This post was originally published on the Texas Register.
The Texas Veterans Commission (“TVC”) announces September 5, 2020, as its posting and release date of the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (“FV”) Request for Applications (“RF”) for the 2021-2022 grant cycle. The deadline to submit all applications is November 5, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. (CDST).
Through its forthcoming RFA, FVA is requesting applications from organizations eligible to apply for grant funding under the following general purposes, terms, and conditions:
Eligible Applicants. Eligible Applicants are units of local government, under IRS Code §501(c)(19); posts or organizations of past or present members of the Armed Forces, under IRS Code §501(c)(3); private nonprofit corporations authorized to conduct business in Texas and veterans service organizations, under IRS Code §501(c)(4); and nonprofit organizations authorized to do business in Texas with experience providing services to veterans.
Purpose. The purpose of the RFA is to:
1. Provide an overview of FVA grant programs, including detailed descriptions of service categories, service areas, program goals and guidelines;
2. Solicit grant applications from eligible applicants for the 2021-2022 grant period;
3. Provide application instructions and specific information on grant eligibility; and,
4. Provide information about the FVA grant application and awarding process.
Description. The RFA details funding opportunities and requirements for FVA’s five grant programs: General Assistance, Housing for Texas Heroes, Veterans Mental Health, Veteran Treatment Courts, and Veteran County Service Office.
All grant programs and opportunities function as reimbursement grants. Grants are awarded by the TVC Commissioner, based on a competitive application and awarding process. TVC Staff initially review applications for eligibility, and the all-volunteer FVA Advisory Committee review the eligibility-screened applications to make a recommendation to the Commission for its final consideration and awards.
FVA’s grant programs and service categories are:
1. The General Assistance (GA) grant includes seven service categories that provide employment support, financial assistance, homeless veteran support, pro bono legal services, referral services, supportive services, and transportation programs and services to veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses who live in Texas;
2. The Housing for Texas Heroes (H4TXH) grant provides home modifications and home repair for veterans and their families, as well as qualifying rent and utilities’ assistance;
3. The Veterans Mental Health (VMH) grant includes two service categories–Clinical Counseling Services and Peer-Support Services–which provide counseling and treatment to veterans and their families in addressing diagnosed conditions to improve their quality of life, relationships, outlook, and successful integration with their communities;
4. The Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) grant supports eligible units of local government in providing services through VTC programs established under Texas Government Code §124.001-.006. Grant funding is intended to support rehabilitation for justice-involved veterans to best prepare them for reintegration into their communities; and,
5. The Veteran County Service Office (VCSO) grant includes all the service categories listed above. (1-4). Veteran County Service Officers are eligible to submit one application for any of the service categories above and must serve as the project coordinator for the services if awarded the grant.
Note: For FVA grant programs that have multiple service categories, applicants should select the service category that their organization would best serve and develop their project narratives and budgets to illustrate how they will successfully provide those services.
FVA Program Goals.
TVC Commissioners have established the following goals for successful grant applicants:
1. Provide support, services, and resources to veterans, their families, and surviving spouses to improve their quality of life and strengthen their connections and integration within their communities;
2. Responsively serve eligible TVC grant beneficiaries to meet the justice-involved veterans’ acute and chronic needs;
3. Provide grant-funded services and resources that have measurable and positive outcomes;
4. Ensure grant-funded projects are available to veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses across the state;
5. Ensure that a diversity of grant-funded services are available within geographic regions; and,
6. Fully fund grant projects that support FVA’s overall and specific program goals approved by the Commission.
Funding Priorities for 2021-22 FVA Grants. The Commission has established the following priorities to provide guidance to the FVA Advisory Committee in developing funding recommendations to the Commission in making its final decision on grant awards. In sum, the FVA Advisory Committee shall provide funding recommendations for grant applications that: (1) Meet the FVA program goals; (2) Provide services and resources available through FVA grant programs to veterans and their families based upon their expressed needs for their county or region; (3) Place a high priority on budgeting for client services; and (4) Fund organizations with a demonstrated history of meeting grant performance benchmarks.
Grant Funding Period. . Awarded grants will commence on July 1, 2021, and end on June 30, 2022. All grants are reimbursement grants. Reimbursements are permitted only for eligible expenses that are incurred within the term of the grant. No pre-award spending will be reimbursed.
* Grant Amounts. Eligible Applicants can request the specific funding amounts for their grant-funded projects from the options in the table below:
Number of Grants to be Awarded and Total Available The anticipated amount of grant funding available for all 2021-2022 FVA grant programs, including VCSO funding and potential grant renewals, is $30,000,000. The number of awards made will be contingent upon the amount of grants renewed from the 2020-2021 grant period and funding requested and awarded to eligible applicants from the 2020-2022 RFA. The total amount of grant funding is subject to change depending on the availability of funds.
Selection Criteria. TVC staff use an eligibility checklist and evaluation rubric to review all applications for eligibility. Eligible applications will be forwarded to the FVA Advisory Committee for review and consideration. The FVA Advisory Committee will prepare a funding recommendation to be presented to the Commission for action. Again, the Commission makes all final funding decisions. Applications shall address all requirements of the RFA to be considered for funding by the Commission.
TVC is not obligated to approve an application, provide funds, or endorse any application submitted in response to the RFA solicitation. Applicants should have no expectation of continued funding. Neither this notice nor the RFA obligates the Commission to award a grant or pay any costs incurred in preparing an application.
Requesting the Materials Needed to Complete an Application. All information needed to respond to the RFA solicitation will be posted on the TVC website (www.tvc.texas.gov/grants/) and the TVC GovGrants portal (http://tvcportal.force.com/) on September 5, 2020. All applications must be timely submitted electronically through the TVC GovGrants portal. No paper applications or other methods of submission will be considered for funding.
Further Information. In order to assure that no prospective applicant obtains a competitive advantage because of information unknown to other prospective applicants, all applicants’ questions must be submitted via email to email@example.com. All questions and the written answers will be posted on the TVC GovGrants portal in the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) tab. The last day to submit questions regarding the RFA is October 28, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (CDST).
Deadline for Receipt of Applications. Applications must be submitted to the TVC GovGrants portal by 5:00 p.m. (CDST) on November 5, 2020, to be considered for funding. Applications received after the deadline or submitted through other means will not be considered for processing or funding. As such, Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications at least three days prior to the deadline to ensure that there is sufficient time to address any validation or error messages generated by the GovGrants program, which prevents submission until resolved.
Funding Authority. The Fund For Veterans’ Assistance is authorized by Texas Government Code, Section 434.017.