Announcing the 2018 Criminal Justice TA Awards

Plus the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is Hiring!
Plus the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is Hiring!
February e-news
2018 Criminal Justice TA Awards

2018 SOAR Criminal Justice Technical Assistance Awards

On January 17, 2018, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center announced the second round of recipients of the SOAR Criminal Justice (CJ) TA Awards! Six agencies were awarded support from the SOAR TA Center to develop SOAR implementation plans in CJ settings. The awards focused exclusively on CJ settings and agencies that provide services to people who are justice involved. Through this award, recipients will be able to improve their efforts in connecting individuals leaving correctional facilities to needed resources.
Each awardee will receive an on-site planning meeting, participation in a SOAR Leadership Academy, support through the SOAR Online Course, and outcomes tracking through the Online Application Tracking (OAT) system. The 2018 SOAR CJ TA awardees are:
  • Delaware Department of Corrections (Delaware)
  • Mississippi Department of Corrections (Mississippi)        
  • Directions for Living (Florida)
  • Newark Community Solutions (New Jersey)
  • New Hour for Women and Children (New York)
  • Martin Girls Academy (Florida)
Learn more about these organizations on the SOARWorks website!
Pam Root Headshot

Farewell to SOAR Assistant Director, Pam Root

We are sorry to share that we wished a farewell to Pam Root this past month. Pam was an integral member of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center since its inception in 2009. For the last 8 years she served as the Project Coordinator and then the Assistant Director. She was instrumental in tracking all of the technical assistance we provide, registering everyone for the Leadership Academies, coordinating Center activities, and so much more. We will miss her greatly, but wish her well in her new ventures!
Jen Elder, National Policy and Partnerships Coordinator, has assumed the role of Assistant Director of the SOAR TA Center. 
5,000 SOAR Online Course Graduates

SOAR Online Course Passes 5,000th Graduate

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to announce that 5,000 people have graduated from the SOAR Online Course since its start in 2013! The growth of the SOAR Online Course over the past 5 years has been tremendous, and we are thrilled that 5,000 people from around the country have taken it upon themselves to become SOAR certified to help individuals in their communities.
Will you be graduate 5,001? If so, start the SOAR Online Course today!

Farewell to David Vinokurov, SSA District Manager

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of David Vinokurov, SSA District Manager from Trenton, New Jersey. He has provided Mercer County with over 10 years of devoted service to making SOAR a best-practice program. David's willingness to put in extra time and effort to help not only his Mercer County SOAR initiative, but the wider SOAR community, demonstrated a commitment to excellence that we have come to depend upon. Below are a few words from Diane Hirko, Mercer County SOAR Lead, who worked closely with David:
"David laid the foundation for SOAR of Mercer County. Because of his compassion, dedication to mankind, especially those unable to advocate for themselves, leadership, and the loyalty he earned from his wonderful staff, hundreds of SOAR-represented individuals have been given hope and new life.  They have been seen and heard and now hold their heads up a little higher. Most have secured a residence and others are in the process. Many have been reunited with loved ones and welcomed back into their families. They are all in recovery (medical, substance, and homelessness) and living healthier, safer, often more productive lives. David is an amazing man and I have been truly honored to work with him."
The SOAR TA Center was lucky to have David address participants at a 2016 Leadership Academy in New Jersey. He was motivated by his passion for SOAR. During his speech David stated, "The key to making the SOAR program work in Mercer County is ongoing communication. So you need to figure out how to keep it going." He suggested getting your local SSA office to buy in to SOAR, see the value in it, and understand how SOAR can turn people's lives around. 
Best of luck to David in his retirement! We will all miss you, and we thank you for your offer to continue supporting SOAR!


SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

February 13, 2018; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place February 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SOAR TA Center hosts this series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can login to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have.

Webinar Resources Available: Proven Marketing Strategies for SOAR Sustainability

On January 25, 2018 the SOAR TA Center hosted a webinar to discuss marketing tips, tools, and strategies to help sustain your SOAR program. The slides, recording, and supplementary resources are now available for download on the SOAR TA Center website.

Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog

5 Reasons Why You Should Add A SOAR Workshop to Your Annual Conference
Notes from the Field: Experiences of a SOAR Benefit Specialist

SOAR Job Postings

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is Hiring a Full-time Project Associate!

Policy Research Associates, Inc. is hiring a full-time Project Associate for the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center. We are looking for someone with a passion for SOAR to join our team! Residence near or relocation to the offices of Policy Research Associates in Delmar, New York is preferred. Remote locations will be considered for those with significant experience. 


Tarzana Treatment Centers is hiring a full-time SOAR Benefits Specialist in Reseda, California. The SOAR Benefits Specialist will provide assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness, including Veterans, in applying for and obtaining Social Security benefits.


Integral Care is hiring two full-time SOAR Specialists in Austin, Texas – one SOAR Specialist and one SOAR Specialist—Assertive Community Treatment Team. The SOAR Specialists will assist identified individuals in Travis County who have experienced chronic homelessness accompanied by significant behavioral health, medical, and/or substance abuse issues with the completion of SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model.

To learn more about these job postings, visit the SOAR website!

Partner Updates

PAW Webinar: Introducing Healthy Hearts, Healthy Recovery to the Field

February 21, 2018; 1:00 p.m. ET
In SAMHSA's Program to Achieve Wellness' upcoming webinar, Introducing Healthy Hearts, Healthy Recovery to the Field, Karen Moosvi, Ph.D., R.N, University of Florida; and Sue Bergeson, Principal of Recovery, Resiliency, Engagement, and Activation Partners (RREAP) and Program to Achieve Wellness Steering Committee member, will:
  • Discuss the need for cardiovascular disease prevention and education among individuals with serious mental illness, providers, family members, and caregivers
  • Highlight methods for empowering individuals with serious mental illness to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease
  • Introduce Healthy Hearts, Healthy Recovery as a tool to help accomplish prevention and education goals
Healthy Hearts, Healthy Recovery is a downloadable package for support group leaders to adapt and use with individuals in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders to help address and prevent risk factors associated with heart disease. 
This webinar is a must for individuals who lead support groups for individuals in recovery, peer leaders, peer-run organizations, and grassroots organizations. Join the Program to Achieve Wellness and learn more about a new tool for helping prevent heart disease!


SAMHSA Accepting Applications for Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

The SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year 2018 Treatment for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness, Serious Emotional Disturbance or Co-Occurring Disorders Experiencing Homelessness. The purpose of this program is to support the development and/or expansion of the local implementation of an infrastructure that integrates behavioral health treatment and recovery support services for individuals, youth, and families with a serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, or co-occurring disorder who are experiencing homelessness. Applications for this program are due March 9, 2018.

HUD Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Funding

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a second round of funding for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), which supports communities in designing and implementing a plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. Up to 11 communities, including five rural communities, will be selected to receive between $1 million and $15 million towards implementing new and innovative projects. For additional information on this opportunity, we encourage you to review recommendations for integrating SOAR into the YHDP planning process and attend USICH's webinar on responding to the Notice of Funding Availability on February 22, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Applications from Continuum of Care Collaborative Applicants are due by April 17, 2018 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Grantspace: A Service of Foundation Center: Knowledge Base

Grantspace's Knowledge Base provides answers to your social sector funding questions. Questions include:
  • How do I write a grant proposal for my individual project? Where can I find samples?
  • Should fundraisers be paid a fixed fee or a percentage of the money raised?
  • Where can I learn more about nonprofit audits?
  • Where can I find demographic information about my community?
  • What should be included in a letter of inquiry?
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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 is sending this NewsFlash 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.