Finding Out About the Grant
We first learned of the opportunity to win a grant when Tony Cook, our Business Manager, received an email from the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) in May 2018. We were invited to attend a ½ day presentation which would introduce us to the opportunity and how to make an application. The key feature of the application was that a Risk Assessment was required by an authorized organization.
Fortunately, also attending the meeting were representatives from the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) “Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit”. In conversation with them after the meeting we learnt that they could do a Risk Assessment for us, free of charge. It did not take us long to decide to take advantage of this offer
The assessment process took place in October 2018 and SDPD emailed the report to us on November 6. Steven Lee, the church’s Facilities Technician, started talking to potential vendors so that the estimated costs to be included in the application would be adequate. The next grant application opportunity was expected to happen in February 2019 but the Federal Government, which is driving this process through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was shut down for about two months, and the invitation to apply for a grant did not come until April.
Completing the Application
On April 18 we were told that the deadline for grant applications was May 12. Before we could begin the application we registered with CalOES to become an authorized applicant. On April 26 we started writing the application. It consisted of 10 documents, the two most significant being the Risk Assessment provided by the SDPD and the Investment Document which contained the core of the application. This consisted of approximately 10 sections, the key ones being:
Project Management, including milestones and details of the Project Manager,
Potential Consequences (of not hardening church security),
Target Hardening, i.e., what we are going to do to negate the threats.
In addition there were sections on the Church facility, the congregation and the business identifications of the Church (e.g. Dunn’s Number, Church Registration number).
On September 6, Frances Lin, our designated contact person with CalOES, received an email with the good news that our request for $75,000 had been granted! Along with the email were 11 documents that require review and appropriate submission before we receive any money. Fortunately, on September 26 there is a presentation by CalOES that will take us through the process. They also promise to guide us while we complete the project. We have 18 months in which to do so. As the project proceeds the congregation will hear of progress.