SOAR eNews - March 2014

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March 2014

SOAR Leadership Academy

The first SOAR Leadership Academy was held February 4-6 in Atlanta, Georgia! We welcomed 28 new SOAR Local Leads from 12 states.
Attendees of the first SOAR Leadership Academy
During the Leadership Academy, participants attended sessions that prepared them to make SOAR work in their community and support case managers who complete the SOAR Online Course. Participants learned how to
  • create and lead a local steering committee,
  • implement a quality review process,
  • creatively fund and sustain local SOAR efforts, and
  • use the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) system.

Sharing Our Successes

SOAR News and Accomplishments
Livingston County, NY: SOAR Trainer and case manager, Nicole Ricker, has had a 100% approval rate in an average of 85 days on six SOAR applications since early August! Congratulations to Nicole and the entire New York-501 Continuum of Care!
New York, NY: SOAR case manager, Cydnee Couch, of the New York City Department of Homeless Services recently received her first approval. Congratulations, Cydnee!
KS, AZ, and ID: The SOAR TA Center would like to welcome three new State Team Leads - Doug Wallace of Kansas, Adam Robson of Arizona, and John Kirsch from Idaho. Welcome to the SOAR team Doug, Adam, and John!
New Haven, CT: Chris Evans, Manager, Pathways to Independence, Columbus House, Inc., submits the following success story:
When I first met Rachel she spent most days walking up and down the main street near the shelter, picking up old cigarettes or eating food from garbage cans - walking outside in rain, hot sun or freezing snow. I was struck by her resilience. I introduced myself to her, bringing her food regularly as she waited to enter the shelter.
After some time, I obtained signed medical releases from Rachel and began to gather important information about her past physical and mental health - including past involvement with the child welfare system, past trauma, mental health services, and more recent life activities including attending college. In applying for Social Security benefits using SOAR, I learned of her prior, substantial, work history, creating eligibility for SSDI benefits. Upon approval, Rachel received $800/month in benefits, and she was assisted in managing this with a representative payee. Shortly after, Rachel began to engage in mental health treatment, and she began a new regimen of medication which greatly diminished her psychiatric symptoms and helped her engage with her case manager.
Rachel was approved for housing through Fellowship Place, and immediately felt at home in this new community. She started changing her clothes and wearing fashionable outfits, which she purchased using her own money. This sense of empowerment had a multiplier effect on everything else - she was now making friends at her new program and even used a cell phone to call her case manager to talk. At her new apartment, she adjusted well and began cooking her own meals, while also spending time decorating her room. The difference that just a few months, and a few hundred dollars a month, had made in this young woman was remarkable. Upon seeing her while making a routine visit to her case manager, I was almost moved to tears by the incredible metamorphosis this young woman had undergone. Someone who was once reliant on the shelter system, isolated and alone in a world of frightening delusions, was now a bright young woman looking forward to her future in a community that never gave up on her.
In the past 24 months, 30 individuals, including Rachel, have received SSI and/or SSDI via the SOAR model employed at Columbus House. Another 34 applications are pending.
Congratulations, Chris, and thank you for sharing!
*** Stay tuned for an upcoming SOAR TA Center publication, In Our Own Voices, highlighting SOAR success stories! ***
If you have a SOAR-related success story to share, email pheine@prainc.com
SOAR Learning Community Calls
SOAR Learning Community Calls will focus on administrative aspects of running a SOAR program. Those interested in expanding their SOAR role are encouraged to attend. All calls will be held at 3:00-4:30pm EDT.
Upcoming Calls
Tuesday, March 18: Creating and Leading Steering Committees/Conducting Effective Meetings
Tuesday, May 20: Funding & Sustainability
Tuesday, July 22: Supporting Quality Applications
Further details and registration information will be sent out closer to the call dates.
SOAR Job Announcement
Benefits & Entitlement Specialist, Alameda County, CA
The Benefits and Entitlements Specialist Team (BEST) is a new Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) program that helps individuals who are chronically homeless and disabled apply for Social Security benefits. Read more here: http://soarworks.prainc.com/sites/soarworks.prainc.com/files/BOSS_AlamedaCty_CA.docx

Social Security Updates

New Supplemental Security Income Rules Involving Same-Sex Married Couples
Social Security has published new instructions that allow the agency to process some Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims by individuals who are in a same-sex marriage. SSI is a program based on financial need, and the agency must consider the income and resources of the recipient and his or her spouse when determining eligibility and monthly payment. “As with previous same-sex marriage policies, we worked closely with the Department of Justice,” said Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “With the release of these instructions, we continue our commitment to treating all Americans fairly, with dignity and respect.” Read more here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/new-ssi-rules-doma.html
New Expedited Disability Process for Veterans
Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, along with Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) unveiled a new initiative to expedite disability claims by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total (P&T).  Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. Read more here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pressoffice/pr/expedited-dib-process-pr.html

Upcoming SOAR TA Center Events

SOAR Leadership Academies
May 6 - 8, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland
June 3 -5, 2014, Portland, Oregon
September 10 - 12, 2014, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Please contact the SOAR TA Center or your State Team Lead if you are interested in attending.
Soar Learning Community Calls
3-4:30 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, March 18: Creating and Leading Steering Committees/Conducting Effective Meetings
Tuesday, May 20: Funding & Sustainability
Tuesday, July 22: Supporting Quality Applications
Further details and registration information will be sent out closer to the call dates.

SAMHSA Logo
The SOAR TA Center is sponsored by the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Disclaimer: The SOAR Technical Assistance Center develops and distributes E-News 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.


 

NHSDC 2014 Spring Conference - Preliminary Agenda!



NHSDC 2014 Spring Institute and Conference - Preliminary Agenda!
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We’re excited about the Spring Institute and Conference!

The Preliminary Agenda is now available!!!!  The Final Agenda will come out in a few weeks and will have more additions and updates as we get closer to the conference.

You can register for the conference today!

Also, don't forget to book your hotel now - the NHSDC discount block is filling up and will sell out! Please visit: Millennium Hotel.

Stay Tuned - More fabulous sessions and conference goodies are in the works!

National Human Services Data Consortium


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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Community Planning Development
OneCPD Mailing List
Developing Viable Communities through Housing, Services, & Economic Opportunities

National Human Services Data Consortium Conference

The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) is a collaborative organization that understands the importance of data quality and the value of using valid and reliable data for community planning and performance measurement. NHSDC has worked for over 12 years to deliver conferences that allow Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) professionals to discuss current challenges and best practices while developing a critical network of peer support.
As in past years, the NHSDC conference is a HUD approved conference. Therefore, HMIS funds awarded under the Continuum of Care (CoC) program may be used to attend the 2014 NHSDC Spring Conference. Funds included in the Training and Technical Assistance line of the HMIS budget may be used for costs associated with attendance at training sessions that are qualified-and pre-approved by HUD Headquarters, such as this NHSDC conference. Projects without funds designated for HMIS do not have an HMIS budget, and, therefore, are not eligible to use supportive service funds to attend this event.
For more information, please visit the NHSDC 2014 Spring Conference registration page.



President Proposes $300 Million increase in Homeless Assistance








March 4, 2014    

ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro


Spotlight On...
President Proposes $300 Million increase in Homeless Assistance


Today, the Obama administration released its complete fiscal year (FY) 2015 Budget Proposal, which includes approximately $2.4 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, representing a proposed $300 million increase in funding for homeless assistance.
This proposal for increasing HUD's homeless assistance, along with the proposed increases for Department of Veterans Affairs budget, demonstrate a commitment on the part of the Administration to end veterans homelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.
Upcoming Webinar: President's Budget Proposal - Overview and Impact on Homelessness
For more in-depth analysis of the Budget Proposal, and more information on what $2.4 billion would support under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, please join us this Thursday, March 6 at 1:30 pm ET on our President's Budget Briefing webinar. Alliance staff will review key funding levels in the Proposal, next steps in the federal budget process, and ways in which you can get involved.





Senator Murray Issues Memorandum on Fiscal Outlook
Last Thursday, February 27, Senator Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, issued a memorandum to Senate democrats regarding the current, improved fiscal outlook in the United States. In the memorandum, Sen. Murray called on Senate democrats to build upon the progress they have made toward deficit reduction and the bipartisan foundation they worked to establish with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Sen. Murray further called upon the legislators to move past manufactured budget crises and instead focus on creating jobs, expanding opportunity, and generating economic growth.
Representative Ryan Releases Poverty Report
Yesterday, Monday, March 3, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee, released an extensive, 204-page report examining the history, structure, cost, and evidence on the effectiveness of poverty programs. The report includes a lengthy section on housing programs. The report aims to begin the conversation about future reforms to anti-poverty programs. It nonetheless discussed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program in favorable terms, highlighting the effectiveness of rapid re-housing and the cost-savings of permanent supportive housing.
People experiencing homeless have extraordinarily high rates of tuberculosis, as much as 10 times the rate in the general community. And people living and working in homeless shelters must contend with an airborne bacterium that never goes out of season. In this post, we look at what responses to TB are needed in programs that assist people experiencing homelessness.
VA Expands Program to Provide Services for Veteran Families
By Kay Moshier McDivitt
In this post, we take a look at a new opportunity for communities fighting family homelessness with rapid re-housing: the VA's expansion of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

Re: [MARHMIS] Monitoring Plans?

​Kelly, I have a monitoring form you can download from bmore.hmisadmin.com (in the blue "HMIS Policies" section).  Please let me know if there's anything I missed.  As with anything else I have on the site, I'm happy to share, so let me know if you want the original versions, so that you may edit...
 ​



Jason Burns, MCSE
System Administrator
Resources: hmisadmin.com
NOTES:  

On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 3:12 PM, Blechertas, Kelly A. <KABlechertas@yorkcountypa.gov> wrote:
Hey all,

I am putting together a (far-too-late-in-the-making) monitoring plan for my HMIS. I already do data quality monitoring, but I'm talking about a more comprehensive plan and possibly (hopefully) check lists of items to look at physically at the agency and anything else I'd want to take look at.

Does anyone have anything similar I could see, to get me started?

(Also shooting an email to Fran, as we said we'd talk about this before the NOFA exploded!)

Thanks everyone,

Kelly Blechertas
GIS & Information Systems Administrator 
         
Human Services Office:
York County Human Services                     
100 West Market Street, Suite 401              
York, Pennsylvania 17401                          
P: (717) 771-9347                                       
F: (717) 771-4663

Planning Commission Office:
York County Planning Commission
28 East Market Street, 3rd Floor
York, Pennsylvania 17401
P: (717) 771-9870
F: (717) 771-9511                                   



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National Human Services Data Consortium


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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning Development OneCPD Mailing List
Developing Viable Communities through Housing, Services, & Economic Opportunities

National Human Services Data Consortium Conference


The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) is a collaborative organization that understands the importance of data quality and the value of using valid and reliable data for community planning and performance measurement. NHSDC has worked for over 12 years to deliver conferences that allow Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) professionals to discuss current challenges and best practices while developing a critical network of peer support.
As in past years, the NHSDC conference is a HUD approved conference. Therefore, HMIS funds awarded under the Continuum of Care (CoC) program may be used to attend the 2014 NHSDC Spring Conference. Funds included in the Training and Technical Assistance line of the HMIS budget may be used for costs associated with attendance at training sessions that are qualified-and pre-approved by HUD Headquarters, such as this NHSDC conference. Projects without funds designated for HMIS do not have an HMIS budget, and, therefore, are not eligible to use supportive service funds to attend this event.
For more information, please visit the NHSDC 2014 Spring Conference registration page.


MARHMIS Meeting - March 10, 2014

Good Morning MARHMIS Members!

As of today I have received 5 names of members that will be attending in person at the March 10th meeting.  If you will be attending in person in Philadelphia please let me know (ahillson@njhmfa.state.nj.us).

Abram Hillson
Director of HMIS
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
P.O Box 18550
Trenton, New Jersey 08650-2085
Phone: 609-278-7567
Fax: 609-278-4173