Workshop: Lessons Learned From Diverse Efforts To Change Social Norms


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Workshop: Lessons Learned From Diverse Efforts To Change Social Norms
April 15, 2015 | 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Eastern Time
Keck Center of the National Academies
The National Research Council's Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences has convened an expert committee that will host a 1-day workshop on Opportunities and Strategies To Promote Behavior Change in Behavioral Health. Registration for this workshop is now open.
The workshop will examine the role of intermediate and mediating variables that influence treatment-seeking behaviors and access to care, including:
  • Socioeconomic barriers, social networks and institutions, and cultures, including the social norms, beliefs, and attitudes that are most amenable to positive change
  • Strategies for outcome research and evaluation.

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SOAR April eNews


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April - 2015
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Contact Us SSA Webinars SOAR Voices Blog


Transition Age Youth Brief Released


Transition Age Youth Brief


Transition Age Youth Brief Icon
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is excited to announce the release of our latest issue brief, Ending Youth Homelessness: Using SOAR to Increase Access to SSA Disability Benefits for Transition Age Youth. This issue brief provides an overview of the unique challenges youth experiencing homelessness face, programs available to support youth experiencing homelessness, and effective models of implementing SOAR for transition age youth. Read the brief
 

Transition Age Youth Webinar


You can also watch an archive of last month's webinar that featured experts in the field who discussed strategies to successfully serve youth who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness to increase access to SSA benefits. Thank you to our fantastic presenters! View the webinar archive here.



Sharing Our Successes


Pre-Release Success


Loren Gallegly, a SOAR Case Manager for the Human Services Campus at Lodestar Day Resource Center in Arizona provided this success story:

When pre-screening clients, I noticed an over-representation of the population who had recently received mental health treatment while incarcerated in the jails/Department of Corrections. These individuals kept showing up, somehow having heard about SOAR from case managers, agencies, and word of mouth from other clients on the streets. Thinking over these interactions, I realized that SOAR is a perfect fit for reentry programs and could benefit stakeholders in the following ways:
  • The jails, as they do not have to commit resources (but can potentially become SOAR trained!)
  • My agency, Lodestar Day Resource Center, since we would be serving this population post-release
  • The clients, since by doing SOAR applications prior to release, their risk of homelessness and recidivism will hopefully decrease, as they would be connected to services and treatment, with navigation supports
I reached out to someone within our agency who was familiar with this population and they connected me to Charlotte Koestner, a social worker at Lower Buckeye Jail. I offered to do a one-hour presentation to correctional mental health staff with the intention of setting up some kind of client referral system. I explained that rather than wait until release, it made more sense for me to be badged (process in which I am allowed to access the jails in Maricopa County) to go into the jails and complete SOAR applications with inmates. Jail staff supported this, I was able to get badged, and now have access to this special population. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office continues to support our efforts and Charlotte Koestner even attends our quarterly SOAR State Steering Committee meetings.

The downtown Phoenix SSA field office is also open and very supportive of establishing a pre-release agreement with the jails to allow SOAR applications to be submitted prior to release, with the intention of inmates receiving benefits upon reentry. Since our SOAR program is based out of the Housing Department of the Lodestar Day Resource Center, this would ultimately mean an early connection to housing, treatment, and proper levels of support needed to reduce recidivism, shelter resources, and time spent experiencing homeless.

Way to go, Loren! We look forward to hearing about your experiences and future successes!
 

In Case You Missed it! SOAR and Consumer Organizations - March 16th Informational Call!


The SOAR TA Center is moving full steam ahead with our efforts to increase the number of consumer/peer run organizations that are involved with SOAR. On March 16th, we held a conference call providing information on how consumer organizations can enhance local SOAR activities. If you know a consumer organization that may be interested in SOAR, please have them contact Matt Canuteson, SOAR TA Center Project Associate, to learn more! View presentation slides.



Federal Updates


Social Administration's Office Closings and Emergency Information Notification System


You can now sign up to receive e-mail or text messages when Social Security offices in your state or territory close down or open late because of severe weather or emergencies. To view office closings or delayed openings and to subscribe to a specific state/territory's office closings, visit SSA's Office Closings page.


Social Security Launches iAppeals


Social Security has launched iAppeals -- an improved online appeals process. The improvements include the ability to provide documents electronically when you file your appeal, the ability to accept online appeals from people living outside the United States, improved navigation and on-screen help, and clearer language and less jargon. Learn more about iAppeals here. View the infographic.
 

2015 1619(b) Threshold Amounts For Disabled SSI Beneficiaries


Social Security has released the 2015 and 2014 threshold amounts for continued Medicaid eligibility for each state for disabled and blind beneficiaries. Continued Medicaid eligibility, or Section 1619(b) of the Social Security Act provides Medicaid coverage protection for SSI beneficiaries going to work. View the threshold amount for your state.


Social Security Scores High on the Federal Plain Language Report Card


Each fall, the Center for Plain Language evaluates how well federal agencies are doing on using plain language.  Agencies earn grades between A-F, just like students.  Grades are based on compliance with the Plain Writing Act of 2010 and sample documents, reports, or websites submitted by the agency. For the second consecutive year, SSA's grades on the Federal Plain Language Report card put SSA at the "top of the class." The grades reflect SSA's strong commitment to clear communication at all levels.  SSA earned As in two of the three categories of the Report Card -- Compliance and Writing -- and a B, the highest grade any agency received in a new category -- Information Design. Read the report.



Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog


Using Students to Expand the Reach of Rhode Island's SOAR Program


Over the past few months, Rhode Island's SOAR program has expanded its reach by training and providing ongoing support to local university students acting as SOAR case managers. While this initiative is still in its pilot phase, it has thus far demonstrated itself to be of benefit to all involved. Read more...


SOAR & Criminal Justice


Just imagine going to bed knowing that your bills are paid, your health care is covered, and that you have no worries of what you will eat the next day, only to awake with none of that certainty.  Then, imagine that in addition to these uncertainties, you are now required to enroll in and pay for classes that will help to "rehabilitate" you.  You must also find a job, although the likelihood of getting one that will sustain housing is bleak, especially when you have previously struggled to maintain employment.  Read more...


SSA FAQs


Question: How does Social Security decide whether I am disabled? Answer: For an adult, disability under Social Security law is based on your inability to work because of a disabling condition. Read more...



Upcoming Events


Leadership Academy 2015 Dates

  • June 9-11, 2015 - Chicago, IL
  • September 1-3, 2015 - Denver, CO
Contact your SOAR State Liaison for more information!
In This Issue

Transition Age Youth Brief Released



Sharing Our Successes



Federal Updates



Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog


Using Students to Expand the Reach of Rhode Island's SOAR Program

SOAR & Criminal Justice

SSA FAQs


Upcoming Events


 


Leadership Academy 2015 Dates


Alliance Online News: Webinar Today on Ending Veteran Homelessness




Alliance Online News
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alliance events
Upcoming Webinar - Ending Veteran Homelessness: Setting Goals and Creating a List
Tuesday April 7, 2015 , 3 to 4 p.m. EDT
Today, Tuesday, April 7, at 3 p.m. EDT the Alliance will host a webinar covering steps one and three of the Alliance resource "5 Steps for Ending Veteran Homelessness.” During the webinar, speakers from the Alliance, Community Solutions, and HOPE for the Homeless in Shreveport will discuss the importance of bringing stakeholders together to set goals and create timelines as well as the ways in which your community can create a master list of homeless veterans.
hill update
HUD Publishes Rule on VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013
On Wednesday, April 1, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that would amend its regulations to implement the requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As reauthorized in 2013, VAWA provides enhanced protections for victims of domestic violence beyond HUD’s public housing and Section 8 programs to other HUD programs that provide rental assistance. With this proposed rule, HUD is also seeking public comment on two documents that outline tenant protections: a notice of occupancy rights and an emergency transfer plan.
alliance events
Upcoming Webinar - Rapid Re-Housing: Taking It to Scale
Tuesday April 14, 2015, 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT
On Tuesday, April 14 at 1 p.m. EDT, the Alliance will host a webinar that will discuss two communities that are expanding their capacity to rapidly re-house individuals and families. During the webinar, Kathy Robertson with the Virginia State Department of Housing and Community Development will describe Virginia’s effort to increase rapid re-housing capacity that resulted in a 25 percent decline in family homelessness. 
from the blog
Ending Homelessness Today
the official blog of the national alliance to end homelessness
Thank You, Advocates! You Generated Strong Congressional Support for Homeless Programs
by Julie Klein
If you receive the Alliance’s advocacy alerts, you might recall that not long ago members of Congress were circulating “Dear Colleague” letters in the House and Senate.
These letters give members of Congress the opportunity to publicly sign on in support of robust funding levels for programs that they believe should be national priorities. The Dear Colleague letters circulating in congress that were of most interest to us, of course, were letters in support of increased funding levels for homeless assistance and affordable housing programs.
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Just Released: The State of Homelessness in America 2015
by naehblog
Overall homelessness in America has declined, but millions remain at risk of falling into homelessness in the future, according to  The State of Homelessness in America 2015, the fifth in a series of annual reports on the nation’s progress on homelessness by the Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute.
The report, which we released today, examines national and state trends in the homeless populations and the number of beds available to assist them. It shows that, during a period of economic growth for the nation when unemployment decreased in nearly every state, the rate of homelessness fell by 2.3 percent, but the number of people at risk of homelessness remained at post-recession levels.
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Could Shelter Policies Increase a Youth's Vulnerability to Sexual Exploitation?
by Sharon McDonald
Last month, the Urban Institute released a report that examines the experiences of young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth who have engaged in “survival sex” in New York City.  Survival sex is a term frequently used to describe the exchange of sexual acts for money or goods that people require to live (e.g. food and shelter)
Of all the findings in this compelling report, “Surviving the Streets of New York,” one in particular should give homeless service providers pause: “Many … credited the instability and rules associated with emergency housing with driving them back to the street [and sexual exploitation].”
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Corrections
In the Alliance News Alert distributed on April 2, 2015, two statistics were in error.
  • The time period during which the nation’s rapid re-housing capacity expanded from 20,000 to 38,000 beds was listed as 2012 to 2013. The time period for the expansion was actually 2013 to 2014.
  • The numbers of states where homelessness declined or increased from 2013 to 2014 were incorrect. During that period homelessness declined in 34 states, and homelessness increased in 16 states and Washington, DC.