Homelessness Strategic Plan

City of Norman

Norman, OK

The City of Norman, Oklahoma, with municipal offices located at 201-A West Gray, P.O. Box 370, Norman, Oklahoma, 73070 is seeking professional expertise to analyze its current provision of homeless services. The scope of analyzation includes but is not limited to identifying gaps and duplications across providers, recommendations of the best built solution(s) to improve the community's overall safety net, including preferred sites and long term operating practices, and to review existing benchmarking efforts. These efforts should be summarized in a final written strategy document.

A pdf of the full RFP including additional background and proposal submission requirements is available at the provided URL.

Project Specific Information

A. Scope of Work

Task 1: Comprehensive review of existing service provision

The selected consultant team will gather information and data from consumers, human services, veteran services, housing, law enforcement, employment, community development, health, mental health, welfare, non-profit organizations, CoC recipients, City Departments and other relevant public and private entities, including foundations and other organizations that provide financial assistance to address homelessness issues. These conversations should also include potential operators of any new facilities recommended in Task 2.

City staff will make available to the Consultant Team all relevant documents related to existing relationships with these organizations and the overall provision of housing and services to those experiencing homelessness in Norman. This review will also specifically include relevant data from the City's Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), recent Point In Time Counts, and the City's recent experience in managing a temporary overnight shelter.

The primary goal of this Task is to gain an understanding of existing gaps and possible duplications of service in the overall social safety net, as well as the respective growth goals for these entities relative to the community's desire to develop a comprehensive response to homelessness. The information collected in this Task should also be compared to a limited number of peer communities and overall national best practices.

Task 2: Recommended Built Solution(s)

Initial interest in this study dates back several years, but the City Council's recent decision to seek $5 million towards built solutions to address homelessness through an August 25, 2020 public vote and the City's recent experience over the winter of 2019-2020 in operating an emergency overnight shelter have brought the need for the study to the forefront. While it is generally accepted that Norman needs one or more facilities to better address homelessness, opinions differ on which built solution – ranging from additional housing units to an overnight shelter to a day shelter/resource center – would provide the community the best return on investment.

In the region's primary city, Oklahoma City, community leaders have spent the past two decades organizing the Homeless Alliance to act as an umbrella organization capable of better coordinating service provision across the many homelessness-related non-profits. The Homeless Alliance completed its day shelter and resource center in 2011. Many community leaders across the region are now familiar with this facility and the organization's overall approach and thus, may envision a similar facility for Norman. Given the shared clientele of the various organizations, City of Norman staff members and other CoC members remain in ongoing communications and track clients within the same Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) as Oklahoma City's Homeless Alliance, but the organization does not currently have a formal role in Norman.

Task 2.1: Program recommendation for built solution(s)

As part of this overall recommendation, the City is seeking detailed advice on how best to operate the proposed facility or facilities in terms of:

  • Overall capacity in terms of maximum/expected number of clients
  • Hours and days of operation
  • Additional service providers that could be co-located

Task 2.2: Preferred location for recommended built solution(s)

The City is also seeking assistance in identifying the preferred location for the recommended built solution(s). It is expected that this task would include:

  • A discussion of those factors that should be considered in locating the various facility types
  • Identification of multiple suitable sites (in conversation with City Planning staff members)
  • A ranking of those sites based on the previously mentioned factors

Task 2.3: Preliminary construction cost estimate for recommend built solution(s)

The City of Norman is seeking preliminary evidence on how the built solution(s) recommended in Task 2.1 fit within the $5 million budget being sought through the August 25th bond initiative. If more than one solution is ultimately recommended, but cannot be accomplished with the initial budget, additional analysis should explore other possible funding sources the City should consider in the future. Additionally, the City is seeking recommendations on how the initial $5 million could be used as seed money to gain other funding sources.

Task 2.4: Recommended long-term funding and operator solutions

Any new facilities resulting from this study will require ongoing operation and maintenance funding that would be new to the City's existing budget. As a part of this study, the City of Norman is seeking recommendations based on peer study research on where these funds could originate, whether that be through cost savings identified in Task 2 of this study or through the institution of new development related fees. Secondly, the City is seeking recommendations on potential operators of the built solution(s), whether that be specific organizations already operating in the community or general characteristics that should be considered in the future search for the operator.

Task 3: Development of Strategies, Initiatives, and Benchmarks

The work outlined in the two previous tasks should ultimately fold into a larger set of recommended strategies, initiatives, and benchmarks capable of guiding the City and the CoC over the next five to ten years. While the City of Norman does currently practice some data tracking and benchmarking related to various reporting requirements, it would benefit from a more thorough analysis of its current practices. This work should be done in relation to national best practices and the benchmarks should be aligned to any strategies and initiatives identified in this plan.

Task 4: Creation of Final Strategy Report

To conclude the project, the Consultant Team will produce a draft strategy report summarizing their findings and recommendations from the previous tasks. This document should outline a clear and comprehensive approach that includes, at a minimum:

  1. An executive summary
  2. A summary of background and existing conditions
  3. A comparison of Norman's and Cleveland County's efforts compared to relevant peer communities and overall national best practices
  4. Recommended built solution(s) with program recommendations, identification of preferred site(s), and those factors that should be prioritized in their siting
  5. Strategies, initiatives, and benchmarks to guide future decision making

B. Stakeholder Engagement

The Consultant Team will be expected to conduct direct outreach to all Continuum of Care (CoC) members through individual or group interviews. At least one meeting with the full CoC membership is expected. The City of Norman is requesting a minimum of three stakeholder groups: (1) service providers, (2) clients that are currently or have recently experienced homelessness, and (3) a group to be determined later.

C. Project Funding

The City of Norman has set aside funding in the amount of $100,000 within the FY 2020 Budget (which began on July 1, 2020) for the completion of the work described in the Request for Proposal.

Proposal/Submittal Instructions

A. Submission Timeline

The final schedule for adoption will be determined during the negotiation of the professional services agreement, but the schedule for proposal submittal is as follows:

RFP Released — August 19, 2020

Questions Due to the City / Deadline to Request Attendance at Pre-proposal Conference — August 31, 2020

Pre-proposal Conference — September 2, 2020

Proposals Due to the City — September 25, 2020

Proposal Evaluation, Shortlist Notification, and Interviews — October 2020

Contract Negotiations and Contract Award by City Council — November 2020

Following acceptance of the contract at Council and the formal notice to proceed being issued to the selected consultant team, the City of Norman is requesting that the final deliverable of the strategy document be completed within a 9 to 12-month timeline.

B. Inquiries/Questions

Respondents should submit questions and/or clarifications to the City of Norman at Homeless.Strategy@NormanOK.gov no later than 12:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 28, 2020. Questions must include the proposer's name, telephone number, email address, and name of the organization(s) being represented. All questions received by the deadline will be answered during the Pre-Proposal Conference.

C. Pre-Proposal Conference

There will be a pre-proposal virtual conference held at 10:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 via Zoom. Proposers will have the opportunity to ask questions related to the information contained within this solicitation. While not mandatory, proposers are encouraged to attend. Those seeking to attend the pre-proposal virtual conference should notify the City by email at Homeless.Strategy@NormanOK.gov before 4:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 28, 2020 in order to receive the link to join the Zoom event.

D. Proposal Submission

Proposals shall be accepted electronically until 4:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, September 25, 2020. Proposals should be emailed to Homeless. Strategy@NormanOK.gov.

Request Type
Friday, September 25, 2020