Help end chronic homelessness in Chattanooga for good

The member organizations of the Chattanooga Interagency Council on Homelessness seek a
qualified organization to create a new program that provides housing navigation and intensive
case management services to approximately 383 individuals and 61 families who are
chronically homeless.

Questions and Answers concerning this RFP


Q: Will the designated vouchers be subject to the same restrictions as other CHA vouchers?  Specifically, I’m curious if the restrictions will include things like denial for those with debts to CHA, a five-year waiting period for persons having been evicted from CHA, and zero-admittance for those on the SOR as well as those with other various convictions

A: Multiple sources of housing subsidies may be used for the purposes of housing individuals in the program. Individuals can qualify for Continuum of Care vouchers (which can be used for people on SOR) or Housing Choice Vouchers through CHA. The program will also be able to utilize the newly established Flexible Housing Fund for help with past CHA debt that may help eliminate that barrier.


Q: It appears that the agency selected will need to utilize at least part of staff time to assist with fundraising for the two positions (care manager and housing navigator)? Am I understanding that this will be a cost on part of the agency that will not be included in coverage by the funds raised?

A: That is correct that upfront staff time to assist with fundraising will be needed until the program has raised enough for launch. The City and other CICH partners are committed to helping build relationships with investors, potentially contribute themselves, and assist with funding applications.


Q: Is the City committing any start-up or ongoing operational funds to this initiative (not including Sam Wolfe's role and that of the City's outreach staff)? If so, will those funds be subject to the budgeting-for-outcomes process after year one?

A: Tyler Yount and Sam Wolfe will be submitting a Budgeting for Outcomes offer for partial funding for this program in next year’s budget. All City budget allocations to agencies must go through the Budgeting for Outcomes Process each year.


Q: Can you give more detail about the CICH's capacity for providing fundraising support? The RFP requires the applicant to submit its own vision for this partnership, but it would be helpful to know how the CICH envisions its own capacity for such a collaboration, especially given limited staff dedicated to the initiative and the potential for fundraising for this project to compete with solicitations to the same sources by CICH member organizations.

A: Several potential funders of this initiative are CICH members including the City of Chattanooga, Maclellan Foundation, United Way, Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition, and Hamilton County.  Additional foundations have been briefed and updated on the CICH plan and major opportunities for funding including this program by CICH Co-Chairs, Mayor Berke, and CICH support staff. CICH support staff and leadership will identify potential funders, assist in arranging meetings with funders, attend meetings with funders, and assist with funding applications.


Q: Apart from the City's Homeless Program Coordinator, will there be any person or organization in CICH responsible for providing fundraising support for the chosen provider?

A: Tyler Yount and Sam Wolfe both will be responsible for providing fundraising support for the chosen provider. CICH members who are not competing agencies but support the program may also assist with parts of fundraising. CICH is also currently looking for a backbone organization who would hire at least one full time staff person that will provide fundraising support.


Q: If there are costs associated with fundraising itself prior to the launch of services, how does CICH anticipate that the chosen provider will cover them?

A: If the provider anticipates costs for fundraising necessary in addition to what CICH and the agency are able to provide currently, then the agency should include development costs as part of the overhead in the program budget and use part of the funds raised for these expenses.


Q: Who will confirm that qualifying individuals and families are chronically homeless for the purposes of this program? Will that process of confirmation include gathering the documentation required to confirm that status (as for HUD-funded programs)?

A: Other agencies and the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition may gather documentation to confirm chronic status prior to referral. Any household without proper documentation would not be referred through coordinated entry.


Q: What is the maximum amount of time (6 months? 1 year?) that will be allowed for initial fundraising, before services must begin? Does the CICH envision a fundraising threshold at which program services must begin (e.g., 50% of 2-year budget)?

A: The agency should plan on having fundraising completed by January 2021 for at least 1 year of services, with the ultimate goal of raising enough for 2 years of operations.


Q: What ongoing role, if any, will CICH play in ensuring that program services are funded beyond the reach of the funds jointly raised for the first 2 to 3 years of operations? If CICH involvement is limited beyond that timeframe, will the selected agency be expected to meet deliverables set by CICH, or will deliverables be specified only by funders? What is the term of this arrangement?

A: In the long term, CICH members aim to designate a backbone organization other than the City of Chattanooga to provide staffing support for continuous performance management and fundraising of CICH initiatives. If for any reason CICH is dissolved, then the agency will no longer be expected deliverables set by CICH, only those specified by funders.


Q: When is the informational session mentioned on page 4 of the RFP?

A: The information session was removed prior to the publication of the RFP. The reference was included in error. 


Q: The meaning of this sentence on page 4 is unclear--can you clarify it? "Specifically, CICH members of the group tasked with developing this RFP will be points of contact for the selected agency will be Sam Wolfe--Homeless Program Coordinator--City of Chattanooga. "

A: This was an error in the document. This sentence should read, “Sam Wolfe, Homeless Program Coordinator for the City of Chattanooga, will be the primary point of contact for the selected agency.”


Q: Can the responding agency to the CICH RFP apply for BFO funds to assist in staffing the initiative? 

A: Yes


Q: I’m also wondering if this is an RFP for someone/agency to take the lead in these efforts or to be the sole provider of housing navigation.

A: This RFP is for an agency to take the lead in expanding housing navigation and supportive services for people experiencing chronic homelessness. CICH members and community stakeholders who helped create the CICH Action Plan have set a goal to expand these services and are looking for a partner they can support and assist in fulfilling this goal. This provider would not be the sole provider of housing navigation. The CICH Plan also calls for housing navigation for non-chronically homeless individuals and families and the City of Chattanooga has taken the lead to fulfill that goal and has hired housing navigators for this sub-population.


Q: Under the minimum requirements it is stated that organization needs 5 employees dedicated to this program. Is that due to the anticipated case load? Could a program be effective with fewer employees?

A: The staffing levels are based off the anticipated case load. While the applicant is free to shape their proposal with whatever staffing level they feel is appropriate, best practices dictate show that programs with a maximum caseload of 30 are most effective.