A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Webinar: Scaling Diversion Models to End Homelessness in Your Community

Thursday, March 12 | 2:00pm ET | 1:00pm CT | 12:00pm MT | 11:00am PT

Diversion has become a growing strategy in addressing homelessness. When integrated and implemented across the homelessness response system, it has proven to also be an effective intervention for resolving a family’s homelessness or housing instability.  

Thanks to the Family Homelessness Initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have research to show that diversion works. At our 2020 Funders Forum, we shared some of those evaluation findings. During this webinar, we’ll look at how communities in Washington state integrated diversion into coordinated entry at the systems level and how funding was structured in order to do so.  

Join us during this webinar to hear directly from Building Changes, which tested diversion strategies for families under the Bill & Melinda Gates Family Homelessness Initiative, and learn about how they worked with Africatown to scale diversion strategies in Washington state. We’ll also hear from the Schultz Family Foundation about how they understood the need to fund diversion at the systems level, not just a programmatic level, and how they helped brought other funders into this work and drummed up additional support.  

We’ll also share some disaggregated data around how Black and African American people opted into diversion at higher rates, what this suggests about other parts of the homeless response system, and what tough questions we need to ask ourselves.  

Participants will leave this webinar with: 

  • An understanding of what diversion is and how, when implemented as a process, rather than a program, it helps house families 
  • Knowledge about what mindset shift is needed from funders in order to fund and scale a diversion model  
  • Questions we should ask and investigate to analyze racial bias and inequities in our current thinking and systems 


  • Emily Harris-Shears, Senior Manager, Grantmaking & Capacity Building, Building Changes 
  • Paul Butler, Program Officer, Schultz Family Foundation 
  • Yalonda Sinde, Finance and Development Director, Africatown International 

Please note that participation in this webinar is limited to private funders, including foundations, United Ways, corporate giving programs, individual philanthropists, and philanthropy serving organizations (PSOs). If you have questions about your eligibility to register, please contact Stephanie Chan, Director of Membership and Programs at Funders Together to End Homelessness. 

March 12, 2020 at 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Stephanie Chan ·

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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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