Sharing Our Successes
SOAR Supports Transition-Age Youth in Indianapolis
Autumn Lowry from Horizon House in Indianapolis, Indiana wrote in to share this touching SOAR success story:
"One of our partner agencies referred Sean* to me after doing an employment screening and finding that he would have significant difficulty working. This client was a youth who had been dropped off at a shelter when he turned 18. The client had a severely traumatic childhood. His diagnoses when I met him were childhood diagnoses. He was lashing out for help, expressing suicidal and homicidal ideations, and was all alone in a city 3 hours away from any sort of family.
The SOAR model allowed us to gather and interpret his medical and mental health history (I read all of the records I collect), which provided much-needed information in order to get this client the proper diagnosis and medication. I took him to medical appointments, shared his trauma and medical history with his new providers, and opened up communication between several agencies that were trying to meet this youth's needs. SOAR put me in a position to serve as Sean's medical advocate.
Sean's initial application was denied, however, during the period between filing the request for reconsideration we were able to get the client into a group home/safe haven, got him approved for a Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services waiver, and had him reevaluated to update his diagnoses and medication. I was able to provide all of this new information in his appeal, which was approved in 41 days! He now has housing, appropriate mental health treatment, and his own income, and can begin to work through his traumatic childhood, heal, and move into adulthood."
Thank you for sharing this incredible success, Autumn!
A Caseworker and a Veteran Take a Chance on SOAR
Paula Renee Witcher of the Veterans Multi-Service Center, which serves Delaware, southern New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, wrote in to share about a recent SOAR success:
"My client is a Veteran who had been sleeping in his truck for 3 years. He had two attorneys who worked on disability benefit applications for him, but each submission was denied. He ended his relationship with his attorney and I was able to use the SOAR model to complete his appeal. My client had no income, and I was able to get him into emergency housing, where I worked on his appeal and was able to get him General Assistance. Once he was placed in the emergency shelter, he was able to apply for his VA benefits, which he was awarded. His income through these benefits was not enough to move into his own housing, but he was eventually able to access a housing voucher. During this time, we worked on his appeal and a new claim. In less than 3 months, my client was approved for his SSA benefits, and he is very grateful for the time that I took to work on his case. He is now in permanent housing and has the income to sustain his housing and enjoy life. Using the SOAR model was intriguing and exciting. It was very different but provided me with a more in-depth understanding of my client's background."
Congratulations, Paula! We are so excited to hear about your SOAR success!
*Please note, SOAR Success Story submissions have been edited for space and clarity. Beneficiary names have been changed to protect their anonymity.