Washington DC

  • Babes of Wrath

    Welcome to the new honorary 
    Babe of Wrath!

    Honorary Babe Barbara

    Barbara James of Texas has joined the ranks of the Babes of Wrath for her outstanding service on our
    Dismazed & Left Out tour!


    Keep up with
    the Babes!

    Babes of Wrath on Facebook!


    2022 Babes' Events

    Memorial Blanket Project

    Blanket Pat DDNDecember 21, Memorial Blanket Project, US Capitol lawn,
    Washington, DC

    HEAR US is joining with the Charles Bruce Foundation to create a 9,000+ sq. ft. display of handmade blankets (quilted, knitted, crocheted) to commemorate National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. More info: www.memorialblanket.org

    Want to learn more about the Babes of Wrath?

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    Diane's new book, 
    Dismazed and Driven - My Look at Family Homelessness in America,
    contains several of their escapades!
    > MORE INFO 


    Pat and Diane each wrote a book about homelessness that have gotten amazing reviews, including in the prestigious LA Review of Books.


    In 2011, Pat LaMarche and Diane Nilan hit the pavement in Tillie, the HEAR US corporate office/wheels and residentialsouthern discomfort-PLM DDN headquarters. Their maiden voyage, Southern Discomfort, was the first of the EPIC Journeys, (Everyday People In Crisis). They traveled through 7 southern states, generating massive media coverage and large crowds in communities desperate for attention to the homeless children and youth crisis.

    They received tremendous tech support and graphics from Max Donnelly, the stationary member of the team. 

    Pat and Diane survived. And the excitement, response and media coverage of Trip 1 guaranteed a sequel. Thus Babes of Wrath was born (inspired by the Grapes of Wrath).

    In January 2013, the Babes headed westward for a month through Steinbeck-land and beyond to call attention to and raise compassion for homeless children and youth. They collaborated with local activists and held events, including film screenings (My Own Four Walls and on the edge: Family Homelessness in America), book talks (Left Out in America and Crossing the Line), and met with mayors to really survey them about local homelessness issues and efforts.

    See the Babes of Wrath on Current TV's news magazine,
     The Young Turks


    In November 2013, the Babes did a daring dash to Maine, stopping in Massachusetts and New Hampshire along the way. 

    Babes HomelessRange


    October 2014
     Trip # 4, Homeless on the Range. The rolling duo ventured through CO, WY, MT, NB, KS, and landed at the NAEHCY conferencein Kansas City, MO at the end of October. 

    This was the maiden voyage of Tillie2, the sleek new camper-van that will be the HEAR US headquarters, offfering a lighter eco-footprint as HEAR US travels to raise awareness of homeless children and youth. 

    Pat LaMarche also blogged about our trip on her HuffPo blog.

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's office was the scene of a Babes visit. DDN1.IMG 7947

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    P D Frost BitesBabes of Wrath visited Speaker Paul Ryan's Janesville, WI office in 10/16. Pat stood outside his office with a sign seeking support for homeless persons. Diane sat in her van across the street, filming the excitement in this excitement-deprived town. A nearby shopkeeper called the police who came and checked out these, ahem, middle-aged activists who want to Make America Kind Again.

    Babes CA logoIn July '18, Pat and Diane were invited to present at the NOW (National Organization of Women) national conference. Their topic--Homelessness is a Feminist Issue. The discussion was electric! 


    This event created the opportunity for the Babes to put together their California Dreamin' Nightmaretour, and the Babes found plenty of nightmares--homelessness abound.


    TunaGate, an outrageous attempt to punish impoverished households by handing tuna sandwiches to students in Cherry Hill, NJ, a fairly affluent enclave east of Philly. Babes of Wrath Pat LaMarche and Diane Nilan popped into this community and spoke with the district McKinney-Vento liaison and others. Before too long it was quite evident that families experiencing homelessness were being unfairly caught in this punative effort aimed at lunch scofflaws. National media attention on this included an interview with Diane.(9/19) 

    The simple math lesson indicates why this is such a concern. 

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    Babes of Wrath by a dinosaur statue near Cherry Hill.CherryHill

    Contact Diane
     for information and to get your community on the path of
    these bodacious advocates











  • HEAR US News-Media Center

    Here are news media stories that mention Diane Nilan, and/or HEAR US. Also included are op-ed pieces written by Diane. 

    • Diane was featured on "Midlife Dialogues," and was able to share a heap of info on the HEAR US projects. (7/2/24)
    • * Following up with the Boone Police Chief, Diane attended a gathering he hosted to bring together agencies and people experiencing homelessness in the community to share info. HEAR US received a grand introduction to this group. (Watauga Democrat 10/24/23)
    • * Soon after Diane's letter to the editor appeared, the High Country Press ran an introductory article about Diane's work. (9/4/23)
    • * When Diane moved to North Carolina, she knew she'd get involved in homelessness locally. A meeting of the Boone town council that focused on homelessness created the opportunity for her to share her thoughtsin the Watauga Democrat (8/31/23).
    • * Back to school time means even more to students experiencing homelessness. Diane's op-ed columnin the Chicago suburban Daily Herald outlines some ways Illinois schools are missing tens of thousands of McKinney-Vento students. (8/17/23)
    • * What do millionaires and homeless kids have in common? Here's an insightful article with an equation that helps quantify the need and help available in Bucks County, PA. Bucks County Beacon. (2/23/23)
    • * What a great articleabout the Memorial Blanket project which had a lot of HEAR US involvement! This ran in the Progressive, (12/29/22)
    • * Just in time for Thanksgiving. USA Today story about the struggles of a family in Las Cruces, NM, and their fragile housing situation after their period of homelessness. HEAR US filmed them in early 2022 for a NM film project. (11/21/22)
    • * The Babes of Wrath book tour in September '22 brought several good news stories. This, from the Northeaster in Minneapolis, was thorough coverage. Story on PG 9 (10/5/22)
    • * The Babes of Wrath love libraries, and librarians! Our session in the little library in Whitehall, MT generated a greatnews storyin the Whitehall Ledger. (9/28/22)
    • * Another Piggies TV news story, this time from Asheville, NC. (7-28-22)
    • * Diane brings These Little Piggies are Homeless to Brevard, NC for the Memorial Blanket Project. TV News story. (7-20-22) 
    • * An in-depth interviewwith Diane on WNIJ-NPR about her work--past, present and future. (5-25-22)
    • * This wide-ranging interview in the West Suburban Living magazine covers Diane's 3+ decades of working with families experiencing homelessness. (2-1-22)
    • * Diane weighed in on the despicable increase in homeless sweeps that are creating havoc, including for the families and youth being displaced and arrested. The Progressive Magazine featured a story by Eleanor J Bader. (12-8-21)
    • * Diane's 11/30/21 book presentation in Aurora, IL received in-depth coverageby Deena Sherman in The Voice. (11-16-21)
    • * Responding to a book review about homelessness, Diane's op-ed column appeared in the Illinois Times. (9-16-21)
    • * Opportunity presented itself in June 2021. The Doubled Up Workgroup of the Dane County (WI) Continuum of Care had been working on ways doubled up and self-pay families "not homeless enough" could get housing support. Diane offered to do a short film of interviewswith families in those situations. The Wisconsin State Journal reported on the collective effort. (8-8-21)
    • * Diane has long ties to the University of Notre Dame. Her reply to a Letter to the Editor in the Observer about homelessness will hopefully inspire more thought and action. (5-5-21)
    • Extensive interviewof Diane about Dismazed and Driven and her HEAR US work in the prestigious Los Angeles Review of Books. (12/23/20)
    • * People's Tribune picked up TheReporters' story. (12/19/20)
    • TheReporters.org published a spread about and from Dismazed and Driven. (12/16/20)
    • Diane responded to an op-ed piece in the CT Mirror about federal approaches to homelessness. (11/2/20)
    • * A new USA Today columnist used her interview of Diane to start her new gig with that popular paper. In the process, she highlighted the 15 year history of HEAR US. USA Today (9/15/20) 
    • * Evictions and unemployment--creating dire circumstances for millions. Homelessness sure to skyrocket when we can least handle it. HEAR US and Diane, along with Changing the Paradigmco-author Yvonne Vissing weigh in on this crisis. The Progressive (7/1/20)
    • * Nutritional needs and homelessness dovetail for most families and youth experiencing homelessness. Diane was interviewed on this topic for an article on TruthOut. (5/12/20)
    • * Diane and Yvonne Vissing, co-authors of Changing the Paradigm, also wrote an article for a special focus on inequality during the coronavirus for the prestigious Contexts publication. (4/16/20)
    • * Diane shared her reasons for the need to change HUD's definition of homelessness to match the one used by the US Department of Education.  TruthOut (2/9/2020) 
    • * All the hoopla about lunch-shaming and the work HEAR US has done on this topic brought attention from TruthOut. (1/2/2020)
    • * Diane and Professor Yvonne Vissing teamed up to write this piece on lunch-shaming, published in Public Seminar. (11/14/19)
    • * Lunch-shaming in Cherry Hill NJ brings the HEAR US Babes of Wrath and national media attention from Philadelphia Inquirer. (9/11/19)
    • * International attention to the work of HEAR US came about in the Fall 2017 when the US correspondent for the respected German TV station Spiegel asked if she could travel with Diane, filming her as she filmed families in New Jersey. The final result was a 10-minute story, much focused on Diane's efforts to give voice and visibility to families and youth experiencing homelessness.
    • * In 1987, the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act passed. To reflect on the changes, particularly as they affect families and youth, SchoolHouse Connection executive director Barbara Duffield and Institute of Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH) chief of staff Liz Cohen wrote this insightful piece, The Silent Crisis: Student Homelessness on the 30th Anniversary of the McKinney-Vento Act. They invited Diane Nilan, HEAR US president and founder, to comment.
    • * Diane's trip to Washington State took her to Whidbey Island. This is great story about her efforts! (South Whidbey Record, Sept. 2016)
    • * Diane was contacted by a reporter from the Chattanooga Times Free Press in to talk aboutfamily/youth homelessness. The former mayor of Chattanooga did a follow upOp-Ed piece, quoting Diane extensively. (10/14)
    • Diane was interviewed by the University of St. Francis(Joliet, IL) TV station. (3/14)
    • * HEAR US featured in Huffington Post story about rising homelessness among students. (6/28/12)
    • * HEAR US sparked this Huffington Post story on homeless families staying TragicKingdom.jpgat Disney World area motels. (4/19/12) HEAR US VIDEO from Disney World
    • * HEAR US helps homeless kids go to Washington, DC for a blockbuster hearing on kids experiencing homelessness! Media coverage too plentiful to list here, so check the HEAR US Facebook pagefor a listing. This hearing resulted in Diane and Rumi being invited to CNN for their coverage of this under-reported issue.(12/15/11)
    • * HEAR US and Laura Vazquez, NIU film professor, are proud to join together for the Naperville Film Festival on Sept. 19, to screen the award-winning on the edge. Patch.com, 8/30/11
    • * Mobile, AL, despite a raging rainstorm, found an eager group of community activists and folks--homeless and not--to hear about homelessness in the southeastern states. Press-Register story, 2/1/11
    • * An amazing story about HEAR US by Mark Saxenmeyer of FOX Chicago has been making its rounds, and even was reposted, with some added comments, on The Huffington Post. 11/23/09
    • * A blustery, nor'easter kind of day set the mood in Boston where Diane joined MA advocates urging homelessness services budgets not be slashed. NECN reported on the bleak story. 10/16/09
    • DailyGood Diane's essay about a homeless man 8/8/08
    • Christian Science MonitorThe best story written about HEAR US 5/24/07


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