HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

2020 Justice-Involved RFP

Preview RFP questionsPreview RFP questions

Applications for the 2020 Justice-Involved Request for Proposals are due by 5pm on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Click to apply using Meyer's GrantIS system. (Application questions are listed below).

RFP details

  1. Use of funds
  2. Information sessions

Meyer Memorial Trust invites proposals that will increase access to quality private-market housing units for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved. Up to $150,000, over two years, in new funding is available.

Applicants will be notified of their award status in late November, with funding available in early to mid-December.

Grant funds can be used for a variety of purposes to support the proposed project’s goals, including the following examples:

  • Project management or consulting services dedicated to furthering the project.
  • Hiring staff to support the project.
  • Approaches and strategies that will reduce screening barriers for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved such as reasonable accommodations or appeals, utility debt relief, rental applications, etc.
  • Evaluation and assessment.
  • Development of educational material, toolkits, manual of project.
  • Other uses as approved by Meyer.

Meyer staff will present an overview of the RFP and answer questions during two online information sessions on Friday, June 26, at 11am PST and Wednesday, July 8, at 11am PST. To attend, please visit the event registration page to receive details for joining the session. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.

To register for the session, please visit: eventbrite.com/e/housing-opportunities-2020-justice-involved-rfp-registration-110711621440. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.


Background

Meyer recognizes that tens of thousands of Oregonians have criminal records. The Oregon Health Authority estimates that about 26,000 people are released from jails and 5,500 people from federal and state prisons back into the community every year. Data show that people of color are more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system. People who have experienced incarceration or jail are more likely to experience higher rates of poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental health needs. There is growing recognition that successful reintegration into society for individuals involved in the criminal justice-system benefits those individuals, their families and the broader community. Data from Prison Policy Initiative show that housing can be a powerful pathway for individuals involved in the criminal justice-system to transition out of the cycle of incarceration and back into the community or workforce and reduces the likelihood of an individual returning to jail or prison.

Funding Opportunity Overview

This funding opportunity will increase access to and retention of private-market units for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved by supporting effective strategies that engage private-market landlords and management companies as partners in addressing affordable housing needs across Oregon communities.

To support this goal, Meyer anticipates awarding up to $1 million over two years in grant funds for projects with a proven track record working with justice-involved individuals and effective strategies to support housing placement in private-market housing. This funding opportunity is intended to help sustain or expand existing projects and for organizations with existing services for justice-involved people looking to add housing placement support services. For this funding opportunity, justice-involved individuals are considered to be people previously involved in the criminal justice system, people who will be released within 90 days, or those under correctional community supervision.

Funding availability

Meyer Memorial Trust invites proposals that will increase access to quality private-market housing units for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved.

 

  • Type of Award: Grant. Project support: Investments that support a clearly defined set of activities that are carefully planned and designed to achieve a specific outcome or goal. Projects generally have a beginning and end date.
  • Award Amount and Grant Period: A maximum of $150,000 over two years, with most grants in the range of $60,000 to $75,000 per year.
  • Total available funding: Meyer has made available up to $1,000,000 in grant funds for this RFP.

Grant timeline

• Application opens in Meyer’s GrantIS system: Monday, June 22, 2020 (apply here)

• Information sessions: Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m. PST, and Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m. PST

• Applications due: Wednesday, July 29, 2020, by 5 p.m. (Applicants should be prepared for site visits questions September - October)

• Award decisions: late-November

• Funding available: January 2021

Information sessions

Meyer staff will present an overview of the RFP and answer questions during two online information session on Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m. PST and Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m. PST. To attend, please visit the Eventbrite registration page. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory.

Equity commitment

Equity is a central tenet in all Meyer’s grantmaking.

All applicants — regardless of where in their equity journey they may be today — must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing growth through the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles into both their external programming or services and internal structures and operations.

Learn more about how Meyer thinks about equity at mmt.org/applicant-resources/diversity

Funding priorities:

Funding will be prioritized for strategies that demonstrate potential for sustainability beyond the grant period through the development of institutionalized partnerships, long-term funding and/or systems change. Funding will also be prioritized for projects that are focused on people of color and Indigenous communities with population-specific strategies.

Meyer accepts applications that do not have focused strategies for people of color and Indigenous communities, however funding will be priorities for grants with specific strategies that support our priority populations. Applications without specific strategies will be less competitive.

Strong applicants will:

  • Have a proven track record of effectively working with justice-involved individuals (below or at 60% Median Area Income) by providing specific services for people previously involved in the criminal justice system, people near release date or those under correctional community supervision.
  • Have a successful track record in housing placement and retention and relationships with local private-market landlords or property management companies.
  • Leverage additional resources to support renter stability once housed, such as rent assistance, supportive services, etc.
  • Promote partnerships and collaboration among local stakeholder organizations, including public agencies, private landlords, management companies, community-based organizations (including culturally specific organizations where appropriate) and justice-involved individuals.
  • Have a commitment to equity and understand how to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Have focused strategies designed to support communities of color, Indigenous communities or Tribes (which could be included alongside other populations the organization may serve).

Examples of potential projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Projects to support justice-involved renters unhoused or precariously housed to overcome barriers to the local rental market to increase their ability to secure suitable rental units. These projects could include strategies to build relationships with private landlords in selected communities and management companies to develop second chance housing opportunities.
  • The development of local networks and collaboratives that bring together nonprofits, local governments, parole or probation officers, employment services, or private landlords and management companies to create and implement coordinated strategies to connect low-income justice-involved people to existing private-market units.
  • Projects that reduce screening barriers for low-income tenants by mitigating landlords’ risk. These projects could include risk mitigation pools, deposit loans, case management, housing navigators, rebuilding credit, employment placement, etc.
  • Projects that support justice-involved individuals to reunite with family members, and leasing a rental unit together or being added to an existing rental lease. This could include the development of exit housing plans.
  • Scaling a successful private-market housing model for access by increasing the number of successfully housed low-income justice-involved individuals and broadening funding sources to expand projects.

Eligible use of funds:

Grant funds can be used for a variety of purposes to support the proposed project’s goals, including the following examples:

  • Project management or consulting services dedicated to furthering the project.
  • Hiring staff to support the project.
  • Approaches and strategies that will reduce screening barriers for individuals living on low-incomes who are also justice-involved such as reasonable accommodations or appeals, utility debt relief, rental applications, etc.
  • Evaluation and assessment.
  • Development of educational material, toolkits, manual of project.
  • Other uses as approved by Meyer.

Application Instructions

A. Account Setup

Applicants must have an account to log in to our GrantIS application system. If your organization does not have an account, please register at least one week prior to the application deadline at https://grantis.mmt.org/questionnaire

B. Online Application Process

Applications should be submitted online through Meyer's GrantIS system at https://grantis.mmt.org. The list of questions you’ll be asked to address is summarized below. There is a 2,000-word limit for proposals, but you are free to allocate your response between the questions as you wish.

Deadline: 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Need help? Meyer is committed to providing assistance and clarification as needed to support applicants in responding to this RFP. For assistance with the online registration or application process, contact Housing Opportunities program officer Elisa Harrigan (Elisa [at] mmt.org, 503-228-5512).


Application questions & Overview

Applicant Information

Contact information: Select the person who is to act as the primary point of contact for this application. If the appropriate person is not listed below, add their name to the Organization Profile (link).

Grant request description: The description should clarify what the grant seeks to accomplish through this proposed grant and who will benefit/who will be served. (20 words max)

Proposed grant start date: Start date should be January, 1st 2020, or later.

Proposed length of grant: (# of months)

About the Organization

Briefly summarize the applicant organization’s purpose, mission, history, major programs and activities.

What is the applicant organization or collaborative’s track record operating specific programs for justice-involved individuals? Include how long you have offered programs specifically for justice-involved individuals and what kind of programs they are/were and how many people are served annually.

Organizational Financial Information

Organization’s current annual operating budget size:

Operating surplus/deficit: Enter the current budget surplus or deficit for the CURRENT FISCAL YEAR.

Meyer understands that organizations might be experiencing deficits due to the impacts of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. We will take this into consideration as we review financial information.

Brief financial history: Provide the organization’s total revenue and expenses for the past three fiscal years, starting with the most recent year first.

Briefly describe any significant budget trends the organization has experienced in recent years or anticipates during the grant period (e.g., growth, primary revenue sources). If an operating deficit is indicated in the table above and/or there have been significant surpluses or changes in budget size, please explain.

Fiscally sponsored projects

If the organization has a fiscal sponsor, upload a file that displays the operating surplus/deficit for the fiscal sponsor and a brief financial history for the past three years. Upload or use this template.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Meyer seeks to partner with organizations that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their work and partnerships. Demographic data is one tool we use to help us learn about the organization's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Use the organization’s own data collection tools or refer to this resource by Guidestar on how to collect DEI data to help inform the responses to the questions below.

We recognize that many organizations do not collect sufficient data to answer all these questions. We ask organizations to share whatever data is available and to let us know when there is not sufficient data. We may request more detailed information during our review process.

Briefly describe how the organization has demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Describe how that commitment to DEI shapes internal operations and external/programmatic work and provide an example of each.

To what extent do the demographics of staff, board and volunteers (as applicable) reflect the demographics of the populations served and the demographics of the broader community in the service area?

Staff/board demographics:

What percentage of your staff are people of color? ___%

What is the source of your staff data? (select one)

  • Actual (we collected demographic data)
  • Estimated (we did not collect demographic data)
  • None, insufficient data to answer

What percentage of your board are people of color? ___%

What is the source of your board data? (select one)

  • Actual (we collected demographic data)
  • Estimated (we did not collect demographic data)
  • None, insufficient data to answer

Tell us about the data collection process. If demographic data is not available, please explain here.
If there are additional demographics of the organization’s board and staff that are important to the organization, describe them here. What has changed about the staff and board demographic data in the past few years and does the organization anticipate any changes in this area?

Briefly describe how the organization will advance diversity, equity and inclusion internally during the grant period.

About proposed work

What counties will the project serve and/or take place in? If the project will serve and/or take place in all Oregon counties, select "statewide."

If the project includes strategies designed to serve or benefit one or more Tribal reservations or communities, indicate which community from the following list.

Go here for information about how Meyer thinks about Rural.

Is the requested funding for work that will primarily take place in and/or serve rural communities?

The following are Meyer's priority populations for this RFP:

  • Crime/abuse survivors
  • People of color
  • People with disabilities
  • Indigenous communities and Tribes
  • Women or girls
  • Youth in or aging out of foster care

Does this request include strategies designed to specifically serve or benefit one or more of the priority populations listed above?

  • Yes
  • No, this request seeks to benefit all communities generally and does not include strategies to specifically benefit particular populations

Select up to three priority populations.

Describe the organization’s specific strategies to serve the priority population(s) identified above. Why was this approach chosen and what planning/preparation has been completed so far?

Partnerships & Collaborations

Is this application being submitted on behalf of a collaborative?

If the grant would support a newly formed collaborative:

Briefly describe the purpose of the collaboration and when and why it was formed.

List the organizations that would receive Meyer funds as part of this collaborative grant and the amount each would receive. Indicate which organization is the collaborative’s lead or coordinator.

If the grant would support work of an established collaborative:

Confirm that the collaborative project meets all the following Meyer eligibility components to apply for a collaborative by checking each box as it may apply:

  • ☐ Collaborative structure and priorities are inclusive and demonstrate an equitable approach.
  • ☐ Roles and responsibilities of collaborative partners are clearly defined and demonstrate an equitable approach.
  • ☐ Decision-making processes demonstrate an equitable approach.
  • Briefly describe the purpose of the collaboration and when and why it was formed.
  • List the organizations that would receive Meyer funds as part of this collaborative grant and the amount each would receive. Indicate which organization is the collaborative’s lead or coordinator. Describe any partners who will be involved in the implementation of the project, including their roles and responsibilities, how their involvement will contribute to the success of the project and how they will benefit from involvement in the project.
  • Describe any partners who are involved in the implementation of the project, including their roles and responsibilities, how their involvement will contribute to the success of the project and how they will benefit from involvement in the project.

Upload a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or letters of commitment from each of the collaborative partners. Be sure to list the roles and responsibilities of each partner, including any resources (such as funding, staff time, etc.) that each partner commits to within the proposed project. If the collaborative is in the planning stages and roles, responsibilities and/or commitments are not fully defined, upload a brief statement describing where the collaborative is in this process.

Project overview & Design

Will this project predominantly serve participants at or below 60% Area Median Income?

This funding opportunity is intended to help sustain or expand existing projects and for organizations with existing services for justice-involved people looking to add housing placement support services. Which of the following Is this proposed request?

  • Sustain a current project
  • Expand an existing program

We understand that, across Oregon, communities are experiencing high levels of rent burden, increased homelessness and loss of homes due to constrained rental markets experiencing challenges such as skyrocketing rents, stagnant incomes, stringent screening criteria, a shortage of affordable housing and overall low vacancy rates. You do not need to describe the general housing crisis in the state.

  1. Describe the justice-involved population(s) that are expected to benefit from this project. How will you identify and select participants? (Please be specific: Will participants be transitioning out of incarceration or jail, be on supervision, be experiencing homelessness, have past justice involvement that is still creating a housing barrier, etc.?)
  2. Summarize the project for which funds are requested. In the narrative address the following.
    1. State the specific challenges in securing and maintaining suitable housing faced by the justice-involved individuals your project proposes to serve during the grant period.
    2. What does the project hope to accomplish?
    3. What strategies and activities do you propose to achieve these goals?
    4. What quantitative outcomes will be tracked to measure progress toward the project’s goals?
  3. What resources will this project leverage to support renter access, successful community reintegration or stabilization supports (such as tenant education classes, rent assistance programs, employment training, GED or higher educational attainment, addictions services, etc.)? If so, which ones and how?
  4. Describe how the organization has ensured that the strategies for this project are appropriate for the priority participants and the organizations approach to addressing the problem/opportunity.
  5. Who are the main stakeholders and how were they involved in defining the issue and developing the proposed project or strategy? (Please Include justice-involved individuals involvement.)
  6. How does the proposed project and/or organization address and dismantle historic and current systemic and societal disparities for the justice-involved population(s), especially people of color and Indigenous communities?

Attachments

The following documents are required as part of your application and attachments do not count toward the proposal word limit:

  • Project budget
  • Board-approved operating budget

If you are invited for further consideration, you will be asked to provide the following documents, if they are not included with the application:

  • The organization’s two most recent year-end financial statements
  • Audited statements, if available. If audited financial statements are not available, comment in the text box below
  • The organization’s most recent monthly financial statements (Balance Sheet/Statement of Financial Position and Income Statement/Profit & Loss/Statement of Activities)
  • Executive summary of the organization's current strategic plan (optional)
  • Organizational DEI plan or statement (optional)

More Questions?

Participate in one of our informational sessions: Friday, June 26, at 11 a.m. PST, and Wednesday, July 8, at 11 a.m. PST

Contact Housing Opportunities program officer Elisa Harrigan (Elisa [at] mmt.org, 503-228-5512) directly with questions about this RFP

Contact our grant operations team at grantops [at] mmt.org with questions about GrantIS