Our Diversion program launched in a pilot phase on May 1, 2020. It 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.
At thirty days, a family should either have a permanent housing plan in place and not need shelter, or they are reserved for the next open space in Family Promise's shelter. If they secure permanent housing, they are then engaged in our Family Promise After Care program immediately for up to one year to help retain or improve that housing. 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