SSVF Program Update Friday December 6th, 2019

From: Supportive Services for Veteran Families
Date: December 6, 2019 at 10:10:24 AM EST
Subject: SSVF Program Update Friday December 6th, 2019

1.    New: Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Published in the Federal Register
2.    Register Now: SSVF National Webinar December 12, 2019 2:00 EST
3.    Important: December Repository Upload
4.    Reminder: End of Year Requirements
5.    Important: Mandatory Return of Funds Exception for First Quarter FY2020

New: Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Published in the Federal Register

On December 5, 2019, a new SSVF NOFA has been published in the Federal Register. This NOFA provides funding opportunities to renew existing grants. This NOFA is competitive, and applicants are urged to closely review the NOFA and the associated training available on the SSVF website by using the link below.  The principal goal of this NOFA is to provide support to those applicants who demonstrate the greatest capacity to end homelessness through the adoption of evidence-based practices likely to lead to reductions in homelessness.  Scoring criteria are described in 38 CFR 62.21, 62.23, and 62.24. Awards are for services to begin October 1, 2020. Applications are due no later than January 31, 2020 at 4pm EST. Please contact if you have questions.

The NOFA and training are available on the SSVF website and can be found using the link below:

Register Now:  SSVF National Webinar December 12, 2019 2:00 EST

Staff from the VA Homeless Program Office Clinical Operations will present an overview of S.A.V.E training, a nationally recognized best practice method for Veteran suicide prevention. Participants will learn the steps of S.A.V.E. and receive instructions on what resources to connect to when identifying a Veteran who is at risk of suicide.  SSVF Program Office staff will also review requirements for all SSVF grantee agency staff regarding Suicide Prevention training.

Please register for the webinar using the link below:

Important: December Repository Upload

New guidance from the Program Office has recommended that grantees only conduct Rapid Resolution conversations with Veterans who are enrolled in SSVF HP or RRH projects.  This new guidance eliminates the need for grantees to enter Rapid Resolution conversations and the results of those conversations into a separate Coordinated Entry Event and Rapid Resolution specific HMIS project.    While the SSVF program office is no longer requiring grantees to set up these separate projects, the CSV file (Event.csv) included to capture this information was not removed from the VA Repository in time for the December upload that begins next week.  When conducting uploads, grantees may receive error messages stating that the Event.csv is a required CSV file, however this is no longer a requirement and grantees will not be penalized for uploads not working due to the missing Event.csv file.  Grantees who are experiencing other errors or rejected uploads should reach out to TA for support at

Reminder: End of Year Requirements

In an effort to minimize the need for re-submissions and to streamline the review process for the End of Year Requirement in GIFTS for grantees that were approved for an extension, below are some tips that grantees can follow to avoid errors and re-submission.

•    Read the instructions of the first tab of the FER (Financial Expenditure Report)
•    Be sure to provide justifications for any line items with a variance of +/-10%
•    Be sure to use the FER template that was provided to your organization by the program office.
•    When attaching the FER file to your requirement submission, please leave the file name the same as what was provided (XX-YY-ZZZ_FY19_Financial_Expenditure_Report)
•    Be sure to complete the FFR (Federal Financial Report) in PMS (Payment Management System). There is a response requested on the EOY requirement in GIFTS asking grantees to certify this is done. An organization should not be answering "yes" to this question if the FFR has not been submitted.

Important: Mandatory Return of Funds Exception for First Quarter FY2020

As stated in each SSVF grant agreement, at the end of each quarter a grantee's requests for SSVF funds (also known as draw-downs) must meet the minimum spending percentage rate outlined in the grant agreement.  Grantees that don't meet minimum spending percentage rates will be subject to a mandatory return of funds.  Please note that grantees do not submit physical invoices to the SSVF Program Office; therefore, expenditure rates are assessed using the draw down information in the HHS Payment Management System. As a reminder, the process requires grantees to have drawn down at least 15% of the full award by the end of the first quarter, 40% by the end of the second quarter, and 65% of the award by the end of the third quarter, if that standard is not met then a mandatory return is processed.
The program office will NOT be implementing the mandatory return of funds process after the first quarter.  Please note that the mandatory return process WILL be in effect after the second and third quarters of FY2020.  Shallow subsidy awards and grantees that have received Disaster Relief funds in FY2019 will be exempt from mandatory return of funds during the FY2020 grant year.   If you have any questions, please direct them to your Regional Coordinator.

Thank You,

SSVF Program Office