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FAQ on Request for Proposals – Operational Services and Support in Sanctioned Camping/Safe Sleeping Programs

Posted on June 6, 2024

FAQ on Request for Proposals (RFP)

Operational Services and Support in Sanctioned Camping / Safe Sleeping Programs, and Interim Housing Programs

RFP Released May 20, 2024; Proposals Due June 12, 2024 at 5 p.m.

General Questions about the RFP

  1. What is the ideal reporting relationship of the partners for the sanctioned camp?

The City’s Homelessness Solutions Division of the City Manager’s Office will manage the contracts for this project. These contracts may include individual contracts for specific services (waste management, security services, program management, etc.) or contracts for which the desired services are integrated under a prime program management firm with subcontractor for other desired services.  While the RFP does not have a stated requirement for the structure of these contractor-contractor relationships, the City recognizes that a project team approach could provide greater management outcomes and economies of scale.

Respondents with concerns are encouraged to propose and describe the reporting relationship that you as a vendor see as ideal for ensuring clear communication and accountability.


  1. Are references and referrals required?

Yes, please provide 2-3 references that can speak to your firm’s capabilities to mee the City’s needs and requirements. Public sector references are preferred.

Vendors who have previously worked for the City may use the City as a reference.  If your organization has worked for the city previously, please state the staff you worked with, responsibilities involved, the time frame of this work, and the reason it ended if not ongoing.


  1. Who decides on various details of the program, strategy and implementation?

This will be a new City program, so the City seeks vendors interested in working in a collaborative and iterative decision-making process about the program design and strategy.  The City intends to involve and incorporate input from the selected agency, as well as other partner organizations and clients with lived experience.  If a vendor has strong feelings or requirements about particular strategies and interventions within these responsibilities, please describe this in your response.


  1. The RFP describes two phases with a sanctioned camp environment first, and an interim housing site second? How would this phased approach impact vendors?

At some stage in the 3-year ERF-3 grant cycle, the City intends to open an IH development to replace its sanctioned camp.  At that point, the staff, physical program assets and clients still requiring housing/shelter placement would likely be shifted for deployment / participation in the replacement program as well.

However, a vendor selected for a sanctioned camping program would not be guaranteed a continued role in IH.  This would depend on their performance of contract objectives in the sanctioned camp phase of the ERF-3 project.

The RFP is intended to build the City’s list for both sanctioned camping and IH.  If an applicant vendor sees themselves as willing and qualified to participate in only one of these phases, please specify this in the proposal.


  1. Should pricing be included in the proposal?

Yes, pricing should be included as it could be a decisive factor in the selection process.  Please provide itemized and detailed budget to assist the City in fairly evaluating and analyzing your organization’s logic behind the costs in your proposal.


  1. What type of staffing structure is required?

Proposals should include a staffing structure which details overall staff positions and reporting relationships. Each position should include information regarding specific roles and responsibilities.


  1. Would the City release a new RFP for sites outside the currently contemplated ERF-3 sanctioned program and IH, if such programs are developed in the future?

This RFP serves to identify qualified vendors for both Phases of the project. Please describe whether your firm would be able to provide services for one phase or both phases of this project. The vendor list created from this release is intended to cover ERF-3 expansion services and this three-year grant period only.  If awarded other funding for a new project, the City would likely release another RFP.


Program / Property Management Specific Questions

  1. The City’s stated intention is 24/7 onsite staff coverage of the sanctioned camp or interim housing program. Is program management staffing specifically required 24/7?

The sheltering programs contemplated here will have client presence 24/7 and will require around the clock observation to maintain a safe and supportive program environment for vulnerable populations.  However, this requirement for responsible observation could be accomplished in combination with the project management and security team, particularly in relation to overnight hours.  While not an explicit requirement, program management organizations should consider varying hours for deployment of program management staff outside of regular business hours to some extent, to observe and manage conditions effectively during those off-hours.


  1. The ERF-3 project will include housing-based case management, but that is not part of the City’s RFP. What if a program management agency can also do case management?

The ERF-3 grant application is a joint-partnership between the City of San Rafael and the County of Marin. Under the proposed program, the County of Marin will assume responsibility for contracting and providing for housing-based case management.

Agencies that can provide both program management and case management are encouraged to apply and to highlight that capability, even though this RFP relates to program management and other specified categories only. However, this capability will not be evaluated in the final award of a contract for these services.


  1. Our organization typically provides case management for the target population. Should we propose a service model? Is that service model included in the program management that you’re looking for?

The program management sought here is not the housing-based case management and outreach services under the ERF-3 grant, which will be contracted separately by the County of Marin.


  1. Our organization is not a property management organization now, for example we are not managing affordable housing, is that OK?

The “property management” referred to in this RFP is different than this term as applied to the housing industry.  The City combines property and program management in this category and seeks organizations that can handle the health and safety needs of a sheltering program on City property, maintain the grounds with staff or subcontractors, apply laws and policies, and achieve participant adherence to a Code of Conduct.  The housing industry type of property management (responsible for leasing, rent collection, regulatory compliance) is not applicable for this project.


  1. We don’t have a track record of managing shelters, would we still be considered for program/property management?

Yes.  While a track record of managing shelters is one great way to demonstrate the skills and experience the City is seeking, this program combines elements that are distinct from congregate shelters. This program involves managed camping with more limited amenities, and a mix of congregate and non-congregate amenities. Therefore experience managing congregate shelters, while preferred, is not a requirement for this work.


  1. Do you hope to have staff on weekends from the program management or services side?

While not an explicit requirement, program management organizations should consider varying hours for deployment of program management staff outside of regular business hours to some extent, to observe and manage conditions effectively during those off-hours.  Case management  and outreach agencies would be expected to adhere to the scheduling requirements of their contracts with the County of Marin. The City does expect to have a minimum level of staffing at all times for security services.


Waste Management Specific Questions

  1. What are the requirements for waste management?

Waste management practice requirements are listed in the RFP; vendor qualifications should be itemized in the proposal relative to this list, and vendors are welcome to add detail on any innovative or creative solutions for managing waste with unhoused populations.


  1. For waste management, is Hazmat certification required?

Hazmat certification is not required.


  1. What is “appropriate equipment and gear?”

There is no specified list of equipment and gear. Please describe the equipment and gear you plan to use in your proposal.


  1. Could waste management contractors seek to be creative in their approach to engaging the community in waste management?

Waste management vendors are encouraged to work with the community on creative solutions for trash management within the encampment. Please describe your past experiences and proposed solutions.

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