Social Workers Stand Up and SOAR

Plus new SOAR job postings and a webinar!
Plus new SOAR job postings and a webinar!
March E-News

Social Workers SOAR During National Social Work Month!

March is National Social Work Month! The theme for the March 2017 celebration is "Social Workers Stand Up!" To celebrate the month, the SOAR TA Center went to the field to hear from social work students who are completing SOAR internships. Josh Kivlovitz in Austin, Texas is completing a SOAR internship at the Healthy Community Collaborative at Austin Travis County Integral Care and shared his experiences with the SOAR model:
"When I first began my internship, I had no experience working with populations experiencing homelessness, and I certainly had no idea what SOAR was. Learning about the SOAR process was such an eye-opening experience for both the challenges that adults experiencing homelessness face and the tremendous intricacies of Social Security disability.
Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to troubleshoot issues through calls to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Disability Determination Services (DDS), gain insight into problems with help from other local SOAR providers, and learn more about the guidelines for working while applying for and receiving benefits."
Read the rest of this post on the SOAR Voices page of the SOARWorks website!
Thank you for sharing your experiences, Josh! Are you interested in learning how hiring a social work intern to your team can enhance your SOAR process? Check out the funding tip from the February eNews!
Des Moines, IA Leadership Academy

Des Moines, Iowa Leadership Academy Recap

From February 7 to 9, 2017, the SOAR TA Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Des Moines, Iowa. Abigail Lemon, Pam Heine, Matt Canuteson, and Suzy Sodergren of the SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 27 participants representing 12 states (CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NY, and RI). Throughout the 3 days of training, there was great participation and enthusiasm for SOAR; a testament to the participants' commitment to learning how to use SOAR to achieve their goals of ending homelessness in their communities. Congratulations to our new graduates! We are excited to see you SOAR!

Sharing Our Successes


A unique partnership between the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the University of Colorado Boulder Brain Behavioral Clinic to provide free cognitive evaluations for people experiencing homelessness, was recently highlighted in the University of Colorado Boulder Public Outreach and Community Engagement news. Congratulations to Colorado—partnerships are key in ending homelessness! Look out for SOAR TA Center Director Kristin Lupfer's quote in the article! 
March 23, 2017; 3:00 p.m. ET
What does it mean to be trauma informed? How does your agency integrate trauma-informed principles into daily practice? How is this different than business as usual? Research and experience tells us that histories of traumatic experiences are prevalent for individuals who have experienced homelessness, mental health challenges, or substance use conditions. Given the high prevalence for all three issues in the SOAR target population, integrated trauma-informed approaches are needed for SOAR providers!
Join the SOAR TA Center on March 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET to hear from trauma-informed experts and SOAR providers who will share best practices for understanding and implementing trauma-informed care principles to help answer these questions. 
March 14, 2017; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place Tuesday, March 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.

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
  • June 20-22, 2017; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • August 29‐31, 2017: Detroit, Michigan

SOAR Job Postings


Wellcare Services in Las Vegas, Nevada is seeking a full-time SOAR Benefits Specialist to work in the community.
U.S. VETS in Las Vegas, Nevada is hiring a full-time Income and Benefits Specialist to support clients throughout their benefits enrollment process and/or manage income secured through employment.

South Carolina

Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. in Columbia South Carolina is seeking a full time benefits specialist to complete SOAR, SSI/SSDI, EBT-Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefit applications.
Learn more about these postings on the SOARWorks website. Do you have a job posting you would like to share with the SOAR community? Submit it to the SOAR TA Center!
Close up of US Military Veteran's Vest adorned with medals.
Open laptop on wooden table with a cup of coffee to the side
March 14, 2017; 2:00 p.m. ET
Join SAMHSA's Homeless and Housing Resource Network (HHRN) on March 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET for the latest webinar in its Persons with Lived Experience Spotlight Series. This webinar will feature Marianne Luna with The Life Link in New Mexico, Alan Fuetz with 7hills in Arkansas, and Seana Budd from Permanent Options for Recovery–Centered Housing (PORCH)/Catholic Charities, Diocese of Yakima in Washington. The featured guests have all received services from providers implementing the Housing First model of permanent supportive housing and will share their personal experiences on the upcoming webinar. SOAR TA Center Liaison Matt Canuteson will moderate this webinar! 
Experiencing deeply disturbing events or situations (i.e., trauma) can affect the way a person learns, plans, and interacts with others. This can have profound implications for how human services agencies interact with their clients. Many individuals experience few problems after enduring a traumatic event. Some will have short term symptoms lasting a few days or weeks, but will recover quickly. A few will suffer longer-term changes in mood, behavior, and how they interact with others and the world around them.

Ticket to Work: Meet Your Employment Team Blog Series

The Ticket to Work program offers people with disabilities who are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security benefits (SSI or SSDI) free access to a variety of service providers who can help them reach their employment goals. If you are starting your journey back to work or working for the first time, there are resources to help you succeed. In a two-part Meet Your Employment Team blog series, Ticket to Work looks at who makes up your employment team and what each provider offers. 
  • In Part 1, WIPA Projects and PABSS Organizations, you will receive an introduction to Work Incentives Planning and Assistance projects and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security organizations.
  • In Part 2, ENs and State VR agencies, you will learn more about what services Employment Networks and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies offer.

Receiving Housing Benefits? A Trip to Social Security May Not Be Necessary

Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social Security office is probably not necessary even if verification of Social Security benefits is needed.
March 27, 2017; Washington, D.C.
The Social Security Advisory Board is hosting a public forum to discuss the Social Security Administration's representative payee program. Currently, more than 6 million payees manage $80 billion in Social Security and SSI benefits for more than 3.5 million adults and 4 million children determined to be incapable of managing their benefits. Projections indicate that the number of people needing assistance will dramatically increase in the coming decades as the population ages. The day's discussion will include the process of determining capacity, best practices, collaborative efforts and new approaches from the front lines, necessary oversight, program evaluation, and preparing for the future.
Decisions in Recovery: Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder is a web-based, multimedia tool that is person-centered and focuses on informed treatment choices—including the use of medication—by persons seeking recovery from an opioid use disorder. The handbook is a companion to the multimedia tool that mirrors the web-based content. Both resources are designed to help people with an opioid use disorder make informed decisions about their care. The tool assists with learning about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and comparing treatment options to decide what may be best for personal recovery. It also provides a framework for discussing treatment preferences with a provider.