Request for Proposal IRFP) for Title XX and DFI, Services for DHS Open Door Program (Region 4)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Office of the Assistant Secretary
Divisions of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Developmental Disabilities, Family & Community Services, Mental Health, and Rehabilitation Services


Request for Proposals (RFP) for Title XX and DFI - Services for DHS Open Door Program

Table of Contents


  1. Date of Issuance
  2. Issuing Organizational Unit
  3. RFP Availability
  4. Due Date, Location and Time of Proposal Opening
  5. Audit Submission Requirements
  6. Proposal Submission Requirements
  7. Eligible Applicants
  8. Questions and Answers
  9. Award Process
  10. Review Panel
  11. Estimated Length of Agreement
  12. Withdrawal Disclaimer
  13. Modifications to Proposals by Applicants
  14. Modifications to Proposals by DHS
  15. Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS
  16. DHS Grants Information Conference
  17. Late Proposals
  18. Protests
  19. Commencement of Service
  20. Public Information
  21. Contract
  22. Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements
  23. Training and Technical Assistance
  24. Congressional and Legislative Districts
  25. Additional Information
  26. Sectarian Issue
  27. Background Checks
  28. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate
  29. Hiring and Employment Policy


  1. Intent of the RFP
  2. Department's Need for Services
  3. Mandatory Requirements of Applicants
  4. Award Amount
PROPOSAL CONTENT (Evaluated and Scored Content)
  1. Organization Qualifications/Organizational Capacity
    • Organization's Mission Statement
    • Organization's History and Background
    • Organizational Experience
    • Organizational Capacity
  2. Program Plan
    • Program Description
    • Target population
    • Community outreach and collaboration
  3. Evaluation and monitoring
  4. Budget and budget justification
  5. Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plan
  6. Bonus Points
    • Collaborations
    • Multiple Need Customers


Attachment A - Applicant Cover Sheet

Attachment B - Proposal Content Checklist

Attachment C - Budget Forms and Instructions

Attachment D - Allowable Costs

Attachment E - Bureau of Title XX Guidelines and Procedures

Attachment F - Linguistic and Cultural Competence Guidelines

Part I

  1. Date of Issuance
    • December 13, 2013
  2. Issuing Organizational Unit:
    • Illinois Department of Human Services
      Office of the Assistant Secretary
      401 S. Clinton St. 7th Floor
      Chicago, IL 60607
    • Contact Person: Halle Ritter-Levy, Director of Open Door
    • All questions about the contents of the RFP may be directed to Halle Ritter-Levy via email at the Title of the RFP in the Subject Box of your email.
  3. RFP Availability
    • Copies of this RFP may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) website at
  4. Due Date, Location and Time of Proposal Opening
    • Applications must be received no later than Tuesday, February 11, by 4 pm. The proposal container will be time-stamped upon receipt. All Applicants should add the procurement name outside of the proposal.
    • When submitting the application please include two (2) originals and four (4) copies to the address listed below. The signatures on the original proposals should be in blue ink. Also please include one (1) CD with the proposal saved in a word document format and PDF format.
    • Please mail your completed grant applications to the following address:
      • DHS Procurement Office
        Illinois Department of Human Services
        401 North 4th Street, 2nd floor
        Springfield, Illinois 62701
  5. Audit Submission Requirements
    • All organizations applying for state funds must submit one (1) copy of their latest three-year audited financial statement(s) as part of their proposal. DHS will use the audit to ascertain the fiscal health of Applicants.
    • While the audit will not be scored as part of the review DHS reserves the right to use the information in the audit to assist in the final recommendation for funding. Applicants are expected to demonstrate through their audits a strong financial position and an ability to obtain funding outside of the public sector.
    • Units of government (such as cities and counties, schools, health departments, etc.) do not need to submit an audit.
  6.  Proposal Submission Requirements
    • To be considered to serve as an Open Door host site, proposals must be in the possession of the Department of Human Services (DHS) staff at the specified location indicated in Section D. The deadline will be strictly enforced without exception. In the event of a dispute, the Applicant bears the burden of proof that the application was received on time and at the location listed in Section D.
    • All applications must be typed on 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper using 12-point type and at 100% magnification (not reduced). With the exception of letterhead and stationery for letter(s) of support, the entire proposal should be typed in black ink on white paper. The program narrative must be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The program narrative must not exceed the specific page limits outlined in this RFP. The appendices, assurances, letters of support/collaboration and budget forms are NOT included in the page limitation.
    • The entire application, including appendices, must be sequentially page numbered. Proposals should be bound with a single staple or binder clip in the upper left-hand corner. Applicants must not use any other form of binding, including ring binders, spiral binders, report covers or rubber bands. Applicants must submit two (2) original unbound, clearly identified, originally signed proposal and four (4) copies of the proposal.
    • Not adhering to these guidelines for proposal submission constitutes grounds for proposal disqualification. Therefore, the Agency is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements.
  7. Eligible Applicants
    • The funding opportunity is not limited to those who currently have an Open Door contract award from the Department of Human Services (DHS). All public, private and/or not-for-profit community-based agencies are eligible to apply for funds under this Request for Proposal (RFP).
  8. Questions and Answers
    • Each applicant must have access to the Internet. The DHS website will contain information regarding the RFP. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the website and comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the RFP. "Frequently Asked Questions with Answers" will be posted on the DHS website at
  9.  Award Process
    • It is anticipated that Applicants will be notified by DHS regarding funding decisions in March, 2014. Applicants selected to serve as an Open Door host site will be notified in writing by letter from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. A Notice of Grant Award is not equivalent to an agreement with DHS to commence providing service. Successful applicants will receive the FY15 Community Service Agreement or an amendment thereto for their signature and return. The release of this RFP does not compel the Department of Human Services to make an award.
  10. Review Panel
    • Proposals will be reviewed by a panel comprised of staff from DHS and the Governor's Office. Panel members will initially read and evaluate applications independently using guidelines furnished by DHS and will subsequently participate in review panel meetings during which proposals will be reviewed and scored collectively.
    • DHS reserves the right to consider factors other than the Applicant's final score in determining final grant recommendations. Such factors may include (but are not limited to) geographic service area, Applicant's past performance, and/or degree of need for services.
  11. Estimated Length of Agreement
    • DHS estimates that the term of the agreement resulting from this RFP will be a three- year commitment with two year one year renewals. The three-year commitment will begin on July 1, 2014, and will continue through June 30, 2017. At the start of each new fiscal year mutual consent will be required of both parties. During the three-year time period renewal will be contingent upon the Provider's performance, adherence to program requirements, and the availability of funds.
  12. Withdrawal Disclaimer
    • The Department of Human Services may withdraw this Request for Proposal (RFP) at any time prior to the actual time a fully executed agreement is filed with the State of Illinois Comptroller's Office.
  13. Modifications to Proposals by Applicants
    • To make a modification to a proposal after it has been submitted, the Applicant must submit a complete replacement proposal package as described in Section D. The revised proposal must include a label stating "Revised Proposal" accompanied by a letter requesting that the replacement proposal be considered. The revised proposal must be received at the prescribed location by date and time listed in Item D.
  14. Modifications to Proposals by DHS
    • If it becomes necessary or appropriate for DHS to change any part of the RFP, a modification to the RFP will be available from the Department's (DHS) website: In case of such an unforeseen event, DHS will issue detailed instructions for how to proceed.
  15. Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS
    • As part of the review process, DHS may request an Applicant clarify its bid or proposal. An Applicant may not be allowed to materially change its bid or proposal in response to a request for clarification.
    • Discussions may be held to promote understanding of the Department's requirements and the Applicant's proposal and to facilitate arriving at a contract that will be most advantageous to the State considering price and other evaluation factors set forth in the RFP.
    • In the event that DHS knows or has reason to conclude that a mistake has been made, the Agency shall ask the Applicant to confirm the information. Situations in which confirmation should be requested include obvious or apparent errors on the face of the document or a price unreasonably lower than the price others submitted, or if the price is considerably high than what is currently paid for this type of services. If the Applicant alleges a mistake, the bid or proposal may be corrected or withdrawn following the conditions set forth by the State of Illinois.
  16. DHS Grants Information Conference
    • The elective Grants Information Conference will be scheduled on January 10, 2014. Attendance at the Grants Information Conference is not mandatory (formerly called Bidders Conferences). The Conference will be conducted via web-seminar. Additional information on the Grant Information Conference including the link to the webinar will be posted on the DHS Website.
  17. Late Proposals
    • Late proposals will not be opened or considered and will be automatically disqualified, but will be retained by DHS.
    • DHS will notify all Applicants whose proposals will not be considered because of lateness or non-compliance of proposal submission requirements.
  18. Protests
    • Applicants who object to any provision of the RFP or who believe their proposal was improperly rejected, the Applicant may submit a written protest of the Agency's action. DHS will consider all such written protests that are submitted according to the time periods specified below. Moreover, DHS will investigate all allegations and issue a written response.
    • The decision of the Agency is final. Protests must be in writing and will be considered filed when physically received by the Agency at the following address:
      • Ms. Kathy Ward, Senior Deputy General Counsel
        100 W Randolph, Suite 6-400
        Chicago, Illinois 60601
    • Protests must be filed within seven (7) calendar days after the Protestor knows or should have known of the facts giving rise to the protest.
  19. Commencement of Service
    • DHS is not obligated to reimburse applicants for expenses incurred prior to the final execution of the written contract. If the Applicant receives an award letter from the Secretary, then it is reasonable to assume that the Agency will be awarding the Applicant a contract. However, please be advised that no services can be reimbursed prior to the full and complete execution of the contract and filing with the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.
  20. Public Information
    • Some information submitted pursuant to this RFP is subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The Applicant chosen to serve as an Open Door host site must recognize and accept that any material marked proprietary or confidential that must be made a part of the contract may be considered open for public inspection. Price information submitted by the successful Applicants shall be considered public.
    • For proposals that are not selected for funding, only the list of those submitting proposals/responses shall be considered public. Reviewer names and Applicant scores may be made public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Any internal documentation used to determine grant selections will not be considered public information.
  21. Contract
    • The legal agreement between DHS and the successful Applicants will be in the form and format prescribed by DHS. The standard DHS Community Service Agreement will be used when contracting for services. Samples of this agreement may be found at If selected for funding, the Applicant will be provided a DHS Community Service Agreement for their signature and return.
  22. Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements
    • In order to assure accountability at all levels of service provision, the Illinois Department of Human Services implements the practice of performance-based contracting with its grantee agencies. The articulation and achievement of measurable outcomes assure that we are carrying out the most effective programming possible.
  23. Training and Technical Assistance
    • Programs must agree to receive consultation and technical assistance from authorized representatives of the Agency. Open Door host site staff, program administrators and collaborating partners will be required to be in attendance during DHS site visits. Open Door host sites will be required to attend meetings and trainings organized by DHS or a sub-contractor of DHS.
  24. Congressional and Legislative Districts
    • On the required Application Cover Sheet, the Applicant must provide, the Congressional District (by number), available at the following web site: and the Illinois House and Senate Legislative Districts (by number), available on the Illinois General Assembly web site at
  25. Additional Information
    • DHS reserves the right to request additional information that could assist the Agency with its award decision. Applicants are expected to provide the additional information within a reasonable period of time. Failure to provide the information could result in the rejection of the proposal.
  26. Sectarian Issue
    • Applicant organizations may not expend federal or state funds for sectarian instruction, worship, prayer, or proselytization. If the Applicant is a faith based or religious organization that offers such activities, these activities shall be voluntary for the individuals receiving services and offered separately from the program.
  27. Background Checks
    • Background checks are required for all Open Door host site program staff and volunteers who have one-on-one contact with children and youth. Funded programs will be required to have a written protocol on file requiring background checks, as well as evidence of their completion.
  28. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate
    • Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, adults working with children and youth under the age of 18 years old are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse and neglect. Funded programs must have a written protocol for identifying and reporting suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect.
  29. Hiring and Employment Policy
    • It is the policy of DHS to encourage cultural diversity in the work environment and to promote employment opportunities through its programs. The Agency's philosophy is that the program workforce should appropriately reflect the populations to be served, with special attention given to hiring individuals indigenous to those communities. Consistent with DHS policy, whenever a position becomes available, funded programs are encouraged to consider TANF clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the area of education and work experience.

Part II

  1. Intent of the RFP
    • The Department of Human Services (DHS) strives to assist Illinois residents to achieve self-sufficiency, independence and health to the maximum extent possible by providing customers with integrated services, promoting prevention and establishing measurable outcomes in partnership with the community at large.
    • DHS was created in 1997 to produce an integrated service delivery system readily accessible, responsible, and available to individuals and families in need. Since that time, DHS has sought to evolve its services system so that individuals and families in poverty and/or with multiple human service needs do not have to access different services at multiple, different entry points. With a more effective service delivery system, individuals and families can get the supports they need to become self sufficient.
    • In 2005, in an effort to move the Agency closer to the desired model of integrated service provision, DHS launched the "Smart Path… to a unified DHS" campaign. The campaign focused on developing and strengthening collaboration and integration activities so the agency could maximize its resources and improve efficiencies in partnership with local communities. One result of the initiative was the establishment of Open Door, a pilot project launched by DHS, in partnership with the Michael Reese Health Trust.
    • The Open Door pilot office began serving customers on the west side of Chicago in December of 2007. Shortly thereafter, four additional sites were opened around the state: Villa Park in March 2009, Rock Island in February, 2010, and Charleston, Marion, and West Frankfurt in February, 2011.
    • Embracing a "No Wrong Door" principle, Open Door was designed to offer a single entry point to serve customers with urgent and/or multiple needs. The program was built on the philosophy to support the whole person by meeting the customer's immediate needs and identifying and addressing additional, less urgent needs. Open Door was established as a comprehensive service delivery center to assist any individual or family in need of immediate services.
    • The Open Door program strives to remove unnecessary barriers in order to enable customers with multiple needs and those in emergency or crisis situations to receive the comprehensive services that they require. The Open Door model has demonstrated that through the provision of integrated, comprehensive, immediate services, customer outcomes are greatly improved and many individuals who receive Open Door assistance are able to become self-sufficient.
    • This integrated service delivery program strives to support customers who are facing crisis and provides services to customers facing barriers that prohibit them from accessing available services due to an inadequate/limited support system. Open Door's innovative model strives to eliminate systematic barriers that face vulnerable and high need populations.
    • The integrated model is based on the philosophy of meeting people in their communities, and providing those individuals with the information and services they need in the most efficient way possible so that they can attain self-sufficiency.
    • The Open Door program seeks to develop collaborations between DHS, State agencies, and other sectors of the human services system to provide comprehensive and integrated services in innovative, effective, and efficient ways. The model serves as a foundation for providing customers with improved access to services throughout the state. This integrated service model strives to fulfill the mission:
      • To embrace an innovative public/private partnership model of integrated services to promote maximum independence for the most vulnerable individuals and families in the state by streamlining services and providing access to multiple programs delivered in a holistic, strength based, cultural and linguistically appropriate one-stop welcoming environment.
    • Open Door is based on a customer centered model. While Open Door staff do not enroll customers in programs, through an integrated intake process, the staff are trained to assist customers in locating available services, identifying program availability and eligibility requirements, providing short-term case management and when necessary providing client subsidies to meet customer's emergency needs. Open Door strives to support the whole person by meeting the customer's immediate needs and identifying and addressing additional, less urgent needs.
    • Open Door strives to be:
      • Customer-Focused
      • Culturally Competent
      • Open and Collaborative
      • Integrated
      • Outcome-oriented
      • Accountable
      • Informed by Best-Practices
      • Committed to Customer Confidentiality
      • Linguistically appropriate
      • Innovative and Flexible
      • Efficient and Cost-Effective
    • Crucial components of this model include a strength-based and family centered intake assessment that guides the case management plan. Open Door mobilizes state services across multiple State agencies, and partners with community providers to help ensure access to needed supports in a welcoming environment. Providing a comprehensive range of services under one roof helped create self-sustaining and thriving communities.
    • Anyone residing in the immediate community can access Open Door services. For those living outside the immediate community, staff ensures that appropriate referrals are provided to the customer.
    • Open Door serves as a clearinghouse for services available in the community, and provides direct referrals, assessments and connection to services from the following State partners:
      • Illinois Department of Human Services
      • Illinois Department of Employment Security
      • Illinois Community College Board
      • Illinois Department on Aging
      • Illinois Department of Public Health
      • Illinois State Board of Education
      • Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
      • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
      • Illinois Housing Development Authority
    • The intent of this RFP is to fund the development and implementation of an Open Door site--a human services program that provides wrap-around services and meets the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations that reside in DHS' Region 4 communities.
    • The success of the Open Door programs in Chicago, Villa Park, Rock Island, Charleston, Marion, and West Frankfort has led DHS to seek a qualified applicant to collaborate with to develop and implement an Open Door program in DHS Region 4 Qualified applicants should have experience working with high-risk populations, a strong familiarity with DHS programs and local offices, and dynamic partnerships with other state agencies, social service providers and local municipalities in Region 4.
    • Open Door host sites are carefully selected based on their location and access to underserved, vulnerable, and immigrant communities. A host site is chosen based on factors including: fiscal capacity, high-quality service provision, strong relationships with the community, familiarity with triage and providing services to meet the immediate and critical needs of customers, and knowledge of the local service delivery system.
    • It is critical that each Open Door site has the necessary resources to be able to provide comprehensive, linguistically and culturally appropriate information about state services to a diverse community. For myriad reasons, immigrants and refugees do not typically utilize state services to the extent that they are able. As such, the state is seeking ways to make state services available in the places and in the manner that immigrants, refugees and all other underserved and Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations can easily access.
  2. Department's Need for Services
    • DHS is seeking applicants that can meet the goals and objectives of Open Door as stated in this RFP and also have extensive experience working with high-risk populations. Applicants with a strong familiarity of the programs and services available through local, state and federal social service providers in the target geographic area, including a familiarity with multiple DHS divisions, programs and services, will be viewed favorably.
    • DHS will look favorably on collaborative applications, including non-profit and governmental bodies that are partnering to provide an array of social support services. For those Applicants who are responding to the proposal as collaborative, applicants should clearly identify a lead agency with the capacity to financially and programmatically lead this endeavor. DHS will place a priority on proposals that address how they intend to outreach and provide services to underserved communities and populations.
  3. Mandatory Requirements of Applicants
    • Eligible Applicants - Public or not-for-profit agencies are eligible to apply for these funds.
    • Agency Experience - Qualified applicants should identify with the mission of DHS and the Open Door initiative. Additionally the Applicant should have experience working with high-risk populations, a strong familiarity with federal programs, state agencies, DHS programs including having existing relationships with their local Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC) Division of Rehabilitation Offices (DRS), and other social service community providers in the surrounding geographic area. Ideally, the host organization should be currently serving high-risk populations or be closely connected to an agency or agencies that serve customers with multiple and/or complex needs.
    • The Applicant organization should be able to demonstrate experience in the provision of case management, triage management, and experience providing needs assessments and direct assistance for customers who face barriers that prohibit them from accessing basis human needs. The applying organization must be able to demonstrate success in relation to customer case management.
    • If applying in partnership with another agency, the proposal should include the experience and capacity of each of its partner agencies.
    • Qualifications and Training - Staff assigned to the Open Door program must have the appropriate levels of education, experience and training to work with Open Door populations. Staff and administrators who work with the Open Door program must have a familiarity with DHS programs and services, and other local, State, Federal, and community services. Staff should have existing relationships with the network of service providers in Region 4, especially with community service providers in the immediate target area. Staff should have experience working with high-risk populations and specifically experience working with families and/or individuals facing crisis. Staff should have the appropriate training and resources to provide linguistic and culturally competent services to limited English proficient customers.
    • Each Open Door site will be mandated to adhere to Open Door protocol and policy as indicated in the Open Door Policy Manual. DHS will work with the host site to identify and provide any additional training required for Open Door staff to gain a thorough understanding of the DHS program divisions, their primary program and service offerings, and key provider agencies in the target community.
    • Policy and Procedure - Each Open Door site will be provided an Open Door Policy Manual that will give guidance of how to properly administer customer assistance, provide referrals, provide short-term case-management, administer client subsidies, conduct case reviews, close cases, and how to properly generate and submit mandated Open Door reports.
    • Information Services - Each Open Door site will be connected to the Open Door web- based database and will be required to use Open Door reporting forms when providing Open Door services as well as conducting day to day operations. Each program will be given access to the forms in electronic form and the forms will also be available as appendices in the Open Door Policy Manual.
    • DHS Information Systems require that the Open Door host sites must agree to comply with ADA requirements and the applicable requirements of the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Standards as posted at The host site, where possible, will conform to State technical standards. To view the State's Hardware and Software standards, refer to the following link: Applicants may log into the system by entering 'guestofstate' in the User Name field and 'illinois' in the password field.
    • Client Subsidies - A unique component of Open Door is that the program has the ability to offer immediate assistance to customers facing crisis via direct assistance services. Client subsidies are funds used to provide direct assistance to customers to address emergency situations such as a bus pass to get to a medical appointment, food items to meet immediate hunger needs, and cash assistance to prevent eviction.
    • The applicant's match dollars included in the Open Door program budget is required to include a line item for distribution of client subsidies. The minimum amount required annually towards the line item specified for the issuance of client subsidies is $5,000.00. The Open Door Policy Manual outlines the guidelines to follow when issuing client subsidies.
    • Program Evaluation - An important component of the Open Door model is program evaluation. As the Open Door develops and opens additional sites around the State, it is crucial for each Title XX supported Open Door site to incorporate an evaluation element into its program design. An evaluation component allows the site to track and analyze program effectiveness.
    • Each site will be required to track the same pieces of customer data so that all of the offices can compare and contrast its results and outcomes. Evaluation activities will encourage the offices to collect best practices and lessons learned. DHS will work with the host site to enlist the participation of an organization to develop and conduct the evaluation.
    • Staffing - Applicants shall delineate its Open Door staffing structure in order to achieve Open Door's set goals and objectives and include the desired educational background of staff to be employed for the Open Door program.
    • Cultural and Linguistic Competency - Overall, services must be provided in a culturally sensitive manner. Applicants must also describe its ability to meet the diverse linguistic and cultural needs of its target population. Please see and complete the attachment (Attachment F: Linguistic and Cultural Competency Guidelines).
    • Program Specific Mandatory Requirements - In order to be considered for funding, Applicants must include each of the following program specific mandatory requirements. Failure to provide any of the following may result in disqualification of the proposal. Other non-program specific requirements are found in Part 1 of this RFP.
      • If the applicant is a non-profit agency, proof of 501 c 3 status.
      • Service area of Applicant must fall within one or more of the Region 4 counties: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Greene, Hancock, Macoupin, Jersey, Logan, Macon, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, or Shelby. 
      • Proof of fiscal stability.
      • Ability to meet the 25% match required by the Title XX funds. The 25% match can include up to 15% in-kind match. $5,000.00 of the match must be earmarked for the provision of client subsidies. Evidence of stability includes at least three years financial statements or annual reports.
      • The Applicant must provide a statement indicating its understanding that as an Open Door host site, it must abide by the administrative guidelines as detailed in the Open Door Policy Manual.
      • The applicant must be able to adhere to technical specifications, including a statement agreeing to use the Open Door database and other mandatory report forms, and to comply with ADA requirements and the applicable requirements of the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Standards. The bidder must clearly state in their proposed solution where they deviate from State standards and the reason behind the deviation.
      • The applicant must provide an agreement to partner with an academic institution to conduct an evaluation of the efficacy of the integrated model of service delivery.
      • The applicant must provide a comprehensive Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plan.
  4. Award Amount
    • DHS anticipates awarding up to $105,000 to Open Door host sites. The required match is 25% of the total award, 15% of which may be in-kind. For DFI, Requests for Reimbursement with supportive reports are submitted to IDHS at the 100 percent level and reimbursed at 75%. Providers are to contribute 25% to meet the matching funds requirement. In order to calculate the match amount, applicants should multiply the total amount of funds requested by twenty-five percent. The result is the amount the applicant agency is responsible for matching. The matching funds may be comprised of cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions (no less than 10% cash and up to 15% In-Kind Match). (Please refer to Attachment C. for instructions to calculate the match amount).

PROPOSAL CONTENT (Evaluated and Scored Content)

Applicants must submit a proposal that contains the information outlined below. Each section must have a heading that corresponds to the headings listed below. If the Applicant believes that the subject has been adequately addressed in another part of the application narrative, then provide the cross-reference to the appropriate part of the RFP narrative. The narrative portion must follow the page guidelines and limits set for each section and must be in the specified order below. Exceeding the prescribed page limits is grounds for automatic disqualification.

  1. Executive Summary (2 page maximum) - Not scored
    • Total amount of funds requested.
    • Identification of the lead agency and partner agencies, if applicable, and the demonstrated capacity to deliver upon proposed objectives.
    • Description of the need for an Open Door site in the target community area including the rationale for choosing the target community.
    • Description of the target population and include the number of customers the program will serve with these funds during the fiscal year of operation.
    • Description of the community(s) or county(s) including names and addresses of relevant locations.
    • Overview of the current organizational mission, existing relationships with other service providers in the target community, and the additional services proposed.
  2. Organization Qualifications/Organizational Capacity (7 page maximum) - (55 points)
    • The purpose of this section is for the Applicant to present an accurate picture of the agency's ability to provide the services and capacity for community collaboration. Information in this section should include but not be limited to the following:
      1. Organization's Mission Statement (5 points)
      2. Organization's History and Background (10 points)
        • Description of primary programs and total number of clients served in each program.
        • Organization history, milestones, major achievements.
        • Geographic area served.
        • Description of how Applicant is rooted in the community(s) it proposes to serve.
      3. Organizational Experience (30 points)
        • Organization(s)' readiness and capacity for service delivery. Include any linkages that are already in place with other service providers.
        • Evidence that the Applicant is experienced and capable of carrying out the proposed program. Include experience working with high-risk populations, including ex-offenders, underserved populations, Immigrants, low income populations, individuals who are mentally ill, homeless, or struggling with substance abuse, or individuals with multiple or complex needs.
        • Description of the Applicant's ability to address customers with multiple service needs.
        • Ample evidence of the Applicant's familiarity DHS, State agencies and general operating procedures.
        • Evidence of staff qualifications. If training is needed, description of what those training needs are, as well as the Applicant's willingness to ensure that all staff in need of training will receive it prior to commencement of service delivery.
        • Description of procedures to ensure Open Door program staff is capable and sensitive to working with your target population.
      4. Organizational Capacity (10 points)
        • Evaluation and monitoring (a description of how the organization will evaluate whether it has achieved all measurable objectives contained herein).
        • Evidence of policies and procedures for conducting background checks of agency staff.
        • Description of Applicant's IT capabilities, including the ability to run the Open Door customer tracking systems and database programs.
        • The following organizational background items should be included as Appendices:
          • Appendix A: Resumes of the Applicant Executive Director and Program Director.
          • Appendix B: Job descriptions for all employee positions that will be funded with this grant and an indication of the percent of time those employees will spend in this program.
          • Appendix C: Organizational chart of the Applicant showing where the Open Door program and its staff will be placed. If subcontractors will be used, include the relationship with those organizations in the chart
  3. Program Plan (12 page maximum) - (50 points)
    1. Program Description - (10 points):  Provide an explanation of the Applicant strategy to provide the following services under the Region 4 Open Door initiative:
      • Crisis Management Services
        The Applicant must demonstrate that it has the ability to provide integrated, seamless service delivery to individuals who are of high-risk status and in crisis.
        A key component of the Open Door model is that if a customer is in an emergency/crisis situation, then he/she receives direct assistance and (if necessary) triage services immediately. Thus, the Applicant should discuss their ability to provide the following services:
        • Assistance with accessing critical medical prescriptions;
        • Assistance with linkage to local community mental health centers;
        • Ability to provide a referral to a homeless shelter or agency to assist with housing and/or advocacy regarding landlord or mortgage disputes;
        • Assistance with the provision of immediate hunger relief;
        • Assistance obtaining appropriate clothing;
        • Assistance with transportation to obtain critical services.
      • Case Management Services
        Applicant organizations must demonstrate its capability to offer extensive coordination of services for Open Door customers. This may include working directly with the customer to address his/her most pressing needs and developing a case management action plan designed to address the customer's long- term goals.
        Case management should include identifying and connecting the customer to appropriate referral sources as well as assistance with system navigation. The Applicant should demonstrate familiarity and experience with the following:
        • Knowledge of the nature of the target population needs;
        • Knowledge of social service casework methods, theory, techniques and principles;
        • Knowledge of eligibility and benefit programs and public services, particularly those available through Federal, State and local governmental agencies;
        • Functional understanding of the Open Door program;
        • Ability to facilitate and/or coordinate the provision of appropriate services to the customer in a streamlined and efficient manner so that the customer's needs are met quickly yet completely;
        • Ability to provide expedited referral services to customers needing immediate services;
        • Ability to conduct follow- up activities with the customer such as advocating on behalf of the customer, and facilitation of referrals and linkages to community providers for the continuance of service provision.
      • Referral Services
        The Applicant must be able to identify viable community service providers able to serve as referral sources in order to meet the customer's immediate and long-term needs. The Applicant should provide an in-depth narrative of its social service partner network, experience with making referrals to this network, capacity to facilitate appropriate referrals, and ability to conduct appropriate follow up activities.
        If available, the proposal should include any formal agreements with partner agencies to provide services to individuals referred through the Open Door.
      • Program Methodology
        • Description of how the Applicant plans to provide the range of Open Door services pertaining to the provision of crisis management, case management, and referral services in terms of method and strategies for each component.
        • Description of how the Applicant plans to build upon its existing relationships with State agencies, DHS providers and other state agencies and community providers.
        • Description of how the Applicant will provide a service model that meets the Open Door program goals and objectives while also meeting any additional, specific needs of the community.
      • Program Timeline
        Description of when the initial activities will begin planned dates for the following: Selection of program delivery site(s); Key meetings with partners; Development of program and organizational structure; Hiring of personnel and staff trainings.
    2. Target population (1.5 page maximum) - (30 points):
      • Description of the need for programming that addresses the needs of individuals and families facing issues such as poverty, homelessness, unemployment, hunger, and lack of medical resources. Description of the community status, including the prevalence and incidence rates of key indicators of overall status of the community, such as: number/ percent of low-income households, percent of welfare recipients, general economic status of the community, racial/ ethnic population demographics, prevalence of female-headed households, and high school drop-out rates.
      • Description of the need for Open Door services and the unmet need(s) of the target population in your geographic location.
      • Description of the specific population the Applicant plans to serve. Expected unduplicated number of customers to be served including ethnicity, gender and age.
    3. Community Outreach and Collaboration - (10 points):
      • Description of how the Applicant is rooted in the community it serves: If community linkages do not exist, describe how and when they will be established. If linkages do exist, letters of commitment and support from those entities will strengthen the proposal and should also be included.
      • Description of how the collaborative efforts will achieve program objectives: Describe involvement with existing collaborative relationships with community partners and governmental entities related to mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, domestic violence, urgent care service needs and unemployment.
  4. Evaluation and Monitoring (1 page maximum) - (20 points)
    • Each Open Door site will be required to track the same set of customer data so that all of the offices can compare and contrast customer outcomes. Evaluation activities will encourage the Open Door sites to collect best practices and lessons learned.
      • Description of the applicant's ability to provide data/information reports on a quarterly basis as prescribed by the Agency to evaluate the program. At a minimum, the Agency will conduct an annual guidance and technical assistance site visit.
      • Description of how the applicant will track the experiences and outcomes of Open Door customers and the implementation process.
      • Description of how the applicant will evaluate whether it has achieved all measurable objectives described above.
      • Descriptions of the Applicant's ability to provide detailed data on customer demographics and annual outcomes. Status reports will be due on the following dates:
        • Term 1 Status Report: June 30, 2015
        • Term 2 Status Report: June 30, 2016
        • Term 3 Status Report: June 30, 2017
  5. Budget and Budget Justification (5 page maximum) - (20 points)
    • Completion of the Budget Forms found in Attachment C. The budget should include line items for the applicant's match funds and client subsidies.
    • Completion of a Budget Narrative describing how appropriate resources and personnel have been allocated for the tasks and activities described. Narrative should include a description of the capacity of the applicant to contribute private funds to be used for client subsidies and meet other Title XX requirements. Applicants should provide the percentage and amount of funds to be used for administration and other services. Clearly present any staff training and start-up funds.
    • Reasonable start-up costs may be allowed, but the proposal must indicate how those activities would be completed in a one-year period.
    • Please note that no more than 20% of the total request may be used for administrative costs. "Administrative" means those activities performed by staff, and costs which are supportive of and required for the program, for which there is no direct client contact such as administrative and fiscal staff, clerical support, rent, utilities and general program equipment. Travel should also be included in administrative costs.
  6. Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plan (6 page maximum) - Not Scored
    • Complete the Linguistic and Cultural Competence Plan document found in the Attachments according to the outlined guidelines.
    • A scoring rubric will be used to evaluate applicant Linguistic and Cultural Competence Plans, which must meet the criteria outlined in the guidelines included in the Attachment.
    • For applicants selected through the RFP process, their Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plans must meet the criteria outlined in the Attachment.
      • Plan Development: Providers are required to develop a plan (the LCC Plan) to meet the Goal, which must include a description of the customer base served by the Provider.
      • Language Assistance Services: The LCC Plan should explain how the Provider will meet the needs of LEP Customers, either through direct assistance, use of private interpretation services or use of State-funded or other interpretation programs, via both short-term and long-term strategies. For example, a Provider may solicit, through all reasonable and available means, the services of a subcontractor to provide interpretation, translation or other services to assist the Provider in meeting the Goal.
      • Personnel Strategies: The LCC Plan should include a description of how the Provider will promote strategies to increase recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of personnel with bilingual and bicultural backgrounds representative of the target population served, such as establishing requirements for specific language skills in job descriptions and compensation for bilingual skills or American Sign Language skills.
      • Data-Driven Approach: Providers must incorporate data-driven rationale for the approach in its LCC Plan. Providers should collect customer data on race, ethnicity, and primary spoken language to ensure every effort is made to provide consumers with effective, understandable and respectful services provided in the consumers' preferred language and in a manner sensitive to cultural beliefs and practices. Providers should maintain current demographic and cultural profile of the community to plan for services that respond to the cultural and linguistic characteristics of the service area.
      • Additional Information: The LCC Plan should include any additional information that will aid DHS in assessing the Provider's ability to provide access to services for LEP Customers.
      • Contract Inclusion: If applicable based on the Provider's customer base, the LCC Plan should include any executed agreements specifying the terms and conditions of the relationship between the Provider and any entity providing language access support to programs, services, and activities to meet the Goal.
      • Plan Submission: The Applicant is required to submit to DHS its LCC Plan along with the proposal.
      • Plan Amendments: The Provider may amend the LCC Plan and provide written notice to the DHS of such amendment. The Provider must ensure that any amendments to the LCC Plan do not result in a reduction in access to programs, services, and activities for LEP Customers.
      • Plan Implementation: Once the initial LCC Plan has been submitted to DHS, in subsequent years, the Provider must provide an annual LCC Plan Implementation Progress Report at the time of contract execution, commonly July 1st. The LCC Plan Implementation Progress Report shall identify all goals met and describe any efforts made toward meeting additional goals still in progress.
  7. Bonus Points - 20 points
    1. Collaborations - Applications that can demonstrate a strong collaboration between local government agencies and community service providers will be viewed favorably. The Applicant must have a clearly identified lead agency that is financially and programmatically able to implement an Open Door site. The Application must be able to illustrate how the lead agency will provide service provision and the specific ways collaboration will occur with partnering organizations.
      • Collaborative Applicants
        • Each organization within the collaborative must provide:
          • Mission statement
          • Description of current programs and total number of clients served
          • Organization history and major achievements
          • Geographic area served
        • The collaboration narrative must clearly define what services are to be provided, by which organization, and how the coordination of those services will be managed. The narrative should also discuss how customer services will be tracked and what mechanisms will be used to ensure that customers receive their requested services in an efficient and timely manner.
        • Letters of commitment and/or Memorandums of Understanding for each participating collaborative agency.
    2. Multiple Need Customers - The Open Door initiative encourages agencies that are able to address the multiple needs of at-risk customers. As such, Applicants that have a strong familiarity with multiple state agencies, programs, and services - including multiple DHS Divisions - will be viewed favorably. Applicants should clearly describe which state and local agencies they are familiar with, the services and programs that the applicant participates in, and the total number of years that the relationship has existed.


Attachment A: Applicant Cover Sheet

Attachment B: Proposal Content Checklist

Attachment C: Budget forms and instructions

Attachment D: Allowable costs

Attachment E: Bureau of Title XX Guidelines and Procedures

Attachment F: Linguistic and Cultural Competency Guidelines