The Planning & Development Committee will consider the following recommendation on being in charge of alleviating homelessness in the county at its 8:30 AM meeting on Tuesday, April 26th.
Below is what will be considered:
To: McHenry County Board Planning and Development Committee
From: Hans Mach, Community Development Administrator
Re: McHenry County Continuum of Care to End Homelessness – Request to Explore Assumption of HUD CoC Funding and Grant Activities from Pioneer Center for Human Services
The McHenry County Continuum of Care (CoC) to End Homelessness coordinates the community’s response to ending homelessness. The CoC also makes allocation decisions on community funding of approximately $1.1 million dollars in annual support to local providers for direct service and administrative activities.
At the April 14, 2016 full meeting of the CoC, Pioneer Center presented that it no longer desired to assume funding for two of its Continuum of Care (CoC) grant awards. These awards involve the coordinated assessment (or coordinated entry) and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) activities. The coordinated assessment activities would have been a completely new direction for the CoC in that this type of activity was a newer initiative based on demonstrated community models. The HMIS activity was not a new initiative, but had been funded under the Community Development Block Grant Program and McHenry County Mental Health Board. Both awards are anticipated to go into contract later in 2016.
The CoC carefully considered the matter and voted to request that the Community Development (CD) Division of the McHenry County Department of Planning and Development assume the funding and grant activities from Pioneer Center for Human Services as soon as they become available. Pioneer Center also reported that it would be willing to transfer over its existing McHenry County Mental Health Board contract for HMIS as soon as possible. The CD Division is already a grantee under the CoC program for its Planning activities.
The CoC awards are $62,000 for coordinated assessment and $38,000 for HMIS. The HMIS funding includes funding for salary, user training, and the annual software license. The coordinated assessment grant is primarily for salary.
After considering existing workloads and the needs of these activities, staff has concluded that we could not absorb these activities with our existing staff. We have concluded that managing the HMIS activity is approximately a half-time job (0.5 FTE). The community assessment activity would require a full time staff (1.0 FTE).
Both positions would be funded by the CoC grant awards.
However, these awards require a 25% match. CDBG funds can be used as the match for the HMIS activity. However, CDBG funds cannot be used as match for the coordinated assessment activity.
Staff is seeking direction from the Committee in order to reply to the CoC. County assumption of the grant funding and activities would require a formal approval from the CoC, then approval from the P&D Committee, the Human Resources Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee, and finally the County Board due to the increase in staffing and adjustment of the Department budget.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (815) 334-4089 or by email to email@example.com.
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When asked for additional financing info, Mr. Mach provided the following:
To answer your question simply, no county general administration funds would be required to take over the homelessness grants that are currently heading toward a contract to Pioneer Center. Pioneer is seeking to reduce its breadth of services to a more focused mission and no longer wishes to operate these two projects.
These grants are from federal resources.
All of these grants require a 25% cash match.
We have adequate funding in our federal CDBG administration budget to provide the match.
We have verified that the administrative funding we have can be used as match for the HMIS project.
For the Coordinated Entry, we are weighing whether or not the County is the appropriate venue for the funding- or if another community provider might be more appropriate.
We anticipate that the Planning and Development Committee will be able to offer us some direction and insight.