Q&A 23-444-22-3101-01

  1. Q:  The current funding stipulates that 988 call takers should be dedicated to that task, and therefore cannot be self-sustaining by splitting their time with additional grants or projects. The funding proposed ($400k) will fund the required number of staff at 25%, requiring the agency to cover the remaining 75% of salary and fringe. Is this stipulation going to continue with 403?

    A:  The funding announced with the current NOFO is for the current FY only and so should not be considered an annualized amount.

  2. Q:  This grant specifies a number of staff that need to be included in the staffing matrix. Given that we already have a 988 program through 401 funding, are any of those staff able to be identified as funded through 401, and therefore included in the specified staffing matrix, but not funded through 403? Or more simply, can we have one staffing matrix for both funding sources that meets the 12 identified staff for the 403 ask?

    A:  No. It would need to be reported separately as it is a separate grant.

  3. Q:  We now know that the requirement is not for a goal of 24/7 coverage on a LCC level, but rather a state level. It's helpful that 403 is clear on the coverage ask. We also know that we hired folks for set shifts, and that shifting their schedules will likely incur resignations. Should we expect that funding will be directly related to coverage capacity- and that if we are able to shift some staff according to the heat map, that funding may be modified?

    A:  There is no plan to modify funding at this time.

  4. Q:  Is the facility operating the LCC required to be in one of the zip codes listed under #2 Scope of Services?

    A:  While there is no requirement for the center to be physically located within the zip codes listed, the successful applicant will need to demonstrate awareness of the area, resources, and cultural considerations for callers within those specific zip codes listed in the NOFO.

  5. Q:  What is the volume of phone/text/chat that is projected?

    A:  There will be no text/ chat required, phone only. Staffing was based upon an average of 2,200 calls a month as reported to the State by Vibrant Emotional Health, operator of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

  6. Q:  What are the cost assumptions made in the required staffing model? Is it assumed all staff will be paid (vs volunteers)?

    A:  Staffing was based upon current call usage with existing LCCs, 2,200 calls a month on these 2 shifts. Staff are expected to be paid.

  7. Q:  What costs is the $400,000 intended to cover? For example, startup & planning, telecommunications, and/or year one of operations?

    A:  $400,000 Grant is considered to cover FY23 expenses. There will be a separate budget for FY24.

  8. Q:  When is it anticipated that the LCC will become operational and take calls?

    A:  The Call Center must complete the onboarding process with Vibrant who will determine when they can begin taking calls.

  9. Q:  Is telecommunications capability beyond phone calls required? For example, text and chat, etc.

    A:  The call center workforce must be hired, trained and equipped to answer live calls as identified by Vibrant, operator of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline as originating from the assigned zip codes of Cook County. No text or chat are required to be handled by this LCC. Phone system requirements are included in the NOFO under Performance Requirements #3.

  10. Q:  Does Vibrant offer tech support to the LCCs?

    A:  Yes

  11. Q:  Is the 10-month extension to April 2024 or April 2025?

    A:  Per the NOFO, Section B Funding Information, #7, Successful applicant under this NOFO may be eligible to receive one grant renewal of 10 months (through April 29, 2024) for this program.  The current State Fiscal Year is for FY23 which ends June 30, 2023.  The State Fiscal Year 2024 grant period will begin July 1, 2023 through April 29, 2024.

  12. Q:  Can the QMHC function be spread across multiple positions or is it the expectation that this position will be held and accomplished by one FTE?

    A:  Providers can spread QMHP across multiple positions.

  13. Q:  Given that the $400,000 NOFO is intended to cover FY23 expenses, what timeline should the budget include? Would this be a 3-month budget for April-June 2023? A year's worth of operational costs? Please clarify.

    A:  The funding announced with the current NOFO is for the current FY only and so should not be considered an annualized amount. $400,000 Grant is considered to cover FY23 expenses. There will be a separate budget for FY24.  Per the NOFO, Section D, the budget should be prepared to reflect 3 months, with an estimated start date of April 1, 2023 and continuing through June 30, 2023.

  14. Q:  What is the projected total budget for the FY24 NOFO?

    A:  FY24 will not be competitive bid. The FY24 projected funding is $1.6 Million.  The period for FY24 will be July 1, 2023 through April 29, 2024.