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City Releases Request for Information to Identify Potential Sites for New Low Barrier Shelter

Shelter Expected to Open in 2024


(Tulsa, OK) - The City of Tulsa has released a request for information (RFI) in an effort to help identify a facility to house Tulsa’s new low barrier shelter and case management program.


The RFI’s purpose is to solicit interested parties willing to lease a facility to City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma, the operator selected to operate the program in February 2024.


“As we work with City Lights to open a low barrier shelter this year, there are so many considerations we have to make in regard to the space itself and that’s why we have launched this RFI to find out what’s out there,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I’m confident that when this program gets up and running, we will get more Tulsans off the streets and into a place to receive the assistance they need to get back on their feet.”


Reponses are due back by 5 p.m. on April 12, 2024. Questions can be emailed to dtiemann@cityoftulsa.org


“In the last year, the 3H Task Force has relied on the experts in our community to provide ideas and solutions,” District 2 City Councilor and Council Chair Jeannie Cue said. “In the Request for Information we are once again asking our partners to offer locations that will best serve our community and future shelter clients. Thank you to our City employees and the operator, City Lights, for your work so far and your continued efforts in helping us reach this goal.”


Facility requirements noted in the RFI include:

  • 50-75 private rooms with a door

  • Private bathrooms with showers for each room or shared between every two rooms

  • Kitchen or kitchenette accommodations

  • Laundry room accommodations

  • Storage area for supplies

  • Pet friendly facility

  • Rooms with ADA accessibility

  • Single point of public entry

  • Site ready for operations by no later than November 1, 2024

  • Office space for on-site staff

  • Single-story - preferred

  • Interior lounge areas - preferred

  • Enclosed outdoor green space – preferred


RFI respondents should include the following information:

  • Address of the facility

  • Facility floor plans

  • Construction schedule to complete any necessary repairs by November 1, 2024

  • Estimated monthly lease amount

  • Itemized list of facility expenses to be paid for by lessor or lessee including but not limited to the following:

  • Utilities

  • Taxes

  • Insurance

  • Pest control

  • Lawn maintenance

  • Trash service

  • Emergency repairs

  • Appliances

  • Room furnishings

  • Heating and air conditioning

  • Plumbing fixtures

  • Electrical equipment

  • Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors

  • Door and window locks

  • Common areas

  • Describe the owners’ experience housing formerly homeless populations


As background, the low barrier shelter is part of the Mayor/Council’s Housing, Homelessness and Mental Health (3H) Task Force’s (3H) nine immediate action steps announced in August of 2023. The City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma was selected based on its response to the City’s request for proposals that went out in November of 2023.


The low barrier shelter is a referral-based program for unsheltered individuals who are unable to access other available services and temporary housing options. With the selection of City Lights Foundation, the City of Tulsa and City Lights Foundation will begin the contract process and make logistical plans to move the low barrier shelter forward. The estimated capacity for services is around 50-75 households at a time.


The low barrier shelter will act as a navigation center to provide opportunities for intensive onsite case management and healthcare along with embedded services to help connect clients to the most appropriate permanent housing option.


Services provided to each participant will be unique to their individual situation. The goal of the low barrier shelter is to resolve the root cause(s) of each participant’s homelessness and to help locate and prepare them for permanent housing within 120 days of them entering the program.


For more information on the 3H Task Force, visit www.tulsacouncil.org/3htaskforce.   

For more information on housing in Tulsa, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/housing

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