PHFS' Prevention & Diversion Project helps homeless families with children get back into housing soon after their homelessness begins or by preventing homelessness in the first place. Our project targets the families who have just become homeless or who are facing imminent homelessness, usually a 72-hour eviction notice, to help them move back into homes quickly. These families never have to get on Multnomah County's year-long waitlist to get help moving back into permanent housing. PHFS helps these families either prevent their homelessness in the first place or end it after just a couple of days or weeks.
Homelessness is hard on parents and their kids and often leads to physical and mental health challenges like chronic disease, developmental and cognitive delays, depression and anxiety, serious injury, exposure to toxins, and malnutrition. Our prevention program intervenes before families have to experience these adverse physical and mental effects. We don't wait until a family is in literal crisis to step in with a hand up. We help the family before the crisis even begins.
Any family with children under 18 who is currently experiencing homelessness is eligible for these services. All the families in our Diversion Program need to have an income and be able to sustain their ongoing rent but can't afford a new security deposit and a first/last month rent payment. All the families who receive help through our Diversion Program receive case management and life skills classes to help them plan for their future to hopefully prevent another episode of imminent homelessness.