online partners:


Crossing the Line: Taking Steps to End Homelessness.

Diane Nilan, an “ordinary person” doing extraordinary work for the past 20 years, has compiled an engrossing chronicle of her extensive experience with homeless adults and children, painting spellbinding images of the often nameless and frequently forgotten individuals. Her passion for this issue, and those labeled with the often-negative designation “homeless,” burns throughout Crossing the Line: Taking Steps to End Homelessness.

Crossing the Line takes readers behind the scenes at a hectic suburban emergency shelter and introduces an unlikely cast of characters who confirm the path to homelessness is easier to enter than to exit. Nilan’s perceptions and her direct style avoid clichéd stereotypes as she depicts scoundrels and saints.

She spares neither alcoholic nor lawmaker. She extols virtues of convicts and congresspersons. She challenges the affluent and the righteous—don’t just stand there, do something! She holds the hands of first-time shelter volunteers. She guides those unable to volunteer but who want to alleviate suffering. She points out seldom-acknowledged systemic shortcomings and identifies societal faults, without sparing herself.

Disarming revelations about her foibles and fears remove excuses that only special or professionally trained people can help, inspiring ordinary persons to alleviate the suffering and injustice of homelessness. Nilan offers seldom-revealed insights about this nation’s poverty policies. Her book hits personal security in the gut with stories about who ends up homeless.

Weaving her personal story throughout this book, Nilan clarifies personal responsibility of all Americans in addressing homelessness and bringing about solutions. No one is exempt—rich or poor, powerful or inconsequential—in restoring the American Dream and eliminating the nightmare of homelessness.

This unique chronicle allows readers to learn about the topic that only rises to the nation’s attention when tragedies like Hurricane Katrina hit. It should be required reading for every political and religious leader, social worker and educator, journalist and news director, philanthropist and aspiring do-gooder.

CROSSING the LINE: Taking Steps to End Homelessness By Diane D. Nilan
Published by, November 2005
Non-fiction, 254 pages, paperback. $17.95, e-book, $12.95                  
PROCEEDS BENEFIT HEAR US, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about homelessness

Visit Diane’s Blog,
Her website: