SOAR Voices


Building and Sustaining Infrastructure to Support Statewide SOAR Activities!

Since 2006, SOAR has helped 31,248 individuals with obtaining SSI/SSDI benefits, which has facilitated access to critical services and supports, such as healthcare, behavioral healthcare, and critically, housing.

While SOAR has been available to nearly 50,000 individuals experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, SOAR is not available in all communities. Our mission is to see SOAR services available not only in our major cities but statewide in every state. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look toward ensuring that SOAR is implemented across your state:


Integrating SOAR and Employment Supports: Getting Started

In the SOAR model, our goal is more than getting an SSA disability benefits check. Much more! We know that accessing SSA disability benefits is one of the first steps towards recovery, not the end goal. SSI and SSDI can open the door for housing, supportive services, integration into the community, and employment.


SOAR Expert Panel

I was recently overwhelmed by the experience and collective brainpower that comes together each quarter to inform, advise and guide the national SOAR initiative.   We just kicked off year two of the SOAR Expert Panel on January 13. We officially only have 6 hours set-aside each year for this incredible group to discuss ways we can improve and advance SOAR efforts around the country.  However, the panel has proven to be so much more than just another meeting on our very busy calendars.


Accessing Government Funding for Statewide SOAR Activities

**This blog is Part Two of two articles focusing on funding for SOAR. The first was focused on funding for SOAR programs operated by non-profit organizations. This article will focus on building statewide infrastructure to enable SOAR across your state. 


A Success Story from Minnesota

By Jon Katherine Martins, Program Administrative Assistant, SOAR Certified Social Security Advocate at Emma Norton Services 


SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness

As we move closer to the goal of ending Veteran homelessness in 2016, income stability for Veterans with disabling conditions continues to grow in importance. We encourage providers to explore all disability benefits a Veteran may be eligible for, particularly those offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).


Ending Veteran Homelessness in Southern Nevada

By Ambrosia Crump, State SOAR Coordinator for Nevada; Management Analyst at Clark County, Nevada

In November 2015, Southern Nevada declared an end to Veteran Homelessness. We checked in with Ambrosia Crump, Nevada’s State SOAR Coordinator, to see how SOAR aided in the region’s efforts to end Veteran homelessness:



She was lying in a newspaper bin on the corner of K St. and 22nd St. in Washington, D.C.  I call her Emily.

I wonder what name Chuck would have given her?  Who was he thinking about when he drew this stunning portrait on the back of a housing choice flyer? “What type of Housing Works for you?“  


New Vision with SOAR

By Cheryl Hunter, The Dream Center, Department of Human Services in Kern County, California


Demystifying Non-Government Funding for SOAR Programs!

**This blog is Part One of two articles focusing on funding SOAR programs. The first is focused on funding for SOAR programs operated by non-profit organizations, and the second will focus on SOAR activities operated by state or local government entities.

In order to develop and sustain SOAR programs, it is important to diversify and expand the funding base for SOAR programs operated by non-profit organizations.



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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