Request for Proposals
Western PA CoC Coordinated Entry Regional Anchor Agency
Union Mission, the Coordinated Entry Lead Agency (“CE Lead Agency”) for the Western PA Continuum of Care (“the CoC,”) is seeking a new Anchor Agency for each region of the coordinated entry system. The current Coordinated Entry System (“CES”) is undergoing significant updates with an anticipated fully launched date of April 1, 2024. The focus of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to identify a new Anchor Agency that will support implementation and coordination of the CoC’s coordinated entry system regionally.
Selected Anchor Agencies will be expected to serve in that role for a minimum of three (3) years, at which point the Lead Agency intends to re-issue and RFP, at which point selected organizations may re-bid.
Currently the Lead Agency is seeking Anchor Agencies for Region 1, Region 2, and Region 3 of the CoC's Geographic Area:
Region 1: Cameron, Elk, Forest, McKean, Potter, Warren
Region 2: Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Jefferson, Mercer, Venango
Region 3: Armstrong, Butler, Indiana, Lawrence
Proposals must be submitted no later than 5 PM Eastern Time on Friday, December 1, 2023.
For a copy of the full RFP, please click here: Request for Proposals: CE Anchor Agency
Questions and Answers
The following section will provide any questions received during the RFP process and their respective answer.
This section will be updated every 48 hours until the deadline.
Q1. Why is the CE Agency Lead not currently soliciting Anchor Agency proposals for Region 4?
A1. The Coordinated Entry Lead Agency is not soliciting Region 4 proposals as it intends to fulfill these obligations for Region 4. Additionally, in collaboration with Region 4 organizations, the CE Lead Agency will utilize the allocated financial resources to fill other gaps in the region (e.g. housing navigation). At the November 17, 2023 Region 4 scheduled meeting, the Lead Agency will discuss this vision in more detail, and may consider opening the RFP to Region 4.
Q2. In response to the lead agency deciding that there was no need for an anchor agency Region 4: How was this decided? Who approved this decision?
A2. To add further clarification to Q1.A.1:
The CE Lead Agency did not decide there was not a need for an anchor agency, but rather, is intending to assume these responsibilities for Region 4. The rationale will be discussed at the November 17, 2023 meeting and a final decision about soliciting proposals for Region 4 will be decided.
Any award provided by the CE Lead Agency to a partner agency would require a subrecipient agreement, or other structured agreement, such as an MOU. The CE Lead Agency has management and implementation responsibilities for the Coordinated Entry System across the entire CoC, and must use diligence in both financial decisions and implementation strategy.
Region 4 has needs which are unique in comparison to our CoC's other three regions. As such, the CE Lead is proposing to assume the responsibilities of the Anchor Agency for several reasons: 1) to create a micro-system within the CE System; allowing for successful CQI testing and innovative piloting that would insulate the Region and the CoC, 2) to ensure Region 4 has financial resources to leverage for other, potentially more impactful reasons. If the Region is in agreement, the CE Lead Agency intends to repurpose these funds and solicit RFP's for a different function (e.g. Housing Navigation).
Q3. Are the Policy and Procedures on the Western COC Website the most recent copy of the Coordinated Entry Policies?
A3. The Policy and Procedures on the Western CoC website are the last fully adopted Policy and Procedures for Coordinated Entry. Since 2020, the Coordinated Entry system has undergone several changes necessitating many of the changes which have been incorporated into the CE 2.0 Redesign. CoC-wide Policy and Procedures are being drafted to be adopted by the CoC Governing Board. As such, there are not any formally adopted new CE Policies that can be provided.
Q4. Could you provide the chart which delineates between what the CE Specialist Role is and the Anchor Agency Role.
Q5. Is there specific reporting that will be due that has already been identified or is that something that will be determined at the onset and moving forward. I know in meetings we had talked about working directly with the CE Specialist and working together to bring concerns, comments, etc.… to the CE Committee as well as to the Lead Agency.
A5. Reporting will be initially conducted by the CE Specialist. If the CE Lead Agency or Region identifies specific elements in the future, the Anchor Agency may be asked to coordinate with the CE Specialist to gather this information and/or to present it at Case Conference or other regional meeting. The Anchor Agency will be responsible for understanding their Region's needs, concerns, compliance issues, and challenges and to communicate those to the CE Committee and/or Lead Agency. A representative from the Anchor Agency may be requested to regularly participate in the CE Committee monthly or quarterly meetings.
Q6. If an Access Point or County is not offering 24/7 access and does not have a plan – will it be required of the Anchor Agency to devise a plan for after hours help? Would there need to be on-call? As well as providing transportation to shelter options?
A6. The Anchor Agency will be a valuable partner in helping the region ensure access is available 24/7 in the Region. Access could be unique to the region or parts of the region. For example, one region, or county therein, may identify that after business hours, they will use PA 2-1-1 to ensure access is available. Where shelter options may not exist in a community or transportation may be a barrier, they may identify key areas (e.g. Sheetz, laundry mat) where households could be directed and a local access site would receive notification by PA 2-1-1 to follow-up with the household in the morning by either physically stopping into the identified site, or by phone call at the beginning of the day.
Access focuses on 1) connecting households to emergency services (e.g. shelter, behavioral health, emergency departments), 2) identifying households which need assistance to navigate resources and resolve homelessness, and 3) collect key information about households to ensure they are enrolled in Coordinated Entry services (e.g. housing problem-solving).
As such, the Anchor Agency will collaborate to encourage and support providers in their catchment area or Region to ensure plans are in place to ensure 24/7 access is available. There is NOT a requirement that an Anchor Agency be on-call or provide transportation to shelter options.
However, consideration will be given if a respondent indicates additional capacity to support their region above and beyond the minimum expectations.
Q7. In the sentence, Providing peer technical support on CES roles and responsibilities to access points, including “support” for homeless services staff who are responsible for delivering, coordinating, or managing one or more phases or core activities of the CES. What does “support” mean?
A7. "Support" refers to providing peer support to staff at other access sites, or providers assisting with CE activities. Some examples of "support" would be providing guidance on where to find CE training resources, how to connect with a CE Specialist, or how to apply to be an access site. It may also include providing some guidance on how to problem-solve easy workflow issues in HMIS, to help provide some training when onboarding new staff who need to learn Coordinated Entry, etc.
It is important to note here, and with other aspects of Anchor Agency, that 25% of the CE Specialists time will be allocated to the Anchor Agency to help meet expectations of their role. These activities of "support" could be one aspect that the Anchor Agency leverages the CE Specialist to assist with.
Q8. By “Core Principles” do you mean the Goals and Guiding Principles of the COC.
A8. "Core Principles" refers to the key elements of the Coordinated Entry System, Another way of stating this would be to "Describe the agency's understanding of CES core elements...."
Core elements can be reviewed here: https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/5340/coordinated-entry-core-elements/
Q9. Is the $15,000 the current allocation or has there been additional funding secured for the position to be full time? Will this be a fully funded position or is there an expectation that the Anchor Agency find additional dollars to fund this position?
A9. The CE Lead Agency has submitted an expansion request as part of the CoC's recently submitted NOFO response. The expansion request includes the provision to provide funding to support a FTE employee. As such, this question is broken into two parts, which more simply stated, are asking respondents to identify how they would implement the role/responsibility of being an Anchor Agency if only $15,000 was available. And, to indicate how they would approach the same, if provided funding for a FTE.
Under scenario one ($15k only): There is NOT an expectation that an Anchor Agency will hire a full-time person. Rather, respondents should indicate how they will use the $15,000 to fulfill the responsibilities of an Anchor Agency. (e.g. allocate 7 hours per week of a current FT employee who regularly conducts all aspects of CE within the agency to focus on the regional aspects).
Q10. Is there a match requirement for the grant and if so, how much?
A10. The entire federal award provided to the CoC for Coordinated Entry requires a 25% match, similar to all CoC -funded projects. This responsibility for meeting the match requirements falls to the CE Lead Agency. Therefore, there is NOT a match requirement from the Anchor Agency - however, as indicated in the scoring criteria - additional consideration ("bonus points") will be provided to respondents who can provide matching resources.
Q11. Can the match and/or leveraging be what we already provide for our other CoC funded programs or would the match and/or leverage need to be specific to this particular contract/position?
A11. Match cannot be duplicated for more than one CoC or ESG funded program. Additionally, match cannot be provided by "in-kind" services if those services are fully paid by CoC funds. Only the portion of services not covered by CoC funds would be eligible. Match could come from other resources or CE activities which are not using such funding.