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Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program

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Title: Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program


1
  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
    Program
  • Grant-Writing Workshop
  • January February 2011

2
Agenda
  1. Ending Veteran Homelessness and Understanding VA
    Programs
  2. SSVF Program Overview
  3. Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) Overview
  4. Application Review
  5. Application Overview Technical Requirements
  6. Grant Writing Best Practices
  7. Application Sections in Detail
  8. Next Steps/QA

2
3
I. Ending Veteran Homelessness and Understanding
VA Programs
3
4
Ending Veteran Homelessness
  • Federal Strategic Plan
  • VA Five-Year Plan

  • Built upon 6 strategic pillars
  • Outreach/Education
  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Housing/Supportive Services
  • Income/Employment/ Benefits
  • Community Partnerships

4
5
Veteran Centered Services
  • We begin with a recognition that every
    person/family who is homeless or at-risk has
    different concerns and needs to be addressed.
    These concerns may not match agency/provider
    interests.
  • To get to Zero requires the development of a
    broad coordinated continuum of care that can
    address the needs identified by Veterans.

5
6
A Continuum of Care
  • VAs Alphabet Soup
  • Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN)
  • Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
  • Homeless Outreach (HCHV)
  • National Call Center (NCCHV)
  • Prevention (HCRV, VJO, SSVF, HUD-VA Pilot)
  • Transitional Housing (GPD, CWT/TR, HCHV Contract
    Housing)
  • Residential Rehab (RRTP)
  • Voc Rehab (CWT)
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)

7
Section B1 Need for Program
8
National Call Center
  • Homeless Veteran in need of help
    now? Call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has
    founded a National Call Center for Homeless
    Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans
    or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free,
    24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is
    intended to assist homeless Veterans and their
    families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and
    local partners, community agencies, service
    providers and others in the community. 

9
Outreach
  • Stand-Downs
  • Collaborative, one to three-day events to provide
    services to homeless Veterans
  • Coordinated with other government community
    agencies
  • Services may include
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Health screenings
  • VA and Social Security benefits counseling
  • Referrals to employment, substance abuse and
    other necessary services

9
10
Outreach
  • Healthcare for Re-entry Veterans
  • The Health Care for Re-entry Veterans (HCRV)
    Program is designed to address the community
    re-entry needs of incarcerated Veterans.
  • HCRV's goals are to prevent homelessness, reduce
    the impact of medical, psychiatric, and substance
    abuse problems upon community re-adjustment, and
    decrease the likelihood of re-incarceration for
    those leaving prison.  

10
11
Grant Per Diem Program
  • Program Overview
  • VA provides capital grants per diem operating
    resources to public non-profit entities to
    provide housing services to homeless Veterans.
  • The purpose is to promote the development
    provision of supportive housing with supportive
    services for homeless Veterans.
  • The Programs goals are assisting homeless
    Veterans
  • Achieve residential stability,
  • Increase their skill levels and/or income, and
  • Obtain greater self-determination

11
12
HUD-VASH
  • Largest permanent, supportive housing initiative
    for homeless Veterans.
  • Provides housing (HUD) with case management (VA)
    and supportive services (VA)
  • 30,000 Housing Choice vouchers offered through
    301 participating PHAs
  • Almost 1,000 case managers provide case
    management and supportive services designed to
    promote housing stability and recovery.

12
13
HUD-VASH
  • VA HUD-VASH Case Managers determine clinical
    eligibility and homeless status
  • PHAs determine if the Veteran meets HUD criteria
    for income and is not a lifetime registered sex
    offender under a State sex offender registration
    program.

13
14
Vet Centers
  • Community-based counseling centers located in all
    50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam
  • Provide readjustment counseling outreach
    services to all Veterans who served in any combat
    zone
  • Staffed by small multi-disciplinary teams of
    dedicated providers, many of which are combat
    Veterans themselves.
  • http//www.vetcenter.va.gov/index.asp

14
15
Accessing Mainstream Resources
  • Central role of incorporating non-VA supports
  • Income supports including food stamps, SSI/SSD,
    TANF, Medicaid/Medicare
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling,
    www.nfcc.org, a counselor can be reached at (800)
    388-2227
  • Legal Assistance at low-cost www.lawhelp.org
  • Available income, health, educational and other
    supportive services benefits http//www.govbenefi
    ts.gov

16
Prevention Requires Targeted Outreach
  • Target services to engage those most at-risk.
  • 1 in 10 impoverished Veterans become homeless at
    some point during the year (HUD, 2009).
  • 1.3 million Veteran households have very
    low-income, less than 50 of the area median
    income (GAO, 2007).
  • Homeless Veterans may be more isolated from
    family and other social supports compared to the
    general homeless population.
  • Veterans over the age of 51 over-represented
    among the homeless.

16
17
Introduction to SSVF Program
  • Goal of SSVF Program
  • Provide housing stability to homeless and at-risk
    Veterans and their families
  • Process
  • VA will award grants to eligible entities
    (private non-profit organizations and consumer
    cooperatives)
  • Grantees will provide supportive services to very
    low-income Veterans and their families who are
    homeless or at-risk of homelessness

17
18
Overview of SSVF Program
  • How SSVF Complements Other Programs
  • A services bridge/enhancement to permanent
    supportive housing (e.g. in conjunction with the
    HUD-VASH Program)
  • A stand-alone, short-term, intensive case
    management model (e.g. in conjunction with a
    program using a critical time intervention model)
  • A homelessness, eviction, or housing crisis
    prevention program (e.g. in conjunction with a
    program such as HUDs Homelessness Prevention and
    Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP))


18
19
Overview of SSVF Program
  • How SSVF Differs from Other VA Programs
  • Grantees will be community-based organizations
  • Grantees will serve Veterans and their families
  • Homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing
    focus
  • Temporary financial assistance payments may be
    provided to third parties on behalf of
    participants

19
20
II. SSVF Program Overview
20
21
II. SSVF Program Overview Background
  • Authority 38 U.S.C. 2044 / Section 604 of
    Veterans Mental Health and Other Care
    Improvements Act of 2008 / P.L. 110-387
  • Purpose To provide grants to eligible entities
    to facilitate the provision of supportive
    services to very low-income Veteran families who
    are occupying permanent housing
  • Status
  • Final Rule published in Federal Register on Nov.
    10, 2010 http//edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/
    2010-28407.pdf
  • Notice of Fund Availability published in Federal
    Register on Dec. 17, 2010 http//edocket.access.g
    po.gov/2010/pdf/2010-31742.pdf
  • Application, webcast recordings, and FAQs
    available on SSVF website http//www1.va.gov/HOME
    LESS/SSVF.asp
  • Application due 400 p.m. Eastern on Friday,
    March 11, 2011

21
22
II. SSVF Program Overview Operations
VA
Award Supportive Services Grants
Eligible Entities (private nonprofit
organizations or consumer cooperatives)
Provide Supportive Services
Participants (very low-income Veteran families
occupying permanent housing)
22
23
II. SSVF Program Overview Eligible Entity
To be eligible for a SSVF grant, the applicant
must be either
Types of Eligible Entity Documentation Required
Private nonprofit organization means any of the following four entities An incorporated private institution or foundation that Has no part of the net earnings that inure to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual Has a governing board that is responsible for the operation of the supportive services provided under this part and Is approved by VA as to financial responsibility. 1. IRS ruling certifying tax-exempt status under the IRS Code of 1986
A for-profit limited partnership, the sole general partner of which is an organization meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(a), (b), and (c) above. 2. Partnership Agreement
A corporation wholly owned and controlled by an organization meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(a), (b), and (c) above. 3. Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws
A tribally designated housing entity (as defined in section 4 of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C. 4103)). 4. Indian Housing Plan Tribal Certification
Consumer Cooperative has the meaning given such term in section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. 1701q). State certification of consumer cooperative status
23
24
II. SSVF Program Overview Participant Eligibility
  • Veteran Family
  • Veteran who is a single person, or
  • Family in which the head of household, or the
    spouse of the head of household, is a Veteran
  • Very Low-Income lt50 area median income
    (www.huduser.org)
  • Occupying Permanent Housing
  • Category (1) Currently residing in permanent
    housing
  • Category (2) Currently homeless, scheduled to
    become resident of permanent housing within 90
    days pending the location or development of
    suitable permanent housing
  • Category (3) Exited permanent housing within the
    previous 90 days in order to seek housing more
    responsive to needs and preferences
  • Veteran means a person who served in the
    active military, naval, or air service, and who
    was discharged or released therefrom under
    conditions other than dishonorable.

24
25
II. SSVF Program Overview Participant
Eligibility (Contd)
Category of Occupying Permanent Housing Time Restriction on Grantees Provision of Services
Category 1 residing in permanent housing May continue providing supportive services so long as the participant continues to meet the definition of category (1)
Category 2 homeless and scheduled to become a resident of permanent housing within 90 days pending the location or development of housing suitable for permanent housing May continue providing services so long as the participant continues to meet the definition of category (2), even if the participant does not become a resident of permanent housing within the originally scheduled 90-day period
Category 3 exited permanent housing within the previous 90 days to seek other housing that is responsive to the very low-income Veteran familys needs and preferences May continue providing services until the earlier of the following dates Participant commences receipt of other housing services adequate to meet the participants needs OR Ninety days from the date the participant exits permanent housing
25
26
III. Program OverviewD. Supportive Services
  • Required Supportive Services
  • Outreach services (Section 62.30)
  • Use best efforts to ensure that hard-to-reach
    eligible participants are found, engaged, and
    provided supportive services
  • Active liaison with local VA facilities, State,
    local, tribal, and private agencies and
    organizations providing services
  • Case management services (Section 62.31)
  • Careful assessment of participant functions
  • Developing and monitoring case plans
  • Establishing linkages to help participants
  • Providing referrals and performing related
    activities as necessary
  • Deciding how resources are allocated to
    participants
  • Educating participants on issues

26
27
II. SSVF Program Overview Supportive Services
(contd)
  • Required Supportive Services (Contd)
  • Assist participants to obtain VA benefits
    (Section 62.32)
  • Assist participants to obtain and coordinate the
    provision of other public benefits provided by
    Federal, State, or local agencies, or any
    eligible entity in the area served by the grantee
    (provided directly or through referral to partner
    agencies) (Section 62.33)

Vocational and rehabilitation counseling Educational assistance Employment and training services Health care services
Health care services Daily living services Personal financial planning services Transportation services Income support services Fiduciary and representative payee services Legal services Child care Housing counseling services
27
27
28
II. SSVF Program Overview Supportive Services
(contd)
  • Optional Supportive Services
  • Other services which may be suggested by an
    applicant, a grantee, or VA in the future that
    are consistent with the SSVF Program
  • Temporary financial assistance payments
  • Payments must help participants remain in or
    obtain permanent housing
  • Payments are subject to the restrictions in the
    Final Rule and the Notice of Fund Availability
    (NOFA), including time/amount limitations,
    development of housing stability plan, payments
    only to third parties

28
29
II. SSVF Program Overview Supportive Services
(contd)
Type of Temporary Financial Assistance Time/Amount Limitation
Rental Assistance Max. of 8 months in a 3-year period no more than 5 months in any 12-month period
Utility-Fee Payment Assistance Max. of 4 months in a 3-year period no more than 2 months in any 12-month period
Security Deposits or Utility Deposits Max. of 1 time in a 3-year period for security deposit Max. of 1 time in a 3-year period for utility deposit
Moving Costs Max. of 1 time in a 3-year period
Emergency Supplies Max. 500 during a 3-year period
Child Care Max. of 4 months in a 12-month period
Transportation Tokens, vouchers, etc. no time limit Car repairs/maintenance max. of 1,000 during 3-year period
See 62.34 of Final Rule for additional
requirements and restrictions. See 62.33 of
Final Rule for additional requirements and
restrictions.
29
29
30
II. SSVF Program Overview Grant Agreements
  • Supportive Services Grant Agreements
  • Selected applicants will execute an agreement
    with VA which provides that the grantee agrees
    (and will ensure that each of its subcontractors
    agree) to
  • Operate the program in accordance with Final Rule
    and your application
  • Comply with other terms and conditions, including
    recordkeeping and reports for program monitoring
    and evaluation purposes, as VA may establish for
    purposes of carrying out the SSVF Program in an
    effective and efficient manner
  • Provide such additional information as deemed
    appropriate by VA

30
30
31
II. SSVF Program Overview Program Changes
  • Changes After Grant Award
  • Significant Changes submit to VA written
    request BEFORE implementing a significant change
    if VA agrees, will issue an amendment. Examples
  • Change in grantee or any identified
    subcontractors
  • Change in area or community served
  • Additions or deletions of supportive services
    being provided
  • Change in category of participants served
  • Change in budget line items more than 10 of
    grant award
  • Key Personnel Changes/Address Changes inform VA
    within 30 days
  • Corrective Action Plan (CAP) VA may require CAP
    if
  • On a quarterly basis, actual grant expenditures
    vary from amount disbursed
  • Actual grant activities vary from description in
    grant agreement

31
31
32
II. SSVF Program Overview QA
Questions and Answers on SSVF Program Overview
32
32
33
15 Minute Break
33
33
34
III. Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) Overview
34
35
III. NOFAWhat is a NOFA?
  • What is in an SSVF Program NOFA?
  • Location for grant application
  • Date, time, and place for submitting completed
    applications
  • Estimated amount and type of grant funding
    available
  • Any priorities for or exclusions from funding
  • Length of term for the grant award
  • Minimum number of total points and points per
    category that must be received in order to be
    funded
  • Any maximum uses of grant funds for specific
    supportive services
  • Timeframes and manner for payments under the
    grant
  • Other information necessary for the grant
    application process

35
35
36
III. NOFAApplication
  • Application Availability
  • Application package is posted on the SSVF website
    (http//www1.va.gov/homeless/SSVF.asp) includes
    PDF file and Excel file (Attachment B)
  • Application Deadline
  • Five copies of application (prepared in
    accordance with NOFA requirements) are due by
    400 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 11, 2011
  • May submit one application per state

36
37
III. NOFAAvailable Funding
  • Allocation (Section E of NOFA)
  • Approx. 50 million available for SSVF grants
    this year
  • Maximum allowable grant size is 1 million per
    year per grantee
  • Propose and justify the appropriate grant amount
    for your project
  • Supportive Services Grant Award Period (Section F
    of NOFA)
  • SSVF grants awarded this year will be for a
    one-year period
  • If funding allows, a future NOFA may be issued to
    enable grantees to renew their grant through a
    simplified application process

37
38
Requirements for the Use of SSVF Grant Funds
(NOFA Section G)
III. NOFAUses of SSVF Grant Funds
lt10 Admin
lt10 Admin
20-35 (Categ. 1 Residing in Perm. Housing)
60-75(Categs. 2 3 Transitioning from
Homelessness to Perm. Housing)
60-75
Note Maximum of 30 of supportive services
costs may be used for temporary financial
assistance paid directly to a third party on
behalf of a participant for child care,
transportation, rental assistance, utility-fee
payment assistance, security deposits, utility
deposits, moving costs, and emergency supplies in
accordance with 62.33 and 62.34 of Final Rule.
39
III. NOFAApproach
  • Approach (NOFA Section C) Insight into VAs
    Expectations
  • Leverage grant funds to enhance housing stability
    of very low-income Veteran families occupying
    permanent housing
  • Encouraged to establish relationships with
    Continuum of Care
  • SSVF Program not intended to provide long-term
    support for participants, nor will it be able to
    address all the financial and supportive services
    needs of participants that affect housing
    stability partnerships and referrals are
    critical (e.g. HUD-VASH, HUDs Housing Choice
    Voucher programs, McKinney-Vento funded
    supportive housing programs, TANF)

39
40
III. NOFAVAs Goals Objectives
  • Goals and Objectives for Awards under NOFA (NOFA
    Section J)
  • Enhance the housing stability and independent
    living skills of very low-income Veteran families
    occupying permanent housing across geographic
    regions
  • Rapidly re-house or prevent homelessness among
    the following target populations who also meet
    all requirements for being part of a very
    low-income Veteran family occupying permanent
    housing
  • Veteran families earning less than 30 of area
    median income (AMI) as most recently published by
    HUD (http//www.huduser.org)
  • Veterans with at least one dependent family
    member
  • Chronically homeless Veteran families
  • Formerly chronically homeless Veteran families

40
40
41
III. NOFAGuidance
  • Guidance (NOFA Section H)
  • When serving participants in category 1, ask
    Would this individual or family be homeless but
    for this assistance?
  • Review risk factors in NOFA
  • May want to focus on housing stabilization
    linking to community resources and mainstream
    benefits development of a plan to prevent
    housing instability temporary financial
    assistance
  • When serving participants in categories 2 and 3,
    may want to focus on
  • Housing counseling
  • Assisting participants to understand leases
  • Securing utilities
  • Making moving arrangements
  • Representative payee services concerning rent and
    utilities
  • Mediation and outreach to property owners related
    to locating or retaining housing
  • Rental assistance, deposits, moving costs,
    emergency supplies

41
41
42
III. NOFAPayments of SSVF Grants
  • Payments of Supportive Services Grant Funds (NOFA
    Section L)
  • Payments will be made to grantees electronically
    via the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) Payment Management System
  • Grantees may request payments as frequently as
    they choose, subject to the following limitations

Time Period Limitation on Cumulative Requests for Grant Funds
During 1st Qtr of Grant Award Period May not exceed 35 of the total grant award without written approval by VA
End of 2nd Qtr of Grant Award Period May not exceed 60 of the total grant award without written approval by VA
End of 3rd Qtr of Grant Award Period May not exceed 75 of the total grant award without written approval by VA
End of 4th Qtr of Grant Award Period May not exceed 100 of the total grant award
42
43
III. NOFAMonitoring and Reporting
  • Monitoring and Reporting (NOFA Section M)
  • Grantees will have VA liaison who will provide
    oversight and monitor supportive services
    provided to participants.
  • Grantees must submit quarterly and annual
    financial and performance reports.
  • Grantees must provide each participant with
    satisfaction surveys (to be provided by VA),
    which will be submitted directly to VA, 45-60
    days after entry and within 30 days of exit from
    the grantees program.

43
43
44
III. NOFAHMIS
  • Entering Data into HMIS (NOFA Section M)
  • Grantees must enter data into a Homeless
    Management Information System (HMIS) web-based
    software application. Client-level data must be
    exported to VA on a regular basis.
  • Makes standard data collection procedures easier.
  • Able to compare broader range of programs,
    helping to identify best practices.
  • Better understand the needs of all homeless
    persons and unique characteristics of Veterans.
  • Opportunity to better coordinate services across
    VA and community run programs.

44
44
45
IV. Application Review
45
45
46
IV. Application Review Process
NOFA Issued
Applications Submitted
VA Performs Threshold Review Scores
Applications That Pass Threshold Review
VA Groups Applicants within Funding Priorities
(if applicable) Ranks Applicants within
Funding Priority Groups (if any)
Review of Additional Considerations
Applicants Selected
Grant Award Letters Issued
Grant Agreements Executed
1. Preference given to applicants who serve
Veteran families transitioning from homelessness
2. Equitable geographic distribution of grant
funds, as practicable
46
47
IV. Application Review Threshold Requirements
  • Threshold requirements
  • Application is submitted on time and is complete
  • Applicant is a non-profit organization or
    consumer cooperative
  • Proposed activities are eligible for funding
  • Proposed participants are eligible to receive
    supportive services
  • Applicant agrees to comply with the requirements
    in the Final Rule
  • Applicant does not have an outstanding obligation
    to the Federal government that is in arrears and
    does not have an overdue or unsatisfactory
    response to an audit
  • Applicant is not in default by failing to meet
    the requirements for any previous Federal
    assistance

Note Applicants must receive at least 60
cumulative points and at least one point per
category to receive a supportive services grant.
48
IV. Application Review Scoring Criteria
Scoring Criteria
Category Points Elements
Background, Experience, Qualifications and Past Performance 35 Background and organizational history Staff qualifications Organizational qualifications and past performance Experience working with Veterans
Program Concept and Supportive Services Plan 25 Need for program Outreach and screening plan Program concept Program implementation timeline Collaboration and communication with VA Ability to meet VAs requirements, goals, and objectives for the SSVF Program Capacity to undertake program
48
49
IV. Application Review Scoring Criteria (contd)
Scoring Criteria (contd)
Category Points Elements
Quality Assurance and Evaluation Plan 15 Program evaluation Monitoring Remediation Management and reporting
Financial Capability and Plan 15 Organizational finances Financial feasibility of program
Area and Community Linkages and Relations 10 Area or community linkages Past working relationships Local presence and knowledge Integration of linkages and program concept
49
50
QA
Questions and Answers on NOFA and Application
Review
50
50
51
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
Program Overview of Application and Grant
Writing Best Practices
  • www.csh.org

52
V. Application Overview and Technical Requirements
53
Application Requirements
  • Submission requirements
  • Submit 1 original 4 collated hard copies 1
    compact disc (CD) containing Application, all
    Exhibits and Attachment B Excel File
    toSupportive Services for Veteran Families
    Program Office, National Center on Homelessness
    Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201,
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • 1 original application in 3-hole binder 4
    unbound copies (paper-clipped) 1 CD
  • Sections and tabs, follow sequence in application
    checklist
  • Exhibits labeled and attached at the back of the
    application package
  • Requirement for submission of five hard copies
    and CD also apply to applicants who submit via
    Grants.gov
  • Applications must arrive as a complete package
  • An eligible entity may submit only one
    application per state
  • Format
  • 12-point Arial font
  • 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper
  • 1-inch margins
  • 25-page limit on narrative, section page limits
    covered in next slides

54
Structure of Application
Application Section Page Limit
Executive Summary 4 Pages
Section A Background, Qualifications, Experience, Past Performance of Applicant and Any Identified Subcontractors 5 Pages
Section B Program Concept Supportive Services Plan 5 Pages
Section C Quality Assurance Evaluation Plan 3 Pages
Section D Financial Capability Plan 5 Pages
Section E Area and Community Linkages and Relations 3 Pages
Section F Certifications 2 Pages
Note Narrative should be attached to each
section of the completed Application Form.
Application Form pages and exhibits do not count
towards narrative page limits.
55
Attachments and Exhibits
  • Attachment A Veterans Integrated Service
    Network (VISNs) Map
  • Attachment B Applicant Budget Template
    (Microsoft Excel File)
  • Exhibit I Eligible Entity Legal Authority
  • Exhibit II Applicant Organizational Chart
  • Exhibit III Evidence of Relationship between
    Applicant and Subcontractors
  • Exhibit IV Articles of Incorporation, Corporate
    Resolutions, Certified Partnership, Joint
    Venture, or LLC Agreement
  • Exhibit V Key Personnel Resumes
  • Exhibit VI Reference Contact Information
  • Exhibit VII Map of Program Area or Community
  • Exhibit VIII Previous Years Audited Financial
    Statements
  • Exhibit IX One Year Program Budget (Complete
    Attachment B)
  • Exhibit X (Optional) Documentation of Financing

56
Structure of Application
57
VI. Grant Writing Best Practices
58
Grant Writing Best PracticesMake the reviewer's
job easier!!
  • Follow exact format and submission requirements
  • Submit your application complete and on time
  • Label each section and sub-section clearly, use
    exact language from the NOFA and application
  • Use NOFA and scoring criteria terms (Section
    62.22 of Final Rule) to describe past experience,
    proposed program, and need
  • Provide citations and references for all
    statistics
  • Cross-reference information provided in
    earlier/later sections to avoid redundancy and
    keep under page limit summarize key points and
    then refer to other section for details

59
Grant Writing Best PracticesMake the reviewer's
job easier!!
  • Be specific, answer the who, what, when, how, and
    where for your past experience and any proposed
    plans
  • Dont assume the reader understands the issue,
    problem or the target populations needs
  • Dont philosophize or argue with the NOFA and
    applications assumptions
  • Be ambitious, but dont promise more than you can
    deliver your plan will seem unrealistic not
    well thought-out
  • Dont surprise the reader (e.g. staff positions
    should not appear in a budget that havent been
    discussed in other narrative or application
    sections)

60
Grant Writing Best PracticesShow, don't tell!!
Proposal Section Telling Showing
Need Our target city has many homeless and at-risk Veteran families who would benefit from the proposed supportive services program. According to the HUD 2009 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, our Continuum of Care counted 6,240 homeless individuals and families in 2009, a 4.4 increase over the prior year, while the rest of the nation enjoyed a 3.2 decrease in homelessness in this same period. Furthermore, Veteran homelessness is a major and growing issue for our community. Per the 2009 AHAR Homeless Veterans Supplement, there were 2,004 homeless Veterans in our target city in 2009, a 15 increase in one year.
Organi-zational Experience ABC nonprofit is uniquely qualified to provide services under the SSVF Program. We offer a wide variety of services and programs to Veterans in our local community. In operation since 2002, ABC Nonprofit serves 500 Veteran individuals and families annually through our food bank, soup kitchen, case management, addiction treatment, and employment services programs. Please see bullets below for a description of goals and services for each of these programs. While ABC does not directly provide housing to our clients, we have a close working relationship with XYZ housing provider and refer our homeless and at-risk Veteran clients for housing, having successfully referred 150 clients in the last year. We also have a strong partnership with LMO community health clinic and regularly refer our clients for medical and behavioral services at the clinic. In 2009, we referred 97 ABC clients to LMO where they received free medical check-ups and dental screenings.
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LUNCH (1 Hour)
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Executive Summary
VII. Application Sections in Detail
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Section A1 Background and Organizational History
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants, and any identified subcontractors,
    background and organizational history are
    relevant to the program.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    maintain organizational structures with clear
    lines of reporting and defined responsibilities.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have a history of complying with agreements and
    not defaulting on financial obligations.

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Key Considerations
  • Your Executive Summary should actually be
    completed last.
  • Provide highlighted information incorporated from
    Sections A-F.
  • This is the section where you want to provide a
    brief (4 page) overview of your entire
    application, so be discerning about the
    information you choose to highlight.
  • Note that much of the Executive Summary is check
    boxes and leaves fewer opportunities for
    narrative description, which you will capitalize
    on in the narrative portions of the application
    (Sections A-F).

66
Section A Background, Qualifications,
Experience, Past Performance of Applicant and
Any Identified Subcontractors
VII. Application Sections in Detail
(35 Points)
67
Section A1 Background and Organizational History
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants, and any identified subcontractors,
    background and organizational history are
    relevant to the program.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    maintain organizational structures with clear
    lines of reporting and defined responsibilities.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have a history of complying with agreements and
    not defaulting on financial obligations.

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Section A1 Background and Organizational History
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Organizational structure
  • Subcontractors
  • Applicant incorporation documents
  • Applicant overview
  • Any convictions, judgments, etc. against
    applicant

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Section A1 Background and Organizational History
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants, and any identified subcontractors,
    background and organizational history are
    relevant to the program.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    maintain organizational structures with clear
    lines of reporting and defined responsibilities.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have a history of complying with agreements and
    not defaulting on financial obligations.

70
Section A1 Background and Organizational History
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Alignment between your mission,
    services/programs, expertise, target groups and
    SSVF Program
  • Be specific in terms of current and past
    programs/services cite number of clients served,
    measurable outcomes, specific services provided,
    communities/neighborhoods served
  • Mention any awards or mentions that your
    organization/program/services have received
  • Mention who funds programs/services, contract
    performance, and repeat funders
  • If applicant would like VA to consider any
    subcontractors, along with the applicant, in
    evaluation of application, list as identified
    subcontractors
  • Note Applicant is not required to have
    identified subcontractors at time of application
  • Partnerships and use of Memorandums of
    Understanding
  • Enhance your application by partnering with
    subcontractors with specific expertise
  • Outline roles and responsibilities of
    subcontractors
  • Include guiding principles, responsibilities and
    scope of services for subcontractors

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MOUs Partnership
  • Outline roles and responsibilities of partners
  • Do not replace/substitute contracts
  • Iterative process
  • Include
  • Guiding principles
  • Responsibilities
  • Scope of services for partners
  • Funding
  • Terms

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Partnering with Other Service Provider(s) Asking
the Key Questions
  • What is your service philosophy and model for
    serving the target population?
  • What is your area of expertise in serving the
    target population?
  • Who will make up the service team, and how will
    they be deployed?
  • Is the engagement strategy proven to be effective?

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Partnering with Other Service Provider(s) Asking
the Key Questions
  • What necessary services for this population do
    you not provide?
  • How will you link participants to services not
    provided through your project?
  • How will the confidentiality of client
    information be handled?
  • What training will you provide for staff?

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Keys to Success
  • Similar mission and goals
  • Earn trust over time
  • Everyone contributes to the partnership
  • Clear and constant communication
  • In it for the long-haul
  • Sharing and collaboration
  • Mutual respect

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Section A2 Staff Qualifications
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants staff, and any identified
    subcontractors staff, have experience working
    with very low-income families.
  • Applicants staff, and any identified
    subcontractors staff, have experience
    administering programs similar to the SSVF
    Program.

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Section A2 Staff Qualifications
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Staff experience providing supportive services to
    very low-income families
  • Staff experience administering programs similar
    to proposed program
  • Staff resumes

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Section A2 Language from Application
  • .

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Section A2 Staff Qualifications
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Be specific about
  • staff roles in programs/projects,
  • target populations,
  • services provided,
  • timeframe for projects,
  • outputs and outcomes achieved,
  • funding sources, and
  • collaboration with other nonprofit and public
    agencies.
  • Highlight staff roles in program success and/or
    oversight
  • Applicant and subcontractor staff experience
    providing services to very low-income families,
    highlight any experience with HUDs Homelessness
    Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) or
    similar programs
  • Applicant and subcontractor staff experience
    administering programs similar in size and scope
    to the proposed program, any experience with HPRP
    or similar programs
  • Distinguish between staff experience and
    organizational experience
  • Attach resumes for key personnel in Exhibit V

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Section A3 Organizational Qualifications and
Past Performance
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have organizational experience providing
    supportive services to very low-income families.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have organizational experience coordinating
    services for very low-income families among
    multiple organizations, Federal, State, local and
    tribal governmental entities.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have organizational experience administering a
    program similar in type and scale to the SSVF
    Program to very low-income families.

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Section A3 Organizational Qualifications and
Past Performance
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Organizational experience providing supportive
    services to very low-income families
  • Organizational experience coordinating services
    for very low-income families among multiple
    organizations
  • Organizational experience administering programs
    similar to proposed program provide 3 examples
  • References

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Section A3 Language from Application

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Section A3 Organizational Qualifications and
Past Performance
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Be specific about
  • target populations
  • services provided,
  • timeframe for projects,
  • outputs and outcomes, and
  • funding sources.
  • Describe collaboration with other nonprofit and
    public agencies (e.g. level of formality,
    monitoring, measures for success, goals,
    quantifiable results, challenges)

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Section A3 Organizational Qualifications and
Past Performance
  • Key Considerations ??? (Contd)
  • Emphasize programs that are similar in terms of
    size, scope, and target population to SSVF and/or
    HPRP
  • Distinguish between individual staff experience
    and organizational experience
  • List up to three examples of applicants
    experience in acting as the coordinator or lead
    for past programs similar in scope, size, and
    complexity to SSVF
  • List up to two examples for any identified
    subcontractor(s)
  • List three references for past performance as
    Exhibit VI, of relevant programs/projects in last
    10 years for applicant and any identified
    subcontractors, including name, title, oversight
    role, and contact information

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Section A4 Experience Working with Veterans
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants staff, and any identified
    subcontractors staff, have experience working
    with Veterans.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have organizational experience providing
    supportive services to Veterans.
  • Applicant, and any identified subcontractors,
    have organizational experience coordinating
    services for Veterans among multiple
    organizations, Federal, State, local and tribal
    governmental entities.
  •  

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Section A4 Experience Working with Veterans
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Staff experience working with Veterans
  • Organizational experience providing supportive
    services to Veterans
  • Organizational experience coordinating services
    for Veterans among multiple organizations
  •  

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Section A4 Language from Application
  •  

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Section A4 Experience Working With Veterans
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Define collaboration with other nonprofit and
    public agencies (e.g. level of formality,
    monitoring, timeframe, measures for success,
    goals, quantifiable results, challenges)
  • Highlight any relationship with VA or other
    public service entity
  • Applicant and any identified subcontractor staff
    experience working with Veterans
  • Applicant and any identified subcontractor
    organizational experience providing supportive
    services to Veterans
  • Applicant and any identified subcontractor
    organizational experience coordinating services
    for Veterans among multiple agencies, including
    VA
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the unique
    issues that face Veteran population

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Section A QA
Questions and Answers on Application Section A
Background, Qualifications, Experience Past
Performance of Applicant and Any Identified
Subcontractors
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Section B Program Concept Supportive Services
Plan
VII. Application Sections in Detail
(25 Points)
90
Section B1 Need for Program
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicant has shown a need amongst very
    low-income Veteran families occupying permanent
    housing in the area or community where the
    program will be based.
  • Applicant understands the unique needs for
    supportive services of very low-income Veteran
    families.

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Section B1 Need for Program
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Describe the location where the Program will
    operate, name counties, parishes, municipalities
    and/or tribal lands to be targeted
  • List Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN)
    for target area (see Attachment A)
  • Identify the geographic regions for the target
    area/community (e.g. urban, rural, tribal land,
    other)
  • Estimate total number of Veteran homeless
    families in the target area/community
  • Estimate total number of very low-income Veteran
    households who are at-risk of homelessness in the
    area
  • Describe needs and characteristics of the very
    low-income Veteran families who would be eligible
    for services under the proposed SSVF Program

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Section B1 Need for Program
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Section B1 Need for Program
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Section B1 Need for Program
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Define your area in a way that justifies your
    grant amount
  • Needs cited should align with your proposed
    program concept
  • i.e. Every need cited in this section must be
    addressed by one or more of your proposed program
    components. Similarly, every program component
    mentioned in Section B3 should tie back to one or
    more of the needs described in Section B1
  • Rely on statistics but also show that you know
    your target population from your own
    on-the-ground experience
  • Provide context for incidence of Veteran
    homelessness in target area, define the
    environmental context (e.g., overall poverty
    rate, median household income, availability of
    affordable housing, etc.)
  • Include a map of the targeted community or area
    as Exhibit VII
  • Cite all references for statistics.

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Section B1 Need for Program
  • Key Considerations ??? (Contd)
  • Carefully review and incorporate VA CHALENG
    report results (among other sources) for your
    area http//www1.va.gov/homeless/chaleng.asp
  • Also reference data from VA and HUD Annual
    Homeless Assessment Reports (AHARs), HMIS,
    National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans,
    and the American Community survey, as applicable
  • http//www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/ahar.pdf
  • http//www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/hmis
  • http//www1.va.gov/homeless/NationalCenter.asp
  • http//www.census.gov/acs/www/

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Section B2 Outreach and Screening Plan
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicant has a feasible outreach and referral
    plan to identify and assist very low-income
    Veteran families occupying permanent housing that
    may be eligible for supportive services and are
    most in need of supportive services.
  • Applicant has a plan to process and receive
    participant referrals.
  • Applicant has a plan to assess and accommodate
    the needs of incoming participants.

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Section B2 Outreach and Screening Plan
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Narrative describing plan to identify and assist
    those very low-income Veteran families most in
    need
  • Processing and screening plan (including list of
    screening questions to be used)
  • Description of referral process for ineligible
    Veteran families
  • Explanation of needs assessment for incoming
    participants

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Section B2 Language from Application
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Section B2 Outreach and Screening Plan
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Answer the who, what, where, when, how for your
    outreach, screening, and referral activities
    (e.g., which staff will do what, where will
    outreach occur, when/how often, from which
    organizations will you receive referrals, to
    which agencies will you refer ineligible
    families?)
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the target
    population through your outreach plan
  • Think through the screening questions and process
    in detail, show your careful consideration of how
    to determine and verify eligibility
  • Describe your strategy for identifying those most
    in need, including those most at-risk of
    homelessness (reference Section H of NOFA)

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Section B2 Outreach and Screening Plan
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Some things to incorporate into your screening
    questions
  • Histories of Homelessness
  • Linkages to Mainstream Benefits (TANF, Medicaid,
    Food Stamps)
  • Linkages to VA Benefits (Service Connected,
    DD214)
  • Verification of Mental or Physical Disability
  • Verification of Household Income
  • Family Composition
  • Need for Program (economic hardship, disability,
    etc.)
  • Verification of Date of Birth

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Section B2 Outreach and Screening Plan
EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL OUTREACH LOCATIONS / REFERRAL SOURCES EXAMPLES OF POTENTIAL OUTREACH LOCATIONS / REFERRAL SOURCES
Veterans Justice Outreach Program (VJO) Local Shelters and Day Centers
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) / Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA) Street Outreach
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) Employment Focused Mainstream Lending Institutions (Banks, Fannie Mae, LISC)
Veterans Courts Local School Systems and After School Programs
Legal Aid Local Churches and Faith Based Programs
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Outreach Strategies
  • Use of dedicated staff to conduct outreach in
    community and in-reach into institutional
    settings (e.g. jails, hospitals, etc.)
  • Linkages to existing emergency homeless response
    systems (shelters, street outreach teams, etc.)
  • Linkages to Public InfoLines (e.g. 2-1-1, 3-1-1)
    where callers use a set of keywords that trigger
    referring to program
  • Other ideas?

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Section B3 Program Concept
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants program concept, size, scope, and
    staffing plan are feasible.
  • Applicants program is designed to meet the needs
    of very low-income Veteran families occupying
    permanent housing.

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Section B3 Program Concept
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Proposed program concept, size, scope and
    staffing
  • Narrative on 4 required supportive services to be
    provided (outreach, case management, VA benefits,
    other public benefits)
  • Narrative on optional supportive services
    (temporary financial assistance or other
    supportive services) to be provided (if any)
  • Staffing plan
  • Housing model in which services are provided
  • Describe frequency of engagement of services
  • Housing and service coordination
  • Confidentiality
  • Safety protocols and procedures
  • Individual goal setting/service philosophy

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Section B3 Program Concept
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Section B3 Language from Application
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Section B3 Program Concept
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Answer the who, what, where, when and how for all
    program components
  • Potential service models (HPRP, Critical Time
    Intervention, Permanent Supportive Housing
    Service Enhancements)
  • Cite evidence-based practices and service
    approaches to be employed (service needs
    assessments, motivational interviewing, peer
    mentoring, PTSD screening, trauma-informed
    practices)
  • Connecting to VA benefits
  • Linkage to mainstream benefits
  • Complete and include check box responses
    contained in application
  • Consideration of different types of program
    settings (single site vs. scattered site, etc.)
  • Consideration of whether and how to provide
    direct temporary financial assistance
  • Plan and process for how confidentiality and
    safety of participants will be assured

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SSVFs Premise and Components
Homelessness and Unstable Housing Settings
Appropriate Permanent Housing Settings
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Structuring your Program Concept
  • All proposed programs MUST provide the following
    4 services
  • 1. Outreach
  • 2. Case Management
  • 3. Assistance in Obtaining VA Benefits
  • 4. Assistance in Obtaining and Coordinating
    Other Public Benefits
  • Note Other Optional Services are available
    for provision as well, including temporary
    financial assistance, subject to the restrictions
    in the Final Rule and the NOFA.

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Importance of Partnerships for Referrals
  • Even if you dont formally partner with another
    agency to provide services, you will need to have
    referral sources for outside services.
  • Outreach to referral organizations
  • Include
  • Local Continuum of Care
  • VA Service Network
  • Local Faith Based Organizations
  • Local School Systems
  • Other Ideas?

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Innovative Service Models
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Potential Service Models
  • Services that are client-driven and
    client-centered
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Critical Time Intervention (CTI)
  • Peer Mentoring

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Motivational Interviewing
  • Establishing rapport with the client and
    listening reflectively.
  • Asking open-ended questions to explore the
    clients own motivations for change.
  • Affirming the clients change-related statements
    and efforts.
  • Eliciting recognition of the gap between current
    behavior and desired life goals.
  • Asking permission before providing information or
    advice.
  • Responding to resistance without direct
    confrontation. (Resistance is used as a feedback
    signal to the therapist to adjust the approach.)
  • Encouraging the clients self-efficacy for
    change.
  • Developing an action plan to which the client is
    willing to commit.
  • Resource website
  • http//www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?
    id130

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Case Management Models Critical Time
Intervention (CTI)
  • Time-limited case management model
  • Ensure housing stability through transitional
    services
  • Services reduced over time as individuals exit
    institutional systems of care
  • Strengthen an individuals long-term ties to
    services, family, friends and other support
    networks
  • Reduce possibility of cycling into homelessness

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Case Management Models Critical Time
Intervention (CTI)
  • Lasts no more than 9 months
  • Broken down in to 3, three-month phases
  • Transition to Community
  • Try-Out
  • Transfer of Care
  • Resource Website
  • http//www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?
    id125

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Peer Mentoring
  • Typically administered by a central service
    provider organization
  • Training certification provided to participants
    to ensure mentors have resources and tools to
    assist fellow Veterans
  • Peer mentoring programs should be blended with a
    large number of community partners and services
    to ensure mentors have access to referral sources
    to link their fellow Veterans.

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Benefits of Peer Mentoring
  • More knowledge about PTSD, TBI, shared experience
  • Better ability to cope with the consequences of
    war-related illnesses, including depression and
    sadness
  • Improved quality of life
  • Social support from family, friends, and
    community
  • Coping with anger and anxiety

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Section B4 Program Implementation Timeline
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicants program will be implemented in a
    timely manner and supportive services will be
    delivered to participants as quickly as possible
    and within a specified timeline.
  • Applicant has a hiring plan in place to meet the
    applicants program timeline or has existing
    staff to meet such timeline.

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Section B4 Program Implementation Timeline
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Table describing programs implementation
    timeline
  • Implementation Plan (narrative)
  • Narrative around potential implementation
    obstacles

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Section B4 Program Implementation Timeline
121
Section B4 Program Implementation Timeline
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Note services you already provide and would
    leverage for the SSVF Program
  • Adhere to VA guidance on timeline for program
    implementation (begin outreach within 30 days of
    grant execution program fully operational within
    60 days)
  • Be ambitious but realistic dont over-promise
    and set yourself up for failure
  • Note other program/projects that you were able to
    set up and/or operationalize within a similar
    timeframe
  • Develop a hiring plan if you need to hire staff
    to implement the program

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Sections B5-B7 Collaboration with VA, Meeting VA
Goals, and Capacity to Undertake Program
  • Scoring Criteria
  • Applicant is committed to ensuring that its
    program meets VAs requirements, goals and
    objectives for the SSVF Program as identified in
    the Final Rule and the NOFA.
  • Applicant has sufficient capacity, including
    staff resources, to undertake the program.

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Sections B5-B7 Collaboration with VA, Meeting VA
Goals, and Capacity to Undertake Program
  • Application Subsection Summary
  • Include plan for coordination and communication
    with local VA facility
  • Describe how the programs design, implementation
    and evaluation will meet the goals, requirements
    objectives outlined in the NOFA Final Rule
  • Estimate percent of Veteran participants who are
    homeless and transitioning to permanent housing
  • Specify what percentages of participants served
    will comprise the target populations set out in
    NOFA
  • Describe applicant teams ongoing project/program
    commitments

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Sections B5-B7 Collaboration with VA, Meeting VA
Goals, and Capacity to Undertake Program
125
Sections B5-B7 Collaboration with VA, Meeting VA
Goals, and Capacity to Undertake Program
  • Key Considerations ???
  • Have you already worked with VA? Will your SSVF
    Program build on that working relationship?
  • If not, have you reached out to VA to gain their
    support for the proposed program? Note Section
    E requests letter of support from local VA
  • What will collaboration with the VA look like
    under your proposed SSVF program? Answer the who,
    what, where, when, and how for how your SSVF will
    work with the VA.
  • Be specific, show your knowledge of local VA
    services and processes
  • Target populations and percentages should line up
    with needs identified in Section B1
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