June 2023

ARPA Project Pulse Newsletter

Happy 4th of July weekend! We hope that everyone is able to spend time relaxing with friends or family and enjoy the warm weather. In this issue of the Project Pulse Newsletter, we are highlighting an exciting partnership with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, sharing some data about the first round of funding distributed through the "Dollars to Digitize" grant, and announcing a new ARPA-funded application for matching respite providers to members. Thanks to everyone for staying engaged with all the work that's underway!

~ The ARPA Team

Partnering on Innovative Housing Solutions for Members

3.07 - Wrap-Around Services, including Peer Supports for Members with Complex Needs

4.01 - Residential Innovation

Project Backgrounds:

3.07 - Wrap-Around Services, including Peer Supports for Members with Complex Needs

HCPF has received funding to expand wrap-around services for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) members with complex needs and a history of homelessness. Through this funding opportunity, $2,700,000 has been allocated for the Peer Support Grants with the goal of expanding access to Peer Support Services for this target population, in the context of housing stability. Peer Support Services are an evidence-based practice that “improves the quality of life, increases and improve engagement with services, and increases whole health and self-management.” While many of Medicaid’s existing behavioral health service codes in Colorado are services that a Peer Support Professional can deliver, these codes are commonly underutilized. This grant aims to address this gap of underutilization by helping providers expand the delivery of billable Peer Support Services in the context of housing stability. 

4.01 - Residential Innovation

HCPF has created the Innovative Models of Care Grant Program with the primary goal of sparking residential innovation through workforce aid, housing customizations, new Home and Community-Based Services Programs, and/or total compensation packages that help caregivers support those aging in place. HCPF is evaluating the effectiveness of these programs and whether or not they are successful in creating, implementing, and sustaining innovative programs. HCPF wants original models that create a community that is all-inclusive; however, the grant is being utilized to drive change within the Medicaid population. HCPF is looking for new approaches that address inequities in Colorado’s current systems and systems that help develop social health-based communities, new approaches that are focused on mental health and physical disabilities, and programs that ease difficulties linked to our Colorado population aging in place.

Aaron Crowder, MA, LPC

Director of Residential Services 

Housing Partner Spotlight:

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

HCPF is excited to announce our partnership with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) on both 3.07 - Wrap-Around Services, including Peer Supports for Members with Complex Needs and 4.01 - Residential Innovation as a grant recipient for both projects.

Aaron Crowder, the Director of Housing with CCH, recently chatted with HCPF about both projects.

Tell us a little bit about your role with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

I have worked at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless for 13+ years and have held many roles including Case Manager, Behavioral Health Provider, Program Manager, Associate Director, and Director of Residential Services. I continue to provide some direct behavioral health services, though my primary role is the oversight of supportive services at 11 locations across the Denver Metro area. These programs utilize a housing-first approach where after the person is housed, we then work toward addressing the underlying challenges the person is facing. 

How did you come to be involved with both of these ARPA-funded projects?

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless has developed close relationships within our community and actively seeks opportunities to expand access to services for the people we serve. I had the privilege of being connected with the ARPA-funded projects through the CCH Resource Development team. We are always assessing funding and resource gaps within our programs, and these ARPA-funded projects were ideal fits to strengthen the services and housing opportunities we can deliver. 

Why is innovation so important right now in how we approach housing and Medicaid services?

The community of homeless service providers is very skillful in utilizing the long-standing programs we have depended on to provide Permanent Supportive Housing, and we have demonstrated the success of those programs. The innovation that is afforded through the partnership with Medicaid has allowed us to respond more directly to the needs of our community, identifying specific areas of need that are not captured under other programs, and establishing programs that can adapt to meet those needs. I am extremely committed to utilizing these programs to find ways to demonstrate how direct financial investment from Medicaid can reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community and decrease overall Medicaid costs by changing how people access health care services. 

What components of the projects are you most excited about?

I am excited about so many aspects of these projects. Housing is the simple answer to fixing homelessness, but there's so much more to life than someone's housing circumstances. Through these projects, we have had an increased ability to invest in the life goals of the people we are serving. We have expanded our community engagement efforts and are working to improve quality of life in ways we have not had the resources to do before. There are times when I've felt like we have needed to fit our clients' lives into the constraints of our programs. We have been able to use these projects to more effectively fit the programs into the lives of our clients. 

In a simple way, I'm excited that these programs allow us to serve more people within our community. We have been able to hire additional staff where needed and are connecting with new clients to offer housing opportunities. What makes me most excited about these projects is imagining what the future state of housing programs targeting people experiencing homelessness could look like in Colorado. We have the potential to become more adaptive, more strategic, more effective, and more humane . . . along with being more financially sustainable and efficient. It's all so exciting and rewarding.

Where do you see the state of housing in Colorado in the next 5 years?

What I see is the potential that we have to connect the local resources and people within our community to make housing more accessible to everyone. We have opportunities to help our community understand smart and effective investments that could end homelessness in our community. We have the opportunity to identify what gaps we currently have and what strategies are working. We can also learn how to develop housing opportunities that are welcoming and appealing to more of the people that are currently unhoused. I'm really hopeful that what we see is a reduction in the number of people entering homelessness for the first time because of increased support and opportunity in the community and a reduction in people losing housing because of enhanced services and expanding housing options. These ARPA-funded projects give me a lot of hope.  

What’s a movie/TV show/book that you’ve recently enjoyed? 

"The Clay Pot Boy" by Cynthia Jameson. My dad read this book to me throughout my childhood, and I now enjoy reading it to my two sons. We enjoy trying to determine what the moral of the story might be.

By The Numbers

6.06 “Dollars to Digitize” Provider Digital Transformation and Electronic Health Record (EHR) Upgrades Grant Program

$13.5 million

The amount awarded to Colorado behavioral health and HCBS providers as part of the fall 2022 request for applications (RFA) cycle

Percent of Grantee Investments by Type of Digital Transformation and by Type of Provider

(CMHC = Community Mental Health Center)

Awardees By Diverse Business Types


Small Business (fewer than 500 employees)






Employ People With Disabilities



Thinking Outside the Box:

Respite Services

4.08 Respite Care Grant

Thanks to the grant funding provided through ARPA and administered by HCPF, PASCO is developing a care-matching application designed to link those in need of care with trained and qualified respite providers, which will be launching in the fall of 2023.

With PASCO CareMatch™, PASCO can provide access to respite services to many more individuals on their terms. Individuals seeking respite will be able to create profiles and match with caregivers who have already been background checked, vetted, and trained by PASCO at no cost to them. This functionality will alleviate the pressure of having to search for care providers or providing respite care as posting a respite request will allow both care providers and those in need of care to focus on location, visit times, and preferences that work best for them. Each respite provider will be individually trained to the unique needs of the individual needing care and the intelligent matching system will make sure those needs can be met by a qualified provider.

For more information and to join PASCO's waitlist please visit their website

Grant Incentives, Pilots, and Community Funding Opportunities


Case Management Agency Start-Up Grant

Through ARPA Section 9817 and State funds, and in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC), HCPF was approved to distribute up to $5 million in grant funding to support transitions for Case Management Agencies (CMAs) awarded through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process and have received notice of intent to award, to provide case management services for HCBS as a part of the Case Management Redesign (CMRD). 

HCPF will support case management redesign efforts in the community by developing a framework to support the change management requirements to ensure a successful transition from the current system to the implementation of a redesign that mitigates the negative impact on members. HCPF will work with CMAs, local area organizations, and stakeholders to plan and prepare for CMRD. It will provide support to CMAs to implement CMRD, transition, change management, strategic and organizational planning, capacity, and ensuring member access to a CMA, including developing an infrastructure for a learning collaborative so that CMAs have access to individual resources relevant to their change management needs.

Total Award Amount: Up to $5,000,000

Maximum Award Amount per Grantee: Variable 

Scope of Work:


HCPF is issuing the Case Management Agencies Start-Up Request for Applications (RFA) to solicit grant applications from eligible organizations, as defined below, to support CMAs awarded through the RFP process in one or more of the following areas of focus:

  • Case Management Agencies can use the funding to support the transition and minimize disruption to services. 
  • Case Management Agencies can purchase new, mobile touchscreen computing devices. These touchscreen computer devices will be used to support the new Care and Case Management (CCM) system, which will use electronic signatures in the completion of the Colorado Single Assessment and the Person-Centered Support Plan, with members.
  • Case Management Agencies can purchase or update an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. 

Application Due Date: Aug. 10, 2023, 5 p.m. MT

For more information about grant eligibility and application requirements and how to apply read the Request for Application (RFA) or visit the CMA Start-Up Grant section of the website.

ARPA 4.02 Promoting Single Occupancy Grant - Phase 2

In the midst of a global pandemic, congregate care residential settings providers saw the necessity for single occupancy rooms to prevent the spread of disease and promote independence and autonomy. Through funding provided by Section 9817 of ARPA, HCPF has created the 4.02 Single Occupancy Grant Program to offer payments for providers to convert more space to single occupancy rooms. HCPF has allocated $20 million for these payments, with a maximum of $1 million per awardee.

Eligible organizations can apply by Wednesday, July 5, 2023, using the online application. View the request for applications.

HCPF’s grant is focused on developing new ways Colorado’s home and community-based services residential settings can adapt and provide more independent and health-centered outcomes in a single occupancy setting. HCPF seeks programs that:

  • Develop single occupancy from multiple person rooms

  • Take steps to mitigate disease transmission in these room conversions

With sustainability and longevity in mind, HCPF is requiring applicants to create a project outline with steps on how this conversion will happen and how once converted, this project will be sustained.

HCPF will evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of the applicant programs and whether the state of Colorado would benefit from these projects long term. Allocation of these funds will require strict reporting and will only be made to programs that include Health First Colorado and CHP+ members.

To submit any questions, email Austin Leffel.

Learn more and start your application today

4.03 - Child/Youth Step-Down Options Program and Provider Recruitment - CHRP Track

This track will support the expansion of HCBS-Children’s Residential Habilitation Program (CHRP). The CHRP Waiver supports children & youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or extensive adaptive needs. Through this grant program, CHRP providers may apply for funds for start-up activities that will support increased access to services that are not already billable. These funds are not for the purpose of directly providing ongoing services. The CHRP Waiver includes residential habilitation services which may be provided to children & youth in a number of settings. This grant seeks to expand the HCBS-CHRP Residential Habilitation service capacity, particularly in the geographic North, West, and South regions of the state.

Total Award Amount: $1,500,000

Maximum Award Amount: $1,000,000

Who is Eligible:

Applicants selected for the CHRP Track, must, at a minimum, meet the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled with CO HCPF as a CHRP provider; or 
  • Currently enrolled with CDPHE as a PASA; or 
  • Currently licensed as a CPA with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS); or 
  • Currently operates at least one Residential Child Care Facility licensed by CDHS; or 
  • Currently is an enrolled Medicaid provider licensed and operating an equivalent to Residential Child Care Facility in another state.

Application Due Date: Aug. 4, 2023, at 5 p.m. MT

For more information about grant eligibility and application requirements read the Request for Application (RFA) or visit the grant information page

7.02 - Member Emergency Preparedness

Battery-based, Power Backup Systems

HCPF recognizes the importance of reliable and safe power backup in the event of an emergency power outage. As a result, this project is focusing on distributing battery-based, power backup systems to eligible Coloradans.

In order to apply for this program you must:

  • Be enrolled in Health First Colorado, Colorado's Medicaid program,
  • Utilize life-sustaining equipment that requires electricity to operate.
  • Complete an application where you will be asked about your life-sustaining device(s) that require electrical power to operate. This includes equipment prescribed by a doctor for mobility and/or home use. Devices used for therapy generally do not qualify.

Examples of life-sustaining equipment include, but are not limited to:

  • Chair Lift
  • Dialysis Machine
  • IV Infusion Pump
  • Medication Refrigeration
  • Oxygen Concentrator
  • Power Wheelchair
  • Ventilator

If a member lives in a licensed residential setting such as a group home, supported living program, or alternative care facility, they won't be eligible because these facilities are already required to have backup power supplies for residents. Each application will be reviewed by staff from the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering and HCPF. Applications will be approved based on medical needs and the availability of Backup Power Supplies.

For more information about eligible devices and details about the program, visit the Surviving in Place website.

Apply Today!

1.05 Training Fund Grants Open for Individual Direct Care Workers and HCBS Providers 

HCPF is offering short-term grant funding to incentivize and expand training opportunities for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) workforce. The grants will fund higher-level skills that will promote greater retention within the HCBS workforce. The maximum award amount per application for direct care workers is $500 and for HCBS providers is $100,000.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Individual, age 18 or older, who is currently working in a direct care role within any of Colorado’s Home & Community-Based Service (HCBS) Waivers; or
  • Individual, age 18 or older, who desires training to enter direct care within Colorado’s HCBS Waiver workforce; or
  • Also included within this workforce, are Certified Nurse Aides and Home Health Aides within Long-Term Home Health; or
  • Currently enrolled Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver providers; and
  • Training vendor/provider that develops/delivers training/specialization for the HCBS workforce. 

Interested in learning more about how this grant could support higher-level skills for the HCBS workforce?

Visit the grant program information page to get more details and apply today!

Questions? Email us at hcpf_dcworkforce@state.co.us 

Upcoming ARPA Stakeholder Engagement

To see all the meetings listed below on a calendar or to find meeting materials and recordings from previous ARPA-related Stakeholder Engagement, visit the ARPA Stakeholder Engagement webpage anytime.

Community First Choice (CFC) Council

The Community First Choice (CFC) Council collaborates with and advises HCPF on the design and implementation of a CFC option in Colorado. The CFC Council consists primarily of individuals with disabilities, those 65 years or older, and their representatives to help ensure CFC is implemented in a way that best meets the needs of Coloradans with disabilities.

All interested stakeholders are welcome. CFC Council meetings will be held monthly on the first Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. MT 

If you need assistance accessing the meeting webinar link or call-in number, contact the CFC team. For more information, see the Community First Choice Stakeholder Opportunities webpage.

The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

10 to 11:30 a.m. MT

This month's main topic:

Wellness Education Benefit (WEB) Rule

Join via Google Meet

Join via Phone:

1-260-230-1249, PIN: 719 313 221#

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ARPA 2.02 Statewide Mobile Crisis Response Bi-Weekly Technical Assistance

This is an opportunity for Administrative Service Organizations (ASO) and Regional Accountable Entities (RAE), community and members, providers, and any interested stakeholder to ask questions and receive technical assistance related to implementing the Mobile Crisis Medicaid Benefit. These meetings will occur bi-weekly starting March

16, 2023, through at least July 2023.

For more information, contact Emily Holcomb at Emily.Holcomb@state.co.us.

The meetings will be held:

Thursday, July 6, 2023


Thursday, July 20, 2023

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. MT

Register Here

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Direct Care Workforce Collaborative (DCWC) Training and Career Advancement Action Group

This Action Group works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and move forward strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Colorado's direct care workforce. This group intends to meet every other month on the first Friday of the month from 9 to 10 a.m. MT.

The meeting will be held:

Friday, July 7, 2023

9 to 10 a.m. MT

Join via Zoom

Join via Phone:

(Toll-free) 1-877-853-5257

Meeting ID: 969 4053 6000, Passcode: 115140

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Direct Care Workforce Compensation & Benefits Action Group


This Action Group works collaboratively with stakeholders to identify and move forward strategies to support the recruitment and retention of Colorado's direct care workforce. This group intends to meet every other month on the third Friday from 1 – 2 p.m. MT.

For more information, please see the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative webpage.


The meeting will be held:

Friday, July 21, 2023

1 to 2 p.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

Meeting ID: 993 1700 7314, Passcode: 396389

Join via Phone: 1-877-853-5257

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Direct Care Workforce Value & Awareness Action Group


Supporting the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative, this Action Group brings stakeholders together to develop awareness and advocacy strategies that increase community understanding and support for this workforce. All interested stakeholders are welcome.


For more information, please see the Direct Care Workforce Collaborative webpage.


The meeting will be held:

Friday, July 28, 2023

1 to 2 p.m. MT


Join via Zoom


Join by Phone:

Meeting ID: 969 40536000, Passcode: 115140

Join via Phone: 1-877-853-5257

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Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request for persons with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please notify John Barry at 303-866-3173 or John.R.Barry@state.co.us or the 504/ADA Coordinator at hcpf504ada@state.co.us at least one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements.

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