SOAR Voices


The SOAR Leadership Academy: An Attendee’s Perspective

Guest post by Suzie Brady, SOAR Specialist, Health Community Collaborative at Austin Travis County Integral Care in Austin, Texas

The SOAR TA Center has asked Local Leads who have participated in a SOAR Leadership Academy to share their experiences. Suzie Brady from Austin, Texas attended the Charleston, South Carolina SOAR Leadership Academy in August 2016.


Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

When applying for funding, do NOT overlook the smaller local funding sources!

We have all heard the saying “all politics is local”—the same idea applies when thinking about accessing funding for your SOAR programs. For the purpose of this article we will change the phrase to meet our needs: “most non-profit funding is local.” The fact is, most corporate and foundation funding going to non-profits comes from organizations in the nonprofit’s local area.


A Family Reunion at a Grantee Conference

I had the great opportunity to attend SAMHSA’s Homeless Programs Branch Grantee conference this past August 15-17.

It felt so much like a family reunion because the conference brought together so many people united around the same purpose and so many people that I have known for years, feel forever connected to but don’t get to see in-person very often.


A Day in the Life of an Online Course Reviewer

The SOAR Online Course is very unique in that every application packet submitted to the SOAR TA Center is reviewed (line by line) by a member of the TA Center staff, and each application is given individual and comprehensive feedback! Recently the SOAR online course saw its 2,500th ”pass”! It is no small feat to review every application; but we know how much work you put into the packet, so we honor that by also putting in the work to carefully review it. Here’s a look into how it’s done!


SOARing Above and Beyond in Virginia

By Latasha Howlett, SOAR State Coordinator for Virginia

Latasha shared these inspirational success stories in response to the question, “What about your SOAR program are you especially proud of this year?”

SOAR efforts have continued to expand across Virginia with four new communities joining the effort. We have also experienced continued expansion within our current communities. Our SOAR workers consistently go above and beyond to help their clients obtain benefits and access to services and housing.


Everything You Need to Know About Successfully Using iAppeals to Request a Reconsideration or Hearing

A little over a year ago, as part of an upgrade to iAppeals, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began a practice called “single-submission.”  The SOAR TA Center recommends not only filing initial applications online, but also reconsideration and hearing appeal paperwork too. You can actually submit the SSA-1696 and medical documents online! Not only are you sending in a complete appeal application, you are expediting the disability determination process at the appeals level too. However, there are some slight variations with filing appeals online.


Strengthening SOAR and Employment Partnerships - The CABHI: SOAR and IPS Pilot

In a continuing series, the SOAR TA Center highlights how to integrate SOAR and employment supports and successful models and partnerships.

Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) and SOAR are two important programs administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that work together to end homelessness. We have been working in partnership since 2011 and CABHI grants support SOAR training, coordination, and dedicated benefits specialists nationwide.


SOAR Spotlight: Deborah Stevens

Name: Deborah Stevens

Title: Project Assistant

Specialty area: I am responsible for coordinating the SOAR TA Center’s events, which includes the preparation of training materials and development of logistics. In addition, I review practice case applications from the SOAR Online Course, maintain the TA Center’s database, and handle all incoming requests for the SOAR TA Center.

Location: Delmar, New York

How long have you been working for the SOAR TA Center?



The views, opinions, and content expressed in SOAR Voices do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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