Prevention & Diversion Funding – Special Request for Proposals

With the homeless response system being overburdened and the lack of capacity for emergency shelter in Greater Minnesota, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is releasing a Special Request for Proposals focused on diversion. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, diversion strategies and practices assist people to resolve their immediate housing crisis by accessing alternatives to entering emergency shelter (including motel shelter programs) or the experience of unsheltered living. This typically occurs at the point people request emergency services, such as entry into emergency shelter, or could take place in a day center or through outreach before a person spends a night unsheltered.

In an effort to ensure that diversion practices include financial support to make it more effective, Open Your Heart is providing funding to support programs in Greater Minnesota, outside the seven-county metro area. Too often individuals and families have to leave their community in order to access resources and/or they are unable to go to a region that their support is located in. When done well and with financial support, diversion can be a solution to either of these issues. Please note that priority will be given to agencies without significant operating budgets/unrestricted reserves. 

Eligible Activities – Due to a need for common understanding of terminology, please refer to *this website from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. It clarifies the terms prevention, diversion, and rapid exit, explains how they differ from each other, and offers considerations for implementation. 

  • payment for transportation in order to stay with a friend or family member 

  • assistance with past-due rent and/or utility bills of the person seeking assistance

  • assistance in paying utility bills

  • gas or grocery gift cards for the friend or relative with whom the person has been staying

  • assistance to enroll into programs that require a fee. Examples of this are:

    • some landlord risk mitigation programs require people to pay a set amount in order to be a participant of the program

    • treatment centers may require out of pocket fees that insurance does not cover

  • Assistance in paying fines or fees in order to prevent serving jail time and/or losing their driver’s license with a maximum grant award of $500 per recipient

  • Other assistance that will prevent people from entering an emergency shelter, living outdoors and/or living in a place not meant for human habitation 

Grant Amount

Up to $10,000

Grant Deadline

September 30th, 2022, by 11:59pm

Organization Eligibility 

  • Agencies must serve Minnesotans experiencing homelessness as the agency’s primary function

  • Agencies must operate outside of the seven-county metro area

  • Agencies cannot have received/been awarded an OYH grant within the 2022 calendar year

  • Agencies must have 501(c)3 status OR be recognized as tax exempt by the IRS (i.e., units of government or tribal governments) OR use a fiscal agent with 501(c)3 status

How to Apply 

Please click HERE to submit your request by 11:59 PM on Friday, September 30, 2022.


Please email [email protected] with any questions.



Thank you!