In the most recent installment of the Alliance’s Emergency Shelter Learning Series, we addressed one of the most important practices in emergency shelter: the role of diversion.
Diversion is a strategy that helps people experiencing a housing crisis quickly identify and access safe alternatives to emergency shelter. Diversion strategies can include: engaging in creative problem solving conversations with clients; connecting them with community resources and family supports; providing housing search and placement services; and securing flexible financial assistance to help people resolve their immediate housing crisis.
These strategies have a significant impact on a community’s crisis response system, because they can reduce new entries into homelessness, cut down on shelter wait lists, decrease demand for limited shelter beds, and target more intensive homelessness interventions to those with higher needs.
However, many shelters struggle to know what the fundamentals of diversion are. When should they implement diversion strategies, for whom should they implement them? And under what circumstances should people not be diverted from shelter?
To learn more about the role of emergency shelter in diversion, we encourage readers to take a moment to review the Alliance’s recent webinar, and to download and share new resources on this important topic.