SOAR February eNews

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February - 2016
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Contact Us SSA Webinars SOAR Voices Blog

SOAR Criminal Justice Leadership Academy 

SOAR Criminal Justice Leadership Academy
On November 17 and 18, 2015, Policy Research Associates, Inc., with staff from the SOAR Technical Assistance Center, in collaboration with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, facilitated a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)-supported SOAR Leadership Academy for BJA's Second Chance Act and Justice Mental Health Collaboration Program Grantees. The training was held in New York City, with 34 participants from 15 states (AL, CA, FL, IL, LA, MA, ME, MI, MO, NY, OH, OR, PA, WA, and WI). Grantees that applied to participate in this training learned about the SOAR initiative and best practices for implementing SOAR in institutional and community correctional settings and with justice-involved persons.

The 2-day academy was modified to address needs specific to working with justice-involved persons and implementing SOAR in institutional settings. Special thanks to Antonio Maldonado, Operations Supervisor at the Long Island City Social Security Administration, and Stephanie DeJesus and Anica Velez of the Center for Urban Community Services, as they participated on our "Ask the Expert" panel. Stephanie and Anica spoke to the great work they do to provide SOAR assistance to applicants in both Sing Sing and Bedford Hills Correctional Facilities. Grantees were excited to learn how the use of the SOAR model can contribute to positive reentry efforts for justice-involved persons and that approval for benefits prior to release is achievable. Our mantra for the training, "decision before discharge," encouraged the use of the SOAR model to promote post-release success! Congratulations to our new graduates! We are excited to continue SOARing with you!

Sharing Our Successes


Congratulations, Marilyn Hampton, on your retirement from Arkansas' Division of Behavioral Health Services! Marilyn served as the Arkansas SOAR State Team Lead from 2008-2016 and was key to the state's success! Under her leadership, Arkansas was consistently one of the SOAR TA Center's Top 10 States, with a cumulative approval rate of 80 percent on 761 applications in an average of 84 days. 

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

Funding Corner

SAMHSA Grant Opportunity: Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals

SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment are accepting applications for fiscal year 2016 Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grants. The purpose of this jointly funded program is to enhance and/or expand the infrastructure and mental health and substance use treatment services of states and territories, local governments, and other domestic public and private nonprofit entities, federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, public or private universities and colleges, and community- and faith-based organizations. CABHI grants will increase capacity to provide accessible, effective, comprehensive, coordinated, integrated, and evidence-based treatment services; permanent supportive housing; peer supports; and other critical services for:
  • Individuals who experience chronic homelessness and have substance use disorders (SUDs), serious mental illness (SMI), serious emotional disturbance (SED), or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (CODs); and/or
  • Veterans who experience homelessness or chronic homelessness and have SUD, SMI, or COD; and/or
  • Families who experience homelessness with one or more family members that have SUD, SMI, or COD; and/or
  • Youth who experience homelessness and have SUD, SMI, SED, or COD.
Note: One of the requirements of state applicants is to establish a State Interagency Council on Homelessness that contains a state SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program representative.

For more information about the inclusion of SOAR, visit our website, where you can also access the PowerPoint from the informational webinar

Federal Updates

HUD and VA Award $5.9 Million to 26 Tribes to Provide Permanent Homes for Native American Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded $5.9 million in grants to 26 Tribes to offer a permanent home and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program is a demonstration program that will combine $5.9 million in rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA to serve 500 Native American Veterans. 

Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog


She was lying in a newspaper bin on the corner of K St. and 22nd St. in Washington, D.C. I call her Emily. I wonder what name Chuck would have given her. Whom was he thinking about when he drew this stunning portrait on the back of a housing choice flyer? "What type of Housing Works for you?"  

New Vision with SOAR

I worked very closely with a 19-year-old young man last year. No one could approach him, and he didn't talk much at all. I was his caseworker, so I had the advantage of meeting him and having several interviews with him. Somehow, he began to trust me after conversations in which I shared with him my love and acceptance and he began to share his life story with me.

Upcoming Events

2016 Leadership Academy Dates

  • May 3-5: West Orange, New Jersey
  • August 30-September 1: Charleston, South Carolina
See your state liaison for more information!

SOAR Webinar: Immigration - Save the Date! 

Save the date-our next webinar on Immigration will be held March 10 at 3:00 p.m. EST! More information, including presenters and registration details, will be distributed shortly.
In This Issue

Upcoming Events


2016 Leadership Academy Dates

SOAR Webinar: Immigration - Save the Date! 


The SOAR TA Center is sponsored by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Disclaimer: The SOAR Technical Assistance Center develops and distributes E-News with support from SAMHSA, HHS. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of HHS or SAMHSA.

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