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County officials postpone awarding operations contract
by Joshua H. Silavent
Jun 29, 2011 | 3077 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne
Residents of the Community Assistance Center hang outside the homeless shelter’s doors on Record Street in Reno on Tuesday. The Washoe County commission has postponed awarding an operations contract to Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada for operation of the shelter until Aug. 9.
Tribune/John Byrne Residents of the Community Assistance Center hang outside the homeless shelter’s doors on Record Street in Reno on Tuesday. The Washoe County commission has postponed awarding an operations contract to Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada for operation of the shelter until Aug. 9.
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RENO – After nearly two hours of debate on a wide range of issues facing the Community Assistance Center and homeless shelter in downtown Reno, the Washoe County commission voted to delay awarding a contract to Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada (CCNN) for operation of the shelter until an Aug. 9 meeting.

The future operation of the CAC was thrown into temporary flux after a multi-jurisdictional committee of Washoe County, Sparks, Reno and Reno Area Assistance representatives voted 4 to 2 last month to award an operations contract to CCNN based on a number of criteria, including references and available funding.

Officials with Volunteers of America (VOA) have protested the fairness of the contract process and expressed concerns about conflicts of interest.

Until the dispute can be resolved, VOA will continue to operate the shelter. County commissioners voted to extend the nonprofit’s current contract for an additional 60 days so that the three governments involved can work out a long-term strategy for operation of the shelter.

The Sparks City Council approved the interim agreement at its meeting Monday and the Reno City Council is expected to do so today.

“It shows a lack of coordination between governments,” Commissioner Bob Larkin said of the ongoing challenges testing the future of the shelter.

CCNN executive director Peter Vogel has said his organization is ready to begin operating the shelter immediately, but VOA officials have expressed doubts about the continuity of care for homeless residents.
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