ODR’s jail-based diversion work serves more than 2,500 people per day with meals and health and other services in over 75 houses, bringing people out of the County jails and into programs that help them live their lives. People in ODR Housing are less likely to reoffend and return to homelessness.
The program currently serves only about half the people that studies show could be eligible. Studies indicate that with additional resources, we can safely reduce the mental health population in the jails even further.
One bright light that stands out even here is ODR’s Maternal Health Program, which prioritizes the diversion of pregnant women, interrupting an especially terrible cycle of family separation. The Maternal Health Diversion Program keeps mothers with their children, gives them a pathway back into their communities, and keeps them from having to give birth in jail. Since 2018, 197 pregnant women have been diverted from jails including more than 60 who have moved into permanent supportive housing.