SOAR Voices


Recovery Song

By: Lorraine D. Wilby, Chief Executive Officer of the TaskForce Fore Ending Homelessness, Inc.

The path from homelessness to being stably housed is not always a straight line, and it certainly hasn’t been for Matthew* and Jennifer*.

The Taskforce first met Matthew back in 2009, and over the years has had over 270 contacts with him. The TaskForce has placed Matthew in multiple shelter and transitional programs. Matthew would do well for a period, but mental health and substance use issues made it difficult for him to maintain stability.


Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Jenn Matlack, Director, Housing & Emergency Support Services and Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Family & Community Services, Inc.


Key Findings from the SOAR Online Course Evaluation

A leading peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Frontiers in Public Health, recently published an evaluation of the SOAR online training model, which assessed SOAR Online Course usage from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Key findings from the evaluation:


SOAR Voice: AmeriCorps VISTA

By Emmett Ruff, SOAR AmeriCorps VISTA, Journey Home


OUTCOMES! Why I love outcomes...

I look forward every year to the time when we collect outcomes from states and communities on SOAR-assisted SSA disability applications. I realize that the data entry required to collect the outcomes can be a challenge, but these outcomes are vital to the success of SOAR both nationally and locally. Being able to report how an individual community is doing is frequently pivotal in securing support from other community providers and funding sources.


SOARing in Big Sky Country

I’m always excited to help communities re-energize and re-dedicate themselves to their SOAR process. This happened recently when my colleague, Abigail Lemon, and I held several meetings in cities across Montana. Montana was one of the first states to participate in SOAR. They saw it immediately as a way to access mainstream benefits for people experiencing homelessness. Staff changes, leadership changes, competing priorities, and time tended to move the focus away from SOAR.


SOAR Spotlight: Matt Canuteson

Name: Matt Canuteson

Title: SOAR TA Center Liaison

Specialty area: Peer/Consumer-Operated Services (services delivered by individuals with lived experience with the behavioral health system)

Location: Delmar, New York

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

I have been working for the SOAR TA Center for 1 year and 7 months!

What states do you work with?

I am the liaison to five states:


Expanding SOAR through Continua of Care

Since 2012, the SOAR TA Center has offered a competitive technical assistance award open to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continua of Care (CoCs) nationwide. This award is a chance for the TA Center to provide targeted technical assistance to new areas of the country that are in need of or are interested in expanding SOAR. The award includes a 1-day SOAR strategic planning forum facilitated by staff of the SOAR TA Center, a spot at a 3-day SOAR Leadership Academy, and access to the SOAR Online Course and Online Application Tracking (OAT) program.


Client SOARs with MIRCI

By Beth Argent, Benefits Specialist/Homeless Outreach at the Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc in Columbia, South Carolina


Highlighting Employment Partnerships: SOAR and HVRP

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



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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