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Request for Proposals: California Harm Reduction Initiative (CHRI)

National Harm Reduction Coalition is the lead organization for the California Harm Reduction Initiative, also known as CHRI, supported by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Office of AIDS (OA). CHRI was established by the California Budget Act of 2019, which included $15.2 million to strengthen substance use disorder response by supporting staffing at syringe services programs (SSPs). 

The overarching goal of the project is to expand harm reduction services and deepen linkage and engagement with other social service programs, specifically substance use disorder treatment services, for people who use drugs through grant-making and technical assistance. National Harm Reduction Coalition will fund up to $12.6 million in grants over a three-year period. We are seeking proposals that will build upon local expertise, uplift the voices and priorities of people who use drugs, and center racial justice.

CHRI will increase the human resources capacity of SSPs to expand the range, reach, and quality of harm reduction services, and to establish and deepen collaborations between SSPs and other medical, social service, and substance use disorder treatment providers (“partner organizations”). Through this contract, national Harm Reduction Coalition will (1) increase staffing at qualified SSPs, (2) provide technical assistance to SSPs and their partner organizations, and (3) evaluate the results of the funded program.

Grant Summary

Grant Amount: Requests may range from $75,000 to $450,000 over three years 

Grant Period: August 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023

Deadline for Questions: June 8th, 2020 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Grant Application Deadline: June 17th, 2020 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Announcement of Awards: July 24th, 2020

Eligible Applicants:
Organizations, coalitions, or groups with a 501(c)3 non-profit status or a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)3 status that offer or plan to offer syringe services within the state of California; local health departments and other government entities that offer syringe services are eligible to apply. In order to be eligible, applicants must meet one of the two following conditions:

The SSP must be authorized by a local government or CDPH pursuant to California Health and Safety Code 121349 or, for physician-led programs, operate under the authority of Business and Professions Code 4145.5; or 

The organization must have a pending proposal for syringe services certification to CDPH/OA or be able to document an active local authorization process including relevant action by a city council and/or county board of supervisors, pursuant to California Health and Safety Code 121349. The organization must be able to document having applied for SSP authorization no later than the time at which they submit their CHRI grant application. 

We encourage partnerships between organizations and the submission of joint applications where appropriate. Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible to apply. 

Selection Process: National Harm Reduction Coalition will convene a proposal review panel to assess quality, potential impact, and priority. This composition of this committee is representative of the distinct regions funded by this initiative, ethnically/racially diverse, and not directly employed by organizations applying for CHRI funds.

CHRI Grant Review Webinar Recording

Download all documents for the Request for Proposals:

Submission Instructions

Please submit your proposal via the Google/Asana form (link) by the deadline. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Submit Word, PDF, and/or Excel versions of the following documents: 

  1. Proposal narrative labeled: “[Your Group Name] – CHRI Proposal Narrative” 
  2. Proposed budget labeled: “[Your Group Name] – CHRI Budget”
  3. Organization status letter: 501(c)3 determination letter, 501(c)3 determination of fiscal sponsor, or memo regarding status as a local health department
  4. Authorization Documentation: statement of a pending proposal for syringe services certification under CDPH/OA or be able to document an active local authorization process including relevant action by a city council and/or county board of supervisors, pursuant to California Health and Safety Code 121349, authorization documentation of currently approved status as an SSP under CDPH/OA, or memo of being a physician-led program currently operating under the authority of Business and Professions Code 4145.5 
  5. Most recent audited financial statements or 990 filings.  If your program does not have audited financials or a 990, please provide a letter explaining why, as well as a copy of your annual budget for the current fiscal year, including expenses and revenue
  6. If you are proposing a collaborative project, please submit Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) letters from each organization outlining a commitment to working together and the delineation of roles between the organizations
  7. Optional: You may submit up to three letters of support from relevant partners who will aid in deepening access to treatment and related services

To submit your application please complete all RFP documents and this Google Form: Submit Your Application. If your organization does not allow for document uploads within Google Forms, please email CHRI@harmreduction.org for assistance.

Grant Writing Support

Harm Reduction Coalition is thrilled to have close relationships with eligible programs throughout the state of California. In order to provide programs with support around proposal conceptualization and grant writing, we have contracted with a Grant Writing Coach who will be available to programs to access equally who can support these aspects of grant writing. While this individual will not be writing, editing, or reviewing your proposals, they are available for guidance, consultation, and brainstorming. Harm Reduction Coalition staff will redirect questions about proposal concepts to the Grant Writing Coach. Please reach out to CHRI@harmreduction.org to be connected.

Questions about the process? Please review our webinar that reviews the process, eligibility, components, and frequently asked questions. You can submit questions through June 8th to CHRI@harmreduction.org. Responses to any submitted questions will be added to our Frequently Asked Questions document on the website. More specific questions will be answered individually by the Grant Writing Coach Consultant.



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