DFSS RFP SPRING Forward Reentry and Employment Navigation (RFP)

February 15, 2023

City of Chicago

Department of Family and Support Services

Legal Advertisement Request Form


DESCRIPTION:  Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS),

Workforce Development Services: SPRING Forward: Re-entry, Employment, and Housing Navigation Pilot Re-Entry and Employment Navigation


The goal of the two-year SPRING Forward (Selected Pre-Release for Intensive Navigation Support Going Forward): Re-entry, Employment, and Housing Navigation Pilot Program is to address the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents returning from Cook County Jail (CCJ) or the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) by providing re-entry, employment, and housing navigation services to facilitate access to affordable permanent housing, wrap-around supportive services, and connections to job training and employment placement programs in order to stabilize returning residents and mitigate the risk of recidivism. Challenges typically faced with re-entry by the formerly incarcerated have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation policies that have disrupted transition efforts by individuals and the agencies and community organizations that seek to assist them. Returning residents also faced a disrupted job market. At its peak in April 2020, the federal unemployment rate reached 14.8 percent. Moreover, although financial anxiety and social isolation were heightened in the general population during the pandemic those same issues affected formerly incarcerated people more acutely. Consequently, returning residents have faced a diminished job market with fewer supports and an increased likelihood of mental health problems.


As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SPRING Forward Pilot Program will provide employment, housing navigation, and re-entry services to residents released from CCJ and the IDOC to the City of Chicago. The program will serve Chicagoans who are at the highest risk of homelessness, housing insecurity, and recidivism. The goal of DFSS’s SPRING Forward Re-entry & Employment Navigation Program is to support up to 300 participants with re-entry & employment services to facilitate their access to resources and employment opportunities in order to improve the economic and social outcomes of Chicagoans re-integrating back into their communities.


Through the SPRING Forward pilot, DFSS has released two separate RFPs to solicit proposals from Respondents who can administer the following two program components: Re-entry and Employment Navigation Program (the focus of this RFP) and secondly, the Housing Navigation Program. Respondents may to apply for both RFPs.


In addition to this RFP, DFSS has released a separate RFP for the Housing Pilot to solicit proposals from organizations that will lead the housing component.


The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) seeks proposals from qualified agencies that can fulfill the program and administrative requirements of the Re-entry and Employment Navigation Agency. The ideal Respondent has the demonstrated ability to partner with DFSS, CCJ, IDOC, Chicago-based Transitional Housing sites, and the Housing Navigation partner to identify eligible participants and to help stabilize them with re-entry and employment navigation support. The Selected Respondent is required to provide these services in coordination with a Housing agency. DFSS anticipates funding approximately one application in the amount of $3,652,000 for the contract term. DFSS estimates the respondent will serve 150 clients per year.


For more information, please refer to the application posted on the City of Chicago’s eProcurement page: https://eprocurement.cityofchicago.org/OA_HTML/OA.jsp?OAFunc=PON_ABSTRACT_PAGE&PON_NEGOTIATION_STATUS=ACTIVE


A note about the City’s eProcurement System:

For those who have not done business with the City of Chicago before, registration in iSupplier is the first step to ensuring your agency’s ability to conduct business with the City of Chicago and DFSS. Please allow five to seven days for your registration to be processed.


Current contractors need only to start an application via their existing iSupplier/eProcurement account. 


All vendors must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and an IRS W9 for registration and confirmation of vendor business information.




March 23, 2023

 12:00, NOON CST


Proposals must be submitted via on-line application.

E-mailed or faxed proposals will not be accepted.



A Pre-Proposal Webinar will be held on February 23, 2023, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Attendance is not mandatory but is advised.


Please register prior to the webinar’s start using this link:



 2023 DFSS Applicant Webinar Template. Reentry Navigation PDF

Webinar link: https://youtu.be/z_--nnTRhjg





Brandie V. Knazze
Department of Family and Support Services
Lori E. Lightfoot
City of Chicago

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