I. Introduction. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing

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1 I. Introduction The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) administers four programs to meet the immediate shelter and housing needs of Illinois residents. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program, the Supportive Housing Program, the Homeless Prevention Program and the Homeless Tax Write-In Program are established for the purpose of providing comprehensive housing and other related services to families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. This Program Manual was developed to provide guidance to providers who administer the programs. The IDHS, through the Division of Human Capital Development, Office of Family Support Services, Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing manages these programs, which are an important resource for all in need of assistance. Families and individuals access program services through a statewide network of providers who are the initial and integral point of service for eligible participants. The IDHS Program Manual gives guidance to providers to ensure quality service delivery and program compliance. Providers across the state should refer to this manual in the implementation of the Emergency Food and Shelter, Supportive Housing, Homeless Prevention and Homeless Tax Write-In Programs. Each program is described in its own section that includes policies and procedures necessary to deliver program services, collect data on participant outcomes and program performance. As each program has reporting requirements, the manual provides submittal dates for the required reports and records. It contains detailed information on program budgeting, monitoring, and procedures developed to further the goals of the program. In addition to the guidance provided in the manual, staff from the Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing is always available to provide technical support. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 1

2 II. History Prior to 1980, homelessness in Illinois was addressed primarily by voluntary and not-for-profit groups, such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Travelers and Immigrants Aid. Those and other community organizations and religious affiliates provided emergency food and lodging to people in need. But, they lacked the financial resources to meet the immediate needs of a growing homeless population and the long-term problems of homelessness. The implementation of the Illinois Food and Shelter (EF&S) Program in 1983, in addition to a new focus on services and not just shelters, allowed for some of the long-term problems of homelessness to be addressed. Passage of the Emergency Jobs and Humanitarian Act (P.L. 98-8) in March of 1983 established the first major source of public funding to states for food and shelter. The funding was divided equally between a national board and states nationwide, with Illinois receiving $2.5 million in the first year. Additional state and local funds were forthcoming and the Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA) oversaw distribution of the funds and managed the program. Program growth and expansion since 1983 reflects the State of Illinois concern for the food and shelter needs of Illinois residents. State General Revenue Fund money for the Emergency Food and Shelter program increased from $300,000, in fiscal year 1984, to a total combined program funding of $16.3 million, in fiscal year Moreover, new programs to address broader needs including Supportive Housing, Homeless Prevention and the Homeless Tax Write-In Programs were added. Emergency Food and Shelter services consisted of emergency shelter and food assistance and limited ancillary services in the first years of the program. Over the years, services were expanded to include transitional shelter, not to exceed 120 days and, in Chicago, warming centers and a toll-free homeless assistance hotline. Rehabilitation of facilities continued with funds from the Homeless Tax Write-In Program. The Homeless Prevention program includes a component that provides rent, utility and security deposit assistance (once in a 24-month period) to help a household maintain housing. Until fiscal year 2000, prevention services were funded in regions outside Chicago. At that time, an appropriation of $1 million was made specifically for preventive services. On August 18, 1993, House Bill 267 was signed into law to provide state-funded supportive services for low-income families and individuals who are formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The supportive services include alcohol and substance abuse counseling, mental health programs, transportation, child care, case management and other services needed by residents of transitional facilities, single room occupancy (SRO) facilities and family developments. The services are delivered by governmental units, community organizations, and not-for-profit agencies that operate housing developments. The Department of Public Aid worked with the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to implement a pilot of the initiative in fiscal year Funding for the pilot was $200,000. The departments of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse joined the IDPA and the IHDA to ensure coordinated delivery of services. The initiative became part of the EF&S program until fiscal year 1999 when it was established as the Supportive Housing Program (SHP). IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 2

3 In 1997, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) was formed and the Office of Child Care and Family Services, Bureau of Homeless Services became part of the new state agency. The Homeless Prevention Act was enacted in 1999 to expand programs for persons or households at risk of homelessness; and in 2000, IDHS became the lead provider for homeless prevention programs in Illinois. The Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing administers the Homeless Prevention Program. Bureau staff performs the fiscal, programmatic and monitoring functions related to the administering of funds. In addition, they act as liaisons to each Continuum of Care, which serves individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In Illinois, Continuum of Care systems have been formed on the local level, to deal effectively with the problems of homelessness through a comprehensive system of housing and services, from emergency shelters to permanent housing. The Continuum of Care systems were developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a strategy to help communities develop seamless systems, which assist individuals and families in achieving independent living. Within Illinois, there are twenty-one (21) Continua of Care working to fulfill the great need for homeless services and homeless prevention, which affect so many communities. All agencies are strongly encouraged to participate in their local Continuum of Care system. An additional benefit of participation in the local Continuum of Care system includes access to state funding for prevention programs. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 3

4 III. Emergency Food and Shelter Program A. Purpose and Terminology The Emergency Food and Shelter (EF&S) program gives immediate and comprehensive shelter services to homeless persons and persons at risk of becoming homeless. The program provides funding for meals, shelter and support services to not-for-profit organizations and local governments. The following terminology is used in EF&S: Adult Basic Education Advocacy Alcohol Abuse Services Case Management Child Care Children s Services Counseling Education Employment Services Completing a course of study which may lead to a diploma, or a degree. Intervening on behalf of participants to assist in the receipt and use of services. Providing or arranging services for participants to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or other programs to address alcohol abuse. Coordinating the acquisition, delivery and use of supportive services. Case management must include individual assessments that are used to develop individual service plans. Providing or arranging for child-care services Providing or arranging services for child-specific services, such as child abuse counseling or preschool programs. Providing or arranging for individual or group counseling to alleviate physical, mental, substance abuse, skill and domestic obstacles to selfsufficiency. Family, financial, and life skills counseling services are also eligible. Providing or arranging services for participants to complete a course of study leading to a diploma or specific skill certificate. Providing or arranging services for participants engaged in job preparation, job placement or vocational services to secure employment. This would also include acquiring special tools or clothing to perform the job in which the participant is placed or working toward. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 4

5 English as a Second Language Follow up GED Health/Dental Services Housing/Location Inspection Mental Health Services New Participant Outreach Overnight Shelter Substance Abuse Services Transitional Shelter English language services available to persons who seek to improve their English language skills. Assessing the need for additional services upon completion of program components after relocation to permanent housing. Providing or arranging services leading to the completion of General Education Development. Providing or arranging services for participants and assuring use of needed medical and dental services. Locating and/or initial inspection of rental property on behalf of participants to assure that the housing is decent and adequate for the household and meets general health and safety standards prior to occupancy. Providing or arranging services that address serious mental disabilities that can not be solved through regular counseling sessions. A new participant is a single individual or family household that has not received service from the provider during the program year. The program year is the state fiscal year-july through June. In the first month of the program year (July), include all participants carried over from the previous month (June) as new participants for reporting purposes. Locating and contacting homeless persons in the community and informing them of available services. Providing emergency sleeping accommodations for a period not to exceed 12 hours. Access to food service for at least one meal is required. In addition, supportive services are required. Providing or arranging services for clients to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or other programs to address substance abuse. Providing temporary residence for a period not to exceed 24 months. Access to food and supportive services are required. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 5

6 Transportation Voucher Shelter Transporting or purchasing transportation services, such as bus tokens or taxi fares, for participants to acquire medical care, public assistance, education, training and other services not provided on site. Providing emergency shelter on a per diem basis at a nearby hotel, motel or similar facility when other overnight shelter is not available. Food service for at least one meal is required (food vouchers are allowed). Supportive services are required. B. Policies and Procedures 1) Funding All funds awarded to a Provider must be obligated by the end of the agreement period and expended by the end of the lapse period. Funding is based on the submission and approval of a Continued Funding Application. For subsequent years, a continued funding plan is required. Applications for funding are evaluated on the basis of provider experience administrative capacity, need in the geographic area, program services plan and budget. Program funding typically runs from July 1 to June 30. The Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services determines which applications will be funded and the funding amounts, and has final approval on all funding amounts distributed to providers. 2) 501(c)(3) If the provider is not a governmental entity, the provider must be a federally tax exempt, non-profit agency legally authorized to operate in the State of Illinois with a Not-for-Profit Corporation Charter from the Illinois Secretary of State and verification from the Internal Revenue Service of exemption from federal income tax liability under the applicable Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Each provider must submit documentation of not-for-profit status and their 501(c)(3) status. Each provider must certify that it complies with all provisions of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, the Illinois Revenue Act, and all rules promulgated there under, including withholding provisions and timely deposits of employee taxes and unemployment insurance taxes. Also, an annual report must be on file with the Secretary of State that the provider is a not-for-profit provider. This report will be sent, by the Secretary of State, to each provider s registered agent 45 to 60 days in advance of the date of the provider s incorporation. A provider can contact the Secretary of State Office/Annual Report Section at (217) with any questions or conflict resolutions. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 6

7 3) Records The provider must maintain written policies and procedures regarding its fiscal activities, including but not limited to, payroll, purchasing, cash management, relevant fee schedules, contracts and risk management. The provider must submit and have on file a copy of their Annual Report to the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 and an Annual Report to the Attorney General Form AG 990. The provider must show proof that its governing body has approved a budget at least annually. All fiscal records are to be maintained for at least five years after the end of the fiscal year to which they relate. Failure to maintain adequate records to document the expenditure of IDHS funds creates a presumption in favor of the Department for recovery of the funds. The provider must have on file the by-laws, policies and procedures and a current organization chart. The provider must maintain policies concerning the hiring, termination, evaluation and discipline of staff. Also, the provider must have policies on non-discrimination in hiring, employment, sexual harassment as well as written job descriptions of employee s duties and responsibilities. 4) Participant Information and Data Each Emergency Food and Shelter provider is required to submit quarterly participant outcome data regarding demographics, population and services using the Emergency Food and Shelter reporting system. Provider s report quarterly on the number and characteristics of the people served and the services provided. The reports include information on the demographic characteristics of the participants, the causes of homelessness and conditions or problems of each participant such as substance abuse. The Department of Human Services will provide a reporting system on an annual basis for use by each contracted provider. 5) Participant Intake and Assessment Forms Each provider is required to submit annually for review by IDHS all participant intake forms and assessment forms as prescribed in the Fiscal Year 2005 proposal response to the RFP and subsequent Continued Funding Applications. Each provider is required to have completed intake and assessments for each participant upon entry into the program. Completed intake and assessment forms will be verified by on-site field monitoring. 6) Participant Files Each Emergency Food and Shelter provider is required at a minimum to keep participant files with regard to supportive services, case management, participant intake forms, assessment forms, participant outcomes, life skills data and other information involving the participants for a five year period. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 7

8 C. Program Deliverables and Outcomes All deliverables will be verified by on-site monitoring visits, through review of data in the required AQuarterly Reporting or by other means as the Department deems necessary. All participants must be provided with case management services, counseling services and advocacy services within 5 days of admittance to the program for transitional programs and within 15 days for overnight programs. The outcome will be verified through the IDHS AQuarterly Reporting Form. All participants must have access to case management services outside of normal business hours of operation including, but not limited to, evening case management service hours. The outcome will be verified through on-site field monitoring. All participants must have a complete intake and assessment done upon entry into the program. Providers must submit all intake and assessment forms to IDHS annually for approval. The outcome will be verified by on-site field monitoring and through each provider s annual funding plan. All providers must have a community outreach plan, which includes a detailed description of notifying the community of the program, hours of operation, and admittance/eligibility requirements into the program(s) they administer for IDHS. This plan must include outreach to other community service agencies, the local FCRC, and other outreach entities. IDHS must be advised of any publication and distribution of flyers, printed materials and brochures that are part of the IDHS funded program(s). The outcome will be verified through on-site field monitoring. All providers must meet with the local FCRC and establish a Memorandum of Understanding, which details documentation of referrals and notification of funding availability. All providers must have a referral process that assists program participants with enrollment into public benefit programs such as TANF, food stamps, All Kids, medical and disability assistance, as well as other resources that address the needs of the population targeted for service. The outcome will be verified by on-site field monitoring and the Department=s participant reporting form. All progress and supportive services for transitional shelter participants must be tracked and reported within each participant=s case file through the development of an Individual Service Plan that includes, at a minimum, a record of the participant s supportive services, case management, outcomes, goals, progress, and benefit assistance. The outcome will be verified through on-site field monitoring. All providers must have the ability to down-load the IDHS food stamp application and distribute it to all eligible households. The outcome will be verified through on-site field monitoring. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 8

9 All providers must have a written agreement or memorandum of understanding for referrals to other social services providers. The agreement or memorandum must include: the type(s) of services to be provided, how referrals will be handled by each entity, and follow-up actions. The outcome will be verified through onsite field monitoring. All providers must accurately report outcomes and submit reports to IDHS within the designated time-frames utilizing the Emergency Food and Shelter reporting system. The outcome will be verified through on-site field monitoring. The following projected data must be included in the provider=s Continued Funding Plan: projected participants (unduplicated) to be served in the fiscal year; projected households (unduplicated) to be served in the fiscal year; projected nights of shelter (duplicated) to be provided during the fiscal year; and projected number of meals (duplicated) to be provided (served, purchased, or vouchered) during the fiscal year. Projected versus actual outcomes will be tracked and verified through the provider=s Quarterly Client Activity Report and through on-site monitoring reviews. D. Contracts and Amendment Procedures 1) Contract Procedures and Approvals Providers to be awarded funding will be notified, in writing, of annual contract award submittal dates and procedures for contracting. 2) Amendment, Submittals and Approvals If necessary, a provider may file a modification to the funding plan. Modifications or amendments to the funding and services plan must be submitted by the provider, in writing, and are subject to approval by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing. All sub-contracts or pass-through funding agreements will be approved without express permission from the IDHS prior to entering into any sub-contractual or pass-through funding arrangement. 3) Contract Budget Line Item Transfers Providers are allowed to transfer up to a total of $500 among any Direct Service line items without having to obtain written permission from DHS. The provider should keep a record of the transfer in the event that a monitoring review is conducted. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 9

10 E. Program Budget 1) Annual Emergency Food and Shelter Program Budget The annual Emergency Food and Shelter Program budget establishes how funding is utilized for program implementation during the fiscal year. At least 85 percent (85%) must be spent on direct programs and no more than 15 percent (15%) on administrative cost. Several categories are defined within the Emergency Food and Shelter Program budget including direct cost, administrative cost and payments on behalf of participants. Providers are required to identify the relevant funding sources and the percent of funding used in each budget category. Providers are required to track all IDHS funds by program and budget line item. 2) Financial Management System Providers must have an established financial management system, which provides complete, separate, and accurate accountability of funds. The provider s accounting system must be well-maintained, up to date, and provide the following original documentation: a) Bank reconciliations; b) Trial balance; c) Separate identification of program expenses in a general ledger; d) Complete accountability of all obligations, payment, and reimbursements; e) Justification of allocations; f) Written administrative and accounting procedures; and g) Segregation of duties for internal control. The provider must maintain an accounting system that isolates IDHS funds and allows tracking of IDHS expenditures. 3) Budget Revisions - Amendment Process a) Letters of increase or decrease A letter is sent to the Provider stating the intent to increase or decrease dollars to a specific program service existing in the contract. There is no need for the provider to sign and return this document. b) Formal amendments An agreement executed by the provider and IDHS constitutes a formal amendment. The following is required for a formal amendment to be processed: Adding new program services: An amendment to add a new program service must contain a detailed summary of services to be provided under the amended contract and the method of payment. Extending the service date of the contract: An amendment to extend the service date of the contract must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 10

11 original contract; provider name; clause stating the new term; signatures of the provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. Extending the service dates of an existing program: An amendment to extend the dates of a specific program in the existing contract must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original contract; provider name; clause stating the new term of the agreement; signatures of the provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. Changing the language within an existing program attachment only: An amendment to change the language of a specific program attachment of an existing contract must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original contract; provider name; clause(s) stating the new language of the agreement; signatures of the provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. 4) Fiscal Audits If deemed necessary, a program and fiscal audit will be conducted by the IDHS Office of Contracts Administration. 5) Match Requirements All contracts approved for funding under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program must be matched by at least 25% from other sources. Of the 25% match, at least one-half must be matched with cash (e.g., fund raising, donations, ESG, United Way, EHP, FEMA). The remaining one-half may be matched with cash, in-kind services or property from sources other than the funds granted through the EF&S program. Volunteer services at $10.00 per hour and other in-kind contributions may be applied toward meeting the match requirement. If a provider chooses to apply volunteer services and in-kind contributions toward the match requirement, the minimum records to document the contributions are: a) For volunteer services, the name and address of the volunteer and documentation of the dates and hours of service. b) For contribution of personal or real property, whether in title or in usage, a written description of the property and the value of the property. The contribution will be valued at fair market value at the time of the contribution. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 11

12 6) Recovery The Office of Contract Administration (OCA) is responsible for financial reconciliation and financial recovery of unspent funds. As part of the funds recovery procedure, the Office of Contract Administration will send to each provider an Informal Notice letter containing the state fiscal year, the provider s name, and FEIN number and the amount of IDHS funds provided to each provider. The letter will also include a Grant Reconciliation Report to be completed by each provider. The provider will have fifteen days from the receipt of the informal notice to request, in writing, an informal hearing on lapsed funds or a plan of correction dealing with other violations. If the informal hearing does not result in a resolution of the lapsed funds, a Formal Notice to Recover Lapsed Funds letter will be sent by registered mail to the provider. The provider will then have thirty-five days to request, in writing, a Formal Hearing. At the end of thirty-five days, if no request has been received, the OCA may proceed to recover the amount of funds. If the provider does not have an upcoming fiscal year contract from which to deduct the lapsed funds owed, the Bureau of Collections will establish a collection account in the name of the provider. The Bureau of Collections will generate an invoice and mail it to the provider for payment. The provider will then receive monthly billing statements. The debt may also be referred by the IDHS to the Attorney General s Office if the debt remains unpaid for one year. 7) Program Payments Payments for Emergency Food and Shelter program will be made in the following manner unless notified in writing by the Department: a) 50% of the contract amount will be paid upon execution of the contract; b) The remaining 50% will be paid in approximately 6 months. All fiscal and client activity reports must be up to date for the remaining 50% voucher to be processed. IDHS reserves the right to advance additional funds to the agency beyond the prescribed method when it is in the best interest of the provider to do so. 8) Provider Responsibilities: Client Activity and Fiscal Reports Submittals The provider must submit, on a timely basis, complete and accurate fiscal and participant activity reports. Access to a computer is required for electronic reporting to IDHS. Unless otherwise notified in writing by the IDHS, Emergency Food and Shelter providers are required to submit quarterly participant activity and fiscal reports on computer disk to the IDHS not later than 20 days after the end of each state fiscal quarter. The State of Illinois fiscal year operates from July 1 to June 30 each year. Participant activity reports provide details as to the number and IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing

13 characteristics of the people served and the services provided. Fiscal Reports provide detailed line item expenditures documented for each quarter. The participant activity reports and fiscal reports must be submitted quarterly and are due on October 20, January 20, April 20, and July 20. The IDHS will provide the provider with all necessary computer reporting programs. F. Shelter and Supportive Services The supportive services provided through the Emergency Food and Shelter program are those deemed necessary to move people to self-sufficiency. Supportive services help families and individuals in the network of programs that can assist them to attain self-sufficiency. In addition to supportive services, Emergency Food and Shelter Program providers must offer one or more of the following basic shelter services (See Definitions): 1) Overnight shelter - Providing emergency sleeping accommodations for a period not to exceed 12 hours. Access to food service for at least one meal is required. In addition, supportive services are required. 2) Voucher shelter - Providing emergency shelter on a per diem basis at a nearby hotel, motel or similar facility when other overnight shelter is not available. Food service for at least one meal is required (food vouchers are allowed). Supportive services are required. 3) Transitional shelter - Providing temporary residence for a period not to exceed 24 months. Access to food and supportive services are required. All facilities utilized in the program must meet local health and safety code requirements. Each provider is required to provide open access to the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for everyone on a non-discriminatory basis. G. Allowable/Unallowable Costs The Emergency Food and Shelter Program limit costs to specific categories. Providers should review the Department s budget pages for these programs for a complete list of allowable costs. The following are allowable and unallowable costs under the Emergency Food and Shelter Program: Allowable Costs 1) Direct Costs a) Food b) Insurance - Professional Liability c) Insurance - Shelter d) Maintenance - Shelter e) Direct Service personnel f) Rent - Equipment g) Rent Shelter Space h) Supplies - Shelter IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 13

14 i) Training and education of staff j) Client Transportation k) Utilities - Shelter 2) Administrative Costs ( May not exceed 15% of IDHS funds) a) Telephone b) Supplies c) Office Space d) Administrative Personnel 3) Payments on behalf of Clients a) Voucher - Food b) Voucher - Shelter 4) Collection of Fees The collection of any fees or solicitation of contributions for homeless persons or persons at risk of becoming homeless as a condition to receive services through an overnight shelter or through a voucher program is prohibited. Transitional shelters are permitted to charge fees for shelter services. Fees cannot exceed 30% of the adjusted households income in any one month and cannot be used as a source of match to EF&S funds. 5) Unallowable Costs The following are some examples of unallowable costs: a) Cell Phone Purchase b) Property Acquisition c) Major Renovation d) Lap Top Computer Purchases H. Program Monitoring Representatives of the IDHS may perform periodic monitoring reviews, during normal business hours to review the management practices, fiscal procedures or other aspects of the provider s operations to ensure compliance with IDHS, State and Federal rules, regulation and policies. Providers must maintain all participant and fiscal records on site to facilitate program monitoring by IDHS. 1) Notification The IDHS will send a written notification thirty days prior to visiting an provider if at all possible. Official notice will include a monitoring review sheet that must be completed before the IDHS representative arrives. 2) Initial Site Visit Once a grant is awarded by the IDHS a representative from the IDHS will conduct a site visit to advise the provider of the IDHS program standards and reporting documents. The visit is to help the providers understand and follow IDHS rules and regulations. The initial visit to the site is also to make sure all State rules and regulation are followed. The IDHS, when doing a site visit, will review a sampling of all case files to determine service availability and utilization. Included in the case files for example IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 14

15 are: intake form, assessment forms, case management, short and long term goals, referrals, and medical information. 3) Program Review Whenever problems or issues are identified during monitoring, the IDHS will issue a Corrective Action Plan. Technical assistance may be provided by appropriate staff from the IDHS. The IDHS may also make recommendations to the provider. 4) Corrective Action Plans Problems of continuing or serious nature may result in a Corrective Action Response from the IDHS. If a site has a serious violation, the provider will be notified in writing within ten days. The provider will then have thirty days to respond with a mandatory written plan of action to the violation. If necessary, the IDHS will conduct a follow-up visit to the provider to ensure implementation of the approved Corrective Action Plan. 5) Technical Assistance - Purpose The IDHS will provide technical assistance to the providers, if needed. Upon request, the IDHS will respond to questions pertaining to fiscal reports, policy and procedures, rules and regulations and Federal and State laws. 6) Fiscal Reporting Throughout the year, the IDHS will be available to help with questions pertaining to fiscal reporting that is required by the IDHS. 7) Program The IDHS is available to advise the provider, if needed, on the policy and procedures of the program. 8) Training The IDHS may conduct mandatory training sessions throughout the year. If feasible, and to the extent possible, the IDHS will notify agencies at least 30 days in advance of a mandatory training. These training seminars will cover areas such as fiscal reporting, participant reports and other areas designed to help agencies meet State and Federal guidelines and requirements. The agencies are required to attend mandatory training sessions. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 15

16 IV Homeless Prevention Program A. Purpose and Terminology The Homeless Prevention Program provides rental/mortgage assistance, security deposit assistance, utility assistance, approved case management, and approved supportive services to individuals and families who are in imminent danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness, or are currently homeless. Supportive services must directly relate to the prevention of homelessness. These services are provided in an effort to stabilize families in their existing homes, shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters, and assist individuals and families with securing affordable housing. The households must document to the provider a temporary economic crisis beyond household control, by giving evidence of at least one of the following conditions: loss of employment medical disability or emergency loss or delay of some form of public benefit natural disaster substantial change in household composition victimization by criminal activity illegal action by a landlord displacement by a government or private action, or some other condition which constitutes a hardship comparable to the other conditions enumerated above. The households must also be able to demonstrate an ability to meet prospective rental/utility obligations after assistance has been granted based on current or anticipated income. Payments for Homeless Prevention services must be made to a landlord, utility company or other vendor who provides housing or other services to an applicant for assistance. Payments cannot be made to or given directly to a participant. The following terminology is used in the Homeless Prevention Program: Case Management Continuum of Care Coordinating the acquisition, delivery and use of supportive services. Case management must include individual assessments that are used to develop individual service plans. There is up to a maximum of 10% allowed for case management. A Continuum of Care system provides multi-point access and linkages to services by service providers. The main functions of the Continua are outreach and assessment, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 16

17 Financial Counseling Budgeting/financial planning to ensure that participating households have the ability to maintain their rental/utility obligations after assistance has been granted, thereby reducing the probability of a recurrence of the crisis situation. Six Month Follow-up Screening program participants six months after the end of the fiscal year to determine whether they are housed in the same location, a different location, are homeless, or are unable to be located. Food Stamp/LIHEAP Screening every household that receives Homeless Service Coordination Prevention assistance to determine their need and eligibility for food stamp/liheap assistance and, based upon that determination, assisting with a food stamp/liheap application (or referral). Housing Location/ Inspection Outreach Rental/Mortgage Assistance Security Deposit Locating and/or initial inspection of rental property on behalf of participants to assure that the housing is decent and adequate for the household and meets health and safety standards prior to tenant occupancy. Locating and contacting at-risk persons in the community and informing them of available services. Payment of rent/mortgage arrears in the amount established as necessary to defeat eviction. In no event should this payment be greater than three (3) months of rental/mortgage arrears. Payment of a rent or security deposit. Payments should not be more than two (2) months rent. Supportive Services Supportive Services, where appropriate, to prevent homelessness or repeated episodes of homelessness. Utility Assistance Payment of utility bills and arrears (no legislative dollar amount stipulated). B. Policies and Procedures 1) Funding Plan For Homeless Prevention Funding for the Homeless Prevention Program is announced annually by IDHS. The funding announcement is directed to the local Continuum of Care (CoC) with the availability of funds. Those groups, in turn, solicit proposals from local agencies that serve homeless families and IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 17

18 individuals. The CoC then recommends projects for funding to IDHS. The Secretary of IDHS determines which applications will be funded and the funding amounts. Upon execution of the contract, Homeless Prevention providers will receive a prospective payment of 50% of the contract amount if funding is provided from general revenue funds. The remaining 50% of the funds will be distributed upon receipt of the first quarterly fiscal and client activity report or as determined by IDHS. 2) Reporting Requirements Each recipient agency is required to report quarterly on fiscal expenditures and client activity. Quarterly reports are due on October 20, January 20, April 20, and July 20. The IDHS will provide the Provider with all necessary computer-reporting programs. 3) Board of Directors Each provider is required to submit names of board members who oversee the program. The provider must maintain a current list of the board members and their terms of office and a list of phone numbers of the board members. The board must meet at least quarterly and maintain meeting minutes. The provider must maintain a policy on conflict of interest for board of director s members. 4) 501(c)(3) If the provider is not a governmental entity, the provider must be a federally tax exempt, non-profit agency legally authorized to operate in the State of Illinois with a Not-for-Profit Corporation Charter from the Illinois Secretary of State and verification from the Internal Revenue Service of exemption from federal income tax liability under the applicable Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Each provider must submit documentation of not-for-profit status and their 501(c)(3) status. Each contractor must certify that it complies with all provisions of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, the Illinois Revenue Act, and all rules promulgated there under, including withholding provisions and timely deposits of employee taxes and unemployment insurance taxes. Also, an annual report must be on file with the Secretary of State that the provider is a not-for-profit provider. This report will be sent, by the Secretary of State, to each provider s registered agent 45 to 60 days in advance of the date of the provider s incorporation. A provider can contact the Secretary of State Office/Annual Report Section at (217) with any questions or conflict resolutions. 5) Records The provider must maintain written policies and procedures regarding its fiscal activities, including but not limited to, payroll, purchasing, cash management, relevant fee schedules, contracts and risk management. The provider must submit and have on file a copy of their Annual Report to the Internal Revenue Service Form 990 and an Annual Report to the Attorney General Form AG 990. The provider must show proof that its governing body has approved a budget at least annually. All fiscal records are to be IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 18

19 maintained for at least five years after the end of the fiscal year to which they relate. Failure to maintain adequate records to document the expenditure of IDHS funds creates a presumption in favor of the Department for recovery of the funds. The provider must have on file the by-laws, policies and procedures and a current organization chart. The provider must maintain policies concerning the hiring, termination, evaluation, and discipline of staff. Also, the provider must have policies on non-discrimination in hiring, employment, sexual harassment as well as written job descriptions of employees duties and responsibilities. 6) Participant Information and Data Each provider must report quarterly on the number and characteristics of households served and the supportive services provided. IDHS will provide the mechanism to report outcomes and deliverables in the Homeless Prevention Program. The report should include information on household composition and household income. Reasons for particular services being utilized include a household wanting to maintain their current residence, move from their current residence to other permanent housing, or move from a shelter to permanent housing. 7) Participant Files Each Homeless Prevention provider is required, at a minimum, to keep participant files with regard to rental/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, security deposits, supportive services, case management, participant intake forms, assessment forms, participant outcomes/follow up, life skills data and other information involving the participants for a five-year period. 8) Followup The Homeless Prevention Program requires six month follow-up after the end of each fiscal year to be conducted with every household served to help determine if participants are maintaining independent living and selfsufficiency. Six months after the end of each fiscal year, providers must attempt to contact every household that received assistance through the Homeless Prevention Program in that previous fiscal year to see if they are still housed. A contact attempt must be made in at least one of the following ways: the household is contacted by phone, the landlord is contacted by phone, or a letter is sent to the household with a self-addressed, stamped postcard requesting a response as to their current housing status. All of these options should be exhausted before concluding that a household is unable to be located. Based on the results of that contact attempt, each household should then be placed into one of five follow-up categories: contact was made and the household is still living in the same location, contact was made and the household is living in a different location, contact was made and the household is now homeless, a contact attempt was made and it was IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 19

20 confirmed that a death in the household terminated residency of all household members, or a contact attempt was made and the household was unable to be located. Follow-up reports are due in to IDHS no later than January 20 th, approximately seven months after the end of each state fiscal year. C. Contracts and Amendment Procedures 1) Contract Procedures and Approvals Providers to be awarded funding will be notified, in writing, of annual contract award submittal dates and procedures for contracting. 2) Amendment, Submittals and Approvals If necessary, a provider may file a modification to the funding plan. Modifications or amendments to the funding and services plan must be submitted by the provider, in writing, and are subject to approval by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing. All sub-contracts or pass-through funding agreements must obtain approval from the IDHS prior to entering into any sub-contractual or pass-through funding arrangement. D. Program Budget 1) Homeless Prevention Program Budget The Homeless Prevention Program budget establishes how funds will be used in program implementation during the fiscal year. Agencies are required to track all IDHS funds by program and budget line item. 2) Financial Management System Providers must have an established financial management system which provides complete, separate, and accurate accountability of funds. The provider s accounting system must be well-maintained, up to date, and provide the following original documentation: a) Bank reconciliations; b) Trial balance; c) Separate identification of program expenses in a general ledger; d) Complete accountability of all obligations, payments, and reimbursements; e) Justification of allocations; f) Written administrative and accounting procedures; and g) Segregation of duties for internal control. The provider must maintain an accounting system that isolates IDHS funds and allows tracking of IDHS expenditures. 3) Budget Revisions - Amendment Process Homeless Prevention providers are allowed to move funds within the rent/mortgage, security deposit and utility cost categories or from the supportive services and case management categories into the IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 20

21 rent/mortgage, security deposit and utility categories without prior approval. Providers must obtain approval to move any additional funds into the supportive services and case management categories. 4) Fiscal Audits If deemed necessary, a program and fiscal audit will be conducted by the IDHS Office of Contracts Administration. 5) Match Requirements The Homeless Prevention Program does not require a match of funds. 6) Recovery The Office of Contract Administration (OCA) is responsible for financial reconciliation and financial recovery of unspent funds. As part of the funds recovery procedure, the Office of Contract Administration will send to each provider an Informal Notice letter containing the state fiscal year, the provider s name and FEIN number, and the amount of IDHS funds provided to each provider. The letter will also include a Grant Reconciliation Report to be completed by each provider. The provider will have fifteen days from the receipt of the informal notice to request, in writing, an informal hearing on lapsed funds or a plan of correction dealing with other violations. If the informal hearing does not result in a resolution of the lapsed funds, a Formal Notice to Recover Lapsed Funds letter will be sent by registered mail to the provider. The provider will then have thirty-five days to request, in writing, a Formal Hearing. At the end of thirty-five days, if no request has been received, the OCA may proceed to recover the amount of funds. If the provider does not have an upcoming fiscal year contract from which to deduct the lapsed funds owed, the Bureau of Collections will establish a collection account in the name of the provider. The Bureau of Collections will generate an invoice and mail it to the provider for payment. The provider will then receive monthly billing statements. The debt may also be referred by the IDHS to the Attorney General s Office if the debt remains unpaid for one year. 7) Program Payments The prospective payment method is used in the Homeless Prevention Program. Upon execution of a contract, providers will receive a prospective payment of 50% of the contract amount if funding is provided from general revenue funds. Agencies will receive the remaining 50% of the contract amount upon receipt of the first quarterly fiscal and client activity report, or as determined by IDHS. IDHS reserves the right to advance additional funds to the agency beyond the prescribed method when it is in the best interest of the provider to do so. IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing

22 E. Supportive Services The supportive services provided through the Homeless Prevention Program are those deemed necessary to move people to self-sufficiency. Homeless Prevention providers should be aware that supportive services can only be offered to the extent that they directly relate to the prevention of homelessness or repeated episodes of homelessness. There are two categories of supportive services: 1. Required Services - Supportive services that are built into the scope of the Homeless Prevention Program and are part of the service plan that every participating household receives. The required supportive services provided by the Homeless Prevention Program are limited to the following: a. Case Management (as requested) b. Financial Counseling c. Food Stamp Service Coordination d. Legal Services (as requested) e. LIHEAP Service Coordination f. Six Month Follow-Up 2. Supplemental Supportive Services provided through other funding - Supportive services not funded directly through the Homeless Prevention Program, but still offered to participating households (through other in-house service programs or referrals to partnering agencies in the network) as a supplement to housing assistance. These services include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Outreach b. Advocacy c. Counseling d. Mental Health Services e. Alcohol Abuse Services f. Substance Abuse Services g. Health/Dental Services h. Education i. Transportation j. Employment Services k. Child Care l. Children s Services m. Housing Location/Inspection n. HIV/AIDS Related Services o. English as a Second Language F. Provider Responsibilities All providers must provide open access to the program for everyone on a nondiscriminatory basis. Also, the provider must submit, on a quarterly basis, an accurate client activity and fiscal report. Providers must report supportive services in addition to client assistance data. In addition, the service facility must IDHS - Bureau of Homeless Services and Supportive Housing 22

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