Thursday, January 17, 2013

Most Important News of the Day

For Immediate Release

Contact: Pat LaMarche
                    Diane Nilan, 630-267-5424
                    Mary Ann Parks

This Is the Most Important News of the Day
Homeless People Around the Nation Would Beg You to Cover It: 
If they weren’t busy begging for a home.

Long time homeless advocates, Diane Nilan and Pat LaMarche, begin a 4600 mile trek across the lower half of the wealthiest nation in the world on Monday.  But with the inaugural, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the National Rifle Associations’s Gun Appreciation day, the cause of homelessness is at risk of receiving little no coverage at all.  

Pat LaMarche (L) and
Diane Nilan at a screening
of "on the edge: Family
Homelessness in America,"
in Mobile, AL 2/11
“Not one of these 'bigger stories' is independent of the issue of homelessness.  President Obama’s re-election and consequent 2nd inaugural came about in no small part because his opponent, Gov. Mitt Romney, maligned the needy in his infamous 47% quote,” explained LaMarche.  “One of our greatest civil rights advocates who we honor this week spoke of the economic and social ills which plagued our nation and subjugated its people,” continued LaMarche. 

“And then there’s domestic violence – which cannot be separated from the other issues of gun violence in this nation – which is a leading cause of homelessness. We predict that not a single sound bite will be devoted to this national scourge.  How can anyone wave a flag in patriotism knowing that millions of their countrymen languish in poverty?” queried Nilan, founder and director of HEAR US, a national advocacy group for homeless children, youth and their families. 

So these two women –  who have both authored books about their experiences living with, working with, and living as homeless people – will set out across the nation to share the experience of a new year’s homeless population. 

“Some places we go we’ll talk about what we’ve learned in our years working with the poor and disenfranchised, but more often we’ll listen,” explained LaMarche who will be gathering new material for her writing.  “And Diane will screen her award winning documentaries about the homeless folks she’s encountered.” 

“Most of all,” Nilan added, “we hope to help the advocates on the ground in local America, USA, to tell their stories to their local media.  Once you get to know people experiencing homelessness, you realize it’s not an us/them issue: it’s an all of us issue.”

Links to LaMarche and Nilan’s books as well as Nilan’s documentaries are available at The map of their journey as well as itinerary are available there as well as at the EPIC Journey facebook page.

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