Good Samaritan Selected for Michigan’s Shelter Diversion Pilot Program


MSHDA selected Good Samaritan as one of a few agencies for a new two-year shelter diversion pilot program.

Ottawa County, Mich. — Homelessness ought to be rare and brief, and a new pilot program from Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) intends to end a person’s experience with homelessness as quickly as possible.

Good Samaritan is honored to be selected as part of this new two-year shelter diversion pilot program, along with a handful of agencies across the state awarded to be a part of the cohort. Good Samaritan’s diversion service, called the Empowered Housing Program, will build on its strong partnerships with Ottawa County residents, area emergency shelters, and other agencies. In working together, the program will end the experience of homelessness as quickly as possible by empowering individuals and families as they seek safe alternatives to emergency shelters and work toward housing stability.

“The repercussions of housing loss reach far beyond the absence of a home,” said Laura Driscoll, Good Samaritan’s Director of Housing Services. “It casts a profound shadow of isolation, trauma, and disempowerment, affecting countless adults and children in our community year after year. As privileged participants in this pioneering housing initiative, we are eager to roll out the Empowered Housing Program, combating homelessness at its core and providing essential stabilizing services to strengthen our community.”

Good Samaritan’s Empowered Housing Program will demonstrate the impact of effective shelter diversion on homeless crisis response systems and, more importantly, the impact on households at risk of or experiencing homelessness. All selected agencies will be part of a learning cohort that will engage regularly with agency peers, MSHDA project staff, and training and technical assistance throughout the project.

Shelter diversion is a nationally recognized best practice to prevent homelessness. It targets those who have already lost their housing, are doubled up, and are running out of places to stay. The program provides financial assistance and robust case management. Shelter diversion programs emphasize securing safe, appropriate options in the community rather than an emergency shelter stay whenever possible. These options limit the trauma of homelessness while supporting the availability of limited shelter beds for those most in need. Shelter diversion does not act as a barrier to shelter but rather elevates creative problem-solving and conflict resolution to empower people experiencing a housing crisis to find an immediate alternative to emergency shelters and return to more stable housing. For more details about Good Samaritan’s Empowered Housing Program or other homeless-prevention services, visit or call the Holland or Grand Haven offices at (616)392-7159.

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