Know Your Rights – Diversion

What is diversion?

When you apply for shelter, you will meet with a diversion worker who will try to help you avoid entering shelter. This worker may offer you assistance with benefits, relocation assistance, or discuss with you any options to locate permanent housing.

This worker is not part of the shelter application process.

Diversion staff members may tell you that they believe your application for shelter will not be accepted. You have the right to submit an application and have it considered by DHS.

Diversion workers do not make decisions about shelter eligibility.

How do I access shelter if I am meeting with diversion?

If diversion pressures you to leave the intake office without submitting an application for shelter, and you are without any place to stay, tell the worker you want to talk with a DHS staff person and want to submit an application for shelter. Be persistent and remember, you always have a right to submit an application for shelter.

Be aware, if your income is limited, such as public assistance or disability benefits, it can be difficult to locate permanent, affordable housing quickly. Even if you decide to work on accessing a program diversion has given you information about, you will need a place to stay while you work on finding an apartment. During that time you have a right to access shelter.

At no point when you are talking with diversion should you feel pressured to return to any housing option where you or your family are unsafe.

If you have been diverted and need help with an application for shelter, come into see an advocate in the Crisis Intervention Program at the Coalition for the Homeless.