The shelter diversion program is an alternative to traditional (congregate) shelters. Families who have lost their housing are diverted to temporary housing instead of a shelter and provided housing location and landlord negotiation, comprehensive case management, financial assistance and life skills training. This helps families to move out of homelessness quickly and transition back to permanent housing and self sufficiency.
The first step you must take to get access to the Shelter Diversion Program is to call 211, a Maryland 24/7 Health and Human Services Helpline, to determine if you are eligible for referral to the program.
Client Eligibility Requirements
- Family with a child, 17 years of age or younger.
- Individuals 18 and over residing in the household should be employable and willing to work, unless enrolled in a training program or school or if disabled, access handicapped benefits.
- Families should have at least one verifiable source of income when meeting with the Intake Coordinator.
- An adult living in the household (age 18 years or older) must be able to open a gas and electric account in his or her name, and will be required to pay the monthly gas and electric bill during the entire program.
- Are willing to participate in case management and meet program responsibilities.
Families in the program receive:
Work one-on-one with a case manager to assess the family’s strengths, set and work on goals, and connect to additional community resources. The length of case management services varies.
Receive assistance in locating and securing housing. Families receive rental assistance so families can obtain affordable housing. The length of the housing subsidy and the amount may vary. Financial assistance for rent, security deposits, work related costs, furniture, utilities and related “Housing Stability” costs.
- Workshops can include (but are not limited to):
- Home energy saving workshops that teach ways to reduce utility bills
- Financial education workshops teach creating and maintaining budgets, opening saving accounts, etc.
- Parenting skills workshops
Once a family has successfully exited the program, the case manager checks in with the family at 6 months and at 12 months to determine if the family is still housed or if they have re-entered the shelter system.
For Shelter Diversion, Families May be Considered Hard to Shelter if they are:
- Intact Families (a Mother and Father with Children)
- Multi-Generational Families
- Large Families
- Families with Medical Needs
- Fathers with Children
- Families with Teenage Boys
- Young Women with Young Children
- Families with Newborns
For more information, please download our Shelter Diversion Brochure.