Request for Information – Daytime Indoor Shelter for Adults Experiencing Homelessness

Summary.  The City and Borough of Sitka (CBS) is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to gauge provider interest in establishing and operating a daytime indoor shelter for adults experiencing homelessness due to COVID-19, as well as unsheltered adults who are at risk of COVID-19 infection due to lack of safe indoor space during inclement cold-season weather. 

This RFI is a non-competitive solicitation. Its purpose is to gather information from providers interested in operating a day shelter for a limited period of time with available funding.  CBS will review responses to determine whether there is a qualified vendor for the desired services. This RFI does not constitute an offer to enter into a contractual agreement.  CBS may use responses to prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP), a Targeted Request for Proposals (Targeted RFP), or an Invitation for Bids (IFB), or another method for the official solicitation of services, including contracting by negotiation with a vendor exhibiting the required capabilities and qualifications when an insufficient number of qualified responses are received.  CBS reserves the right to take no further action after reviewing responses to this RFI.

Intent. The intent of this program is to ensure the safety and enhance the well-being of unsheltered adults facing increased health risks due to the Coronavirus pandemic, to address the absence of safe indoor space for unsheltered adults due to pandemic-related facility closures, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among unsheltered adults and from these individuals to the general population. 

Description of services desired. CBS is seeking proposals from qualified providers that wish to operate a daytime indoor shelter for adults at least five days a week for the period of time beginning October 1 and ending December 30, 2020.  Services desired include heated indoor space, staffing, health screening, transportation to and from a central location, and at least one meal per user per day.

Funding and Duration: CBS has allocated up to $250,000 in federal CARES Act funding for operation of a daytime shelter from October 1 through December 30, 2020. CBS reserves the right to increase or decrease the amount of available funding, and to extend the timeline for operation of the facility based on changes in the requirements for expenditure of federal CARES Act funds.

Eligible Respondents. This RFI is open to all private, government, and non-profit organizations that can demonstrate their capability to manage federal funding and comply with all applicable program requirements through a contract with the City and Borough of Sitka.

Facility and Program Requirements.

Location. The shelter facility may not be located on City-owned property. It must be located in an area where the use is permitted by zoning, with or without conditional approval by the City.  If it is located more than ½ mile from Crescent Harbor Shelter, transportation must be provided to and from Crescent Harbor on days when the facility is open.

User Eligibility. The facility shall be open to adult (age 18+) residents of Sitka who do not have access to safe indoor space due to the pandemic. Users must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during their time of facility use to ensure the safety of other facility users and staff. The operator shall reserve the right to deny use to any individual(s) with a documented history of violent behavior. 

Facility and services.  The facility must be large enough to accommodate the projected population of eligible users with adequate space and ventilation for prevention of infection. It must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. It shall include space to charge mobile devices, free wifi, at least one restroom with a toilet and hot running water, and preferably a shower, washer and dryer. The facility shall be staffed during operating hours. Operating plans shall include transportation if required, personal protective equipment and regular health screenings for COVID-19, a plan for safety and security of residents and the community, and at least one meal per day for facility users.

Information to be submitted: CBS requests that interested vendors provide the following information:

  1. Proposed location of facility and letter of intent from property owner documenting their interest in use of the property as a daytime shelter if the property is not already under the ownership of or lease to the respondent.
  2. Description of services to be provided and proposed days and hours of operation.
  3. Transportation plan if required.
  4. Staffing plan, including the number of staff and their proposed qualifications.
  5. Infection control plan, including information on size of facility, ventilation, PPE, screening, testing, and contingency plans for if staff or facility users contract COVID-19.
  6. Physical safety plan for residents and staff.
  7. Proposed nutrition plan and plans for any other services to be provided. 
  8. Detailed budget, including total expenses and all sources of revenue.
  9. Vendor’s qualifications to operate the proposed facility and program, including summary of experience managing any similar programs and federal funds. 

Questions.  Respondents are encouraged, but not required, to submit questions in writing no later than 2 p.m. (Alaska Time), September 11, 2020.  Questions regarding this RFI should be emailed to grantsadmin@cityofsitka.org with the subject line “2020 CARES Day Shelter RFI – Q&A.”  Please include your name and title, the name of your organization and the best telephone number to reach you, if a CBS representative needs to speak with you for further clarification.

Quotes and organizational qualifications may be submitted to grantsadmin@cityofsitka.org until 5pm on September 18, 2020.  All responses to this Request for Information are subject to public inspection under the Municipal Public Records Act.

The City anticipates distributing funds through a contract to administer this program.  Notice to proceed is anticipated by October 1, 2020, with all funds to be expended by December 30, 2020. The City reserves the right to extend the deadline for services and expenditure of funds in the event that Congress extends the deadline for expenditure of CARES Act funds.

Disclaimer. 

  1. This RFI is issued by CBS for informational and planning purposes.  It does not constitute a competitive solicitation or a promise to issue a competitive solicitation in the future.  This RFI does not commit CBS to contract for any services whatsoever.  However, CBS reserves the right to select one or more agencies with demonstrated capability to provide the requested services as part of this RFI process.
  2. All costs of responding to this RFI shall be borne by the responding party.  CBS shall not be liable for any expenses incurred by the responder in the preparation and/or submission of the information requested in this RFI.  The responder shall not include any such expenses as part of their itemized budget in their RFI.
  3. Responses to this RFI become the exclusive property of CBS.  All information provided by responders will be considered public documents, subject to review and inspection by the public at CBS’s discretion, in accordance with the Municipal Public Records Act and other applicable laws.  Exceptions will be those pages in each response which are defined by the responder as business or trade secrets and are marked “TRADE SECRET” or “CONFIDENTIAL.”  CBS shall not in any way be liable or responsible for the disclosure of any such records, including, but not limited to, those so marked if the disclosure is deemed to be required by law or by court order.
  4. During this RFI, responders may revise and re-submit their responses.
  5. CBS reserves the right to verify information provided in each response.  If an insufficient number of responses are received, CBS reserves the right to re-issue an RFI, issue an RFP, execute a sole-source contract or take any other action deemed appropriate by CBS.
  6. It is improper for and CBS employee or agent to solicit consideration, in any form, from a responder with the implication, suggestion or statement that the responder will obtain any type of favorable treatment arising out of this RFI or that the responder’s failure to provide such consideration may negatively affect the responder.  A responder shall not offer or give, either directly or through an intermediary, consideration, in any form, to a CBS employee or agent for the purpose of securing any type of favorable treatment that may arise from the RFI.  A responder shall immediately report any attempt by a CBS employee or agent to solicit such improper consideration for any reason whatsoever.  The report shall be made to the Municipal Administrator of CBS at (907) 747-1812.  Among other items, such improper consideration may take the form of cash, discounts, and service, the provision of travel or entertainment, or tangible gifts.

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