City of Reno
Nevada

Staff Report
8477

Staff Report (For Possible Action): Update, discussion and potential direction to staff to pursue evaluation of the construction of a permanent overflow shelter for homeless persons at one, or all, of the following sites: 250 Sage Street (APN 008-381-33); 1035 East Commercial Row (APN 008-370-34/008-370-20); and the northeast corner of the intersection of Sage/Commercial Row (APN 008-381-36).

Information

Department:City Manager's OfficeSponsors:
Category:Status Update

Recommendation and Proposed Motion

Recommendation:  Staff recommends Council direct staff to: (1) Determine HUD applicability and conduct public outreach regarding use of 250 Sage Street as a permanent overflow site and conduct public outreach or (2) Identify new potential locations for a permanent overflow site.

 

Proposed Motions:  (1) I move to direct staff to determine HUD applicability and conduct public outreach regarding use of 250 Sage Street as a permanent overflow site; or (2) I move to direct staff to identify new potential locations for a permanent overflow site.

Staff Report Formal Body

Summary: Following analysis of possible locations for a permanent overflow shelter, staff is seeking direction from Council regarding the construction of a permanent overflow shelter for homeless persons at the following sites: 250 Sage Street (APN 008-381-33); 1035 East Commercial Row (APN 008-370-34/008-370-20); and the northeast corner of the intersection of Sage/Commercial Row (APN 008-381-36). Following Council selection of a site of interest, staff will pursue public outreach and further evaluation regarding construction of a permanent overflow shelter for homeless persons.

 

Previous Council Action: 

June 7, 2017 - Council directed staff to narrow the focus to these sites and to pursue a conversation with Washoe County and other partners on other possible sites. At this time a fourth location at the Terminus of East Commercial Row (APN 011-450-24) was removed from consideration as a possible location for the permanent overflow shelter.

 

June 15, 2016 - Council approved the Cooperative Agreement for Services related to the operation of the Community Assistance Center (CAC) and other homeless services among the City of Reno, Washoe County and the City of Sparks. The Council also approved the Contract between the City of Reno and Volunteers of America, Greater Sacramento and Northern Nevada, for the operation of the Shelters at the CAC for July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2019.

 

January 28, 2015 - Council approved the contract with Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada to operate a cold weather overflow shelter from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.

 

September 10, 2008 - Council approved a Cooperative Agreement between the cities of Reno and Sparks and Washoe County for operations of the CAC-City of Reno lead agency.

 

August 18, 2008 - Council accepted report regarding CAC operations and oversight.

 

Background:  In late 2003, Council identified Record Street south of East Fourth Street for the collocation and expansion of homeless services for our community. The Men's Drop-in-Center, Reno Sparks Gospel Mission and St. Vincent's Dining Room were relocated into new facilities at the site and a new woman's shelter, family shelter, triage center and community resource center were built.

 

In early September 2008, the jurisdictions of Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County developed and adopted the Cooperative Agreement with the City of Reno as lead entity in managing operations, including executing operating contracts and leases. The most recent Cooperative Agreement continues the City of Reno's role as lead entity in operations and oversight and each jurisdiction's roles in supporting the overflow shelter operations.

 

In February, 2016 the City of Reno, in partnership with Washoe County and City of Sparks, released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Shelter Operations of the CAC. The release was in response to a request by Reno City Council as well the Transitional Governing Board. Volunteers of America submitted a three-year proposal with enhanced services including the addition of year-round overflow shelter operations. The RFQ review committee unanimously selected VOA as the top bidder, and the Transitional Governing Board moved to approve the selected Operator on April 29, 2016.

 

Discussion:  The Overflow shelter acts as a temporary emergency shelter to house 100+ individuals when the regular CAC shelters are full. Having the Overflow shelter not only provides a place for homeless individuals to sleep when the CAC shelter is full, it also allows the Reno Police Department (RPD) to exercise enforcement of existing ordinances regarding public camping and sleeping. Additionally, statistics show that when the Overflow shelter is open, there is a significant drop in crime, blight and complaints related to the CAC and river corridor. The operation of a year-round overflow shelter became a permanent part of the shelter operations contract in June 2016 under Volunteers of America.

 

The Cooperative Agreement for Services related to the operation of the Community Assistance Center and other homeless services and the Contract for the operation of the Shelters at the Community Assistance Center outline the importance of and responsibilities related to the operation of the overflow shelter. In its capacity as lead agency, the City of Reno is responsible for:

·         Contracting and Fiscal Responsibility: Negotiating and executing contracts (budgets, programs, reporting requirements, etc.) with vendors and operators (with each party participating as appropriate for fiscal oversight) for overflow shelter services.

·         Fiscal oversight and reporting for FEMA grant funds, Emergency Solutions Grant funds, Community Development Block Grant funds, and private donations related to overflow shelter.

·         Program Oversight for overflow shelter.

·         Facilities Maintenance and Management for overflow shelter.

 

In its capacity as the operator, Volunteers of America is responsible for:

·         Operating the overflow shelter seven days a week from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.

·         Facilitating men and women who are interested in the overflow shelter coming to the CAC starting at 2 p.m. until full and get their names on the shelter list.

·         Providing clients at the overflow shelter a morning meal as well as a dinner meal.

·         Utilizing buses to transport the clients to/from the CAC to the Overflow shelter at specified times.

·         Providing coordinated assessment which will enable clients to be triaged and accessed for the most appropriate services in the existing homeless continuum.

 

Three possible locations have been further analyzed for a permanent overflow shelter:

1.            250 Sage Street (APN 008-381-33)

o       Staff has requested this property to be released from the ReTRAC Lease Revenue Bond with an answer expected soon. If released, the bondholder will expect a transfer of ownership for the stated release purpose to occur within 30 to 60 days. If not released, we can lease the property, but not transfer ownership.

o       There is environmental clean-up that needs to be done on the site (see attached "Summary of File Review and Site Visit Findings").

o       There is a Kinder Morgan Fuel Line running through this property which may disallow housing on this property. Staff has requested the exact location of this line from Kinder Morgan and an opinion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding housing on this property.

 

2.            1035 East Commercial Row (APN 008-370-34/008-370-20)

o       Staffed reached out to Jim DeArkland who stated that he was not interested in selling the property.

o       This property is tied to the Ballpark DDA with Siena Communities and was valued at $940,000.

 

3.            Northeast corner of the intersection of Sage/Commercial Row (APN 008-381-36)

o       Staffed reached out to Waste Management which expressed an interest in purchasing the property from the City.

o       Lease proceeds pledged to the ReTRAC Lease Revenue Bond.

o       Collects $38,097.06 a year in revenue; if the City terminates the lease, the debt coverage ratio will be negatively impacted.

 

Of the three above identified properties, staff recommends Property #1 as the only viable property based on previous direction from Council and discussions with associated stakeholders. Staff had previously recommended Property #1 due to the feasibility of usage and to mitigate impacts to the River. Alternatively, staff recommends that Council give direction to identify new potential locations for a permanent overflow site.

 

As requested by Council, staff inquired through both Washoe County and the City of Sparks if these agencies own any inventory which could be used for the permanent overflow shelter. The City of Sparks responded that the agency does not possess suitable properties (see attached "Sparks - Inquiry regarding property for a new overflow homeless shelter").

 

Following Council selection of a site of primary interest, staff will pursue public outreach and further evaluation of the construction of a permanent overflow shelter for homeless persons. If Council decides to move forward with any of these properties, a public forum meeting will be held on Monday, August 28, 2017. The City will continue to work closely with Washoe County and City of Sparks to facilitate this process.

 

Financial Implications:  None at this time.

 

Legal Implications:  Legal review completed for compliance with City procedures and Nevada Law.