Shelter Diversion is a strategy that prevents homelessness at the front door of the homelessness response system by helping people identify immediate alternative housing arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing. Every effort should be made to divert clients to other housing solutions at their first contact with the homelessness response system.
Diversion programs can reduce the number of families becoming homeless, the demand for shelter beds, and the size of program wait lists. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National Alliance to End Homelessness encourage communities to include shelter diversion as an important part of Coordinated Access efforts, particularly for families. Shelter Diversion can include: financial assistance to maintain current housing; conflict resolution and mediation to return to housing; or assistance to locate and secure new housing through financial assistance and advocacy. Click here for the approved definition of “shelter diversion” for Connecticut.
CCEH hosts a variety of trainings on shelter diversion throughout the year. Visit our event calendar to sign-up for an upcoming training. To request a diversion training to be held with your agency or in your region, please email our training staff.
Diversion is an important tool in preventing youth and young adults from entering a cycle of homelessness.
Youth under 24 face multiple additional barriers and circumstances that can make them more vulnerable while homeless. They may also require different strategies to divert from homelessness. Check out more resources for youth and young adults and read about the legal rights and resources on www.youth-help.org.
Regional diversion specialists participated in a Train-the-Trainer for Shelter Diversion and were trained to assist in teaching diversion techniques in their regions of Connecticut. To contact the regional specialist for your region, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Connecticut’s official definition of “Shelter Diversion” (PDF)
- A Guide to Shelter Diversion for Program Directors and Management (DOC)
This resource focuses on the role of management, executive directors, boards, and funders in making shelter diversion part of their organization’s role in preventing and ending homelessness.
- CAN Assessment Worksheet (DOC)
Step by step guide to the CAN assessment with tips and reminders on key diversion techniques.
- Creating a Successful Diversion Program for Homeless Families (PDF)
This guide from the National Alliance to End Homelessness covers best practices for establishing and administrating an effective diversion program for homeless families and gives a closer look to what diversion can look like for clients.
- Sample Client Support Map (PDF)
This is a sample template created by the National Alliance to End Homelessness to help clients and support workers create a clear view of their resources in terms of community assistance and resources, friends, families, and their own abilities.
- New London Shelter Diversion Report (PDF)
This report is on the results of shelter diversion strategies on homeless families in New London County from 2013-2015
- CAN Assessment Diversion Outline (DOC)
This is a guide through using Diversion in each and every CAN appointment, from how to introduce yourself and actively listen, to moving forward with your client.
- Diversion: Best Practice for Presenting Homelessness (PDF)
This presentation by Katharine Gale at the 2015 National Conference on Ending Homelessness gives an overview on the practice of shelter diversion.
- Characteristics of an Exemplary Diversion Specialist (PDF)
OrgCode Consulting published this guide to the characteristics of an exemplary diversion specialist to highlight the best practices in staffing any diversion program to improve results.
- Notes from 2016 Diversion Training with Ed Boyte
- Examples of Shelter Diversion Expenses
In 2014, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness launched be homeful, a bold and innovative project designed to help Americans stamp out family homelessness for good. We understand that the most effective way to end homelessness is to never let it begin in the first place.
The be homeful project’s goals are to raise awareness and funds to give families and businesses tools to help neighbors in need. Starting here in Connecticut, we aim to:
- tell the story of family homelessness in the United States, starting in our home state
- offer parents, educators, and libraries tools for helping children understand this difficult issue
- provide families and businesses with concrete tools for keeping informed and lending a hand
- launch a fund that communities can access to help families stay in the comfort of home
- develop cause marketing arrangements and promotions that raise awareness and funds
For information on be homeful and how you can be involved, click here.