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May 2016

SOAR Presents at Federal Forum on Ending Homelessness

Jen Elder with SSA Acting Commissioner Colvin
On April 28, 2016 the Social Security Administration (SSA), in collaboration with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), sponsored a day-long event focused on lessons learned from Virginia's work on ending homelessness. Representatives from SSA, USICH, SAMHSA, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development highlighted the critical role of SSA disability benefits, SOAR, and the federal guidance: Key Strategies for Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness to SSI and SSDI Benefits.

SSA Acting Commissioner Colvin highlighted the importance of SOAR and relationships between community providers and SSA offices and noted that these are increasing positive outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness. Jen Elder, National Policy and Partnerships Coordinator, represented the SOAR TA Center and provided critical information on how communities can build system capacity for SOAR implementation. Read the SSA press release about the event: Social Security Combats Homelessness and Helps Veterans Access Benefits.

SOAR Housing Brief
The SOAR TA Center is excited to announce the release of a new issue brief, Housing and Stability with SOAR! This issue brief looks at the integration of the SOAR model into Housing First programs. Read the brief!

Federal Updates

Report Shows the Relationship between Exposure to a Potentially Traumatic Event and Negative Health Outcomes in Adulthood

A new SAMHSA report shows that adults exposed to one or more potentially traumatic events (PTEs) in their lifetime were more likely to have health conditions, such as mental illness, serious psychological distress, major depressive episodes, and suicidal thoughts in the past year than adults who had not been exposed to a PTE.

Top VA Health Care Official Announces Initiatives and Progress Made to Improve Access to Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) top health care official announced progress and new steps VA is taking to improve Veterans access to health care. Dr. David J. Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health, announced the measures during a briefing to a group of more than 100 journalists attending the Association of Health Care Journalists' conference April 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Job Postings


HOPE Atlanta is hiring an SSVF SOAR Case Manager based in Atlanta, Georgia. The successful candidate will identify and assist Veterans with SSI/SSDI applications.


Welcome House of Northern Kentucky is seeking two full-time Social Security Outreach Benefit Specialists based in Covington, Kentucky. The successful candidates will complete SSI/SSDI applications for individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, conduct program outreach, and maintain positive relationships with area healthcare providers, service organizations, and government agencies.

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

Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health

SAMHSA, the Center for Mental Health Services, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention are accepting applications for fiscal year 2016 Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health. The purpose of this program is to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance abuse, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native young people up to and including age 24.

Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency Grants

SAMHSA is accepting applications for Statewide Peer Networks for Recovery and Resiliency grants totaling up to $800,000. The purpose of this program is to provide a 1-year developmental period to promote cross-system collaboration, expand the peer workforce, build infrastructure, and enhance capacity among community behavioral health programs across the nation.

Drucker Institute Invites Applications for 2016 Award for Nonprofit Innovation

The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University is accepting applications for the 2016 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, an annual award that recognizes a nonprofit organization that best demonstrates Peter Drucker's definition of innovation: "change that creates a new dimension of performance."

The award, which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $100,000, recognizes an existing program that has made a difference in the lives of the people it serves and is granted to the nonprofit organization that best demonstrates innovation.

Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog

Client SOARs with MIRCI

I first met Jean* in January 2014; she had recently been hospitalized for several weeks for symptoms relating to her severe and persistent mental illness. Jean enrolled in outpatient mental health treatment and housing services through the Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc.

Highlighting Employment Partnerships: SOAR and HVRP

Combining SSA disability benefits with supported employment is key to income and housing stability for Veterans who have disabling conditions and are interested in exploring work. The Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor - Veterans' Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS) and provides services to assist in reintegrating homeless Veterans into meaningful employment.

Building and Sustaining Infrastructure to Support Statewide SOAR Activities!

Since 2006, SOAR has helped 31,248 individuals with obtaining SSI/SSDI benefits, which has facilitated access to critical services and supports, such as healthcare, behavioral healthcare, and, critically, housing.


Final 2016 Leadership Academy Date

August 30-September 1: Charleston, South Carolina

See your state liaison for more information!

Save the Date! SOAR Webinar on Appeals Featuring a Mock ALJ Hearing

Save the date-our next webinar on Appeals, featuring a mock Administrative Law Judge hearing, will be held June 22 at 3:00 p.m. ET! More information, including presenters and registration details, will be distributed shortly.

SOAR Webinar Archive Available: Housing Access and Stability with SOAR

In this webinar, held on Thursday, April 7, 2016, the SOAR TA Center introduced their latest issue brief, Housing Access and Stability with SOAR, and heard from providers who have successfully integrated SOAR and Housing First. The webinar recording, the webinar slides, and the Housing Access and Stability with SOAR Issue brief are available for on-demand viewing on the SOAR website
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In This Issue

Client SOARs with MIRCI

Highlighting Employment Partnerships: SOAR and HVRP

Building and Sustaining Infrastructure to Support Statewide SOAR Activities!

Final 2016 Leadership Academy Date

Save the Date! SOAR Webinar on Appeals featuring a Mock ALJ Hearing

SOAR Webinar Archive Available: Housing Access and Stability with SOAR
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