Two years ago, Mayor Ras J. Baraka along with the Municipal Council reestablished the Homelessness Commission (September 2018), chaired by Denise V. Rodgers, MD, FAAFP, Vice Chancellor of Interprofessional Programs at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). Through Dr. Rodgers’ leadership along with the 15 public and private members and in partnership with Dr. Mark Wade, Director, Department of Community Health and Wellness (DCHW) for the City of Newark, NJ, the Homelessness Commission embarked on the development of actions to assist our “residents without addresses” find a place to call home. Simultaneously, the Homelessness Commission would work to ensure that our “residents without addresses” had the necessary supports to create successful healthy housing options complete with the wrap around supportive services.
Embodied in the Newark Forward Blueprint for Equitable Development is a vision that our individuals and families should have housing that is safe, decent, healthy and affordable. Furthermore, we should provide proper supportive services.
As the city implements a comprehensive strategy to end homelessness in Newark, we have reviewed data specific to homelessness to help accelerate our approach to housing our “residents without addresses.”
Moving forward in 2020, the city’s sheltering efforts focused on being more creative and placed a heavy focus on case management, with an emphasis on placing people into “the needed supportive services and out of the shelters into transitional and supportive, permanent housing.”
In March 2021, the City announced an innovative container shelter village initiative to assist the most vulnerable homeless population. The City implemented a cost effective solution to retrofit shipping containers for the creation of temporary shelter to address homelessness within the City. The container shelter initiative aims to provide a therapeutic and supportive environment to provide resources to a disenfranchised population.
These programs, rooted in Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s Newark Forward agenda, provide the resources and framework to shelter “residents without addresses”, along with, services needed to stabilize their lives in transition towards permanent housing.
Housing Challenge - Call for Partners - Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative
On February 5, 2021, Mayor Ras J. Baraka and City of Newark Homelessness Czar Sakinah Hoyte announced that the City partnered with five developers and service providers to create 100 transitional, permanent, and supportive housing units, to help end homelessness in Newark under the first phase of “Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative.”
Responses to this second phase of the Call for Partners will be expected to adhere to the Mayor’s homelessness strategy and vision to increase the City of Newark’s housing stock for the most vulnerable homeless residents. Most importantly, successful respondents will demonstrate their ability to service the homeless community and prevent homelessness recidivism through innovative service strategies and structural designs. The second phase includes, but is not limited to the development of two cutting edge, homeless permanent/transitional supportive service-oriented projects.
Although container projects are preferred, they are not a requirement for this second phase. Proposals for projects with standard housing units will be considered if they increase the housing stock for the most vulnerable and adhere to the requirements of this housing challenge.
Each project will consist of a minimum of 10 to 60 individual units developed using innovative designs. These housing units will provide housing first based transitional and permanent supportive housing. The housing units will require intensive onsite social service supports to provide stable housing and prevent homelessness recidivism.
While the Mayor’s Call to Action to End Homelessness mandates specific minimum and maximum unit requirements with social service supports attached to said units, the City may consider making slight amendments to the Plan to accommodate reasonable design proposals that adheres to the overall development goals.
The Making Housing Homes: A Housing First Initiative Phase Two opportunities include:
* Subject to funds availability (local, state and federal resources) and/or Municipal Council approval.
**Partner must have site control at time of submission.
***Preference to minority developers or collaborations with minority developers.
Note: All development must be completed within 18 months of award notice.
Submissions must be prepared as 8.5-by-11-inch PDF files. Any drawings/renderings included with submissions must be formatted as no larger than 11-by-17 inches. If the respondent considers that certain portions of the submission contain proprietary information, such portions should be clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL.
The submission must be organized so that each of the following numbered sections is included in the report in order and prominently identified. All of the items described below must be provided.
i. Type of Services to be provided and expected outcomes to be achieved with associated timelines.
ii. Target population to be serviced. *Preference will be given to vulnerable homeless populations.
iii. Indicate the level and type of supportive services, both on and off-site, and service hours.
iv. Location of services (services are required be provided on site; if there are additional services that will provided off-site, please detail here)
v. Proposed source of funding for services (i.e. mobile medical clinic, etc....) (Please attach the Memorandum of Understanding / contract between Developer and COC approved service provider.)
vi. Describe level and frequency of case management, including the case manager to client ratio, along with case plan timeline (Please attach a copy of the social service agency client assessment/intake form and case plan template.)
Responses to this solicitation must be submitted via electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021. In addition, one original and two copies of Respondents’ Letter of Intent must be submitted via mail to following address:
City of Newark
Department of Economic and Housing Development
Attention: Office of the Director
920 Broad Street, Room 218
Newark, NJ 07102
An informational conference will be held on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 12PM via Zoom. Attendance is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Respondents should RSVP for the meeting in order to be sent a Zoom invite and submit questions via email to email@example.com no later than Friday July 9, 2021.
Although advance notice of the questions is preferred, City staff will be available to answer questions regarding the property, goals and objectives of the Call for Partners and the submission requirements during the meeting. Zoom meeting invites will be sent to applicants in advance of the meeting.
The City will notify partners of interviews and/or follow up questions in early to mid-August 2021. Partner selections will be announced in late August to early September 2021. All partner selections are subject to Municipal Council approval.
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