changing the paradigm

  • HEAR US Books

     HEAR US offers superb books to help adults and kids understand homelessness. 

    Diane's Books About Homelessness CBF Books About Homeless 
    Children and Youth
    CBF Books About Kids' Homelessness for Kids  Pat Van Doren's Books About Homeless Kids
    for Kids

    dismazed and driven book

    Dismazed and Driven - My Look at Family Homelessness in America

    Diane's latest book! 
    Released November 2020



    Crossing the Line book

    Crossing the Line:
    Taking Steps to End Homelessness

    by Diane Nilan

    Paradigm book cover

     Changing the Paradigm of Homelessness 

    by Yvonne Vissing, Christopher Hudson and Diane Nilan


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    SHOP HEAR US E-Stores
    ooks also available through mainstream book vendors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and independent book stores.

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     - Priscilla Series -

    • Priscilla the Princess
      of the Park
    • Priscilla and the Snow Fort
    • Priscilla and the Bishop's Gambit
    • Priscilla's Picnic with the President

    Pat LaMarche's delightful new series of children's chapter books on homelessness! They are kids' books that will delight and enlighten kids and adults!

    Priscilla Princess book cover

    Priscilla snow fort cover

    Priscilla Bishop book

    Priscilla picnic with the president book

    Pat's hardcover and e-books available through the Charles Bruce Foundationand Amazon.

    Kursid Kids

    Kursid Kids 

    Written by an 8-year-old boy, Ronan, Pat LaMarche's grandson,  
    ...this book weaves an elaborate science fantasy through a fabric of injustice. You will fall in love with the characters - most of them. You will ponder the same question Ronan asked in the car that dark night as he thought about his housing-insecure classmates, "Who will make things right in a world where so much is wrong?"

    Priscilla Pals in the park

    Priscilla and her Pals in the Park

    Written by Pat LaMarche to be read to younger children, this will enlighten older readers, too! 


    Pat's hardcover and e-books available through the Charles Bruce Foundation and Amazon.

    It's About the Childrenproject

    by Pat Van Doren 


    Where Can I Build My Volcano?
    limited supplies


    Place of Our Own-cover-sm

    A Place of Our Own 
    no longer available


    A Family of 5 or 6
    limited supplies

    Each book is $15 + s/h

    Available through
    HEAR US Square Site. 


    Charlie-book cover

    The Charlie Book:

    60 Ways to Help Homeless Kids

    by Diana Bowman

    Available through
    HEAR US Square Site.
    imited supply at $10 @
    Price increase coming. 

    The Charlie Book is also available as an e-book from Amazon. 






  • Other Stuff

    Homelessness is complicated. Diane's 250-word Other Stuff diagram is not the be-all-end-all word on family homelessness, but it certainly offers a more comprehensive way of looking at this growing issue. It’s meant as a conversation (and action) starter.

    HomelessChart FINAL

    To be clear, homelessness is much more than the dismissive “500,000 people sleeping on the streets” that gets tossed around by politicians and media.

    A recent report on the number of identified students experiencing homelessness in the US blasts that misguided 500,000 number out of the water. More than 1.5 million students were identified in 2017–18, a 15% increase over the last 3 years.

    “So, even though the data shows 1.5 million students as experiencing homelessness, the number could be greater.

    “Schools and communities need to know who is experiencing homelessness in order to help them succeed — and policymakers at all levels must prioritize action to support these invisible and often over-looked students,” Duffield said. (CNN, 2/2/20)

    And that’s the proverbial tip of the iceberg. (See How Many Kids are Homeless?)

    The way I see it, our “lazy” approach to addressing homelessness — dismissing it as MENTAL ILLNESS/ADDICTIONS — keeps us off the hook. Those issues are too hard, and besides, it’s up to the individual. Not so. My chart will upset this paradigm.

    • Legislators will need to get their hands dirty addressing the multiple issues that contribute mightily to this misunderstood national reality.
    • Communities can’t continue with business as usual and not be concerned about the pieces of this issue that could be fixed locally.
    • Schools can no longer ignore the issues that impact student success.
    • Health care entities — providers and insurers —must remove, not erect, barriers to health.
    • Property managers can’t keep making housing unattainable, keeping homelessness on the rise.
    • Journalists must delve into the underlying issues that push and trap people into homelessness.
    • All of us must give up thinking it’s someone else’s problem. It’s not. It’s all of us.

    My colleagues and I have a new college textbook out, Changing the Paradigm of Homelessness, that focuses on family homelessness in a way that has not been done before. Among other things, it explains how distorted the way HUD counts homelessness is, and how it contributes to the growth of homelessness.

    I wrote an op-ed column posted in the CT Mirror, including my Other Stuff chart. (11/2/20)

    You might be thinking “this is too complicated for us to deal with,” but let me point out a few painful realities:

    • Homelessness will not end, or be noticeably reduced until we put on our big girl and boy pants and do something about the many causes of this epidemic.
    • Speaking of epidemics, yeah, that coronavirus issue. Just what we need — a bunch of sick people without homes looking for a place to be sick. Some of these folks are working jobs in places you frequent. On the humane level, can you imagine being that sick and having no place to rest and recover?

    Might be time to ramp up solutions, STAT!

    (The above was written before the outbreak of coronavirus in early 2020 (Posted on Medium). The impact of this pandemic will ravage those at risk of homelessness as well as those already without homes. We wrote this postto call attention to the impact of this global crisis on kids experiencing homelessness.)

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