Shelter Diversion Specialist

Position Title Shelter Diversion Specialist
Reports To Associate Director of Housing
FLSA Status Non-Exempt










The goal of shelter diversion is to end someone’s experience of homelessness as quickly as possible while empowering them to regain control over their situation. This limits the trauma of homelessness on the individual or family and keeps limited shelter beds available for those most in need. The goal of the Shelter Diversion Pilot is to build a network of well-trained diversion experts who are supported by system-level

infrastructure that includes management, training, and access to funds.


Shelter diversion is an intensive, short-term intervention that elevates creative problem solving and conflict resolution to empower people experiencing a housing crisis to find an immediate alternative to shelter and return to more stable housing. Through a strengths-based conversation, facilitated by a diversion specialist, individuals and families seeking shelter are supported in identifying immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connections with services and financial assistance. Shelter diversion does not act as a barrier to shelter.


The Diversion Specialist is a seasoned case manager who provides intensive short-term case management for clients placed in emergency shelter. Case management includes linkage and coordination with other agencies, identifying barriers to housing stability, client engagement and goal planning, and mediation with the focus on temporary or permanent housing stability outside of the homeless services system. The Diversion Specialist must enter relevant data into both the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and AWARDS in accordance with agency and project protocols. In addition, the Diversion Specialist is responsible for fostering a safe and trauma-informed environment, must be flexible and creative, and must have the ability to work independently and as part of a team.


Other duties may be assigned. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these duties.

  • Engage referrals as soon as possible after they enter
  • Initiate counts of residents at irregular and specific
  • Complete necessary assessments, assist with goal setting, facilitate regular progress meetings, provide case management as needed, and provide appropriate
  • Complete Shelter Diversion Pilot assessments and updates (30, 60, and 90-day) in HMIS and
  • Connect guest to community resources and financial assistance as
  • Facilitate and document diversion
  • Provide landlord mediation and mediation type support for other living situations like family, roommates, or
  • Document services in relevant databases mandated by the funding streams used for this project, including both HMIS and
  • Engage guests in an empathetic non-judgmental way (empathy is the intimate comprehension of another person’s thoughts and feelings without adding personally held own judgment or expectations).
  • Be versed in and have a commitment to use a conflict resolution approach, be client-centered and use a housing first philosophy.
  • Join the collaborative partnership piloting diversion in
  • Build professional relationships with guests, providers, and community
  • Attend regular case management meetings and other Shelter Diversion Pilot meetings, including Implementation Team meetings and trainings.


  • Strong interest in and ability to work closely and respectfully with clients who have experienced homelessness and may be dealing with mental health symptoms, substance us disorders, trauma, physical disabilities, and health concerns.
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to needs of guests in crisis and to maintain a calm and sensitive demeanor in stressful situations.
  • Self-directed and comfortable working independently, without constant direct supervision, and with a team.
  • Ability to work from harm reduction perspective and provide trauma-informed care.
  • Experience using motivational interviewing.
  • Ability to develop and maintain appropriate boundaries with clients.
  • Ability to maintain professional relationships with diverse groups and community representatives.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with guests, staff, interns, partner organizations, volunteers, etc.
  • Ability to work as a positive, supportive team member.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to be creative, exercise sound judgment, work independently, and handle multiple tasks.
  • Ability to maintain client confidentiality.
  • Ability to consistently maintain required documentation.
  • Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.)





A minimum of 2 years of case management experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness and/or individuals with a history of trauma is required

Bachelors’ degree in Psychology, Social Work, Social Justice, or a related social service field is required. An equivalent combination of professional experience and life experience will also be considered.



CPR and Narcan Certification will be required within 30 days of employment.

Valid Driver’s License required.


If interested, please fill out the application form on our Careers page.

Give by Check

Thank you for your generous donation, together we are transforming thousands of lives
from homelessness to self-sufficiency!

Please send your check to the following address:

A Safe Haven Foundation
Attn: Development
2750 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60608