This year-long pilot in 2020 was made possible by a partnership between Family Promise National and Synchrony, a leading consumer financial services company. Family Promise of Butler County was one of ten affiliates throughout the country receiving a $50,000 seed grant from Family Promise National to start the program.
What is diversion? Diversion is helping families at the shelter door find/maintain other non-shelter accommodations until permanent housing can be secured quickly. The program doesn't prevent a family from experiencing homelessness, as the family is already experiencing it, most often doubled-up in the home of family or friends or living in a motel. It does divert a family from shelter to try to avoid that trauma and yet another move/relocation. If the family can negotiate (with our help) to stay where they are for up to 30 days, our goal is to help them secure permanent housing, or a path to it, without any need to bring their children into a shelter stay.
What services does the Diversion Program provide? Working with five families at a time, the case manager offers the following:
- Mediation services with family/friends and/or their landlord to extend permission to stay for up to 30 days;
- Expediting of applications for public assistance like SNAP (i.e., food stamps), Childcare vouchers, Medicaid etc.;
- Agency referrals and transportation to secure other services, including health evaluation and treatment (physical/mental), job search, housing search, etc.;
- Advocacy with landlords to fight through barriers to housing; and
- Financial assistance to secure permanent housing when needed, including but not limited to first month's rent, security deposit, and/or utility deposits.
Diversion helps families with children avoid the trauma of a shelter stay, while saving shelter capacity for those most in need. This program will have a big impact in preventing additional trauma for those families who are experiencing homelessness, but are not street homeless.
To see if your family is eligible for Diversion, call 513-444-2033 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org