• It's Everybody's Problem


     So often you hear, "We don't have homelessness in our town." or "It's a big city problem." or "They could get a place if they wanted to." or "Kids aren't homeless."

     More than 7 million invisible children and youthexperience homelessness across America, in every community.
    They need your help.  Thanks for your interest! Thanks for your support!

    Donate DDN MEDIUM blog


    FMN children

    What HEAR US does best...

    • Since 2005, HEAR US has worked hard to give voice & visibility
      to families & youth experiencing homelessness. 
      Looking back, looking forward, our best work is our films.

      No "talking heads." Just raw, honest stories from those who know
      homelessness best--the families & youth
      who experience life without a place to call home.
      Ideal for school trainings, community awareness-raising, classroom lessons, and more...

      Check out our list of films here. (Oh yeah, they're free!)

      MyOwn4Walls logo 500
      My Own Four Walls, all-time favorite,
      our first film, still relevant today!
      (20 min)
    Now live!

    HEAR US will be releasing a fantastic new book summer '24!
    National Launch, Raleigh, NC Sept. 17-19, '243M new BW

    1 3M THEcover copyThe Three Melissas --
    The Practical Guide to Surviving
    Family Homelessness
    (more info)

    BULK Pre-orders accepted 
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

    HU books 3 21a

    HEAR US books inform, inspire
    Looking for quality books on homelessness--for adults & kids?
    HEAR US offers a wide array, and our indie bookshop lets you shop
    for books of your choice, get them shipped out fast, while supporting essential 
    indie bookstores. 

      • HEAR US Bookshop -
      • For the "other" source of books - Amazon 
      • A limited supply of "It's About the Children"  books by Pat Van Doren
        are still available. (Larger orders may be available. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
      • HEAR US Square site.

    Recent Films by HEAR US!

    Caring Schools Make the Difference - NC 1/24

    be kind UNCG Large

    Family and youth homelessness comes in many forms. Schools are the constant island of security. These courageous moms and youth share their stories with hopes that viewers will learn more about the challenges of homelessness and the importance of school officials who help however possible.
    This 15-min. film was filmed for
    the North Carolina Homeless Education Program (NCHEP).   

    Homeless Liaisons Navigate Challenges
    in North Carolina

    Help tilesEvery school district nationwide has homeless liaisons, the mostly-unsung champions for students experiencing homelessness. North Carolina has a well-trained cadre of liaisons serving students and their families. This 12-min. film takes you across the state to see and hear the liaisons in action. 


    Hidden in Plain Sight -Dawn Family Plate
    Families Experiencing Homelessness
    in New Mexico

    Four mothers and a dad share their families' experiences of homelessness and describe how schools helped them survive.(16:15) 
    Dawn Mama Mayor smallDedicated to Dawn, who passed away July 8, 2023. 

     HEAR Them: Youth Without Homes in New Mexico (5/22)

    NM Youth Intro


    Six New Mexico teens shared their experiences and insights about homelessness. Three teens are unaccompanied youth--without parents/guardians involved in their lives.
    The other three are part of a family.


    ID eagleIdaho Schools: Lifesaving Connection  (1/22)
    4 women share their families' struggles and accomplishments, pointing to the importance of school support (18:30)

    Families Experiencing Housing Instability in Idaho  
    ID mothers share what school support meant to their families (6:50)

    These women offer deep, heartfelt insights about the agonies of housing instability and the impact of support from their children's school communities. 
    Invaluable lessons for all audiences. Perfect McKinney-Vento training tools.

    Not Homeless Enough (8/21)

    Be Kind window

    The agony of parents with no viable options in Madison and Dane County, WI (video 10 min). This film illustrates the dilemma of those "not homeless enough" for HUD's definition of homelessness.

    Capital Failure -family in parking lot

    Family Homelessness Surging (3/21)

    See and hear this family's struggles being stuck in motels during CoVid in Raleigh, NC. (12-min)

    Jamie's astute descriptions of her family's hardships
    resonate with many families in similar situations. 
     Her textbook lesson that needs widespread sharing.
    More about the film, resources...



  • Worn Out Welcome Mat


    identified as

    'homeless' by 

    schools are

    doubled up.



    Worn Out Welcome Mat

    Participating States: 








    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 Journalpublished 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. MORE INFO: 

    HEAR US welcomes the opportunity to work with state departments of education, via their McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth programs, to create a local Worn Out Welcome Mat. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Get Social!

fb  linkedintwitter

Support HEAR US! 

Monthly donors or one-time support welcomed!


Copyright © 2024 HEAR US: Voice and Visibility for Homeless Children and Youth. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.