Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Human Services
2. Agency Contact: Ngoan Le, Illinois Department of Human Services/Bureau of Refugee & Immigrant Services @
3. Announcement Type: Initial announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 19-444-80-1493-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: Welcoming Center Program
7. CSFA Number: 444-80-1493
8. CSFA Popular Name: Welcoming Center
9. CFDA Number(s): Not applicable
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: 4 maximum
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: $181,417
12. Award Range To be determined based on number of applicants and service needs
13. Source of Funding: State
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: July 17, 2018
17. Closing Date for Applications: Noon on August 17, 2018
18. Technical Assistance Session:

Session Offered: Yes

Session Mandatory: No

Specify date and time:

@ 1 - 3 pm, Monday July 30, 2018

Illinois Department of Human Services

401 S. Clinton, Chicago, Illinois

RSVP by noon Wednesday, July 25, 2018 via

Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity

A. Program Description

In 2007, the Illinois Welcoming Center pilot project was launched to model the one-stop human service center designed to help immigrants navigate Illinois' human services delivery system. The pilot's goals included co-location of services and provision of service coordination at the local level so individuals with multiple needs can be provided with comprehensive services from one central location.

Over the course of nine years, the Welcoming Center program has expanded to include community-based service providers. Welcoming Centers are expected to have the expertise to address cultural and language barriers, as well as knowledge on the wide range of public benefits and human services that can help Illinois immigrants meet immediate needs and overcome challenges that prevent them from achieving social and economic self-sufficiency.

The main features of Welcoming Centers include:

  1. One-stop center that provides linguistically and culturally sensitive case management and service coordination for immigrants and refugee individuals and families to help them secure services needed to become socially and economically self-sufficient.
  2. A strength-based and family-centered intake assessment that guides the service plan.
  3. Provision of community education workshops on topics of importance to help immigrants and refugee individuals and families learn about resources and information that can advance their successful integration.
  4. Monthly meetings with local service providers to address common challenges shared in the delivery of services to immigrants and refugee individuals and families, including limited-English-proficient (LEP) customers, to enhance service effectiveness and improve service coordination.

A Welcoming Center is expected to:

  • be equipped with the resources to work cooperatively with other organizations to provide services and assistance to the customer;
  • have a strong working knowledge of the target population's needs, knowledge of social casework methods, theory, techniques and principles;
  • have the ability to provide immediate and direct assistance for a range of problems including mental health issues, substance abuse, homelessness, hunger, and unemployment;
  • have the necessary resources to be able to provide comprehensive, linguistically and culturally appropriate information about state and community services to a diverse community; and
  • Serve walk-in customers as well as referred customers from another IDHS office, community providers, or community member.
  • Have the necessary resources to be able to provide comprehensive, linguistically and culturally appropriate information about state and community services to a diverse community.

The purpose of this NOFO is to fill the gaps of Welcoming Center services in areas of the state where the service needs can be documented. Under the FY17 Welcoming Center NOFO, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) selected 14 agencies to provide services in communities with large number of immigrants and refugees. The FY17 NOFO allows for the renewal of services with the same eligible agencies in FY19. IDHS expects that through the grant renewal process, the following communities will have Welcoming Center services available:

  • Aurora, Northwest Chicago and Cicero
  • Cass and Schuyler Counties
  • Carpentersville, Chicago Heights and Kankakee/Rockford
  • Chicago South and Southeast communities
  • Cook, Will, DuPage, South & Southwest suburbs, Northwest suburbs
  • DuPage, Kane, Southern Cook Counties
  • Elgin, Carpentersville, Kane and Far Northwest Cook County
  • Joliet, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Channahon, New Lenox, Plainfield, Shorewood - Will County
  • Lake County
  • Madison & St. Clair Counties
  • Southwest neighborhoods of Chicago
  • Proviso Township, Melrose Park/Stone Park and Western suburbs
  • Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Peoria

The following three areas of service gaps are being considered for this limited NOFO. Organizations interested in applying must be able to document that the services proposed are designed to address one or more of the following service gaps:

  1. There is no Welcoming Center service available in the geographic areas with high need for the services; or
  2. The available Welcoming Center service is inadequate to meet the documented needs in the community; or
  3. A new immigrant/refugee population with high needs is currently underserved by the current Welcoming Center services.

Selected agencies for Welcoming Centers will be required to:

  1. Use the database system identified by IDHS for intake to document clients provided with WC services.
  2. Use Welcoming Center reporting forms when providing Welcoming Center services as well as conducting day to day operations.
  3. Track consistent service data required to ensure that the agency meets program goals and have corrective action plan, if needed to address program unanticipated challenges.
  4. Collaborate and share best practices with other Welcoming Center programs in order to compare and contrast the overall program' results and outcomes. Program evaluation will necessitate accurate data collection and lessons learned.

IDHS requires the successful applicants to meet the following performance standards

  • Services provided to at least 75% of the projected number of customers.
  • Successful outcomes for at least 75% of services delivered.
  • Timely and accurate fiscal and program reports.

B. Funding Information

A total of $181,417 funding for the limited Welcoming Center program expansion is made available for this NOFO. Funding will support up to four (4) agencies for Welcoming Center services provided from October 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.

Funding may be renewed, subject to appropriation, for up to one-year periods at DHS discretion. Renewal is conditional on meeting performance measures, timely compliance with reporting requirements, and compliance with any corrective action plan or findings.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants - All interested applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a nonprofit organizations subject to 26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3) in good standing with the State of Illinois.
  • Has experience and successful track record of providing immigrant and refugee services.
  • Has prior experience or knowledge of the Welcoming Center program model.
  • Has knowledge and expertise in working with federal and state policies regarding immigrant and refugee status.
  • Demonstrates understanding in ethnic diversity of the immigrant and refugee populations and the need for culturally and linguistically appropriate services unique to this program.
  • Is able to meet the program goals described in this NOFO.

Agency Experience - Applicant should have experience working with high-risk populations, a strong familiarity with federal programs, state agencies, IDHS programs -- including having existing relationships with their local Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC), and other social service community providers in the proposed service area. The organization should be currently serving high-risk populations or be closely connected to an agency or agencies that serve customers with multiple or complex needs.

The Applicant should 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 services.

If applying in partnership with another agency, the proposal should include the experience and capacity of each of its partner agencies.

Staff Qualifications - Staff assigned to the Welcoming Center program must have the appropriate levels of education, experience and training to work with Welcoming Center populations. Staff and administrators who work with the Welcoming Center program must have a familiarity with IDHS programs and services, and other local, State, Federal, and community services. Staff should have existing relationships with a network of service providers in their service area, 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 capability to provide linguistic and culturally competent services to limited-English-proficient customers.

The applicants must also be willing to comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity including, but not limited to: The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.), The Public Works Employment Discrimination Act (775 ILCS 10/1 et seq.), The United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (42 USC 2000a-and 2000H-6), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.), and The Age Discrimination Act (42 USC 6101 et seq.).

An organization may apply for a grant but will not be eligible for a grant award until the organization has been pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal, During pre-qualification, Dun and Bradstreet verifications are performed including a check of Debarred and Suspended status and good standing with the Secretary of State. The pre-qualification process also includes a financial and administrative risk assessment using an Internal Controls Questionnaire. If applicable, the entity will be notified that it is ineligible for award as a result of the Dun and Bradstreet verification. The entity will be informed of corrective action needed to become eligible for a grant award.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching.

There is no cost-sharing requirement for this program.

3. Indirect Cost Rate.

If the applicants include indirect costs in its proposed budget, the applicant organization must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). There are three types of NICRAs:

a) Federally Negotiated Rate. Organizations that receive direct federal funding may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally NICRA.

b) State Negotiated Rate. The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate or elect to use the De Minimis Rate. The indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois within 90 days of the notice of award.

c) De Minimis Rate. An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the de minimis rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the de minimis rate.

D. Application and Submission Information

Interested applicants must submit:

1) The Letter of Intent (included in this NOFO) by noon Wednesday July 25, 2018. The Letter of Intent is not a pre-requisite to the grant application. However, IDHS needs the information provided from the Letter of Intent to prepare for the applications review process.

2) Completed grant application including all documents listed under Section H on page 11 by noon on August 17, 2018.

The Letter of Intent must be submitted to  and the Grant Application must be submitted online to  by the deadlines established. A receipt for the Letter of Intent and the Grant Application will be provided to the grant applicant.

Applications received after the deadline stated above will not be considered for funding.

Each applicant is required to:

(i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application. If you are not registered in SAM, this link provides a connection for SAM registration: ;

(ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application;

(iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency. It also must state that the State awarding agency may not make a Federal pass-through or State award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the State awarding agency is ready to make a Federal pass-through or State award, the State awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal pass-through or State award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another applicant.

(iv) In good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

(v) Complete the Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) completed via Grantee Portal

(vi) Complete the Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRA) via IDHS website via this link

(vii)Complete the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance via this link

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria - ALL applicants must demonstrate that they meet all requirements under this NOFO as described throughout. Applications that fail to meet the criteria described in the Eligible Applicants and Mandatory Requirements of Applicants as identified in Section C Eligibility Information will not be evaluated and considered for funding.

Grant applications received will be reviewed by IDHS staff, including staff from the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services.

The maximum possible score is 100 points. All applications will be reviewed, evaluated, and rated based on the following criteria:

25 points 1.

Agency Qualifications: The extent to which the applicant demonstrates:

a) Strong management, supervision, and well-organized internal organizational structure to insure effective program/service delivery and sound fiscal conditions.

b) Successful history of working with immigrants/refugees, high-risk populations and/or individuals with multiple or complex needs including having the expertise and capacity to deliver the services procured in the NOFO, such as: language and cultural competency, track record of providing effective services for low-income LEP immigrants/refugees, delivering successful program outcomes.

c) Evidence of staff qualifications, experience and capability to carry out the proposed program.

20 points 2.

Community Identification and Customer Projection: The extent to which applicant could provide data and narrative to address the following requirements:

Service gap:

  • There is no Welcoming Center service available in the geographic areas with high need for the services; or
  • The available Welcoming Center services is inadequate to meet the documented needs in the community; or
  • A new immigrant/refugee population with high needs is currently underserved by the current service systems.

Knowledge of and experience with the community service area proposed

Applicant must clearly define and describes the geographic communities and the proposed target population the applicant plans to serve; as well as and how the applicant is rooted in the community(s) it proposes to serve.

40 points 3.

Program Design and Implementation: The extent to which the overall program design adequately and effectively addresses:

a. Qualifications to serve as one-stop Welcoming Center, describe linkages that are already in place with other service providers

b. Method and Strategies to provide comprehensive case management services, crisis management services, and referral services to the agencies social service partner network.

c. Track records and knowledge in conducting community workshops.

d. Ability and experience in building and sustaining community alliances, and collaborative efforts with community providers and public agencies.

e. Ability to provide required data/information reports on a monthly basis to evaluate the program.

15 points 4.

Budget & Costs Justification: The extent to which the budget narrative provides:

a) Thorough and clear justification for all proposed line item expenditures.

b) All expenditures and program costs are reasonable and allowable.

c) Proposed staffing is sufficient to address customer projections and customer language needs.

d) Where available, supplemental or companion funding is clearly identified.

e) All cost allocation methods are clearly identified and consistently applied.

2. Review and Selection Process: Funding decisions will be based upon the quality of the applicant's program plan and budget/budget narrative based on the 100-point scale described above.

3. Anticipated Announcement and State Award Dates, if applicable. Final award decisions will be made by IDHS by September 30, 2018.

IDHS reserves the rights to negotiate the terms and conditions for the final grant award, including performance outcomes.

4. Merit-Based Evaluation Appeal Process:

a. Is limited to the evaluation process. Evaluation scores may not be protested. Only the evaluation process is subject to appeal.

b. Appeals Review Officer: IDHS Head or designee may appoint one or more Appeal Review Officers (ARO) to consider the grant-related appeals and make a recommendation to the agency Head or designee for resolution.

c. Submission of Appeal:

i) An appeal must be submitted in writing to Gary Kramer:

ii) An appeal must be received within 14 calendar days after the date that the grant award notices have been published.

iii) The written appeal shall include at a minimum the following:

  • The name and address of the appealing party
  • Identification of the grant
  • A statement of reasons for the appeal

F. Award Administration Information

1. State Award Notices

Successful applicants will receive a separate notice stating that a project has been selected before the actual State award is made. This notice is not an authorization to begin performance. A fully executed contract with the Illinois Department of Human Services is the authorizing document that must be in place prior to the provider initiating service delivery.

A Notice of State Award (NOSA) will be issued by the Department prior to issuance of a grant agreement. The NOSA will specify the terms and conditions of the award.

Unsuccessful applicant will receive a notice of denial of funding. This notice will begin the 14-day appeal window.

2. Budget and Contract Development

Successful applicants will be required to utilize the Grantee Portal as well as the CSA Tracking System to finalize their budgets and contracts with the Illinois Department of Human Services. All successful applicants must submit and receive approval for their budget electronically within the CSA Tracking System before contract execution can proceed. Additionally, successful applicants should review and, if necessary, update provider information in both the Grantee Portal and the CSA Tracking System prior to contract execution.

3. Reporting

Successful applicant will be required to submit:

a) Monthly expenditure reports in the format prescribed by IDHS.

b) Monthly program/service provision reports in the format developed jointly with IDHS.

c) End of contract fiscal and program reports as required by IDHS.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Grant award under this NOFO will be made by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Questions associated with the NOFO and the grant award can be directly to:

Ngoan Le

Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services

401 S. Clinton, Chicago, IL 60607


H. Other Information, if applicable

1.Due by noon July 25, 2018 - Letter of Intent

2.Due by noon, August 17, 2018:

a) Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance

b) Application for Welcoming Center

c) Uniform Grant Budget Template

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance
  2. Uniform Grant Budget Template (pdf) | Instructions
  3. Letter of Intent for Welcoming Center (docx)
  4. Format Requirement (docx)