Grady Hospital Selected to Operate Upcoming Center for Diversion and Services

February 2023

Continuing progress toward development of the Center for Diversion and Services, Grady Hospital was recently selected to operate the Diversion Center on a 24/7 basis.  Grady will collaborate with core partners including the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia Justice Project (GJP), and the Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative (PAD).

 The Diversion Center will offer 24/7 pre-arrest law enforcement drop-off for individuals experiencing concerns related to homelessness, mental health, substance use, and/or poverty and will be located within the 254 Peachtree St., SW building. Aiming to reduce arrest and jail and empower individuals with tools and resources to move forward positively, Diversion Center guests will be welcomed by a peer-led team and receive a holistic, person-centered set of services.  Some of those services will include mental and physical health assessments, basic medical care (with transportation to Grady’s main campus for acute needs), sobering and resting spaces, and access to food, clothing, bathrooms, showers, and laundry services.  Guests will also work with PAD peer navigators to create a long-term care plan outlining access to a wider range of on- and off-site services, some of which will include legal navigation(including outstanding warrant resolution), housing support, substance use and/or residential treatment, job-related resources, and more.

 Grady, serving as the operator, will manage the Diversion Center on a daily basis, including coordination of the above services among all on- and off-site partners.  Grady was selected after a months-long open and competitive procurement process, which included an evaluation team of partners and subject matter experts from the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, and other relevant organizations and service providers.  The Atlanta City Council adopted a resolution confirming Grady as the operator on January 3, 2023.  Grady will provide regular impact and performance reports to the Diversion Center’s oversight body, the Justice Policy Board.

The Diversion Center is slated to open in spring 2024, with construction beginning by March 2023. Throughout 2023, Grady will lead continued Diversion Center pre-opening development, including developing a Warrant Resolution Clinic (in close partnership with GJP), training law enforcement and Diversion Center staff, finalizing on-site operational protocol, building out a case management system, collaborating with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on indoor and outdoor public art, overseeing construction and landscaping, and establishing an off-site referral network.

 Stay tuned for additional updates in the coming months!