HUD Grant: HMIS Data Cleanup



HUD NOFA: HMIS Capacity-Building

Find out how you can enhance your data quality with a unique HUD grant  



HUD has announced $5 million in funding to help communities improve their CoC's HMIS. You can apply for this money to consolidate HMIS systems. Upgrade your system functionality. Or provide training on best practices to your staff.
Another objective of the HUD grant is to help communities improve the quality of their HMIS data. WellSky can work with you to tune up your Community Services (ServicePoint) implementation by merging, deleting, or cleaning up existing data. Data management tasks may include:
  • Adding exit dates to "un-exited" clients
  • Adding end dates to open services
  • Merging duplicate client records
  • Restructuring provider trees
  • Visibility changes
  • Removing unused assessments  
Our team is ready to assist you with a unique combination of strategic thinking and technological know-how. Get an estimate for services you would like to include in your Application for HUD's HMIS Capacity Building funding opportunity. The deadline for applications is January 31st — so call now! 

855-935-5759 ext. 3

Grant Announcement


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Grant Announcement

Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Grant Program

Application Due Date: Monday, March 18, 2019
SAMHSA is accepting applications for Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Grant Program (GLS State/Tribal Youth Suicide). The purpose of this program is to support states and tribes with implementing youth suicide prevention and early intervention strategies in schools, educational institutions, juvenile justice systems, substance use programs, mental health programs, foster care systems, and other child and youth-serving organizations.
It is expected that this program will:
  • Increase the number of youth-serving organizations who are able to identify and work with youth at risk of suicide.
  • Increase the capacity of clinical service providers to assess, manage, and treat youth at risk of suicide.
  • Improve the continuity of care and follow-up of youth identified to be at risk for suicide, including those who have been discharged from emergency department and inpatient psychiatric units.
SAMHSA plans to issue 26 grants of up to $736,000 per year for up to 5 years.

Learn More About This Grant


United Way case study



Case Study: United Way of Central Alabama

See how WellSky helps this United Way agency achieve greater good for its community


    Case Study: United Way of Central Alabama
Download this case study to learn how United Way of Central Alabama uses WellSky software.
WellSky Community Services software plays an important role for the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA), powering several programs run by United Way or organizations in their network. A few of the ways in which WellSky helps do more for its community include:
  • Tracking clients served by the UWCA's financial stability network;
  • Facilitating a coordinated entry system that allows vets to enroll in Priority Veteran from many different access points, including shelters, VA hospitals, and the local 2-1-1 hotline; 
  • Streamlines reporting for multiple programs.
To learn more about all the ways WellSky helps the United Way of Central Alabama, and to find out how it can help your community-based organization, download this free case study. Or call today:

855-935-5759 ext. 3

SOAR January E-News

Plus, a success story from Houston!
Plus, a success story from Houston!
SOAR WORKS SAMHSA
SOAR IN YOUR STATE
January eNews
2018 SOAR Outcomes
2018 SOAR Outcomes Issue Brief

Just Released: 2018 Outcomes Issue Brief


The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is proud to release the 2018 National SOAR Outcomes issue brief! The Outcomes issue brief provides a look at SOAR implementation across the nation and expands on the 2018 SOAR Outcomes infographic released in November 2018 (view the full infographic or the text alternative).
The results speak for themselves: in 2018, there were 4,294 approvals on initial applications prepared using the SOAR model, with decisions received in an average of 100 days with an allowance rate of 65 percent.
Over the last 13 years, the SOAR model has been used to assist over 71,705 people who were experiencing or at risk of homelessness with applications for Supplemental Security Income and/or Social Security Disability Insurance.
Read the full issue brief to see how SOAR is being implemented with special populations, such as Veterans, youth in transition, and children. You can also learn how collaborations in Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas are advancing SOAR implementation and producing strong outcomes. 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 Issue Brief

Make a Resolution for Wellness in the New Year


A key part of many people's recovery journey is enhancing their financial wellnessthat is, having satisfaction with one's current and future financial situations. In an episode of a new podcast series that addresses each pillar of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Project Director Kristin Lupfer discusses how the SOAR model can be a tool in advancing an eligible individual's financial wellness. In this episode, two special guests from Kansas City who have transformed their lives with the support of their SOAR Case Manager join Kristin to discuss their path to financial wellness. These individuals focused on financial wellness to obtain employment, create personal savings accounts, and more. Stream this 30-minute episode today!
Listen to the Financial Wellness Episode

Welcoming New SOAR Liaison Dan Coladonato


Please extend a hearty SOAR welcome to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center's new SOAR Liaison, Dan Coladonato! Prior to joining the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, Dan worked for an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in San Diego, California, serving adults with severe and persistent mental illness and a history of homelessness. During his time providing psychosocial rehabilitation services with the ACT team, Dan completed many SOAR-assisted SSI/SSDI applications, eventually becoming the ACT team's Benefits Specialist. In addition, Dan helped individuals with the post-entitlement transition, representative payee services, and the transition back to work. After attending a SOAR Leadership Academy in 2016, Dan became a SOAR Local Lead in San Diego.
In Dan's new role at the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, he will serve as a state liaison. Dan is a subject matter expert in continuing disability reviews, post-entitlement, and representative payees. Dan can be reached at dcoladonato@prainc.com. Welcome to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, Dan! We are so happy to have you join us!
RIchmond, Virginia Leadership Academy Graduates

December Richmond Leadership Academy Recap

From December 4-6, 2018, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Richmond, Virginia. Abigail Kirkman, Dazara Ware, Pamela Heine, and Daniel Coladonato of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated the training. There were 31 participants representing 17 states (AL, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, KS, MA, MD, MS, NY, NV, PA, RI, SC, VA, and WV) and Washington, DC. There was enthusiastic participation and genuine warmth throughout the entire 3 days of training. This was a testament to our new Local Lead's commitment to learning how to use SOAR to achieve our goals of ending homelessness. We're excited to see you SOAR!

Sharing Our Successes


A SEARCH for Home in Houston, Texas


Mikhail Chizel, SOAR case manager from SEARCH Homeless Services in Houston, wrote in to share how the SOAR process can change an individual's life:
Mr. Joe Past* recently was awarded SSI benefits in November 2018 after a very stressful year of doctor appointments, paperwork, and recurring medical appointments. Mr. Past has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His doctor was very concerned with the progression of the disease and how it will negatively affect his quality of life. Mr. Past, however, has a very optimistic outlook and refused to "let [this] hold him down." Not long after being enrolled in the SOAR program at SEARCH, Mr. Past secured permanent supportive housing (PSH) at one of the single-room occupancy locations funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development after 4 years of chronic homelessness. Once Mr. Past received his first SSI payment, he could not contain his happiness. It was contagious! Additionally, with the upcoming increase in payments for SSI recipients, Mr. Past was in tears at such overwhelming news, saying, "This is too good to be true! I'm housed, getting money, and it's going to be more money! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Mr. Past received his Medicaid card at the beginning of December and was ecstatic: "I can finally get some good care for my heart." Cases such as Mr. Past's are a heartfelt reminder of why SOAR exists and how beneficial it is to our client population.
Thank you so much for that uplifting success story, Mikhail! Keep SOARing!
*Please note, client names have been changed to protect anonymity. 
Submit Your SOAR Success!
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Online Course: Child Curriculum

In Case You Missed It—New SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum!

In case you missed it, the SOAR Online Course has a new Child Curriculum! The SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum trains case managers to assist children (under age 18) who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder with applying for Supplemental Security Income.
This new curriculum follows the same model of the SOAR Online Course: Adult Curriculum, including articles, quizzes, and a practice SSI application for a fictional child applicant, along with detailed feedback from SAMHSA SOAR TA Center experts. The curriculum is free to access and can be completed at your own pace. Successful completion of the course comes with 20 continuing education units from the National Association of Social Workers. 
Register for the SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum

Reconsideration Returns!


Beginning January 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is reinstating reconsideration to some states that have been participating in their Disability Redesign Prototype and do not have a reconsideration level of appeal. SSA will phase in reconsideration to all states over the next 2 years.
SSA began an experiment redesigning the initial stages of the disability adjudication process in the late 1990s. As part of that experiment, the reconsideration step was eliminated in Alabama, Alaska, parts of California (Los Angeles North and Los Angeles West Branches), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.
In some states, the Disability Determination Service (DDS) agencies are already beginning the process to hire additional staff to decide reconsideration appeals. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center will continue to monitor this reconsideration rollout. At press time, we know that California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Hampshire, and New York are bringing back reconsideration in early 2019.
If you are a SOAR provider in one of the 10 pilot states who would like more information on the reconsideration process and rollout status, please contact your SOAR State and Local Leads, or your SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison. Of course, don't forget to check out the SOAR Online Course, where you'll learn more about reconsideration and how using the SOAR model with appeals is effective!  

SOAR Job Postings


California


Volunteers of America, Los Angeles is seeking a full-time Benefits Specialist based in West Covina, California and a full-time Benefits Specialists based in Los Angeles, California. The Case Manager/Benefits Specialists are responsible for providing assessment and support to homeless individuals, helping them to create claims for different streams of government.
Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc. is hiring a full-time Benefits Specialist based in Reseda, California. The successful applicant will provide benefits application assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Washington, DC


Pathways to Housing DC is hiring a full-time SOAR Outreach Benefits Specialist based in Washington, DC. The successful candidate will provide direct outreach services in a team environment to people experiencing homelessness and provide high-quality application assistance to individuals applying for disability benefits.
Learn more about these postings on the SOARWorks website. Do you have a job posting you would like to share with the SOAR community? Submit it to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center!

Events


SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls


February 5, 2019; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place February 5, 2019 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

Resources Available: Understanding and Documenting Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders for SSI/SSDI Claims Webinar


This webinar, held on December 12, 2018, explored how opioid or other substance use disorders impact SOAR-assisted SSI/SSDI applicants. Participants learned about the key elements of opioid use disorder and heard from SOAR practitioners who discussed how to request and interpret substance use treatment records. Presenters reviewed how to recognize the signs of a substance use disorder, identify treatment options, and how to best document these conditions for a quality SOAR application. The slides from this webinar are now available for download. 

Federal Updates


Notice of Funding Availability Under Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program


Application deadline: February 22, 2019
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a notice of funding availability (NOFA) for nonprofits and organizations to assist very low-income Veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The NOFA specifies that grantees are expected use the SOAR model "directly by training staff and providing the service or subcontracting services to an organization to provide SOAR services". We encourage you to find out more about SOAR and SSVF collaborations in VA's SSVF SOAR Integration Toolkit. NOFA application materials and an online training that describes the NOFA contents and application process may be found on the SSVF website. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. ET on February 22, 2019.
SAMHSA
Facebook Twitter Email
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Technical Assistance (TA) Center is sponsored by SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Disclaimer: The SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center is sending this eNews with support from SAMHSA, HHS. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of HHS or SAMHSA.

WEBINAR: 2019 PIT & HIC Reporting



2019 PIT & HIC Reporting with WellSky Community Services

2019 PIT & HIC Reporting with WellSky Community Services January 22 at 11 am Eastern / 8 am Pacific
Join us for an important training session in which we will review how WellSky supports this year's Point In Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory Chart (HIC) reports. This webinar will cover:
  1. What's new in this year's reports
  2. The data points to be collected
  3. How to complete the reports
  4. Steps in submitting to HUD
We will also leave plenty of time to field questions you may have. Register now to prepare for these essential reports!

Progress Report: Family Homelessness






Best Practices A practical newsletter for people ending homelessness.

What Does the AHAR Tell Us About Family Homelessness?

Although the recently-released 2018 Annual Homelessness Report to Congress Part 1 reported encouraging declines in family homelessness, the nation is still well short of any goal to end it. In a new blog post, the Alliance's Sharon McDonald explores the key findings and implications for families and lays out the questions every community should ask about its efforts to end family homelessness.

Read More»

Rapid Re-Housing for Youth Learning Collaborative

New data reveal that more than half of all youth experiencing homelessness are unsheltered. This reality underscores the urgent need for more shelter and more paths out of shelter into permanent housing. Rapid re-housing is a key tool for end youth homelessness. Join us March 12, 2019 for a webinar to kick off the Rapid Re-housing for Youth Learning Collaborative.

Last Call: Sign Up to Sponsor or Exhibit at the Alliance's February Conference


The Alliance's Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference will take next month, February 21–22 in San Diego. This week is the last chance to become a sponsor of the conference or purchase an information table.

Learn More and Sign Up»

Facebook

Twitter

endhomelessness.org


Is Your Community Ending Homelessness?
The Alliance's Center for Capacity Building offers training and technical assistance for providers and community leaders. To learn more, email thecenter@naeh.org.