State Unified Contract Competition 2022

Request for Proposals

The Florida State Office on Homelessness, through the Department of Children and Families (DCF), has made funds available under the Unified Homelessness Grant Program (Florida). Within this contract, applicants are given the opportunity to apply for Challenge Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). CoC FL-511, Opening Doors Northwest Florida has been awarded $414,000 under the State Unified Homelessness Grant. Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), Opening Doors NWFL seeks applications from qualified non-profit organizations to provide services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness in the Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in the State of Florida. 

Opening Doors State Unified Contract RFP Workshop

Q & A

Question 1: Will the HMIS waiver be available for Domestic Violence Centers, who cannot, by state statute, release data on clients?

  • Answer: Yes. HUD allows for victim service providers to use an HMIS Comparable systems that does not intersect with the HMIS Lead's HMIS.

Question 2a: Based upon the evaluation matrix on pages 15 and 16 of the RFP, it appears that applicants are on a "level playing field", meaning that previous awardees are neither advantaged or disadvantaged in the scoring. Is that a correct assertion? If not, can you discuss those nuances?

  • Answer: Yes, it is correct to ascertain that all applicants are on level playing field. All RFP Applications are based on scoring and ranking by the selection committee.

Question 2b: How might this factor into the 2023 RFP if an agency or organization is awarded in 2022 and then does an outstanding job delivering on their grant goals/outcomes? Would they receive bonus points for their 2023 application to continue their good work?

  • Answer: RFP Applications that are awarded in 2022-2023 will be renewed based on performance. If the applicant does not do well and Opening Doors must recapture funds -- the CoC lead will release a new RFP to the community to select a new agency

Question 3: Is it possible for all of us to have a "paper copy"/PDF of the entire grant application so that we can have our responses prepared before we cut and paste them into the google form? Thank you

  • Answer: Yes! We can send out the paper copy of the application of the Google Form.

Question 4: Do folks who do not qualify alone partner as vendors or subcontractors?

  • Answer: Subcontractors cannot subcontract to other agencies.

Question 5: When is the next coalition meeting?

  • Answer: The next General Coalition Meeting will be June 21st at 3pm. location to be announced. The new Youth Action Board will be the presenters. This date and time have been revised – The General Coalition Meeting to meet the YAB will be Tuesday, June 28th, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Question 6: To whom should we email our questions if we have them after this call?

Question 7: Do you award less than the request - or is it all or none?

  • Answer: Opening Doors can subaward partial or full requests. The subaward amount will be based on the scoring and ranking by the Selection Committee and the final vote of Opening Doors Board of Directors.

Question 8: Can you talk a little bit about the reimbursement process?

  • Answer: Currently, we operate on fixed cost reimbursement agreements which are paid as costs invoiced monthly. This means that the total amount of the subaward is divided by 12 months and reimbursed to the subcontractor in equal payments. If the expenses incurred are overspent past the rate of the fixed cost reimbursement schedule, the subcontractor will be responsible for the cost overrun. Our process requires invoicing to be submitted by the 5th day of the following month in which reimbursement for expenses are being requested. In other words, all services provided in May will be invoiced for payment on June 5th.

Question 9: If we require that guests who commit to our program maintain sobriety (we are willing to work with them if they relapse), work towards attaining and maintaining employment, and attend three classes, are we eligible for the Challenge Grant and ESP funding with the Unified Homelessness Grant Program?

  • Answer: Opening Doors Northwest Florida has adopted HUD’s low barrier and equal access approach to serving people experiencing homelessness. We recognized the importance of ensuring that homelessness for our unhoused population is rare, brief, and non-reoccurring. Our primary goal is to assist people with entering safe and suitable housing and simultaneously stabilizing, improving health, reducing harmful behaviors, and/or increasing income. Opening Doors NW FL has these same expectations of subcontractors that perform work on behalf of any pass through state and federal funding sources. Therefore, potential subcontractors should do their best to explain within their narrative how their organization and program will meet this model.

Question 10: Is the maximum that you can request for each category as follows: Challenge-$119,000; ESG-$257,000; TANF-$38,000, or can you ask for more?

  • Answer: The amounts referenced in the question are the maximum allocation provided by the funder for each program. There is no ability to request additional funding as these are fixed allocations. For example, the total allocation for TANF is $38,000 – but this doesn’t account for the administrative costs that must come off the top. For TANF, it is likely that only 1 agency will be awarded the total grant.

Question 11: What are the local match requirements for each program?

  • Answer: The match requirements for each program are as follows:
    • ESG (Annual): 100% cash or in-kind contribution
    • Challenge: 25% cash or in-kind contribution
    • TANF: N/A (No Match required)

Question 12a: The links to the HUD virtual binders, as well as the match requirement video from HUD in the PowerPoint, but the links are not active. Could you provide those links?

Question 12b: For the TANF grant and the requirement for case management - we are not currently trained to do case management, but it is something we would like to grow into - does Opening Doors offer any kind of training? We are certain we could expend the funds for families who need rent and utility assistance, but would need help in our case management capacity.

  • Answer: Yes. Opening Doors provides free, comprehensive training on Case Management by two facilitators. New and returning subcontractors are provided with case management documentation and best practices for different case management models at the commencement of the Memorandum of Agreement. In addition, subcontractors will receive simultaneous HMIS Training. The facilitators will be available for additional training as deemed necessary based on monthly invoice requirements and quarterly monitoring reports.

Question 13: If the grant contracts will be executed between 7/7/22-7/11/22, does this mean that all agencies should hold all grant billable activities after 6/30/22?

  • Answer: Yes, awarded subcontractors to hold all grant billable activities after 6/30/2022.

Question 14: Will we need a signed MOU before any grant services can begin?

  • Answer: Yes, awarded subcontractors will need to wait for MOUs executed by the signature of the EDs of Opening Doors and the subcontractor before beginning any grant services.

Question 15: With regards to case management, can you estimate the amount of time it would take each week or month to provide case management to families? Again, we are trying to strategize about our capacity and want to make sure we have either an employee or volunteer who could sufficiently fill a case manager role - we know how vital that is and would want to bring our best to it!

  • Answer: Our recommendation is that the organization determine how many households can be served per month and annually based on previous performance prior to applying for the grant. Please note that every household that is screened (i.e., provided case management for an initial eligibility assessment) may not receive financial assistance. Yet, the organization will be responsible for following up with all households screened for 12 months after screening and must show proof of referring the household to other organizations for support. Therefore, the best practice is to understand how many households can safely be served without overspending the fixed budget for each month. In addition, the best practice that we have deemed appropriate is allotting 1-2 hours of case management time for the initial screening (based on the household size) and 1 hour of case management time for follow-up case management for each household for the 12 months succeeding financial assistance.

Question 16: I was looking at page 5 on the RFP and noted in section C that for both Homelessness Prevention and Case Management requirements, there ought to be 2 individuals/1 household per month.

Question 16a: Do the two individuals need to be 18 years or older?

  • Answer: No.

Question 16b: Or would minors count as individuals?

  • Answer: Yes. A household under Section C is considered one adult and one child, at minimum, that are both U.S. Citizens. For example, a two-parent household with three children under the age of 18 is considered 5 individuals/1 household. A male single parent with two children, one child age 18 and one child age 14 is considered to have 3 individuals/1 household.

Question 16c: Would this mean that we would only take on one household for case management each month until the grant monies were spent?

  • Answer: No. This means that at a minimum -- the organization must screen and provide financial assistance for one household that has a composition of one adult and one child -AND- must ensure that the monthly spend-down of grant funds for case management and direct financial assistance to eligible households is at a fixed rate.

Question 17: What category should we enter budget information for new construction for Challenge Grant? Transitional, Rapid Rehousing, Homeless Prevention?

  • Answer: Thank you for your question. We would need to modify the form to add a budget line item for new construction under the component "Permanent Housing". We did not have written in our CON Plan for new construction, but we are willing to explore this avenue. However, please be aware that although $119,000 is available in the Challenge Grant budget, only $109,480.00 will be used for any actual project because of required administrative costs. Also, new construction requires a 20-year lien hold and stipulates that the original project use must be retained for that period of time.