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CalWORKs Housing Assistance and Move-in Program - CHAMP

Request for Proposal #2018HSD04

Opens March 14, 2018 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on April 17, 2018.

The County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department (HSD) invites Requests for Proposals (RFP) from a single vendor, or multiple vendors working collaboratively, to administer the County of Santa Cruz's California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Housing Assistance and Move-in Program, otherwise known as CHAMP, for an annual contract, renewable for three annual terms, in the amount of $1,128,852 per year with annual renewal dependent upon satisfactory contractor performance.

Submit proposals no later than 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) on April 17, 2018 to:

County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department
Centralized Contracting Unit, RFP #2018HSD04
1000 Emeline Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Contact Information

  1. Adam Spickler, Senior Human Services Analyst at adam.spickler@santacruzcounty.us or
  2. Sherra Clinton, Contract Manager at sherra.clinton@santacruzcounty.us.

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CHAMP RFP Revised April 4, 2018

Attachments

Exhibits

Exhibits to this RFP are provided on information related to the process.

Questions and Answers

Updated April 13, 2018

Find questions received and answers to those questions below. There will be no new updates as of April 13, 2018.

RFP Process

  1. I am inquiring about who the readers are for this, or if they have been selected.
    1. By “readers” it is assumed you are referring to the individuals that will be on the review panel. The review panel for the CHAMP RFP will consist of practitioners with content expertise in local homelessness services and County staff. Information on the review process can be found in the RFP, starting on page 13. The panel is currently being selected based on these criteria.
  2. How would a respondent find out who the review panelist members are?
    1. The RFP states on page 13 that the review panel for the CHAMP RFP will consist of practitioners with content expertise in local homelessness services and County staff. In alignment with the County's typical practice, HSD will not announce the specific people participating on the review panel during the review process. The purpose is to protect the integrity of the process for scoring and rating proposals. If information is desired after the contract award, interested parties may inquire with HSD.
  3. How and when would a respondent protest contract award if desired?
    1. A protest must be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Services within five (5) business days after notification of the recommendation of award. Exhibit B: Protests and Appeals Procedures has been revised to specify the mailing address to send any such protest. Additionally, the RFP Process Schedule on page 15 of the RFP has been revised to clarify that a protest of solicitation or notification of award of a contract is due by May 7, 2018.

Administration

  1. Will there be any changes from current expectations within the existing CHAMP contract related to record keeping and documentation of ongoing financial assistance?
    1. It is not anticipated to require additional documentation for providing financial assistance, however the details of documentation may be changed as needed during the contract development process and during ongoing contract management meetings with the awarded contractor(s).
  2. What is meant by "widely accepted fiscal practices" in the statement "Provide financial assistance within agreed upon, required timelines and using widely accepted fiscal practices" on page 11 of the RFP?
    1. “Widely accepted fiscal practices" refers to Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) which are a common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures to be used when compiling financial statements.

Budget

  1. The CHAMP FY18/19 proposal lists the allocation as 70% direct participant assistance and 30% for personnel and non-personnel, including case management services but under the current CHAMP grant it has approximately 60% towards direct participant assistance and the remainder for personnel and non personnel, including case management services. Is 70/30 the correct allocation for the FY18/19 proposal?
    1. The RFP states (p. 13) that “it is expected that the awarded vendor(s) will dedicate 70% of the over-all annual CHAMP budget allocation to providing participants with rental subsidies and other financial assistance...” This is not intended as a requirement, but rather a target, and is based on best practice direction from the State.
  2. What is the source of using the 70/30 budget split detailed under Funding in the RFP, and could case management costs be changed to the direct participant cost category either in the RFP or in the resulting proposals?
    1. The County has reviewed this question and is clarifying this issue both in this answer, and in an erratum document available to download above on this web page. This clarification corrects the 3rd paragraph on page 13 of the CHAMP RFP section on Funding, to address the breakdown of percentages to the budget allocation for program operations and administration, replacing the prior paragraph with the following: 
      1. Based on funding best practices as clarified by the California Department of Social Services, it is expected that the awarded vendor(s) will allocate approximately  80% of the over-all annual CHAMP budget allocation towards program operations as defined as both the services and financial assistance provided to participating families and the housing location and support services. This includes costs specifically attributed to outreach workers and housing locators, case managers, and other direct service personnel, as well as the cost of administering rental assistance and conducting inspections.  It includes activities for the arrangement, coordination, monitoring and delivery of services related to meeting the housing needs of families and helping them to obtain housing stability. Best practices allow for roughly 80 percent of funding to be allocated to program operations. It is also expected that the awarded vendor(s) will allocate the remaining 20% of the annual budget to administrative costs including, but not limited to, program managers, directors, IT, accounting; benefits; facilities costs; office supplies; and equipment; and data collection and tracking, including the staff time dedicated to these activities, as well as necessary supplies and equipment (CDSS).
  3. Is there a budget reference for the costs of participant assistance for housing retention and support?
    1. Yes, this is referenced on page 11 of the RFP. Please see the note "Administer other participant assistance checks as appropriate" under the Service Activities, Administration of Participant Financial Assistance section of the RFP.
  4. Will it be a requirement of the contract to fully expend the budget allocation, and will it be the responsibility of the County or a responsibility of the Contractor to ensure appropriate spend-down requirements are met?
    1. Roles and responsibilities of spend down requirements will be reviewed during the contract development process and during ongoing contract management meetings with the awarded contractor(s).

Program

  1. The HUD definition of homelessness cited in the RFP differs from the definition of homelessness that the local COC uses, and the local definition is less broad. Since referrals will be made by the County in collaboration with the COC and its more narrow definition, (1) should the RFP be amended to reflect the COC definition, and (2) If the broader HUD definition will be used, how will contractor receive referrals for participants that do not meet the more narrow COC definition?
    1. The County has reviewed this question and is clarifying this definition both in this answer, and in an erratum document is available to download above on this web page. This clarification corrects the footnote defining homelessness on page 10 of the CHAMP RFP, replacing the prior footnote defining homelessness with the following:
      1. For the purposes of the CHAMP Program, and in alignment with the CDSS application guidelines, homelessness is defined as families who lack a fixed or regular nighttime residence who either a.) Have a primary nighttime residence that is a publically supervised or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or b.) Reside in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily use as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  2. Will referrals be strictly WTW clients, or will there be a more broad inclusion of CalWORKs recipients, including child-only cases?
    1. Referrals may be for families enrolled in any type of CalWORKs cash assistance, including child-only cases. This is indicated on page 10 of the RFP, under the Service Recipients section, that "CalWORKs recipients who are experiencing homelessness are eligible for CHAMP assistance."
  3. Regarding referrals, how will the referral process be inclusive of the Coordinated Entry and COC community referral process?
    1. Details on the referral process will be reviewed during contract development with the selected vendor(s) and documented in program materials. As stated on page 10 of the RFP under "Referrals", all referrals provided by the County will be in coordination with the Coordinated Entry System. It is anticipated that when there is a program opening, HSD will coordinate with Coordinated Entry to determine a waiting family that is receiving CalWORKs. HSD staff will ensure the referral is sent to the awarded vendor(s).
  4. Will CHAMP still allow for participant housing placements outside of Santa Cruz County?
    1. The RFP does not define housing costs for families for whom housing assistance takes place out of Santa Cruz County, although it is the intent for CHAMP to provide out of county housing assistance based on individual families' needs.
  5. What services would be allowed for out of county placement?
    1. Details on support for participants placed out of county will be reviewed during contract development with the selected vendor(s) and documented in program materials. It is the intent for CHAMP to provide the appropriate level of support to families who become housed out of Santa Cruz County, based on the individual families' needs and location of housing.
  6. Will the awarded contractor continue to receive estimated wage/income information for participants, or will this information need to be assessed by contracted caser management staff? And will the contractor be required to follow wage/income recommendations from County, or will a contractor be given flexibility if wage/income information is recommended by County?
    1. Yes, case managers will receive this and other participant plan information through coordination with County CalWORKs staff working on the participant's plan and program eligibility, as listed under "Case Management and Support" under the Service Activities section on page 11 of the RFP. Details of participant plan coordination will be reviewed and negotiated during contract development.
  7. Who is responsible for program eligibility determination?
    1. The County is responsible for program eligibility determination, per the referral process noted on page 10 of the RFP that states "The awarded vendor(s) will receive referrals for program assistance solely from the County through Smart Path to Housing and Health, the countywide homeless coordinated entry system." It is the intent of the County that the awarded vendor(s) will verify the family's homeless status once the referral is received, and this will be reviewed during contract development.
  8. Who is responsible for housing inspections?
    1. The awarded vendor(s) will be responsible for housing inspections, per the Housing Identification process noted on page 10 of the RFP.