The City of Newark’s Office of Homeless Services is advertising for a respondent to provide outreach and engagement services to homeless persons. Homeless means (1) an individual or family that lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, (2) an individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings including, but not limited to cars, parks, abandoned buildings, buses, train stations, airport, camp grounds, streets, doorways, under bridges, and railroad trellises.
The City anticipates awarding a contract to one or more respondents. The selected respondent will be expected to proactively identify areas to provide outreach, as well as respond to concerns regarding unsheltered individuals and/or families from City officials and staff, residents, businesses, and other persons as appropriate. The Respondent will provide a comprehensive Outreach and Engagement Program to unsheltered persons in the City of Newark.
The City is seeking to commence services upon award, and the terms of these services is anticipated to run concurrently with “Temporary Shelter Services for Homeless Individuals and Families and Sheltering at Risk Individuals and Families During Code Blue and Code Red Weather,” commencing on the date Purchasing Agent, QPA provides respondent with formal Notice to Proceed. The term of the contract will commence upon Notice to Proceed to Vendor and terminate twenty-four (24) months later.
It is widely recognized that homelessness is not due to just a lack of shelter. It involves a variety of unmet needs and underlying economic, physical and social challenges. The ongoing issues of unsheltered homeless individuals and families living in places not meant for human habitation requires a collaborative approach. The respondent that is awarded must have working relationships with a broad spectrum of emergency service agencies, social service agencies, health service agencies, housing providers (permanent, transitional, and shelter).
A successful respondent must conduct outreach and engage the unsheltered population living in or occupying places not meant for human habitation, including but not limited to: outdoor spaces; encampments; and abandoned buildings, etc. The entity must be prepared to respond to emergent scenarios between the hours of 7AM-12AM.
In addition, a successful respondent is required to collaborate with the City of Newark’s Homeless Outreach Team, participate in the City of Newark’s case collaboratives and input data into the City of Newark’s Outreach and Engagement program, within the Homeless Management and Information System (HMIS).
HMIS requires entry of client-level data into a centralized, web-based system, as well as compliance with all applicable confidentiality and data security protocols. The successful respondent will be required to build and submit daily, weekly, and monthly reports to the City of Newark’s Office of Homeless Services.
Outreach and engagement activities must be conducted seven days a week with coverage through morning, afternoon and evening hours. Per shift, each outreach team is required to comprise, at a minimum: one (1) LSW (or higher clinical degree); one (1) outreach specialist, experienced with providing intensive case management; AND one (1) LSADC. In addition, the successful respondent is required to provide a Memorandum of Understanding with a substance abuse provider.
It is expected that the successful respondent will coordinate with the Office of Homeless Services in order to transport individuals and families to City of Newark contracted shelters for individuals and families, pending bed availability, and to other programs and locations as appropriate.
In addition, the successful respondent is required to coordinate with other service providers to avoid duplication of services and resources, and the successful respondent may be expected to attend roundtables with residents, City representatives, businesses or other persons as appropriate in an effort to address external stakeholder concerns.
Respondent must ensure that staff contracted under the Homeless Outreach and Engagement Program are dedicated to this project, and that their time is not commingled with other homeless services programs or outreach service programs under which respondent may be contracted.
Respondent understands that the City is not awarding a grant for services, and shall take on additional clients as a result of the services they may already provide to the homeless population and its funders.
At a minimum, all applicants must meet the following threshold requirements:
Organizational Capacity and Experience
Please answer the following questions about the agency or agencies that will provide services under the proposed program:
1. Describe your experience in providing outreach, engagement and intensive case management services. Provide information about your agency’s relevant accomplishments and outcomes.
2. For any of the staff members who will provide services under this proposal, please provide an organizational chart, resumes and job descriptions. At minimum, each outreach team is required to comprise one (1) LSW (or higher clinical degree), one (1) outreach specialist, experienced in providing intensive case management AND one (1) LSADC. Explain how oversight and supervision will occur.
3. Explain clearly the experience and cultural competence of your staff in meeting the needs of unsheltered individuals or families.
4. Describe your experience using the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). If you have not used HMIS, describe your plan for building capacity to use the system, as required for this award.
Although total contract costs will not be the determining factor, budget or allocations of funds will be considered.
1. For the services set forth in the Scope of Services, the respondent shall submit a Rate Schedule for services related to the proposal (cost details), including the hourly rate of each of the individuals who will be performing the services.
2. The respondent shall be paid hourly rates for typical classification of personnel for the program. The respondent shall provide with its statement of qualifications a list of all persons anticipated to provide work on the contract and their job classifications.
3. The respondent shall submit a detailed invoice, including hours of work performed, rates and disbursements, including incidental costs. Respondent shall execute the standard City purchase order as a requirement for payment.
4. The City reserves the right to withhold payment if benchmarks are not met.
The successful applicant shall identify unsheltered locations throughout the City of Newark that are frequented and/or inhabited by residents without addresses. The outreach team will be required to treat individuals with dignity, respect and professionalism.
The outreach team shall gather basic identifying information, as well as information pertaining to income, benefits, health, and mental health status. Also, the outreach team shall assess individuals for chronic homelessness.
The outreach team shall make every attempt to determine an individual’s city/county of origin. Non-Newark residents (individuals for whom a Newark footprint cannot be detected) shall be diverted to their originating municipality/county/country for service linkages. Newark residents shall be offered access and transportation to City-designated shelters, provided with food, essential hygiene items, clothing, contact information for the outreach team, and required intensive case management services to be conducted by the Respondent.
Respondent will provide a warm hand-off of Newark residents to the City-contracted shelter providers, coordinating with the Office of Homeless services to ensure availability of beds and entry and intake hours before arrival at respective shelters, unless expressly agreed upon by Respondent and Office of Homeless Services.
The outreach team shall distribute items necessary to facilitate engagement, including but not limited to hygiene kits, PPE, food, water, clothing, and referral agency’s contact information.
Respondent must administer short-term needs assessment to determine factors that will affect next steps in emergency placement and eventual housing procedures. Additionally respondent will be responsible for follow-up to ensure that post-placement client is formally connected to shelter provider for ongoing case management.
Respondent must be prepared to work collaboratively with Office of Homeless Services contracted agencies on specific client cases to ensure clients are successful
Respondent will include homeless diversion screening at intake to ensure that those with alternative resources will not be accessing the homeless system.
Respondent must provide transportation for unsheltered individuals or families who are residents of surrounding municipalities that end up in Newark. Respondents must offer to return those individuals or families back to the municipality’s social services or health department or a close contact of the individual within a 20-mile radius of Newark’s Penn Station.
Respondent shall provide one-way bus tickets for those individuals and families arriving in the City of Newark and becoming homeless that desire to return to their municipality/county that is outside of the 20-mile radius of Newark’s Penn Station. Respondent must ensure that individuals and families are transferred with a warm-hand off to a relative or other party at the location to receive the individual.
Please provide a detailed narrative description of your proposed services. In your answer, include responses to the following questions:
1. What is the overall structure of your proposed program? Describe when you will be ready to commence services. Please attach a timeline.
2. Describe how your proposed services will contribute to the goal of preventing or ending homelessness.
3. How will your proposed services identify and engage prospective unsheltered individuals and/or families?
4. Describe your program staffing and experiences.
5. Detail the number of individuals and families your program intends to engage and serve over a seven-day period and what services they may receive.
6. Describe the follow-up you will conduct, including the time period in which they will occur.
7. Describe the outreach and engagement case management model, including any diversion practices for non-Newark residents that you will utilize for clients.
8. Describe how you plan to coordinate with other homeless outreach teams and service providers to avoid duplication of efforts and more effectively and efficiently utilize team resources. Include information on any specific areas that you intend to target your outreach efforts.
9. Describe how you plan to transport persons engaged through the program’s street outreach to shelter or other services as appropriate.
Respondent shall provide a minimum of three (3) references that are using services of the type proposed in this RFP. Please provide the entity’s name, location where services were provided, contact persons with titles and contact numbers.
Respondent must provide daily transportation for unsheltered individuals and families living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, buses, train stations, airport, campgrounds, streets, doorways, under bridges, railroad trellises and other areas in the City to shelters and to other supportive service providers.
Respondent must specify in the bid response the make, model and VIN of properly licensed vehicle owned or leased by Respondent to be used for transport.
Respondent must provide a clean copy of driver’s abstract, dated no more than thirty (30) days from submission of proposal, for the individual(s) driving the vehicle for purposes of this program.
All vehicles must be maintained in a safe operating condition and must have a current inspection by the State of New Jersey.
Respondent vehicle shall comply with all law relating to transportation of a disabled person, or respondent shall advise in their proposal how they will accommodate transportation of a disabled unsheltered person. (Provide previous experience where applicable.)
The respondent shall provide assurance that interior cleanliness of the vehicles will be maintained on a daily basis. Daily attention should be given to sweeping floors, removal of trash, and disinfected for scabies, bed bugs, lice or any other infectious mites or insects that may be transported. In addition, daily attention is required for disinfecting the vehicle, interior and exterior, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The exterior of the vehicle should be washed at least monthly.
All drivers used for this program shall comply with all road and safety regulations as set forth by any federal, state and municipal policy, law, statute or ordinance as it may relate directly to the safe operation of a vehicle used in public transportation of unsheltered individuals and families.
Respondent shall staff and deploy one qualified driver (proof of qualifications required; See abstract requirement above), one LSW or person with a higher clinical degree, and one qualified outreach specialist (proof of qualifications required) to assure outreach and engagement of unsheltered individuals and families is continuous and reliable. The City is seeking to deploy only one vehicle with two persons (if driver is either the social worker or outreach specialist) throughout the term of the contract.
Respondent’s driver and support staff shall have competency in physically driving and intensive case management of unsheltered individuals and families in order to make an assessment and determine the best safe place for drop-off.
Respondent shall provide a copy of the driver’s valid license issued by the State of New Jersey (or a reciprocal state) authorizing such person to operate the vehicle to which he or she is assigned.
Respondent shall hold the driver responsible for the safe loading and unloading of his or her vehicle at every pick-up and drop-off.
Respondent shall demonstrate driver-passenger professionalism.
Respondent must provide a coronavirus plan by which it details daily disinfection procedures and safe spacing of individuals in order to prevent spread.
Respondent shall not knowingly permit staff and passengers to smoke in the vehicle, not to drink any intoxicating beverage or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating vehicle or being transported in the vehicle.
Respondent shall be responsible for hiring and discharging personnel employed by respondent to perform its obligations hereunder. However, provided that the City shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to require respondent to remove from service under this agreement any staff providing services that are deemed unsuitable for the performance of the transportation or case management services, and the City shall make such request in writing, detailing the reasons for the request.
Respondent must provide a scope of services for the proposed outreach and engagement project. In addition, Respondent must provide a narrative and line item justification for each cost on cost/price schedule sheet. Cost must align with and match the scope of services.
Respondent shall provide as part of its proposal its Policy and Procedure for staff and passenger safety plan in providing service to unsheltered individuals and families. The Policy and Procedure at a minimum must address:
1. Outreach to an unsheltered individual or family suspected of being under the influence of non-prescription substances at the time of contact or whose environment includes other individuals who are using substances.
2. Outreach to an unsheltered individual or family who is suspected of or known to be carrying a weapon at the time of contact or whose environment includes individuals suspected of or known to be carrying weapons.
3. Outreach to an unsheltered individual or family who becomes volatile or threatening during contact or in a setting in which volatile or threatening behavior is observed or anticipated.
4. Outreach to an unsheltered individual or family who has a known history of physical violence.
5. Outreach to an individual experiencing psychosis and/psychotic episodes.
6. Diversion client engagement script and process flow.
Respondent shall provide daily reports of all activities conducted on an hourly basis, which is the basis for billing on hourly rate.
In the event of an accident, crash or incident, respondent shall notify, by phone, the Office of Homeless Services immediately after the welfare and safety of passengers and driver has been assessed. In addition, respondent is required to submit within 24 hours of accident, crash or incident, a detailed report of the accident, crash or incident, including but not limited to, date and time of incident, names and contact information of those involved, actions taken by any and all parties involved, and final resolutions and outcomes.
Respondent must submit via email daily to the Office of Homeless Services a vehicle ridership report by end of business.
The respondent must provide a certificate of insurance from an insurer with a Best’s rating of no less than A- indicating compliance with the required coverage to the City of Newark. The respondent must notify the City immediately, of any material change in insurance coverage, such as changes in limits, coverage, change in status of policy, etc. As part of the certificate of insurance submission, a broad endorsement form/additional insured endorsement form that lists the City of Newark as additional insured must also be included. The City reserves the right to require complete copies of insurance policies at all times.
1. General Requirements: The respondent shall maintain for the duration of the contracts, at its cost and expense, insurance against claims for injuries to persons or damages to property, including contractual liability, which may arise from or in connection with the performance of the work by the respondent, it agents, employees, representatives, assigns or subcontractors. This insurance shall cover such claims as may be caused by any negligent act or omission and shall be in the amounts of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate.
2. Primary Insurance: The respondent’s insurance coverage shall be primary insurance as respect to the City, its officers, officials, employees, agents, and representatives shall apply separately to each project or location.
3. Workers Compensation Insurance: The respondent shall maintain for the duration of the contract, at its cost and expense, Workers Compensation Insurance in the statutory amounts pursuant to N.J.S.A. 34 et seq.
4. Automobile Insurance: $1,000,000.00 each person
$1,000,000.00 each occurrence
5. Additional Insured Status: The City must be listed as additional insured for liability arising out of activities performed by or on behalf of the respondent. As part of the certificate of insurance submission of a broad endorsement form/additional insured endorsement form that lists the City of Newark as additional ensured must also be included.
6. Amounts: All insurance shall be written up for the following limits of liability:
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance: $1,000,000.00 each person
$1,000,000.00 each occurrence
Property Damage Liability Insurance: $1,000,000.00 each person
$1,000,000.00 each occurrence
Professional Liability: $1,000,000.00
General Liability Insurance: $1,000,000.00 per occurrence
Commercial Liability Insurance: $1,000,000.00 per occurrence
Workers Compensation: $500,000.00 each accident
$500,000.00 by disease
$100,000.00 per bodily injury