See Your State’s Results in the 2019 SAMHSA SOAR Outcomes

Plus, SOAR success stories from Michigan that helped reunite families!
Plus, SOAR success stories from Michigan that helped reunite families!
January 2020 SAMHSA SOAR E-Newsletter
2019 SOAR Outcomes
2019 SOAR Outcomes Issue Brief

Download Today: 2019 National SAMHSA SOAR Outcomes Issue Brief

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to release the 2019 National SOAR Outcomes issue brief! The issue brief provides a look at SOAR implementation across the nation and expands on the 2019 SOAR Outcomes infographic released in November 2019 (view the full infographic or the text alternative).

The results from this year's outcomes collection are incredible: in 2019, there were 4,273 approvals on SOAR-assisted initial Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications, with decisions received in an average of 108 days and an allowance rate of 63 percent.

Over the last 14 years, the SOAR model has been used to assist over 80,047 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness with applications for SSI/SSDI. Read the full issue brief to see how SOAR is being implemented with special populations, such as children, youth in transition, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Veterans. You can also learn how Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are advancing SOAR implementation and producing strong outcomes through partnerships, training initiatives, and collaborations.

A hearty thank you to our State Team Leads, Local Leads, SOAR providers, and partners—without your effort and commitment, outcomes like these would not be possible.
Download the 2019 National SOAR Outcomes Issue Brief

Sharing Our Successes

SOARing to Family Reunification in Michigan

Michelle Hardman from the Mid-Michigan District Health Department in St. Johns, Michigan, wrote in to share this incredible SOAR success:
Dwayne* was referred by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services due to him experiencing homelessness and living in a cargo trailer at a local shopping center. Using the SOAR model, we could demonstrate how this highly educated individual had suffered trauma and developed mental health conditions as well as physical conditions that were limiting his abilities to maintain employment. The Medical Summary Report is a powerful tool to give a "big picture" view of a person's past and how it has affected their present capabilities. Dwayne was approved for benefits and is now receiving over $1,800.00 each month. This approval now allows Dwayne to maintain his housing without fear of experiencing homelessness again. Dwayne now has full custody of his daughter. He has been able to address his chronic conditions and be the dad that he wanted to be.
What a beautiful story, Michelle! Congratulations on your SOAR success!

Reconnecting With Children and Grandchildren Through SOAR

Alexis Smith from Michigan Ability Partners in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote in to share a wonderful SOAR success story:
Travis* was referred to me as a previous housing client of Michigan Ability Partners. Travis has a history of childhood trauma, which has carried on into his older-adult life. Travis struggled with mental health and physical health conditions. Travis's application was my second SOAR application ever and my first success! Travis received over $4,500 in back pay and gets the full SSI amount each month. Travis slept on an air mattress for 3 years, but through his back pay, he was able to buy himself a box spring and mattress, a new TV, and a new vacuum. Travis's children are now coming back into his life, which also means his grandchildren are starting to be a part of his life. He is now able to buy snacks to have at his apartment when those special visits happen. My words of wisdom for other SOAR practitioners are to take the extra time necessary to get a success! Travis's case required a lot of time and attention, but the success and his reaction to the success were worth it.
Congratulations on your SOAR success, Alexis! Thank you for sharing your story!
Submit Your SOAR Success
*Sharing Our Successes stories are edited for brevity and clarity. All client names have been changed to protect anonymity.


SOARWorks Webinar: Listings and Grids

SAMHSA SOAR Webinar: Completing Quality SOAR Applications: SSA's Sequential Evaluation⁠—Understanding Step 3 (The Listings) and Step 5 (The Grids)

January 22, 2020, 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET

Join the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center for the first webinar in our 2020 webinar series. You'll hear from a DDS representative and seasoned SOAR practitioners who will share guidance to deepen your understanding of SSA's 5-step Sequential Evaluation, the Listings, and the Grids. Also, SOAR practitioners will share their tips on how to reference the Listings and Grids in your Medical Summary Reports.
Register for the Webinar

SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

February 11, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET

The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place on February 11, 2020, 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

Funding Corner

Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

Application deadline: January 24, 2020

SAMHSA, Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Grant Program for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness. This 4-year program is intended to implement and evaluate new AOT programs and identify evidence-based practices in order to reduce the incidence and duration of psychiatric hospitalization, homelessness, incarcerations, and interactions with the criminal justice system while improving the health and social outcomes of individuals with a serious mental illness. Fourteen awards are anticipated of up to $1,000,000 per year for 4 years.

SOAR services could be funded along with a variety of other evidence-based outpatient mental health practices! Learn more and apply today!

Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances

Application deadline: February 3, 2020

SAMHSA, CMHS, is accepting applications for FY 2020 Grants for Expansion and Sustainability of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances. The purpose of the program is to improve the mental health outcomes for children and youth, birth through age 21, with serious emotional disturbances, and their families. Eligibility is limited to public entities. Six to 24 awards are anticipated from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 per year.

SOAR for Children services could be funded within a System of Care supported by this program! Learn more and apply today! 

Get Social with the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center

Hear more about what SAMHSA SOAR is up to via @samhsagov on Twitter, @samhsa on Facebook, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on LinkedIn!

Federal Updates

Social Security Expands Public Hours at Offices Nationwide

Starting on January 8, 2020, Social Security offices nationwide will be open to the public on Wednesday afternoons. This change restores Wednesday public service hours that were last in place in late 2012. "I don't want someone to come to our office at 2:30 on a Wednesday only to find our doors closed," Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul said.

In another move to improve service to the public, Commissioner Saul announced in his Open Letter to the Public that the agency is hiring 1,100 front-line employees to provide service on the agency's National 800 Number and in its processing centers. The agency is currently bringing onboard 100 new processing center employees and approximately 500 new teleservice representatives for the 800 Number. An additional 500 hires for the 800-number will occur later in 2020.

While the agency continues to improve both the access to and the experience with its services, it is important to note that most Social Security services do not require the public to take time to visit an office. People may create a my Social Security account, a personalized online service, at
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