Communications/Public Relations Consultant for Corporation for Supportive Housing

Corporation for Supportive Housing (“CSH”) is seeking proposals from qualified firms or individuals to provide public relations and/or communications consulting services. The ideal consultant will have deep knowledge of public relations, messaging that resonates with the public and elected officials, extensive media contacts across California, prior experience working with messaging around homelessness and/or housing issues, and demonstrated skills in creating materials and messaging to elected audiences and the public.  

Founded in 1991, CSH’s mission is to advance solutions that use housing as a platform for services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources and build healthy communities.  Our work stems from our fundamental belief that supportive housing—affordable housing combined with services—is the solution to ending homelessness for those individuals who face the most complex challenges, such as physical and behavioral health conditions and substance use disorders.  Read more about CSH online at www.csh.org

Background: Homelessness among older adults has increased exponentially over the last two decades, and is expected to triple by 2030. Nearly half of all older adults experiencing homelessness lost their housing after the age of 50. Homelessness has profound and lasting impacts on their health and financial well-being. Individuals experiencing homelessness age at a faster rate than their housed peers, quickly developing multiple chronic diseases that inhibit them from achieving stability and thriving. The majority of these individuals have experienced incarceration, chronic medical and/or behavioral health conditions, and a lack of economic and social support. As they age, their service needs change, and they require tailored, adaptable service models, including support accessing benefits, and services to support chronic disease management, geriatric mental health challenges, and nutrition needs, as well as assistance with technology, and physical modifications to their housing, among other services. Older adults experience homelessness risk placement into institutions such as nursing homes, board and care facilities, and hospitals due solely to the lack of alternative options to live in accessible affordable housing with the services that allow them to live independently. More and more older adults and people with disabilities are referred into board and care facilities when homeless, as insufficient alternative options exist than the streets. Studies show that individuals overwhelmingly prefer to age in their communities rather than these overburdened institutional settings, which typically cost twice as much as housing and housing support services that allow people to live stably and independently and allow them to thrive in their own communities.

A myriad of misconceptions create barriers to changing policies providing housing and services for this population. At the state level, education and communication efforts with legislators and their staff and Newsom Administration officials are critical to achieving long-term change.

I. Scope of Work

This consulting agreement will support CSH staff in communications and/or public relations activities related to a grant from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust. The grant supports CSH work to educate California legislators, officials from the Newsom Administration, and the public on solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization among older adults. Planned consultant activities will include the following:

  • Meeting and communicating regularly with CSH staff;
  • Strengthening CSH’s messaging around solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization among older adults experiencing homelessness;
  • Regularly engaging members of the Coalition for Solutions to Homelessness Among Older Adults and the Bring California Home Coalition to collect information, test messages for accuracy, and discuss potential activities most likely to inform and educate state policymakers and elected officials;
  • Developing social media messages to respond to opportunities to further refined CSH messaging around solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization among older adults experiencing homelessness:
  • Developing materials, such as fact sheets, to help CSH staff, the Coalition for Solutions to Homelessness Among Older Adults, and the Bring California Home Coalition educate state policymakers on solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization, including funding for services in housing that allow people to live stably and independently, and to thrive in their own communities;
  • Preparing materials to assist CSH staff, along with a panel of experts, to educate legislative and Newsom Administration staff;
  • Strengthening reports or other materials to educate legislators and Newsom Administration staff;
  • Drafting op-eds, statements, or other materials in response to legislative or Newsom Administration action;
  • Preparing experts CSH staff identify for meetings or interviews with mainstream media;
  • Contacting and working with media outlets to publish articles educating the public and state leaders on solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization among older adults, such as potential meetings with editorial boards, placement of op-eds, and connecting reporters with experts CSH identifies; and
  • Advising CSH staff and members of the Coalition for Solutions to Homelessness Among Older Adults and the Bring California Home Coalition on ways to disseminate information to the public, the Newsom Administration, and legislators on solutions to homelessness and alternatives to institutionalization among older adults.

II. Proposal Requirements & Selection Requirements

  1. Please provide a brief overview of your firm and its core services, explaining how public relations and/or communications consulting fits into your work.
  2. Please provide an overview of your consulting approach, specifically addressing: (a) activities involved; (b) requirements of CSH (e., people, resource, and time commitments); and (c) how you work with coalitions.
  3. Describe examples of past work with messaging around homelessness or housing issues.
  4. Please identify the personnel who would provide the deliverables and work, describing their roles and educational and professional qualifications. If you expect to outsource any portion of this engagement to partners, please identify them and describe their specific roles, bearing in mind that we expect your firm will shoulder 100% accountability for the success of the engagement, as well as for any acts, errors, or omissions in the provision of services.
  5. Please provide your cost proposal and clearly delineate any services that would not be included in your scope of work. 

Funding available for this scope of services is an amount not to exceed $65,000 over one year. Please submit your proposal electronically in Adobe PDF format no later than the close of business on May 15, 2024 by responding to this expression of interest form.

Although generalized promotional literature is welcomed, it may not substitute for original narrative responses to the questions posed in Section II.  We reserve the right to disqualify any proposal for lack of responsiveness or specificity. 

All expenses associated with proposal preparation and presentation, including travel, shall be borne by the respondents. 

Following evaluation of all proposals, we may invite interviews, the dates and times to be scheduled as mutually convenient.  We expect to select our consultant by June 1, 2024.

The Consultant can be located anywhere in California. The services may be provided virtually.  

Please note that CSH requires subcontractors, including individuals and sole proprietors, to carry workers’ compensation insurance and Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance while performing work under a CSH subcontract.  CSH subcontractors cannot have existing, pending, or expired debarments that preclude them from doing business with the United States government and cannot have convictions for, nor have any pending indictments for, fraud or a criminal offense in connections with a public contract or subcontract.   


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