Looking to Increase Your SOAR Funding?

Plus Success Stories from New Mexico and Washington!
Plus Success Stories from New Mexico and Washington!
February e-News Header

SOAR TA Center Launches Foundation Funding Learning Community to Support Communities Looking to Expand SOAR Activities!

Across the country, SOAR communities are consistently looking at new and innovative ways to sustain and grow their SOAR activities. Typically, SOAR programs have been primarily funded with government funds (e.g., CABHI, PATH) and during the month of February, the SOAR TA Center will be working with three SOAR communities in a Foundation Funding Learning Community to assist them with expanding their funding from foundations and corporations.
Each organization will receive extensive support with identifying and applying for funding to expand their SOAR work, primarily through the addition of new SOAR case managers to help meet local SOAR service needs.
At the end of the 6-week session, which will include both group and individual conference calls, the communities will be submitting applications to foundations that best fit the work they are looking to do in their communities. In addition to the consultation, organizations will receive templates, tools, and information necessary to complete the respective application processes.
Please be on the lookout for more updates about the SOAR Foundation Funding Learning Community and opportunities for participation in future sessions. In addition, the SOAR TA Center encourages you to visit the Funding and Sustainability page of the SOARWorks site and to reach out to your SOAR TA Center Liaison for more information about funding SOAR initiatives. The SOAR TA Center offers a lot of support with expanding funding, including the development of tailored foundation funding opportunity lists for your community. 

Partner Updates

The CSG Justice Center's National Reentry Resource Center has released a discussion paper that identifies key questions and issues every policymaker should consider when seeking to help people leaving prison and jail connect to needed mental health and substance use treatment. All states, regardless of the scope of their Medicaid coverage, can use this paper to ensure prisons and jails are positioned as effective hubs for helping eligible people get public health care coverage and Social Security and Veterans benefits. This assistance can help facilitate easier access to treatment and help reduce recidivism as part of a comprehensive reentry effort. The SOAR program is mentioned throughout the document as a strategy to expand access to Social Security disability benefits.
Application deadline: February 15, 2017
SAMHSA and Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) are pleased to announce the Capacity Building Opportunity, a free, intensive technical assistance (TA) opportunity for peer-run organizations (PROs), recovery community organizations (RCOs), and family-run organizations.
Up to 25 PROs/RCOs/family-run organizations will be selected to receive individualized consultation, training, and peer-to-peer support over the course of a 6-month period in one of five areas:
  • Partnering With State Systems to Advance Recovery;
  • Advancing the Peer and Family Support Workforce;
  • Building Capacity to Support Peer and Family Services;
  • Sustaining Recovery in Educational Settings; and
  • Supporting Re-entry.
For more information on eligibility and to apply, please review the complete overview and application. Applications are due 2/15/17 at 8 pm EST.  Questions?  Email BRSS TACS at BRSSTACSCapacityBuilding@center4si.com or call (781) 247-1711.

Application deadline: February 24, 2017
SAMHSA's GAINS Center is currently soliciting applications from communities interested in developing integrated strategies to better identify and respond to the needs of adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in contact with the criminal justice system. Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM) is a 1.5-day workshop designed to allow local, multidisciplinary teams of people from jurisdictions to facilitate collaboration and to identify and discuss ways in which barriers between the criminal justice, mental health, and substance use systems can be reduced and to begin development of integrated local plans. 

Sharing Our Successes

New Mexico

St. Elizabeth Shelter in Santa Fe, New Mexico highlighted the SOAR program in their December 2016 newsletter! The article, SOARing to New Heights, explains the role of the SOAR program from the point of view of a case manager!
From the article: "For those who persist and succeed, the results are transformative. A guaranteed income brings housing, stability, and connection to the community." Thanks for sharing the SOAR program, St. Elizabeth Shelter!


Suzanne Straub, the Clark County SOAR Coordinator in Washington, wrote in to share her praise of outreach worker Amanda Bradley! Suzanne writes:
"Amanda Bradley is an outreach worker for Share and is stationed at Lincoln Place. She attended our SOAR Training in August and since then has started working with her first two SOAR clients! Amanda has proven herself invaluable due to the fact that she knows sign language. Amanda has volunteered to assist with an individual who is hearing impaired discussed in our last two newsletters.
Amanda has helped other outreach workers communicate with this young man and is in the process of using the Vulnerability Assessment Tool to assess him for housing and is also looking into getting him help through Southwest Washington Center for the Deaf. Amanda's help with this man has assisted greatly with the language barrier that exists between him and other outreach staff.
Thank you Amanda for your continued willingness to be there when our clients need you. Thank you for teaching us what you know and for going above and beyond to ensure that everyone is taken care of and that no one falls through the cracks. You are greatly appreciated!"
Thank you for sharing, Suzanne and congratulations, Amanda! Do you have a success story you would like to share with the SOAR community? Share it with our team by completing a Community Spotlight and emailing it to soar@prainc.com!
Application deadline: February 10, 2017
The SOAR TA Center is accepting applications from criminal justice agencies and institutions that have not yet participated in the federally sponsored SOAR Technical Assistance Program that are interested in a SOAR planning and technical assistance opportunity.
February 14, 2017; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place Tuesday, February 14 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.
February 15, 2017; 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
This webinar will focus on tools created specifically to help providers start the conversation about employment with the people they serve. The SOAR and Peerlink TA Centers will also provide specific concrete details about Social Security's work incentive programs and ways to combat the myth that people with psychiatric disabilities can't or shouldn't work. 
Participants will learn:
  • about and how to use the SOAR Employment Conversation Guide and Yes, You Can Work! Tools;
  • specific Social Security work incentives designed to support and encourage employment for people receiving benefits; and
  • ways to use information to combat common myths related to accessing benefits and employment.

Webinar Recap: SOAR Webinar Series: Strengthening SOAR Applications through Strong Collaborations

The materials and recordings for the three-part 2016 SOAR webinar series on strengthening SOAR applications through strong collaborations are now online! In this series, participants learned about efforts that local communities have taken to build partnerships in order to improve SOAR applications. In Webinar I, participants learned about the installment of a dedicated staff person at Disability Determination Services to review SOAR claims. In Webinar II, participants learned how one town is sharing the Medical Summary Report with psychologists and doctors. In Webinar III, participants learned about developing strong working relationships with local SSA offices.

SOAR Leadership Academies

The SOAR TA Center is now accepting applications for all Leadership Academies. Contact your SOAR TA Center liaison with any questions.
  • May 2‐4, 2017: Portland, Maine
  • August 29‐31, 2017: Detroit, Michigan

Funding Corner

Expand SOAR Activities and Build Capacity with Interns!

When we think of ways to expand SOAR, we most often go directly towards thinking about ways to expand funding. While funding is always important, one of the most underutilized yet useful resources that can play an important part of growing your local SOAR infrastructure are interns!
Interns are an especially great resource to consider if your SOAR program is new and you have not developed a history of solid outcomes with which you can use as a base for resource requests. The fact is, most, if not all, SOAR programs are located close to colleges that have schools of social work and, if not, many community colleges offer programs, such as human services management. Both Bachelors level and Masters level interns are great for assisting with your SOAR initiative. Interns typically require a qualified person to supervise their work during the internship.
Using interns in your SOAR program is a win-win for everybody involved:
  • Your SOAR program will receive additional support to complete applications and to conduct local coordination activities
  • The interns will receive real-life experience that will help them as they progress in their careers
  • Additional applicants will be served with your expanded capacity
Are you interested in hiring your own intern? The first step is to speak with your SOAR TA Center Liaison who can provide support in engaging relevant educational intuitions and programs with your local SOAR planning activities (e.g., local steering committee). The SOAR TA Center can help provide you with the necessary materials to explain what SOAR is and how the relationship would be beneficial to your agency, the interns, and the educational institution. 
Path over a bright hill into sunrise
Close up of American flag
The revisions include redefining several key terms related to evidence, revising SSA's rules about acceptable medical sources, revising how SSA considers and articulates considerations of medical opinions and prior administrative medical findings, revising its rules about medical consultants and psychological consultants, revising its rules about treating sources, and reorganizing its evidence regulations for ease of use. Read the SOAR TA Center's analysis of the new regulations and contact Jen Elder, National Policy and Partnerships Coordinator, with any questions.
This website is designed to help incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into the community. As part of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, SSA works with other federal agencies to provide information about available services, such as help finding a job or applying for possible benefits such as cash benefits, health care, food, and housing.
This booklet is for youth who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their parents, teachers, health providers, caregivers, or representatives. It will help youth prepare for the transition from school to adult life. Many services and types of supports are available as youth prepare to transition to higher education and employment. This booklet will help youth identify supports available from Social Security and other federal and state agencies to help prepare for a successful transition to adulthood.
American Indian tribes are building more housing units after enactment of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 but housing conditions are substantially worse among American Indian households than other U.S. households. These are some of the findings of three new comprehensive reports of tribal housing needs released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban Institute.