36C24421Q0094 – Sources Sought – V231– Cambria County Shelter

Nov 7, 2020 | Sources Sought

THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION. This is a Sources Sought Notice only and is issued to conduct market research and gain knowledge of current market capabilities. Responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. This notice is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a solicitation or a guarantee to issue a solicitation in the future. This notice does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service. All information submitted in response to this announcement is voluntary; the Government will not pay for information requested nor will it compensate any respondent for any cost incurred in developing information provided to the Government. Not responding to this notice does not preclude participation in any future solicitation, if issued. This announcement is based on the best information available at this time and is subject to future amendment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Network Contracting Office 4, 1111 East End Blvd, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, is conducting a market survey to identify potential sources to provide emergency shelter services within 45 miles of the CBOC in Cambria County, Pennsylvania as part of its Community Based Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program at the, Altoona VAMC located at: 2907 Pleasant Valley Blvd, Altoona PA. The following purpose and questions must be met.

The Department Of Veterans Affairs, James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center and their Johnstown Community Based Outpatient Clinic, are seeking a Contractor to provide emergency shelter services within 45 miles of the CBOC in Cambria County, Pennsylvania as part of its Community Based Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program to referred Veterans.

The goal of the HCHV program is to remove homeless Veterans from the street or habitation unfit for Veterans and place them in community-based, residential environments with sufficient therapeutic services to meet the needs of those Veterans. The target population is chronically homeless, chronically mentally ill Veterans, Veterans with chronic substance abuse d

is orders and complex needs. Eligibility will be determined by the VA Homeless Coordinator or designee, based on Veteran s assessment.

This contract will be awarded to a Contractor having an acceptable facility within 45 miles of the Johnstown CBOC in Cambria County. If no facilities are available within this area, consideration will be given to the Contractor whose facility meets all the stated requirements and is closest to Cambria County. All potential contractors will need to be registered through the Government website, System for Award Management (SAM) prior to award.

All potential contractors will need to be registered through the Government website, System for Award Management (SAM) prior to award.

The contract facility is expected to pass inspection and become fully operational within 30 days from the date of contract award. Failure to meet the 30-day milestone may result in the contract being terminated. The Contractor will demonstrate successful completion of the following tasks, validated by VA inspection, prior to receiving Veteran referrals and invoicing for payment.

Site control demonstrated at time of contract award. This may be through ownership or lease. All permits and license will be reviewed. The Contractor is required to ensure that the facility used for this contract meets fire and safety code imposed by the State law, and the Life Safety Code of the National Fire and Protection Association. No additional funds will be made available for capital improvements under this contract.

VA will conduct an inspection that Contractor sites must pass prior to contract award. The Contractor is required to ensure the facility used for this contract meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for accessible accommodations for Veterans with physical limitations or impairments. Contractor facility must be licensed as required for the particular setting under State or Federal authority, and must meet all applicable local, state, and/or Federal requirements concerning licensing and health/occupancy codes. Copies of valid licenses must be provided to the VA at the time of proposal and for all annual inspection reviews. Where applicable, the facility must have a current occupancy permit issued by the authority having jurisdiction.

Services for female Veterans under this contract are required to ensure the safety and privacy of these Veterans. Men and women must have separate bathroom facilities. The facility must have female residential rooms or sections that are securely segregated or restricted from men to ensure safety and privacy. If the facility cannot accommodate both male and female Veterans at one location, the provider must make available equivalent facilities and services for the opposite gender that meet the terms of the contract for facilities and services.

Pre-Award Inspection of the facility will be conducted by VA inspection team. This team is made up of HCHV clinical staff, safety officials, dietetics, police, infection control and other staff as deemed necessary for facility inspection. Pre-award inspection will be completed within 15 days of proposal submission. Any items requiring corrective action will be communicated to the Contractor in writing within one (1) week of inspection.

Contractor shall complete the abatement of all inspection corrective action(s) and pass VA inspection within 30 days of notice.

Work will be performed at the Contractor s facility within the geographic limitations outlined above. Government furnished workspace will not be provided for this effort. Government furnished property will not be provided to the Contractor. All equipment required by the Contractor will be provided at their expense.

The Contractor must provide a safe environment for all Veterans consistent with the Safe Haven model of housing and services. The Contractor will offer a low-demand environment with a minimum set of rules designed to re-establish trust in the chronically homeless Veteran and engage the Veteran in needed treatment services. Contractor must have written policies and procedures in place that address the following concerns and situations:
Acceptance of treatment cannot be a condition of admission or continued stay;
Medication adherence or compliance cannot be a condition of admission or continued stay;
Abstinence from alcohol or drugs cannot be a condition of admission or continued stay; Infractions of rules should be used as opportunities for engagement;
Management of suspected or known drug or alcohol use or relapse by one or more Veterans and interventions based on the Safe Haven model including Motivational Interviewing and Harm Reduction;
On-site contraband, weapons, drug or alcohol related paraphernalia (i.e., found alcohol, drugs, drug works , etc.) and utilize interventions based on the Safe Haven model;
Safe prescription medication storage and handling, including specific provisions for prescribed controlled substances;
Room inspections, including methods and frequency to be tracked in a log and available for review by VA staff upon request;
Grievance process to address Veteran complaints with time frames for responses from the Contractor s program/facility management;
Client abandonment of belongings in the facility, including time frames and procedures for disposal;
Process to elicit client satisfaction with the facility and onsite services, including information collection methods and frequency, and process for utilizing the information for continual performance improvement purposes; and
Procedure for medical records request by veteran with a specific regarding re-release of information.

These policies and procedures must be communicated to Veterans both verbally and in writing in a manner that is understandable within 72 business hours of admission to the facility. This communication must be documented in the Veteran s client record.

House rules and expectations should be kept to a minimum, be simple, and should focus on safety of the Veterans and staff. Most Veterans may have had difficulty in the past adhering to settings where strict rules are applied. The rules should reward positive behavior, be enforceable, relate to the living situation, provide for safety of the Veterans and provide opportunities for engagement. Veterans will not be discharged for the use of alcohol or drugs. Many of the Veterans that this program will target have failed programs in the past for their inability to stay clean and sober. Maintaining housing stability will be the primary goal for each Veteran. To provide for the safety of the Veteran(s), the Contractor must have written policies and procedures in place that clearly indicate the following are prohibited:
Dealing or use of illicit drugs/alcohol at the facility;
Buying or selling of alcohol or drugs in the facility;
Sexual activity between Veterans (including kissing and holding hands);
Violence or threat of violence toward Veterans or facility staff;
Destruction of facility property;
Possession of weapons.

Although rules must be kept simple and demands on the Veterans low, it is required that staff at the facility stay continuously engaged with the Veterans. Policies and procedures for staff should reflect the following: Regular room checks should occur with a strong focus on maintaining a safe environment that promotes the well-being of all Veterans; Staff is trained in providing flexible, respectful responses to infractions of rules; Homeless Veterans will not be discharged for drinking or use of drugs off property, non-compliance with prescribed medication or infractions of house rules that do not constitute a risk to their personal safety or the safety of the facility Veterans or staff; and assertive engagement by the staff with patients regarding these problems is the preferred course of action to deal with these common problems of the Safe Haven facility.

The Contractor must communicate policies and procedures to Veterans both verbally and in writing in a manner that is understandable to each Veteran upon admission to the facility, in the form of a written Veteran handbook that is verbally reviewed by the assigned case manager with the Veteran. All updates to any policies and procedures must be reviewed with Veterans with 7 days of revision. This communication must be documented in the Veteran s client record.
The Contractor shall provide all labor, supervision, housing, material and supplies necessary to provide emergency shelter and supportive services. Services will be provided on-site at the Contractor s facility, in accordance with all term s conditions, provisions and requirements listed herein. The prices provided in the Price Schedule shall be inclusive of all basic services as may be necessary in the treatment of the Veteran. Basic services shall be as defined in the Performance of Work Statement.

Room and Board: Room and Board for up to (4) Veterans at a time to include a bed and other furnishings such as a dresser, storage, and personal linens (towels and bed sheets). The bed must be designated for use exclusively by the individual Veteran from the time of admission to the time of discharge. The bed must be situated in a room that affords the Veteran safety, privacy and security. Each Veteran must have a safe and secure place to store their belongings that is readily accessible to the Veteran (such as a locking closet, a locking armoire, a locker, etc.).

Dietetic Services: On-site fully functioning kitchen for food storage, meal preparation, and consumption of meals. Kitchen is to be available for Veteran to prepare his/her own meals or for the facility to prepare meals, 7 days a week. The VA has particular concern for chronically homeless Veterans, many of whom are either undernourished or have developed poor eating habits or both, because of chronic medical, mental health or substance abuse disorders. If the facility prepares the meals, a VA dietitian may assess printed menus as well as Veterans satisfaction with meals and the actual consumption of food offered. The VA Dietician will inspect the kitchen and food storage areas during annual facility inspection or at any point during the contract period.

Laundry Facilities: On-site laundry facilities and supplies for Veterans to do their own laundry or to have laundry done.

Internet and Computer Access: Internet access shall be available to Veterans residing at the facility. Facility shall provide hardware (computer(s), printer, etc.) to be utilized. Veterans enrolled at the local community college or taking online courses should be given priority of usage. The Contractor will be responsible for establishing hours of usage as well as setting any parental controls they deem essential.

Environment of Care Services: The Contractor must provide a clean and comfortable environment of care that is structurally sound facility; does not pose any threat to the health and safety of the occupants and protects them from the elements. The facility entries and exit locations are capable of being utilized without unauthorized use and provide alternate means of egress in case of fire; every room or space will have natural or mechanical ventilation; be free of pollutants in the air at levels that threaten the health of Veterans; provide a water supply free from contamination; has sufficient sanitary facilities in proper operational condition, allowed to be used in privacy, and are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste. Facility must have adequate heating and or cooling mechanisms that are in proper operating condition; adequate natural or artificial illumination to permit normal indoor activities and to support the health and safety of Veterans; provides sufficient electrical sources to permit use of essential electrical appliance while assuring safety from fire. All housing and equipment will be maintained in a sanitary manner free from pests, insects and vermin and will provide a warm, welcoming, and respectful atmosphere through lighting and décor. Contractor ensures that furniture is well maintained and not broken. It is the Contractor s responsibility to maintain a clean and comfortable environment that meets these conditions. For example, the Contractor would be responsible for alleviating a bed bug infestation by hiring an exterminator at its own expense.

Transportation: The Contractor will ensure that transportation is available for Veterans to attend medical/mental health appointments, search for transitional or permanent housing and address other care needs. This can be done through provision of bus passes, utilization of cab services, Contractor s transportation. These costs will be considered part of the basic services provided.

Supportive Services: Supportive Services determined to be needed by each individual Veteran referred for treatment as stated in the plan developed by the Contractor, with input from the Veteran and the VA Homeless Program Coordinator (or designee). Services which the Contractor must be able to furnish shall include:

Structured group activities: As appropriate or by referral to community resources where such services are accessible examples include group therapy, social skills training, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, vocational counseling and physical activities as appropriate.

Collaboration with the VA program staff: Provide supportive/therapeutic social services (i.e. provide Veteran with HCHV Participant Handbook and liaison’s business card, have Veteran sign and submit Release of Information, etc.).

Assistance to develop responsible living patterns: Maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene and grooming, and to achieve a more adaptive level of psychosocial functioning, upgraded social skills, and improved personal relationships. This may include day-to-day verbal cuing or conversation about how to best function in a social environment.

Support for an alcohol/drug abuse-free lifestyle: Provided in an environment conducive to social interaction and the fullest development of the resident s rehabilitative potential. Delivery of the rules and regulations Veterans must abide by that are related to the alcohol/drug free environment.

A program that promotes community interaction: This may mean informing Veterans of volunteer, community service, employment, and organization activities and involvement opportunities. Aid residents in gaining and applying knowledge of the illness/recovery process. In addition, the Contractor shall act as point person for the Veteran to obtain information to resolve unmet needs.
Inspection of Facility and Program:
Prior to the award of a contract and annually during the contract term, a multidisciplinary VA team consisting of COR, Homeless Coordinator/designee, dietitian, registered nurse, and a Facilities Management Safety Officer, and other subject matter experts as determined necessary shall conduct a survey of the Contractor s facilities to be used to provide Veterans food, shelter, and therapeutic services to assure the facility provides quality care in a safe environment. Inspections may also be carried out at such other times as deemed necessary by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Contractor will be advised of the findings of the inspection team. If deficiencies are noted during any inspection, the Contractor will be given a reasonable time to take corrective action and to notify the COR that the corrections have been made. A contract will not be awarded until noted deficiencies have been eliminated. Failure by the Contractor to take corrective action within a reasonable time will be reported to the VA Contracting Officer. If corrections are not made to the satisfaction of the VA, the Contracting Officer will consult with the appropriate officials so that suitable arrangements can be made to discontinue plans to award a contract, or to discharge or transfer patients and to terminate the existing contract, as appropriate.

The inspection of the Contractor facilities will include inspection for conformity to the current Life Safety Code and will also include the following:

General observation of residents to determine access to maintain an acceptable level of personal hygiene and grooming.

Assessment of whether the facility meets applicable fire, safety and sanitation standards.

Determining whether the facility is in attractive surroundings conducive to social interaction and the fullest development of the resident’s rehabilitative potential.

Observation of facility operations to see if appropriate organized activity programs are available during waking hours (including evenings) and degree to which a high level of activity is observed in the facility, such as physical activities and assistance with health and personal hygiene.

Seeking evidence of facility-community interaction, demonstrated by the nature of scheduled activities or by information about resident flow out of the facility, e.g., community activities, volunteers, local consumer services, etc.

Observation of staff behavior and interaction with residents to determine if they convey an attitude of genuine concern and caring.

Inspecting the types of meals and other nutrition provided to residents to see if appetizing, nutritionally adequate meals are provided in a setting, which encourages social interaction and if nutritious snacks between meals and bedtime are available for those requiring or desiring additional food, when it is not medically contraindicated. The addition of nutritious snacks to the requirements for room and board is particularly indicated for homeless chronically mentally ill patients. Many of these patients are either undernourished or have developed poor eating habits or both, because of their chronic psychiatric disorder, including alcohol/drug abuse behaviors. The Altoona VAMC dietitian may consult with the inspection team in evaluating not only the printed menus but the patient s satisfaction with meals and the actual consumption of food offered.

Making a spot check of veterans records to ensure accuracy with respect to veterans length of stay and services provided to the veterans.

VA Contract Performance Oversight: Day to day contract oversite will be performed by the COR with clinical oversight from the Homeless Coordinator and designees.
Contract Administration/Performance Monitoring: After award of contract, all inquiries and correspondence relative to the administration of the contract shall be addressed to the Contracting Officer (CO) and/or Contracting Officer Representative (COR).
CO Responsibilities: The Contracting Officer is the only person authorized to approve changes or modify any of the requirements of this contract. The Contractor shall communicate with the Contracting Officer on all matters pertaining to contract administration. Only the Contracting Officer is authorized to make commitments or issue any modification to include (but not limited to) terms affecting price, quantity or quality of performance of this contract.
The Contracting Officer shall resolve complaints concerning Contractor relations with the Government employees or patients. The Contracting Officer is final authority on validating complaints. In the event the Contractor effects any such change at the direction of any person other than the Contracting Officer without authority, no adjustment shall be made in the contract price to cover an increase in costs incurred as a result thereof.
In the event that contracted services do not meet quality and/or safety expectations, the best remedy will be implemented, to include but not limited to a targeted and time limited performance improvement plan; increased monitoring of the contracted services; consultation or training for Contractor personnel to be provided by the VA; replacement of the contract personnel and/or renegotiation of the contract terms or termination of the contract.
COR Responsibilities: The COR shall be the VA official responsible for verifying contract compliance. After contract award, any incidents of Contractor noncompliance as evidenced by the monitoring procedures shall be forwarded immediately to the Contracting Officer.
The COR will be responsible for monitoring the Contractor s performance to ensure all specifications and requirements are fulfilled. Quality Improvement data that will be collected for ongoing monitoring includes but is not limited to, enter data that may be collected.
The COR will maintain a record-keeping system of services. The COR will review this data monthly when invoices are received and certify all invoices for payment by comparing the hours documented on the VA record-keeping system and those on the invoices. Any evidence of the Contractor’s non-compliance as evidenced by the monitoring procedures shall be forwarded immediately to the Contracting Officer.
The COR will review and certify monthly invoices for payment. If in the event the Contractor fails to provide the services in this contract, payments will be adjusted to compensate the Government for the difference.
All contract administration functions will be retained by the VA.
Billing: Invoice requirements and supporting documentation: Supporting documentation and invoice must be submitted no later than the 20th workday of the month. Subsequent changes or corrections shall be submitted by separate invoice. In addition to information required for submission of a proper invoice in accordance with FAR 52.212-4 (g), all invoices must include:
Name and Address of Contractor
Invoice Date and Invoice Number
Contract Number and Purchase/Task Order Number
Date of Service (Month/Year)
Veterans Name
Last 4 of SSN
Daily Rate
Admission Date & Discharge Date
Number of Days
Total Invoice Amount
Vendor Electronic Invoice Submission Methods
Invoices will be electronically submitted to the Tungsten website at http://www.tungstennetwork.com/uk/en/ Tungsten direct vendor support number is 877-489-6135 for VA contracts.  The VA-FSC pays all associated transaction fees for VA orders. During Implementation (technical set-up) Tungsten will confirm your Taxpayer ID Number with the VA-FSC. This process can take up to 5 business days to complete to ensure your invoice is automatically routed to your Certifying Official for approval and payment. In order to successfully submit an invoice to VA-FSC please review How to Create an Invoice within the how to guides. All invoices submitted through Tungsten to the VA-FSC should mirror your current submission of Invoice, with the following items required. Clarification of additional requirements should be confirmed with your Certifying Official (your CO or buyer). The VA-FSC requires specific information in compliance with the Prompt Pay Act and Business Requirements. For additional information, please contact:
Tungsten Support
Phone: 1-877-489-6135
Website: http://www.tungsten-network.com/uk/en/
Department of Veterans Affairs Financial Service Center
Phone: 1-877-353-9791 Email: vafscched@va.gov 
Payments in full/no billing VA beneficiaries: The Contractor shall accept payment for services rendered under this contract as payment in full. VA beneficiaries shall not under any circumstances be charged nor their insurance companies charged for services rendered by the Contractor, even if VA does not pay for those services. This provision shall survive the termination or ending of the contract.
To the extent that the Veteran desires services which are not a VA benefit or covered under the terms of this contract, the Contractor must notify the Veteran the VA will not be responsible for payment.
The Contractor shall not bill, charge, collect a deposit from, seek compensation, remuneration, or reimbursement from, or have any recourse against, any person or entity other than VA for services provided pursuant to this contract. It shall be considered fraudulent for the Contractor to bill other third-party insurance sources (including Medicare) for services rendered to Veteran

1. Are you registered in SAM and if not, can you be registered prior to contract award?
2. Are you willing to go through a government inspection process, clear up any requests and provide copies of all permits and licenses to the VA within 30 days from contract award?
3. Can you set aside on a continued monthly basis 4 beds only for both male and female Veterans?
4. Can you furnish a designated working area within the facility for the Veterans to have access to computers to look for employment and provide a confidential area for social worker visits for the Veterans?
5. Can you provide the basic services such as a fully functional kitchen, storage area for food, laundry facilities, separate lavatories for both male and female Veterans and transportation to and from the facility for job interviews, grocery shopping or doctor appointments?
6. Can you provide and maintain staff that will be fully trained and available 24/7; 7 days a week; 365 days of the year by either living on the premises or providing round the clock supervision to handle different types of personalities and situations.
7. Are you willing to discuss all policies, procedures and updates, provide regular room checks, support an alcoholic/drug abuse-free lifestyle, promote community interaction, provide adequate environmental care with all incoming Veterans?

A capability statement addressing your organization s ability to perform the required services. This must include a statement explaining your capability to service the Altoona VA, ability to provide all items listed in the Statement of Work, and ability to provide Cambria County Homeless Shelter Services.

Department of Labor (DOL) wage determination are accessible at: https://beta.sam.gov

Response due: 10AM EST on November 24, 2020 via email to joann.chukinas@va.gov and include the Sources Sought Notice Number in the Subject Line

This content is provided for members of the U.S. Veteran Business Alliance by Bidspeed

Bidspeed helps small business contractors win government contracts by dynamically combining several thousand publicly available data sources to provide detailed information and intelligence to government contractors, agencies, and advocacy organizations.