County of Marin Health and Human Services

Peer-Run Programs

RFP Files: 

RFP Description: 

The funding is being made available for Peer-Run, Recovery-Oriented programs for adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI). Program One is for a low-barrier drop-in program in San Rafael. Program Two is for Peer-Run expansion programs to serve people experiencing serious mental illness from underserved populations.

Proposal submissions can be made online in addition to mail-in and drop-off options.

Control Number: 


Proposal Close Date: 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Open Questions Period: 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 to Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Proposal Contact: 

Questions and Answers: 

Question: Is there a way to provide anonymous feedback on this RFP Template and Process?

Answer: Yes there is! Here is a link to a webform you can submit with any feedback about the updated template and RFP process: . Please share feedback!


Question: will the pre-proposal bidders conference be recorded and available online for those unable to attend?

Answer: All questions and answers provided during the Bidder's Conference will be typed out and posted on this website. We are unable to post a video recording due to accessibility constraints.

Question: How much does the County charge for rent and utilities? Are there any other expenses charged by the County? 

Answer: The RFP requires the program be in San Rafael but does not require use of a specific building. If the program is to be located on the Kerner Health and Wellness campus, lease negotiations would be a part of the process after a provider is selected. 

Question: Do specific staff names need to be included in the proposal or will job descriptions be enough? 

Answer: Job descriptions is sufficient. 

Question: When reporting outcomes will peer anonymity be preserved? 

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does the BHRS want the ERC to be a membership organization?

Answer: This RFP is for a low-barrier Drop-In Center (and expansion programs) rather than a membership organization. 

Question: Is the Linda Reed program included in the RFP? 

Answer: This RFP is for the full program. What activities a program proposes to offer should be described in question one of the Applicant Capability section. 

Question: It is a challenge to set up a budget without knowing what the expenses at Kerner Campus are in terms of Rent, Utilities, Building Maintenance, Security, etc. What are the estimated costs for that site?

Answer: There will be a separate lease negotiation that would need to happen for whichever provider is selected as it is out of its current lease. And to reiterate, other accessible options in San Rafael can also be considered. For reference/awareness only, here is a link from the internet to the original lease from May 2008 through May 2018:

Question: If a new provider is selected would the existing computers and furniture transfer to them?

Answer: “Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment” are property of the county and shall remain on the premises at the Kerner Location. The computers are also property of the county and will be made available for use by this program. Also note: your budget proposals are only an estimate at this point and the details will be worked out with the selected provider during contract negotiation.

Question: How will billing Medi-Care or Medi-Cal affect the total amount of this contract?

Answer: This is a Cost Reimbursement contract so all revenue would go to the county to offset the cost of the contract. The amount of revenue generated would not change the total amount available for reimbursement for the original contract period.

Question: Is it possible for whoever obtains the contract to rent out the space for other programs to use when the program is not in session?

Answer: There is nothing in the RFP that forbids that, it would be subject to your lease agreement.

Question: If there is outside fundraising to help offset costs, would that decrease the amount available in the contract?

Answer: No, the contract maximum would remain the same.

Question: I see on the budget worksheet there is a line for Staff finger printing and background checks—do we really need to do that for our staff? Our staff will likely have very traumatic backgrounds. I think that would negatively affect our ability to recruit to move people into staff roles.

Answer: The county receives funding from the State Department of Health Care Services pursuant to an annual contracting arrangement (hereinafter “State Contract”). Professional Services Contract section 10.6: Contractor shall ensure that all Providers and/or subcontracted Providers consent to and complete a criminal background check, including fingerprinting. 42 CFR 455.434(a). Contractor shall provide evidence of completed agreements when requested by County, CA Department of Health Care Services or the US Department of Health & Human Services.

Question: Can new furniture be included in the start up costs?

Answer: Yes, please include any startup costs for your proposal in the one-time cost section.

Question: What is the definition of Serious Mental Illness?

Answer: National Institute of Mental Health: “Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.” 

Question: The COPE program already has a separate county grant; would that be merged into this funding or remain separate?

Answer: That funding would not be included in the budget limit. It is separate funding.  

Question: Two grants available, can the same organization apply for both RFPs?

Answer: Yes, and they would need to submit the answers for both program one and program two and complete separate budgets.

Question: If an organization applies for both parts of the RFP, will the funding decisions be made independently?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Does this include the warmline or the Linda Reed Activity Center?

Answer: There is flexibility for the proposals to describe what activities you would provide. In Question One of the Applicant Capability section you are asked to describe what services you would be providing.

Question: Bottom of Page 11 it says upload or deliver. It goes on later say that proposals can be submitted via email PDF.  Which is it?

Answer: The proposals should be upload using this webform:

or they also may be delivered to the address listed in the RFP.

Question: Do we need to specify duplicated/unduplicated individuals served?

Answer: The goal is to determine how many clients you will serve. It would be ideal to estimate how many individuals you will serve per month (duplicated) and how many unduplicated individuals served throughout the year.

Question: When you describe the program as “Peer-Run” are you using SAMHSA’s definition there?

Answer: Programs are welcome to use the SAMHSA definition, or other cultural or innovative approaches to “Peer-Run” programs where someone in recovery is providing the service.

Question: Do we need to have insurance when we submit the RFP or just a quote?

Answer: The County requires that all Contractors (rather than applicants) carry the insurance and strongly suggests that applying entities be certain of the ability to secure this insurance and verification prior to submitting an Application.

Question: How would we track the number of clients served each day? Through a sign-in sheet?

Answer: It would be up to the contractor to determine the best way to track number of clients served each day.  The county would be happy to help strategize on that with the selected provider if there are questions.

Question: For Program 1 there is up to $525,000 available per year, is that correct?

Answer: Yes

Question: How does it work for insurance if clients go to a baseball game with donated tickets, would they be covered for injuries while at the game, or driving there, etc.?

Answer: Details on insurance coverage should be directed to the insurance provider.

Question: Would the cost for insurance be a part of the budget?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is this contract for two years?

Answer: Yes, the initial contract period would be for two years with the contract maximum amounts listed per year. It would then have the potential to be extended for up to another 3 years if there is available funding before being RFP’d again.

Question: Are subcontracts permitted? And how would that be indicated on the budget form?

Answer: Yes they are. They should be listed under “Other-Describe”. Please feel free to expand on the budget template to make it work for the needs of your proposal.  

Question: Is there any guidance or limit on the indirect rate?

Answer: Guidance is for a 10% or lower indirect rate.

Question: Under revenues can you include “In-Kind’ services by members of the board? Also if someone is on disability and they are getting a subsidy would that be on the worksheet?

Answer: Yes, you can show “In-Kind” services as revenues. If the disability revenue does not go to the organization then it does not need to be included on the budget worksheet.

Question: Is the county open to something more innovative that could be tried rather than just the SAMHSA “Peer-Run” approach?

Answer: Yes, you can describe your approach to “Peer-Run” in question one of the Applicant Capability and how your program would utilize the lived experience of recovery from mental illness to help others.

Question: Are partnerships/collaborative efforts allowed? Would there need to be a lead applicant and then subcontractors?

Answer: Yes, partnerships are allowed.  Whoever the county would be contracting with should be the lead applicant.

Question: When it comes to a proposal do you guys have a process to evaluate or rate the proposal with points? Is that the system you are using? The highest scores the better?

Answer: There will be an RFP Review Panel that includes at least one person from the Target Population. Each member of the panel will score the proposal using the scoring sheet is in Attachment C.

Question: Is the scoring done by a blind process or do the scorers know who the proposal is coming from?

Answer: It is not a blind process, and the scorers have access to the full responses to the questions.

Question: Is there an excel version of the Budget Template available?

Answer: yes, and it is posted on the website here:

Question: Can we add rows to the budget template?

Answer: Yes, please make the template work for you and add any rows necessary. It may be modified to meet your needs.

Question: On page 26 there is Exhibit B. But I don’t think I saw Exhibit A.

Answer: Page 26 is part of the Sample Professional Services Contract. Exhibit A of the Professional Services Template is the Scope of Work which is not part of the Sample Template. The sample contract is included as no other part of the contract language are up for negotiation.

Question: Are people who are just receiving a stipend considered Employees?

Answer: That will depend on how you set up the program and whether those individuals are hired by your organization. Stipends can be listed in the budget under “Operating Costs-Other

Question: If we need minor clarifications after today can we do that?

Answer: RFP questions can be submitted by the end of the day 3/2/21. All answers will be posted by the end of the day on 3/4/21.

Question: It looks like there is a typo on the scoring sheet and the total should be 130.

Answer: You are correct, that is a typo. The total for the first scoring sheet should be 130 rather than 120.

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