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Grants to California Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes to Provide Mental Health Services to Underserved Populations

Health Equity in Access to Behavioral Health Recovery Services (HEAR US) Phase 2


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
The Center and California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: California

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/19/23 5:00 PM PT Save

Grant Description
Grants to California nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and tribal organizations to provide mental health services to underserved populations. The purpose of the program is to increase access to recovery services for people who have previously faced obstacles to behavioral health care systems.

The HEAR US funding opportunity will support Californian nonprofit organizations in expanding access to and utilization of behavioral health recovery services through a health equity approach that seeks to remove barriers to care for communities of color, Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and others who have faced discrimination and unequal access to behavioral health care systems.

Over an 18-month period, awardees will help implement the Roadmap to Improve Access and Equity for Communities in Recovery, which was created in the first phase of the HEAR US project. This roadmap is grounded in the following guiding principles for providing behavioral health recovery services, which include ensuring:

  1. Culturally responsive services and systems
  2. Low-barrier access to services
  3. Integrated peer support across the recovery continuum
  4. Harm reduction approaches to drug use and recovery
  5. Addressing the needs of the whole person 

Organizations should recognize that severe mental illness (SMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED) and substance use disorder (SUD) are complex conditions and require multi-pronged approaches that address other aspects of a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health and the social conditions that often affect access to care. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, language accessibility, lack of person-centered care plans, cost of health care, stigma and discrimination in care settings, high threshold services that interrupt people’s ability to care for themselves, lack of recovery housing, treatment wait lists, and cultural barriers.

For more information about the scope of work, see the following link:

For examples of eligible funded activities, see:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The Center will fund applicant organizations (and their partners) that meet the following minimum requirements:  
• Located in California and licensed/registered to do business in the State of California. 
• Provide services in California.  
• Are a 501I(3) community-based organization, Tribal organization, or a County Behavioral Health Department with established and trusted community relationships. Also open to coalitions of organizations and collaboratives, as long as the backbone organization is an eligible applicant. If an organization is a nonprofit but does not have 501(c)(3) status, they may use a qualifying fiscal sponsor that meets the other eligibility criteria.
• Must be deeply invested in, engaged with and reflective of impacted BIPOC communities, 2S/LGBTQ+ communities, and/ or people with lived disabilities (For example: through representation on the board and staff, clients served and neighborhoods worked in.)
• Have a demonstrated history of working with impacted communities.  
• Have demonstrated evidence of inclusivity and shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. 
• Must take innovative approaches to program implementation and commit to all grant requirements, including the evaluation.

Applicants should have deep involvement with and knowledge of the community and culture, the skill set to provide culturally responsive mental health and substance use co-occurring services, an awareness of their own biases, a trauma-informed care approach, and utilization of a whole person lens. This funding opportunity encourages working in collaboration with other groups and allows for subcontracting by the lead organization.

Pre-Proposal Conference
One proposers’ webinar to review this funding opportunity has been scheduled, the application process and to answer questions. The webinar will be held on August 22 and August 23 at 10 a.m. Participation in the webinar is strongly recommended, though not required. The webinar will be recorded and posted on The Center’s website for review.

Please register for the proposers’ webinars here:
Tuesday, August 22, 2023, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:

Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:

The Center is committed to assisting potential applicants who are interested in applying for funding. Listed below are several scheduled technical assistance office hours. Each session is designed to provide essential application support as well as helpful tips and suggestions in a clear, user-friendly manner. Office hour attendance is optional but recommended.

Please register here for any application assistance office hours:
Thursday, August 31, 2023, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.:

Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.:

Pre-Application Information
To be considered, organizations must submit applications online by 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the deadline date of Tuesday, September 19th.

- Proposers’ webinar: August 22 and August 23 at 10 a.m.
- Application due: September 19, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time).
- Review of applications: September and October 2023.
- Approximate award announcement: November 2023.
- Approximate date subrecipient agreement issued: December 2023.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Grant award amounts:
Recovery Services and Education:
$150,000 minimum
$1,000,000 maximum

Local Sustainability and Systems Change:
$150,000 minimum
$250,000 maximum

Term of Contract
Contracts will cover activities for the period between December 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Send questions and inquiries related to this funding opportunity to with the subject line: HEAR US RFA Question

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