Commissioners postpone award of $1.2 million homeless shelter contract

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Washoe County Commissioners yesterday postponed a decision to award a $1,198,267 contract for the operation and management of the Community Assistance Center in downtown Reno in response to a request from City of Reno for same. At board direction, the item will be rescheduled for the August 9 County Commission meeting.

The board voted to continue this item to August 9 to allow more time for the county and the cities to address some of the issues that are still outstanding such as the governance model and, specifically, who will serve as the lead agency for the center.

The agreement with the current provider, Volunteers of America, is set to expire tomorrow, but the board voted to extend that agreement up to 60 days to ensure a continuity of operations. Washoe County, in conjunction with the cities of Reno and Sparks, released a request for proposals for a Community Assistance Shelter operator on March 21.

Three proposals were received and opened on April 15, and all were reviewed by a multi-jurisdictional evaluation team comprising representatives from Washoe County and the cities of Reno and Sparks, and the Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless. All three of the proposers were considered based on the strength of their RFP responses, interviews and references/letter of recommendation reviews to establish an overall ranking order.

The evaluation team then met to discuss each of the proposers’ strengths and weaknesses, review the RFP scoring and vote for their top choice for the operation and provision of homeless services at the Community Assistance Center. The majority of the evaluation committee favored recommending Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada for the new contract to operate and provide homeless services at the Community Assistance Center.

All three responders spoke before the commission today, with the current provider Volunteers of America filing an appeal/protest of the proposed award of bid.

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