Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative

A nonprofit organization

$7,055 raised by 24 donors

What we do

The Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that advances a new approach to community safety and wellness. We provide an alternative to police response and diversion from jail for people experiencing extreme poverty, problematic substance use, or mental health concerns. We provide direct resources and build relationships that honor the dignity and self-determination of each person, and we advocate for the expansion of supportive services in Atlanta and Fulton County.  

How we do it

Community Response through ATL311

PAD provides an alternative to police response for requests that come through the City of Atlanta 311 line related to disturbances, mental health, substance use, or other quality-of-life concerns. Our Community Response teams provide an in-person response within 30 minutes to address the immediate concern, offer basic resources, and help the referred individual connect to community resources. 

Diversion from the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Jails

PAD provides an immediate alternative to arrest and jail by accepting diversions from law enforcement for individuals they have detained for law violations related to mental health, substance use, and extreme poverty. 

As of July 2023, we reviewed APD arrest records for 483 PAD participants and found that 92% of participants had no new arrests by APD in the six months following their diversion. PAD is effective at reducing police contact and incarceration because we help people meet basic needs, access stable housing, and resolve legal barriers. 

Connecting People in Need to Basic Resources

PAD builds long-term relationships with community members who have experienced extreme marginalization, trauma, unmet mental health needs, and problematic substance use. Our Care Navigators help participants navigate housing, healthcare and legal systems and re-connect to community resources as they work towards their goals. 

In the last year, PAD provided over 15,000 services, including food, MARTA cards, hygiene supplies, clothing, assistance with IDs, medication co-pays, and cell phones.  Not only does this allow people to meet their basic needs with dignity, but it also reduces the need for shoplifting food or medicine, jumping the turnstile, or asking for money. 

But we are not just focused on immediate needs. 95% of the people we work with are not stably housed. In the last year, we made 460 housing placements to emergency and temporary housing. Sixty people moved into permanent housing, and fifty people were placed in substance use recovery housing.

 Advocating for Change

PAD advocates for policies that increase access to housing, healthcare, and community-based resources and that reduce the criminalization of poverty, marginalization and behavioral health concerns.

Giving Activity

Organization Data


Organization name

Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative

other names

Atlanta Fulton Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative

Tax id (EIN)





236 Forsyth Street SW Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30303



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