SOAR January eNews

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January - 2016
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Contact Us SSA Webinars SOAR Voices Blog

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is accepting applications from Continua of Care (CoCs) that have not yet participated in the federally sponsored SOAR Technical Assistance Program.

We invite CoCs to submit a brief, three to five-page application to participate in the SOAR TA Project by February 5, 2016. Only one application per CoC will be accepted. The application must be from the CoC or someone designated by the CoC to respond to this RFA. We expect that up to five CoCs will be selected. Review the RFA attachments here.

For more information, contact Kristin Lupfer, Project Director, via e-mail at or by phone at 518-439-7415, ext. 5262.

New Orleans Leadership Academy

New Orleans Leadership Academy Group
From December 1-3, 2015, the SOAR Technical Assistance Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jen Elder, Dazara Ware, and Matt Canuteson of the SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 25 participants representing 13 states (CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, LA, MA, MN, MT, NV, TX, and UT). Participants were joined by Maria Alvarez, Public Affairs Specialist at the Social Security Administration (SSA) in New Orleans, who provided expert guidance throughout the Leadership Academy about collaborating with SSA and Disability Determination Services to increase access to SSA disability benefits.

Throughout the 3 days of training, there was enthusiastic participation and genuine warmth; a true testament to the participants' commitment to learning how to use SOAR to achieve their goals of ending homelessness. Congratulations to our new graduates! We are excited to see you SOAR!

Sharing Our Successes


Congratulations to David Wuerfel of Community Bridges in Phoenix, Arizona for being the 100th person in the state to be trained in SOAR through the online course! Great job, David! We can't wait to congratulate the 200th person!


Congratulations to the State of Kanas for the development of the Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI)-Kansas Project--an approved SOAR certification process! The CABHI-Kansas Project will be used to enhance infrastructure, increase capacity, and provide accessible, comprehensive treatment to chronically homeless adults diagnosed with a severe mental illness and individuals diagnosed with a co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorder. The CABHI-Kansas Project will be targeting three communities: Shawnee County (Topeka), Sedgwick County (Wichita), and Wyandotte County (Kansas City). These communities have reported the highest numbers of chronically homeless individuals and homeless Veterans in the state. The main services provided through this project will be outreach and engagement, mental health and/or substance use treatment, supported education services, peer supports, assistance with housing, and assistance with SSI and SSDI benefits through SOAR. Each community will hire a full-time dedicated SOAR Benefits Specialist! Congratulations, Kansas!

North Dakota

Congratulations to Michael Carbone, SOAR State Lead for North Dakota and Executive Director of North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People Inc. for being named one of the Bismarck Tribune Awardees!  The SOAR TA Center is very proud of your achievement, Michael! Michael has worked tirelessly to implement SOAR throughout the state, reaching out to key stakeholders who represent individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, many of whom are living with a serious mental illness. He truly cares about everyone! Learn more about Michael and his accomplishments here.

If you have a SOAR-related success story to share, e-mail

Federal Updates

HUD Finds Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Increased Housing and Employment for Veterans

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Labor embarked upon a demonstration to explore ways to prevent or end homelessness among Veterans. HUD released the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Evaluation Final Report, which finds participating Veterans, many having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, experienced substantial improvements in housing stability, employment, and income that persisted after exiting the demonstration.

Job Postings

Pathways to Housing D.C. is hiring a full-time SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist, who will be based in Washington, D.C. The SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist will provide direct outreach services in a team environment to people experiencing homelessness and represent Pathways to community stakeholders.

Case Management, Inc. is seeking a Regional Coordinator of the SOAR program for the Mental Health Planning and Policy Region Six and Seven (6 and 7), based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Learn more about these postings on the SOARWorks website. Do you have a job posting you would like to share with the SOAR community? E-mail it to!

Funding Corner

Funders Together to End Homelessness

Funders Together to End Homelessness is a national network of grant makers working to end and prevent homelessness. A state-by-state list of members is available, which can be helpful for SOAR programs seeking local funding. Most, but not all, states are represented. Funders Together to End Homelessness also has a resource library, with resources like "Building a Funders Network" and "Grant Makers Toolkit for Ending Homelessness".

Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog

Demystifying Non-Government Funding for SOAR Programs!

In order to develop and sustain SOAR programs, it is important to diversify and expand the funding base for SOAR programs operated by non-profit organizations.

SOAR Spotlight: Dazara Ware

Get to know SOAR Liaison Dazara Ware in this new blog. Find out what states she works with, her favorite travel story, and her favorite SOAR success story!

Upcoming Events

SOAR Webinar: Online Course Walkthrough - Save the Date!

Save the date -- our next webinar on the SOAR Online Course will be held January 14 at 3:00 p.m. EST! More information, including presenters and registration details, will be distributed shortly!

2016 Leadership Academy Dates

  • February 9-11: San Diego, California
  • May 3-5: New Jersey
  • August 30-September 1: Charleston, South Carolina
See your state liaison for the Leadership Academy application!
In This Issue

Upcoming Events


SOAR Webinar: Online Course Walkthrough -- Save the Date!

2016 Leadership Academy Dates