HSC diverted a record breaking 267 people from homelessness to housing with family, friends, or recovery programs in the months of April, May and June. In addition, in Fiscal Year 2023, there were 897 total diversions, compared with 714 in Fiscal Year 2022. This increase of 25% is made possible by our most generous donors.
Reuniting people with family and friends, what HSC calls "diversion," is the fastest, most economical way to end someone's homelessness. For an average cost of $275 per person (primary cost is for a bus ticket), many individuals can be diverted the same day they arrive at the HSC Brian Garcia Welcome Center. HSC Staff follow a process to ensure that this "diversion" option is a good fit for both the client and their family or friends. Over 85% of people diverted do not return to homelessness within a one year period.
Recent stories of success include:
Dallas, a 35 year old man who came to the HSC Brian Garcia Welcome Center for assistance while experiencing homelessness for the first time in his life. Dallas shared that he was living in Alabama with a friend when he was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, depression, and bi-polar disorder. He is also a recovering alcoholic with nine months of sobriety when he relapsed. While intoxicated, Dallas and his friend made the decision to drive to San Francisco, California. Upon his arrival in California, Dallas said that his personal belongings were stolen, including his medications. He was able to afford a bus ticket from San Francisco to LA. While in LA, Dallas’ aunt purchased a ticket for him to return to Birmingham. As he waited at the bus station for his transfer bus, Dallas said he had a major panic attack. A security guard became involved and the situation escalated. Dallas was “trespassed,” and his ticket was cancelled. He was able to find a ride to Phoenix and learned about HSC by looking for services online. HSC Staff was able to help Dallas into a shelter bed at CASS and spoke with his aunt who confirmed he could reside with her in Alabama. HSC purchased a bus ticket and arranged transportation to the bus station. Dallas’ plan upon his return is to immediately find AA meetings and enter a treatment facility or program. He has possible employment lined up with his uncle when he gets back on his feet.
Jake, a 24 year old man who came to the Welcome Center experienced homelessness off and on for approximately one year. Jake shared that he was living with three friends in an apartment. On June 22, 2022, Jake stated that one of his roommates died by suicide while he and his roommates were in the other room. Jake felt he could no longer live at this residence. He began to live on the streets, occasionally staying with various friends and more recently with a cousin. Jake agreed with his cousin that he would find employment, save money, and secure permanent housing. Jake reports that his cousin and her husband did not allow him enough time to find work, even though he had interviewed with several companies and was hopeful he would land a job soon. Jake's cousin asked him to leave. He found his way to the HSC and asked about help with transportation to live with his sister in Arkansas. HSC staff spoke with his sister Tia, who was more than willing to have Jake come live with her. HSC Staff purchased a bus ticket and later confirmed that Jake arrived safely in Arkansas.
Oceananna, a 33 year old woman came to the Welcome Center with her boyfriend and her four children, all under the age of 11. The family had arrived in Phoenix at the end of April 2023 from Georgia. Oceananna's original plan was to relocate, find gainful employment and permanent housing. On April 30, 2023, she shared that she was in an auto accident. Her children were in the car with her, at a stop light, and they were rear-ended. Oceananna and her children suffered injuries from the impact including whiplash, headaches, and pinched nerves. Her injuries did not permit for her to continue in her search for employment. She has no family in Arizona. The family used their remaining resources to stay in a weekly motel. When their money ran out, they came to HSC for help. HSC Staff spoke with Oceananna’s brother in Georgia, who confirmed he had room for the whole family and was happy to take them in. HSC purchased bus tickets, and the family arrived safely in Georgia.
We wish Dallas, Jake, and Oceananna all the best for their futures!