Capital Failure


Link to video> Capital Failure - Family Homelessness Surging (12-min)
Raleigh Capitol
Capital Failure -
Family Homelessness Surging

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")

Jamie New Long
About the film

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. Diane met her in parking lots and set up a place shielding her from the wind and from view of her motel neighbors. Jamie's wisdom--describing the good, bad and ugly of her family's existence--poured forth without prompting. Diane lightly edited the interview.  

Jami2Jamie'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!

5-min. trailer of Capital Failure  Diane blogged about Jamie.
Motels and Family Homelessness.

HUD Kydz
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. 

Explore the HEAR US website for more information on family homelessness. 

HEAR US has many short videos featuring families sharing their experiences of homelessness. VIEW

Camper girl WA

Learn more:

Issues discussed in Capital Failure include:  

the fall from stability to homelessness, dropping through gaps of government assistance, stereotypes, loss of all possessions, lack of assistance, stress, lack of privacy, motel environments, transportation issues, storage facilities, importance of community help, challenges of autism, virtual education challenges, lack of privacy, cost of motels, rural area shortfalls, lack of family support, food issues, lack of affordable housing, application fee rip-offs...and more. 


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