Diversion is a term used to describe one of the solutions for ending an individual's homelessness. By reuniting someone with family, friends or another support network, people are "diverted" from entering into the homeless services system. It is the fastest, most economical way to end an individual's homelessness. HSC Staff ensures that diversion is a good option for both our client and the family or friends who will be the provider of housing. Then we coordinate the transportation needed to get them to their destination. Last year, of the 6,500 people served at the HSC, over 500 individuals were diverted; 87% of these people did not return to homelessness within a one year period. While this is more daunting task during the pandemic, we continue to reunite people every day. Most recently:
"Jeremy C." came into the Brian Garcia Welcome Center (BGWC) seeking assistance. He was robbed and assaulted the night before, and he was tired of years sleeping on the street. HSC Staff identified he could live with his father, contacted him, and purchased transportation. Jeremy successfully returned home to Ohio.
"Clark P." came to the BGWC after experiencing homelessness for several years. He wanted assistance traveling to stay with his girlfriend. HSC Staff reached her and confirmed that he would have housing with her. Staff purchased a bus ticket and sent him home to Texas.
"Michael T." became stranded in Arizona on the way to stay with his father. After leaving a psychiatric facility, Michael was directed to the BGWC where HSC staff spoke to his father and confirmed his housing. With a supply of medications he did not have on his original journey, staff agreed he would be able to reach his destination without further crisis. They purchased transportation for Michael, who is now home in Louisiana.
Each individual that is reunified is sent on the road home with a care package of bottled water, food and other travel necessities. With an average of under $200 per person cost, diversion is one of the most cost effective ways to return people to safe, affordable housing.