Worn Out Welcome Mat
The largest segment of the homeless population: those doubled up or staying with others because of loss of housing or other issue.
Doubled up--a difficult concept for some to grasp (doubled up is not considered "homeless" by HUD, keeping these families and youth from vital assistance - Diane's blog explains it). The perils of living doubled up are often hidden, with millions experiencing the Worn Out Welcome Mat syndrome, a stressful, highly-mobile existence for millions who have lost their home and have nowhere to go.
Schools struggle to sort out doubled up for "convenience" and doubled up as homeless. (From the National Center on Homeless Education: Resources to help schools understand doubled up.)
Families and youth who have lost housing and move in with others don't often self-identify as "homeless" for many reasons: fear of children being put into the foster care system, parental shame, lack of awareness of how their (lack of) housing status can qualify them for assistance, and more.
Educational Leadership Journal published an article, written by Vicky Dill of the Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO), an excellent explanation of "doubled up" and the impact on families/youth. (PDF) The article contains vignettes of stories, and links to YouTube selections filmed by HEAR US for the Texas Worn Out Welcome Mat project.
HEAR US, through our Worn Out Welcome Mat project, give families and youth the opportunity to share the challenges of being doubled up with nowhere to go.
HEAR US invites people of compassion to urge your elected officials (federal) to expand HUD's definition of "homeless" so families/youth in doubled up situations will be eligible for more assistance.