Plans for a homeless shelter in Roseburg have taken a step forward with the release of an official request for proposal for someone to get the shelter off the ground, run it and help generate revenue to pay for its continued operation.
The selection process to find such an organization is on a fairly tight timeline.
That process officially started Thursday, when the request for proposals for “Navigation Center, Shelter and Support Services” was released. There is an optional conference for those interested in submitting a proposal scheduled for Aug. 26. The last day to submit a proposal is Sept. 9.
Following an initial review period, interviews are scheduled for Sept. 23-24. The notice of intent to award the contract is scheduled for 60 days from Sept. 9, and the deadline for the execution of the contract is 30 days after that.
That means if everything goes as planned, the contract could be awarded by the second week of December. However, the city reserves the right to delay any of the dates outlined in the selection process “if it is determined to be in the best public interest to do so.”
Funding for the homeless shelter and services, known as a navigation center, will come from a $1.5 million grant from the state. The money was included in state legislation passed this year that provides $1.5 million each to six navigation centers across the state. The other cities getting this funding are Eugene, Salem, Bend, Medford and McMinnville.
The funding comes with a tight timeline: language in the grant calls for the navigation center to be up and running by July 1 of next year, or the city might have to return the money granted.
In order to meet the parameters for how the money can be spent, Roseburg will need to have at a minimum a low-barrier shelter with restrooms that is open daily and provides access to services for those staying in the shelter.
But just what form that shelter will take — such as one large building where people sleep in a shared space, individual rooms, tiny homes, or urban camping with tents — has yet to be determined.
The 33-page document posted on the city’s website Thursday lists City Recorder Amy Sowa as the point person for the selection process. A section entitled “description of services” is broken down into three main phases: Planning and Start-Up, Initial Operation, and Expanded Operation.
Here is a look at those phases:
Phase 1 — Planning and Start-Up
- Assist in the navigation center site selection. The site must be in close proximity to commercial, medical and transit services.
- Build a coalition of local service providers to provide resources and assistance to the homeless in our community. Services may include case management services for housing, financial, vocational, educational or physical or behavioral health care services.
- Work with the city and other partners to establish metrics for measuring program success.
Phase 2 — Initial Operation
- Provide around-the-clock staffing and supervision at the navigation center, as well as sanitary services and access to drinking water to tenants.
- Coordinate scheduling with local service providers to deliver services onsite and/or virtually.
- Collect program and client data.
Phase 3 — Expanded Operation
- Continue providing around-the-clock staffing at the navigation center.
- Expand hours for service providers onsite and/or virtually.
- Increase the number of existing shelters, or expand to other types of shelters.
- Establish programs to move tenants from homelessness to permanent housing and independence.
At a minimum, the navigation center shall include sleeping and restroom facilities, according to the request for proposal. Additional preferred services include trauma-informed peer-to-peer counseling, food, showers, laundry, lockers or other secure places for tenant belongings, and an area for pets.
The selected contractor will also be expected to provide data to the city on the operations at the navigation center. That data will include things like the number of shelter beds provided, number of clients served, occupancy rate, number of clients accessing health care services and the number of clients accessing public benefits.
The contractor will also be expected to provide the city with information such as a description of successes during the reporting period and information on any particular challenges or problems that were encountered, and how the agency intends to address those problems.
Additionally, the contractor will provide a general, estimated annual operating cost for the navigation center and the number of clients it is anticipated to serve. The contractor is expected to work with partners and funders to develop renewable revenue sources to keep the navigation center going.
The proposals will be scored on a point system, with points awarded in nine categories. For example, up to 40 points will be awarded for the bidder’s availability/capability to perform the work; up to 30 points for a demonstrated success in delivering similar services; and up to 25 points for references and the experience of the proposer, including prior work with the city.
A maximum of 190 points can be awarded in the nine categories.
To gather information from local service providers, a survey was sent earlier this year to 44 individuals connected primarily to community-based organizations. Fourteen surveys were completed and returned.
Of those, three individuals/organizations expressed an interest in running or helping run the navigation center. They are Max Stafford, CEO of Redemptive Ministries/Wheels of Hope; Kimetha Stallings, executive director of Onward Roseburg; and Rowena Reeley, with Rogue Retreat.