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September 2016

Charleston Leadership Academy

Charleston Leadership Academy Group Photo
From August 30 to September 1, 2016, the SOAR Technical Assistance Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. Kristin Lupfer, Dazara Ware, and Matt Canuteson of the SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 20 participants representing 13 states and districts (AZ, CA, DC, DE, IN, ME, ND, NJ, PA, SC, TN, TX, and WA).

Participants were joined by representatives from the 
Social Security Administration (SSA; Ron Durand, Charleston, SC Operations Supervisor; Linda Picciano, Charleston, SC T16 Claims Representative; and Tony Williams, SC Area Public Affairs Specialist), Disability Determination Services (DDS; Susan Durand, Program Analyst; Kristen Keefe, Training Coordinator; and Blake Monson, Regional Supervisor) and SAMHSA Region IV Administrator, Stephanie McCladdie. The representatives provided expert guidance throughout the Leadership Academy on collaborating with SSA and DDS to increase access to SSA disability benefits.

Throughout the 3 days of training, there was enthusiastic participation and strong collaboration; 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!

Federal Updates

Spotlight on SSI Benefits for Disabled or Blind Youth in Foster Care

Disabled or blind youth receiving Title IV-E federal foster care benefits usually cannot become eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) until foster care payments have stopped. Eligibility for foster care payments in most states ends at age 18 attainment. Beginning with SSI applications filed on or after August 1, 2016, SSA will accept an SSI application from a youth up to 180 days before his or her foster care eligibility will end due to age.

USICH Releases New Tools

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has developed two new tools to accompany the Criteria and Benchmark for Achieving the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness. The first tool, Assessing Whether Your Continuum of Care Has Achieved the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness, provides a list of questions that CoCs can use to assess their progress in ending chronic homelessness. The second tool, Achieving the Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness: Definitions, Benchmark Calculation Details, and Supporting Documentation, provides an overview of federally developed definitions and calculations that CoCs should use when assessing their progress in ending chronic homelessness.

Funding Corner

Stand Down Funding Available from Department of Labor

Since the first event in San Diego in 1988, Stand Downs have connected homeless Veterans with meaningful services and community support. Based on the philosophy of a "hand up, not a hand out", the heart of the Stand Down is providing homeless Veterans with a safe place to rest, recover, and connect with each other. Are you interested in hosting a Stand Down in your community? The Department of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service has approximately $250,000 still available for Stand Down grants in 2016. Applications must be approved in early September, so apply now. All funds must be spent by December 31, 2016. The grant provides awards of up to $10,000 for multi-day or $7,000 for 1-day events. A webinar on the application process is available. Interested applicants should also read the Federal Register Notice.

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program

Application deadline: November 30, 2016
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a Notice of Funding Announcement for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP). YHDP is an exciting new initiative designed to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness in 10 participating communities (4 will be rural). You can participate in the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness webinar, HUD YHDP: Strategies for Success on September 15, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. ET to learn more about the funding opportunity.

Grant Map 2.0 is Now Live

Foundation Maps for U.S. Veterans and Military Families (a.k.a. Grant Map) now offers clearer, more comprehensive views of how U.S. foundations are supporting Veterans. With grant data from 2003 to present, it includes over 30,000 grants totaling more than $1 billion made by 7,200+ funders to 2,700+ recipient organizations. New, interactive charts allow you to compare funding by issue area over time. Users can see the relationship between funders and nonprofits through constellations to discover new points of connection.

Funders Together

This is a state-by-state list of foundation funders who are currently providing funding towards homeless services. These are leads that can be used by programs in their search for funding opportunities. Programs should become familiar with these foundations and should sign up for their alerts and e-news to be in the loop about upcoming opportunities from these funders. The list is not exhaustive as these are members of an organization, but it does provide some valuable insight about some of the opportunities out there.

SOAR Voices Blog Posts

Strengthening SOAR and Employment Partnerships - The CABHI: SOAR and IPS Pilot

Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) and SOAR are two important programs administered by SAMHSA that work together to end homelessness. We have been working in partnership since 2011 and CABHI grants support SOAR training, coordination, and dedicated benefits specialists nationwide.

SOAR Spotlight: Deborah Stevens

Get to know SOAR Project Assistant Deborah Stevens in this new blog. Find out why she decided to work in human services, her favorite travel story, and her favorite SOAR success story!

Recovery Song

The path from homelessness to being stably housed is not always a straight line, and it certainly hasn't been for Matthew* and Jennifer*. The Taskforce first met Matthew back in 2009, and over the years has had over 270 contacts with him. The TaskForce has placed Matthew in multiple shelter and transitional programs.


Program to Achieve Wellness Webinar: Innovative Approaches to Wellness in Behavioral Health--Announcing the Winners of SAMHSA's 2016 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness

September 12, 2016; 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET
Presenters: Carlton Speight from SAMHSA; Terri Hay, Director of SAMHSA's Program to Achieve Wellness (PAW); Peggy Swarbrick, PAW Senior Consultant; Invited guests from the three winning programs: 

  • The Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania's Behavioral Health Home Plus, PA
  • The University of Arizona RISE Health and Wellness Center's Camp Wellness, AZ
  • Consumers Helping Others Improve their Condition by Ending Smoking, NJ
Through SAMHSA's PAW, organizations and communities will be acknowledged for their exemplary wellness efforts with the Recognition of Excellence in Wellness (the Recognition). During this webinar, SAMHSA will continue its celebration of National Wellness Week by announcing the winners of the 2016 Recognition. This year's Recognition winners were selected by a committee of national experts for their meaningful work to improve health outcomes for individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders. This webinar will allow viewers to learn more about the innovative wellness approaches used by this year's winners, and have the opportunity to engage in Q&A with invited guests from the selected programs.

SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

September 13, 2016; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place September 13th at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SOAR TA Center is hosting a series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can call in to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have. These is no agenda set in advance for these calls, but we do ask that you submit questions and/or topics you would like covered in advance of the calls.
Call/Log-in information: