families who have lost their permanent housing and now dangle on a thread, dependent on fragile assistance and kindness of strangers.

Their situation is very much homelessness, despite the confusion of “homeless” definitions on the federal level. (see “HUD Disregards Families”)

This story needed to be told. Families staying in Raleigh area motels hit record numbers during the pandemic. During the blustery months of January – February 2021, as the coronavirus ravaged the U.S. and the world, Diane examined the world of homeless families in Raleigh, NC.

Agencies tried gallantly to meet their need for food. Schools did their best to provide educational links for distance learning. Government assistance so families could afford the cost of staying in expensive motels helped a bit. Compassionate individuals plugged the gaps, but still life was tough.

Jamie, a mother of 2, with the father of their children, offered to share her family’s experience. Jamie’s wisdom–describing the good, bad and ugly of her family’s existence–poured forth without prompting.

Jamie’s story can be told in every capital city, and in cities and towns across America. Listen carefully. She provides a “Homelessness 101” course. Thanks, Jamie, for your courage and wisdom!

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HEAR US: Giving voice and visibility to homeless children and youth  (

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