SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness

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February 9, 2016
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SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness

VA Caseworker's Guide

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Programs Office, in partnership with the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, recently released guidance for all federal VA staff on using SOAR in their work to end Veteran homelessness. The publication, SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness: VA Caseworker's Guide, is a comprehensive 13-page guide to putting SOAR training into practice in the federal VA system.

Highlights include:
  • Five reasons VA caseworkers should take SOAR training
  • Successfully using the SOAR process in the VA system
  • Collaborating with community partners for SSA-1696 representation
  • Tips on where VA staff can find key information in VA's information systems
How you can help!
  1. Share this guide with your local VA Medical Centers (VAMCs), Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grantees and organizations serving Veterans
  2. Discuss expanding SOAR to VAMCs in your next Continuum of Care (CoC) meeting
  3. Create partnerships between VAMC social workers and community organizations to arrange for SSA-1696 representation
The full guide can be accessed from the VA website using the link above or via the SOAR website.

We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions and to let us know how your community is using SOAR and this guidance to end Veteran homelessness in 2016.
For more information, go to
Follow Us on Twitter: @soarworks

SAMHSA News: Mental Health First Aid


February 9, 2016

A quarterly roundup of articles from SAMHSA's continuously updated newsletter.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Learn the five steps in Mental Health First Aid—a mental health literacy program in which anyone can learn the signs and symptoms of mental health crisis and how to help.

Preventing Suicide Among Seniors

Preventing Suicide Among Seniors

Suicide rates among older adults are higher than the general population—especially among men. SAMHSA's toolkit brings prevention guidance to senior centers.

Social Media in Crisis

Social Media During a Crisis

Social media has shifted the way we respond to news events and disasters, where information can be shared at lightning speed. Behavioral health organizations must find ways to respond and communicate accurate information quickly.

Suicide Clusters

Suicide Cluster Prevention on Campus

Efforts are underway to prevent "suicide clusters"—an unexpectedly high number of suicides occurring close together in time or space—on college campuses.

News from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

February 9, 2016
President Obama's Budget Reflects Unwavering Commitment to Opening Doors


Cover of President Obama_s FY 2017 Budget The President's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget calls for around $6 billion in targeted homelessness assistance, and an additional $11 billion over 10 years in mandatory funding to achieve and sustain an end to family homelessness. The funding would allow us to take our efforts to a greater scale nationally to end homelessness for families, youth, individuals with disabilities, Veterans -- everyone.

View our fact sheet to learn more about the opportunities created by the President's FY 2017 Budget.   
Driving Progress in the Year Ahead: Our Top Priorities for 2016

Driving priorities
Since President Obama launched Opening Doors, we know more than ever before about what it will take to end homelessness in our country. We must seize the opportunities that are in front of us right now to end this crisis once and for all.

Learn about our priorities for the upcoming year, and let us know about yours.  

Two New Tools from HUD and its Partners Can Help You Track Your Progress in Ending Veteran Homelessness
The Federal Criteria and Benchmarks Review Tool breaks down the criteria to help you identify possible gaps in your data, information, and strategies before seeking federal confirmation.

The Master List Template and Benchmark Generation Tool includes a "by-name" list template that you can use as-is, or to identify data to include in your own by-name list.

For more information on the tools and how to use them, watch this webinar recording.    

Join Secretary Castro for HUD Webcast on President's Budget
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tomorrow, at 1:00 p.m. EST, the Secretary will provide a briefing for stakeholders on the proposed FY 2017 HUD budget. You will hear how the proposed budget will create opportunities for your organizations and the communities you serve.

The links will go live 15 minutes before the broadcast.
Join the FY 2017 Proposed Budget Webcast
Join the FY 2017 Proposed Budget Webcast with captions 

Passionate about ending homelessness? We're hiring!

Register Today! SAMHSA Health IT Webinar “Changing Lives Through Health IT: SAMHSA Grantee Experiences" on February 23

Join the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) of Chicago, IL and First Choice Health Systems (FCHS) of Charleston, WV to learn about health IT innovations in behavioral health driving care improvement across the country.

TASC and FCHS received SAMHSA grants to expand behavioral health care coordination through technology in their communities. Learn about the health IT innovations in place at their organizations, how they improve care delivery for patients, and ways to implement similar solutions in your community!

·         Dina Passman, MPH, LCDR, USPHS, SAMHSA Health IT Team Lead
·         Marina Uk, Director of Management Information Systems, TASC, Inc.
·         Susie Mullens, MS, LPC, ALPS, AADC-S, Program Director, Technology Assisted Care, FCHS

Please send questions regarding webinar registration to: