Using SOAR with Transition Age Youth

In this webinar, held on March 25, 2015, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center presented a new issue brief and participants heard from SOAR providers who are successfully serving youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Transition age youth are most commonly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 years. In this webinar, you will be introduced to our new issue brief titled, Ending Youth Homelessness: Using SOAR to Increase Access to SSA Disability Benefits for Transition Age Youth. You will also hear from SOAR providers who are successfully serving youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness to increase access to Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. When working with transition age youth, SOAR's intensive engagement process and holistic approach to applying for SSI and SSDI can benefit a very vulnerable and difficult-to-serve population.

Update!  For transition age youth applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the applicant’s mental illness must cause marked restrictions in at least 2 of these functional areas, or extreme limitations in one area:

  • Understand, remember, or apply information (memory, following instructions, solving problems, etc.)
  • Interact with others (getting along with others, anger, avoidance, etc.)
  • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (as they relate to the ability to complete tasks)
  • Adapt or manage oneself (hygiene, responding to change, setting realistic goals, etc.)

This webinar is recommended for SOAR Coordinators, SOAR Trainers, SOAR Leaders, and for individuals who would like more information on how to use the SOAR model with youth experiencing homelessness.


  • Abby Lemon, Project Associate, with SAMHSA's SOAR Technical Assistance Center, in Delmar, NY. Abby will share important statistics and facts with respect to transition age youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Laura Kolb, Staff Attorney, with the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) in Philadelphia, PA, will discuss HAP's referral model and engagement techniques for transition age youth.
  • Raven Smith, Homeless Youth Program Director and SOAR Local Lead, with Posada in Pueblo, CO, will describe effective youth engagement strategies.
  • Kris Kuntz, Program and Research Analyst, with St. Vincent De Paul Village in San Diego, CA, will share methods for documenting youth disability and other important aspects of representing this population.

Click the links below to access the webinar recording and materials: