SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Holds SOAR for Children Leadership Academy

Plus, a success story from Austin, Texas
Plus, a success story from Austin, Texas
2019 SAMHSA SOAR February E-News
Map with dots showing the six awardees of the 2019 Criminal Justice Technical Assistance Awards

2019 SAMHSA SOAR Criminal Justice Technical Assistance Awards

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to announce the third round of recipients of the 2019 SOAR Criminal Justice Technical Assistance Awards! Six agencies were awarded support from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center to develop SOAR implementation plans in criminal justice settings. The awards focused exclusively on criminal justice (CJ) settings and agencies that provide services to people with serious mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorders who are justice involved. Through this award, recipients will be able to improve their efforts in connecting individuals leaving correctional facilities to needed resources.
As part of the award, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center will facilitate a full-day, on-site implementation meeting with key stakeholders and agency leads. Meeting time will be used to review the existing barriers, assess the resources of the participating stakeholders, and identify opportunities to strengthen and support SOAR efforts to complete applications for eligible individuals. Implementation meetings for each agency will be held by June 28, 2019.
The six 2019 SAMHSA SOAR CJ TA awardees are:
  1. California Department of State Hospitals (Coalinga, California)
  2. Riverside University Health System in collaboration with Riverside County Jail (Riverside, California)
  3. Legal Council for Health Justice in collaboration with Cook County Department of Corrections (Chicago, Illinois)
  4. Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  5. Second Chance Reentry (Hempstead, New York)
  6. Chattanooga City Hamilton County Mental Health Court (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

From coast to coast we are happy to support these agencies in their efforts to provide individuals with access to benefits in pre-release plans in order to promote post-release success. Congratulations!
Child Leadership Academy Graduates

SAMHSA SOAR for Children Leadership Academy Recap

On January 8-10, 2019, the SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center facilitated a SOAR for Children Leadership Academy in Washington, DC. Kristin Lupfer (first from left, front row), Jen Elder (first from right, second row), and Pam Heine (third from left, third row) of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 29 participants representing 26 states (AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, ID, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, WA, WI, and WY). The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center thanks our participants for their enthusiastic contributions throughout the training. The October 2018 release of the Child Curriculum not only fulfills a need expressed by the SOAR community but will also be an instrumental tool in getting us close to ending youth and family homelessness.
Are you a provider who serves children and youth? Then check out our newly launched SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum!

Spotlight on Collaboration in California: SOAR and the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program

In late 2017, the California State Budget Act appropriated over $43 million to the Department of Social Services to fund the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program (HDAP) for 3 years. HDAP is a county-administered program that assists individuals experiencing homelessness who have a disability. HDAP requires that counties provide outreach, case management, disability benefits advocacy, and housing assistance. Thirty-nine counties throughout the state of California received HDAP funding and the SOAR model was incorporated into many counties' funding proposals. Today, 27 HDAP funded counties have at least 1 SOAR-trained staff member. Over the next year, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center looks forward to receiving outcomes, success stories, and continuing to engage these communities!

Sharing Our Successes

SOARing Home in Austin, Texas

Lauren Gore of Caritas of Austin in Austin, Texas wrote in to share this incredible success story:
Last summer I assisted a gentleman who had been experiencing chronic homelessness for much of his adult life and was very unwell at the time of intake. He had struggled with substance use since age 13 in an attempt to self-manage his mental health struggles and various traumas. The gentleman had just been discharged from the hospital after a serious, life-threatening medical event. Further, he was largely socially isolated and had little social supports or contact with his remaining family members. Now, 7 months later, thanks to the SOAR model and the help of a rapid rehousing program, he is stably housed, has Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and is happy, healthy, and sober for the first time in his adult life. Even better, the SOAR process had a hand in reuniting him with family members after they were contacted to provide information for his Medical Summary Report. Today, the gentleman is in close contact with these family members and they are a huge source of support in his life. Without the SOAR process to aid in painting a complete picture for the Disability Determination Services, he would likely have been denied the disability benefits he so desperately needed to get back on his feet, and remaining stably housed would have presented a much more significant challenge. 
Submit Your SOAR Successes

Reconsideration Update

As reported in the January 2019 SOAR eNews, beginning January 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reinstated reconsideration to some states that had participated in the Disability Redesign Prototype and did not have a reconsideration level of appeal. 
Five states reinstituted reconsideration on January 1, 2019 (California [Los Angeles North and Los Angeles West], Colorado, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and New York). Reconsideration is scheduled to be reinstituted in Pennsylvania on April 1, 2019. Alabama and Michigan are scheduled to start reconsideration on October 1, 2019; Missouri on January 1, 2020; and Alaska on March 1, 2020. SSA will phase in reconsideration to all states over the next 2 years. 
If you are a SOAR provider in 1 of the 10 pilot states who would like more information on the reconsideration process and rollout status, please contact your SOAR State and Local Leads, or your SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison. Of course, don't forget to check out the SOAR Online Course, where you'll learn more about reconsideration and how using the SOAR model with appeals is effective!  


SOAR Webinar: Introducing SOAR for Children

February 21, 2019; 3:00 p.m. ET
On this webinar, to be held on Thursday, February 21, 3:00 pm ET, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center will share new tools and resources for completing child SSI applications, including the new SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum. SOAR Leaders will discuss their strategies and plans for implementing SOAR for Children initiatives in their communities.
Register for the Webinar

SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

March 12, 2019; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place March 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center hosts this series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can join to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have. 
Add SOARing Over Lunch to Your Calendar

Partner Updates

Youth MOVE National Resource: Community Youth Resource Mapping

Community youth resource mapping is a process that identifies what resources and opportunities are available to youth in a community. Mapping also identifies current community needs. This can be done by canvassing resources within the community at local agencies, organizations, businesses, and other establishments to determine what is offered and at what capacity. When community resource mapping is youth-driven, the resulting map reflects both the resources available and the resources that youth choose to access and utilize.
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