In 2018 AI became the managers of the first Centralized Diversion Fund (CDF) in the U.S. CDF is a multimillion dollar fund that helps pay for move-in costs (security deposits first/last month’s rent) relocation assistance to permanent housing payment on rental debt on credit reports and other assistance to help households move into permanent housing.
CDF is a system wide resource that was developed with Africatown International All Home King County and Building Changes. It is a proven strategy that improves housing stability by providing flexible funding which is available to people who are literally homeless. The fund provides centralized and streamlined access and connection to permanent housing solutions.
Diversion is an evidence-based person-centered and cost efficient strategy to help people experiencing homelessness move into housing quickly or maintain their current housing. Diversion involves a conversation with a trained Case Manager who helps people find a path to stable housing using local resources and a targeted financial support for their plan.
In order to access CDF organizations must go through a two-day diversion training provided by the organization Building Changes. Please email us at request @africatowninternational.org if you or other staff in your organization would like to be approved to submit CDF requests.
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We have proven solutions to the region's homeless crisis.
Diversion engages households early in their housing crisis. A staff member trained in the techniques of diversion initiates an exploratory conversation to brainstorm practical solutions for households to resolve their homelessness quickly and safely. Staff help households see beyond their current crisis by encouraging them to generate creative ideas and identify realistic options for safe housing based on their own available resources rather than those of the crisis response system. The goal is for households to become housed within 45 days.
It is critical to understand the differences between diversion and prevention. Similar service strategies are often utilized within these approaches (examples: conflict resolution motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care) but the time at which the intervention occurs is different and important for the purposes of measuring the success of these interventions.
Diversion starts with a conversation grounded in a household’s current housing situation available resources and identification of safe housing options outside of the homeless housing system that they are willing to explore. The role of a diversion specialist (anyone trained in and attempting diversion) is to partner with the household to identify viable alternatives for permanent or temporary housing stability and support connection to their preferred alternative. The goal is to hold diversion conversations that foster effective participant “problem solving.” These conversations include open-ended questions utilizing motivational interviewing skills.