It's National Public Health Week (April 3-9, 2017) and like our partners and providers around the country, the SOAR TA Center is helping to raise awareness of how homelessness impacts public health. This year's annual theme, coordinated by the American Public Health Association, is "Healthiest Nation 2030" and it focuses on how we can work together to create the healthiest nation in one generation.
The health implications of homelessness are so clear to those of us working tirelessly to help vulnerable individuals achieve housing and income stability, and research supports what we see in the field:
Individuals experiencing homelessness have high rates of chronic mental and physical health conditions, co-occurring disorders, and barriers to care, such as inability to access care when needed or comply with prescribed medications.
They also have an elevated risk of mortality, from 1.5 to 11.5 times greater, relative to the general population.
Without stable housing it can be difficult or impossible to manage chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, Hepatitis C, or hypertension, which are more prevalent in those experiencing homelessness than those who are stably housed.
The great work you do each day in using the SOAR model to increase access to income and health insurance has a dramaticimpact in our efforts to end homelessness and create a healthier nation by 2030.
I encourage you to use National Public Health Week as a catalyst for taking one extra step towards ending homelessness in your community. No matter how big or small, if we all take a single step together, we'll get there!
Non-Profit Funding for SOAR—Staying Nimble in Changing Times!
In the world of non-profit/human service financing the saying "change is the only constant" has never been more true than it is right now. No matter where you live in the country, in the SOAR community we can all agree that there is work to be done and the lives of people experiencing homelessness depends on it.
The SOAR TA Center works to help programs achieve sustainability by sharing information about funding opportunities, developing tools to support program growth and sustainability, and hosting technical assistance opportunities, such as the recently created SOAR Foundation Funding Learning Community. In addition, SOAR communities can receive foundation funding opportunity leads from the SOAR TA Center.
As we look towards the future, we all need to keep our eyes on the prize—the prize being approved SSI/SSDI applications for people who are experiencing homelessness, so that they can recover in our communities. Below you will find some additional revenue sources we ask you to consider if you have not already done so:
Sponsorships can allow your program to partner with other reputable organizations to receive funds and in-kind donations. Companies and organizations may sponsor a nonprofit as a general partnership or in conjunction with a campaign or event. The sponsor then receives some sort of recognition or promotion of their brand in the form of public thanks and by displaying the sponsor's logo. Ask board members to introduce your organization to their business colleagues and other contacts.
Individual donations can be very small, very large, or in between and they come in several varieties:
Online Giving: Place donation buttons on your website and in staff email signatures.
Monthly Giving: Monthly giving is a smart way to create a sustainable stream of revenue at your nonprofit.
Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Peer-to-peer fundraising allows supporters to create fundraising pages and reach out and appeal to their friends and family to give.
Major Donors: These are supporters with the financial means to give more than most. Whatever your nonprofit's threshold for major gifts, this type of support requires ongoing cultivation and communication.
Events: Along with traditional fundraising campaigns, events are also a long-standing fixture in nonprofit development. Some of the most common types of fundraising events are charity run/walks, auctions, and galas. These events offer nonprofits an opportunity to engage and involve their community, all while raising funds through tickets, merchandise, and in-person donations.
This webinar, hosted by the Homeless and Housing Resource Network, will provide an overview of the programs and resources in place for maximizing income for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. Obtaining housing in a competitive market and maintaining housing post-subsidy can be a struggle without a stable source of income. This webinar will cover programs available for maximizing income through employment supports and benefit programs such as SOAR. The presenters will provide an overview of these programs and discuss how they are funded, how they operate, and whom they serve. Jen Elder of the SOAR TA Center will be featured as a presenter.
SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls
April 11, 2017; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place Tuesday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SOAR TA Center is hosting a series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can log-in to ask about any SOAR‐related question they may have.
SOAR Leadership Academies
The SOAR TA Center is now accepting applications for all Leadership Academies. Contact your SOAR TA Center liaison with any questions.
In this webinar, held on March 23, 2017, trauma-informed experts and SOAR providers shared best practices for understanding and implementing trauma-informed care principles. The presentation slides, webinar recording, and supplementary materials are available for download!
SOAR Job Postings
St. Joseph Center is hiring a SOAR Benefits Advocate based in Los Angeles, California to support clients throughout their benefits enrollment process.
Volunteers of America Los Angeles is seeking two full-time Case Manager/Benefits. One will be based in Los Angeles, California and the other will be based in West Covina, California.
South County Mental Health is hiring a SOAR Benefits Specialist based in Del Ray Beach, Florida to assist clients applying for disability benefits utilizing the SOAR model.
SSA's New Rule for Acceptable Medical Sources Enacted
As we previously announced, the Social Security Administration issued a final rule about how they will evaluate medical evidence, which is now in effect for any applications filed on or after March 27, 2017. This new rule includes Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Audiologists as Acceptable Medical Sources. See our article on the changes for more details!
The Ticket to Work program provides employment support to our beneficiaries with disabilities as they work toward self-sufficiency. This forum will allow stakeholders to discuss their ideas about possible improvements to the program, in person and virtually. Our presenters represent many of our stakeholders: employment networks, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, National Disability Rights Network representatives, and Ticket to Work program participants.
SAMHSA has released a new guide providing behavioral health, correctional, and community stakeholders with approaches for effectively transitioning people with mental or substance use disorders from institutional correctional settings into the community.
HHRN is pleased to announce the latest webinar in its Whole Health for Formerly Homeless Individuals and Families Spotlight Series, An Introduction to Recovery and Wellness for Homeless and Housing Services Providers. HHRN is inviting homeless services and housing providers who are serving individuals with behavioral health and recovery support needs, especially those who are new to the field. This first session will serve as the Recovery and Wellness 101, covering concepts of recovery and wellness, including the history of these models and their application in homeless and housing services.
Discussions will include the intersection of behavioral health and homelessness, highlighting the recovery models and whole health/wellness as essential to maintaining stable housing. This first session will be moderated by Dr. Crystal L. Brandow of Policy Research Associates, Inc.