The Charlotte Mecklenburg Emergency Shelter System: Assessment of Capacity and Utilization Report released in April 2019 recommends solutions to optimize the emergency shelter system. One of the suggested solutions is to employ diversion resources across the homeless services system. Diversion is a cost-effective way to serve the immediate needs of homeless individuals and families, maximizing emergency shelter capacity and targeting shelter beds and resources to individuals and families who need it the most. Diversion, when it’s implemented effectively, helps households seeking shelter to find a safe alternative. Diversion assistance includes transportation to stay with a family member as well as financial assistance to find other temporary housing solutions. Like other housing interventions, diversion with youth must be tailored to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. This blog post explains the challenges that are unique to serving homeless youth and the steps our community can take to address those challenges.