Called to Care™

Diversion & Prevention Services at the Residential Program Center

In FY16, 154 guests have been served through RPC's homeless shelter, with 48 successfully completing the program and transitioning into permanent housing. The team has found success by implementing core strategies such as Motivational Interviewing, Progressive Engagement, Housing-Focused Case Management/Housing Counseling, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

VOAC offers homeless diversion and prevention services by linking households with emergency food, financial assistance, housing placement programs, other supportive services and shelter as a last resort option. VOAC works closely to engage homeless households on finding the right, most affordable housing options. VOAC has worked closely with Arlington County and partner agencies to establish the unified shelter standards, taking part in the 1010 line, and is the lead agency for Prevention and Diversion programs. VOA-C offers case management services to all clients and assists with developing an individualized plan to address financial stability, increasing employment, assessing for housing type, and assists with how clients can remain permanently housed.

As described in a National Alliance to End Homelessness best practice brief, diversion programs help people seeking shelter, “to identify immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connect them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing." Diversion – when implemented successfully – has the potential to reduce the demand on the emergency shelter system (by delaying entry or preventing shelter stays altogether) in a safe an effective way.

Since July 2015, VOA-C has served a total of 276 households through its diversion program. Households are prioritized based status as literally homeless. Those who are identified as at-risk for homelessness are able to work with the Diversion Specialist Case Manager to either re-stabilize their existing housing or transition into different permanent stable housing.

Highlights from VOAC's Homeless Prevention Program

    • Bi-lingual Prevention Case Manager (Spanish-speaking) able to meet the growing needs of those at-risk of homelessness
    • 82.03% of those served are Hispanic
    • In FY16, 99 households were served (26 singles, 73 families) for a total of 295 vulnerable men, women and children
    • Able to limit the use of local funding through strengthened relationships with the faith-based community
    • An average of 35% of adults either gained or increased their earned income
    • 61% of households receive case management for 61 to 180 days, 27% for 31 to 60 days and 12% for 30 days or less
    • All households were able to maintain permanent housing

Highlights from VOAC's Diversion Program

    • Serves as the gateway to all four emergency shelters for those experiencing homelessness in Arlington which has enhanced our crisis response system for addressing homelessness
    • Able to divert households from entering shelter when it is safe and appropriate by re-stabilizing existing housing or navigating directly into permanent housing without having to enter shelter
    • Eliminated shelter “wait lists" which previously could reach beyond weeks and into several months
    • Contributing factor to the reduction in decreased occupancy in shelters along with prevention and rapid re-housing strategies
    • Prioritizes those with the greatest need for shelter and uses it as a last resort option
    • In FY16, 276 households were served (229 singles, 47 families) for a total of vulnerable 369 men, women and children
    • 10% of households (29 total YTD) were navigated into permanent housing without having to access emergency shelter

For more information about Housing/Homeless Programs, please contact Mary Idaliz Perez Martinez at iperezmartinez@voaches.org or 703-228-0013

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Diversion & Prevention Services at the Residential Program Center
1554 Columbia Pike : Arlington, Virginia 22204
Phone: 703.228.0022
Fax: 703.228.0028
Hours: Open 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week