Supervisors Support Lawson-Remer's Proposal to Help Fund Proven Homelessness Diversion Practice

News Date

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors agreed to direct funding to the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) for its successful Diversion practice that has already kept 2,000 people in San Diego County housed since 2019, for a relatively low cost, roughly $1,500 per person.

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer was able to get six philanthropic groups, and the City of San Diego to work together to put their money into Diversion, and the Board’s vote commits $500,000 for the program ($350,000 for implementation and $150,000 for evaluation); giving RTFH a total of $1,000,000 new dollars to dramatically expand Diversion efforts across our County. 

A 2018 Gates Foundation Study concluded Diversion practices are faster, more effective, less costly, and require less government support than interventions like an emergency shelter. 

After the vote, Supervisor Lawson-Remer issued the following statement: 

“Thanks to the generosity of so many, including our County government, an estimated 800 people will not be homeless because of Diversion programs,” Supervisor Lawson-Remer reflected. “We have plenty more work to do on homelessness, but this is another example of how our County has stepped up to do more since 2021 to tackle homelessness, and be a good partner to the 18 cities and our unincorporated communities.” 

Diversion helps steer people who recently became homeless (usually within the first month) from a shelter or living on the street because providers who are specially trained on Diversion engagement know how to ask the right questions about if a person needs family reunification, diverting temporarily as new housing is sustained, and/or relocating permanently to a safe place out of town. They also can connect them with short-term financial assistance – utility deposit, car repair, application fee, security deposit – to get them quickly rehoused

Six different philanthropic entities, plus the County of San Diego and the CIty of San Diego together are helping to expand the capacity of Diversion practices in San Diego County. The complete list of funders with dollar amounts is as follows: 

  1. County of San Diego - $350,000 + $150,000 for Evaluation 

  2. San Diego Foundation - $200,000 

  3. Jewish Community Foundation - Nearly $175,000 

  4. The Lucky Duck Foundation – $100,000 

  5. The Conrad Prebys Foundation – $100,000 

  6. Cushman Foundation – $50,000  

  7. Funders Together to End Homelessness – $50,000                       

  8. City of San Diego – $50,000 

Link to policy being voted on Tuesday.