All FAQ's

Is there a minimum or maximum stay requirement for bridge housing? (7/7/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use  

There is no minimum or maximum length of time required for bridge housing stays. For purposes of the BHBH Program, “short-term” is defined as less than 90 days and “mid-term” is a period between 90 days and 2 years, with the possibility of a 1-year extension. Because the BHBH Program sunsets, or ends, grantees may not use its funds to support longer-term housing or rental assistance. Tribal entities are encouraged to allow flexible lengths of stay in bridge housing settings to ensure housing navigation and placement services occur and that individuals are transitioned to permanent housing to the greatest extent possible. 

What are the options for Tribal entities that want to lease to own? (7/7/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use  

The primary focus of the BHBH Program is to help people experiencing homelessness who have either SMI or SUD that prevents them from accessing help and transitioning out of homelessness. The RFA does note that grantees will be allowed to have either leased or owned property, with the goal of providing bridge housing on a faster timeline. It is important to note that all leasing costs must be reasonable and appropriate for the area in which they are located, and all BHBH Program funds must be expended by June 30, 2027. Property purchases are treated as part of start-up infrastructure, are limited to $75,000 per bed, and must be operational in one year. These requirements may impact the ability of a Tribal entity to operate a lease-to-own strategy. 

Will there be allowances for budget exceptions? (7/7/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use  

Exceptions to the budgetary specifications will be reviewed by DHCS on a case-by-case basis. For DHCS to consider an exception, the applicant must include a strong justification and documentation proving that it is necessary. As noted in the RFA, any exception requests must “clearly describe how the exception is essential in order for the applicant to be able to effectively serve their community and how the restrictions limit their implementation” (Attachment B).

What happens if we apply for BHBH Program funding with the intent to use it as a match for another funding source and we do not receive the other funding? (7/7/23)

Subtopic: Application Process  

The BHBH Program does not include a match requirement. Nothing precludes BHBH Program grantees from combining these funds with other funding sources, such as for the purchase of infrastructure, as long as program expenditures meet the identified Allowable BHBH Program Activities outlined in the RFA and the other program allows use of BHBH Program funds as match. If you are applying for other funds, please note that your BHBH Program application should describe your backup plan in the event that you do not receive additional the funding from other sources.

What is the award amount range for Implementation Grants? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use  

Tribal entities may apply for an Implementation Grant in any amount up to $5 million—there is no minimum. Grantees may use the Implementation Grant to engage in the allowable service activities as described in the RFA on projects of any size, including small projects that focus on addressing the immediate housing needs of a few individuals. 

Can any individual receive services through BHBH Program-funded programs if they are experiencing distress and displaying disorganized behavior but haven’t been diagnosed with a serious behavioral health condition and/or do not want to be? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Program Requirements 

To be eligible for a BHBH Program-funded project, an individual must meet the following general criteria: 

The individual is experiencing significant impairment, or there is a reasonable probability, of significant deterioration in an important area of life functioning  


The individual has at least one diagnosis, or a suspected diagnosis, from the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for a mental disorder or a substance-related and addictive disorder, with the exception of Tobacco-Related Disorders and Non-Substance-Related Disorders. 

BHBH Program participants are not required to have been given a specific diagnosis; however, bridge housing supports should include access to mental health and/or substance use treatment. See Attachment C: Definitions for a complete definition of “serious behavioral health condition.”  

When a person who might be a BHBH participant has co-occurring mental and substance-related disorders, which one gets addressed first? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Program Requirements 

Tribal entities are encouraged to partner with local behavioral health organizations and substance use disorder and mental health providers to address the individualized treatment needs of each BHBH participant. The BHBH Program does not include requirements regarding the sequencing of services; as reflected in the Housing First principles, engagement in treatment should not be a requirement for access to housing. The BHBH Program encourages the use of a person-centered approach, and integrated care is considered a best practice. 

Who should be the primary BHBH Program applicant in a partnership or collaboration? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Application Process 

Any entity that meets the definition of “Tribal entity” as outlined in the RFA, whether rural or urban, is invited to apply. Partnerships and collaboration are encouraged; however, each application must have one clear lead that will submit the application and sign the contract. A letter of intent or memorandum of understanding (MOU) is not required for subcontractors or other key partners during the application process.  

Are you limited to a budget of $75,000 per bed if you are building new housing? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use 

Yes. Bridge housing start-up infrastructure funding is limited to $75,000 per bed. However, Tribal entities may use BHBH Program funds in conjunction with other funds as allowable. BHBH Program funds are not intended to fully support the construction of new bridge housing facilities. Track 2: Implementation Grant start-up infrastructure funding can be used for start-up costs and to make facilities more available to individuals with serious behavioral health conditions. All bridge housing start-up infrastructure activities must be complete, and beds made available, within one year of contract execution. See Attachment B (Track 2: Implementation Grants) for more information on start-up infrastructure. 

What is the grant funding cap amount per Tribal entity? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Budget/Allowable Use 

Track 1: Planning grants will be awarded in amounts of $150,000. Applicants for Track 2: Implementation Grants may request up to $5 million in funding; these grants may also be used for planning activities. A Tribal entity may only apply to one funding track as a primary applicant. However, they may be listed as a partner on another BHBH Program application from an eligible Tribal entity.  

What information should I provide to help DHCS determine whether my organization is eligible to apply for BHBH Program funding? (7/19/23)

Subtopic: Application Process

Provide DHCS with a description of your organization, where you are located, whom you serve, the Tribal representation of your board of directors (if applicable), a link to your website (if applicable), and your understanding of how you meet the eligibility criteria below (from the RFA):

Only Tribal entities within the state of California are eligible to apply for this round of BHBH Program funding. California “Tribal entities” are defined as a federally recognized Indian Tribe, tribal organization, or Urban Indian organization, or a health care program operated by an Indian Tribe, a tribal organization, or Urban Indian organization, as defined in Section 1603 of Title 25 of the United States Code and further defined in Section 5304.