Diversion is a service. It is not the absence or denial of service. It is the art and science of finding safe and appropriate alternatives to shelter use. It is about empowering the front end of the system to try and resolve problems through natural supports and progressive engagement of “lighter touch” solutions before providing a more intensive response through the shelter system or any other homeless service.
Guides and Reports
The Book on Ending Homelessness by Iain De Jong
The Book on Ending Homelessness provides insights for those in the industry, elected officials, policy makers, funders, public servants and the general public on the best ways to move from managing homelessness to ending homelessness. While ending homelessness may seem to be a whacky or even preposterous idea, Iain De Jong takes more than two decades of experience as an award winning industry leader to lay out how and why homelessness can be ended in very practical ways. This book will provoke and teach, serving as both inspiration and an instruction manual for those serious about combatting one of the most important social issues of our time. The book will reshape how you think about homelessness, as well as how strategies like sheltering, street outreach and day services all play a role in ending homelessness when operated with a housing-focused lens and the right service orientation. No doubt the book will reassure some that their thinking and actions regarding homelessness are bang on, while challenging others to think and respond differently in what they do and how they invest their money. Many of the ideas in the book elaborate upon ideas that Iain shares in his blog, keynote speeches and conference presentations, as well as the training series that Iain and his team have been offering for the past decade. If you are involved in homelessness issues or concerned about homelessness, this book is essential reading.
Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How it Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan
In this provocative book based on cutting-edge research, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show that scarcity creates a distinct psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Busy people fail to manage their time efficiently for the same reasons the poor and those maxed out on credit cards fail to manage their money. The dynamics of scarcity reveal why dieters find it hard to resist temptation, why students and busy executives mismanage their time, and why the same sugarcane farmers are smarter after harvest than before.
Once we start thinking in terms of scarcity, the problems of modern life come into sharper focus, and Scarcity reveals not only how it leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."
Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, and How to Reverse It by Robert D. Lupton
Veteran urban activist Robert Lupton reveals the shockingly toxic effects that modern charity has upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Toxic Charity provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help—not sabotage—those whom they desire to serve. Lupton, the founder of FCS Urban Ministries (Focused Community Strategies) in Atlanta, the voice of the Urban Perspectives newsletter, and the author of Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life, has been at the forefront of urban ministry activism for forty years. Now, in the vein of Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty, Richard Stearns’s The Hole in Our Gospel, and Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart, his groundbreaking Toxic Charity shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change.
In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.