New Resources & Schedule for the 2018 Longitudinal Systems Analysis Report (formerly AHAR)

Beginning on October 31, 2018 communities can upload their official Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) data for use in the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress via the new Homelessness Data Exchange, Version 2.0 (HDX 2.0). All Continuums of Care (CoCs) may participate in the LSA, regardless of their Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) bed coverage rate. While HMIS bed coverage will continue to be an important factor, usability will be judged principally on data quality and completeness.
In preparation, those assigned as primary contacts for CoCs should login to review and edit the list of people who have access to their community’s data via the HDX 2.0. If you are the CoC Primary Contact, use the instructions below to make any needed updates to the users in your CoC.
  1. Login to your account on the HDX 2.0 following the instructions in the user guide.
  2. Once logged into the site, you will see a link in the top right-hand side of the screen that reads “Hello, [your name].” Hover over this link. You will see a dropdown menu appear. From that dropdown menu, select “Administration.”
  3. Click on “Manage My Users” in the left menu panel. This will take you to a page where you will see all of the users currently assigned to your CoC, as well as whether they have “read,” “write,” or “submit” access for HIC, PIT, LSA and SYS PM uploads.
  4. If you would like to adjust the level of access for a particular user in the list, simply select the appropriate checkmarks for that user across their designated row. Once you are satisfied with the updates, click the blue “Save” button located on the top right-hand side of the user information table.
  5. If you would like to add a user to your CoC, click on the blue “+Add User” button located on the top right-hand side of the user information table.
  6. You will be taken to a screen with a list of registered users on the HDX 2.0. Select the user(s) in the list that you would like to add to your CoC, and then click the blue “Add Selected User(s) to CoC” button located on the top right-hand side on the user information table.
  7. Check to make sure the user you selected on the previous screen is now listed on the “Manage My Users” page.
  8. You may now update that user’s level of access, as needed, by following the instructions in Step #4 of this list.
CoCs that have not participated in the past, but wish to submit data this year, should make sure they have appropriate HDX 2.0 accounts established and may wish to reach out to the research team via the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal for additional assistance.
The LSA will use data from your HMIS. Data quality should continue to be addressed by your CoC following any Data Quality Monitoring Plans already in place. Resources for ongoing data quality can be found on the HMIS Guides and Tools page on the HUD Exchange. CoCs are encouraged to begin assessing their data quality before the HDX 2.0 system opens for official LSA submissions, and are reminded that every continuum project must be set up in HMIS, even if it does not participate in HMIS by entering client-level data. More information about setting up projects correctly in HMIS can be found in a new training:
To help communities better understand the differences between past AHAR data submissions and the new LSA data submission cycle, HUD has released two new resources:
  • From AHAR to LSA: Understanding the FY18 Changes: This brief document includes an easy to follow table that highlights the key changes between the LSA and the former AHAR process.
  • Overview of the LSA Submission Process: The goal of this document is to make the new data collection and cleaning process as clear as possible for CoCs so they can be adequately prepared for the 2018 data submission cycle. It covers key milestone of the process, available support to CoCs throughout the process, and the overall submission and cleaning timeline.
While the “Overview of the LSA Submission Process” document linked above describes the LSA data submission cycle’s timeline in further detail, including what each of these milestones entails, an anticipated summary of the 2018 LSA submission cycle’s schedule is below:
  • October 31, 2018: HDX 2.0 opens for official LSA submissions
  • November 9, 2018: Test LSA upload deadline
  • November 30, 2018: Official LSA submission deadline
  • Late December: Outreach to CoCs from Review Team Data Liaisons begins
  • Late January: Deadline to resolve data quality flags with your assigned Data Liaison and mark your data complete; must confirm data within 3 business days of completion
  • Late February: Data usability determinations are communicated to CoCs
As the LSA data collection and cleaning kick-off date approaches, additional community resources and guidance will be announced through the HUD Exchange mailing list and linked to from the LSA Tools and Guidance homepage.
If you have questions pertaining to the LSA or HDX 2.0, please submit your questions through the AAQ portal on the HUD Exchange website. Select “HDX: Homelessness Data Exchange” from the “My question is related to” dropdown list on Step 2 of the AAQ question submission process.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

PSH VACANCY: 1 Bedroom Unit (Baltimore County, MD)

Housing Description1 bedroom, scattered site apartment located near major bus and transportation in Baltimore County
Number of persons – must be eligible for 1 bdrm unit
Income Required?  No
Rent: Income based (approximately 1/3 of income)
Housing First? Yes
Case Management Services Will be provided

Eligibility: Applicant MUST BE

·         HUD defined Category 1 or Category 4
·         Have a HUD defined chronic disability
o   A disability that is long term, and debilitating and would benefit improvement with supportive housing.
o   HIV disease is a priority population, as is Chronically Homeless.
·         Age: 18 years or older.

If you are not sure about eligible homeless status HUD defines them follows (the first status applies for unit opening):

·         Homeless eligible for permanent supportive housing programs (HUD) means: Literally Homeless: living in a place not fit for human habitation, living "in the
street", or in emergency shelter (ALSO includes are presently in transitional housing but were previously any of the before mentioned literally homeless statuses).
·         Homeless eligible for transitional housing programs (HUD) means: Imminently Homeless: You are losing your place of residence within 2 weeks and have
          proof of that eviction.
·         Living with friends or family otherwise, even overcrowded or with minor health concerns does NOT qualify a person as homeless – these persons are defined
as At Risk of Homelessness  

If you client is exiting an institution recently – hospital, rehabilitation, incarcerated etc. (but NOT foster care) – and resided there less than 90 days they are eligible ONLY for transitional housing, not permanent supportive housing. If they were institutionalized longer than 90 days and they ineligible for EITHER permanent or transitional housing and must demonstrate their homeless status by access emergency shelter.

If your client/s are eligible please complete ALL components of the application. See required documents. Mail the application when complete to

AIRS/Empire Homes of Maryland
Attn: Adult Permanent Housing Program - Intake
1800 N. Charles St., Ste. 1800
Baltimore, MD 21201



Please contact the Outreach Coordinator Gina Epps at @ – with any of your questions.

Please note: A submission for consideration is not a guarantee of acceptance into the program until all verifications have been completed. Rejected matches will be given the opportunity to appeal (must be completed within 5 business days of rejection). Rejected applications without an appeal are destroyed after 5 business days.

Kicking off our 10th Year

Plus, new SOAR job postings from CA, CT, DC, KS, MD, and MI!
Plus, new SOAR job postings from CA, CT, DC, KS, MD, and MI!
October e-News

Kicking off the 10th Year of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is entering its 10th year of service! We have SOARed to new heights in Fiscal Year 2018 through new collaborations, new programs, and thousands of people who have been helped through the SOAR model. All of this success is due to the work of you—our incredible SOAR community. We look forward to SOARing with you in Fiscal Year 2019!
SOAR FY 2018 Accomplishments: 2936 practice case reviews, 1899 OLC graduates, 3558 OAT users, 41 onsite TA visits, and 24835 listserv subscribers

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Organized by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), we honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) each October. NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and provides education about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. DOL has a number of helpful resources to organize your own disability employment awareness event. We also encourage you to use employment resources from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, such as the SOAR Employment Conversation Guide, to help start conversations about working while receiving SSA disability benefits.
Let us know how you helped spread awareness in your community! 
Yes, You Can Work! Conversation Starter
Yes, You Can Work! Conversation Starter
SOAR Employment Conversation Guide
SOAR Employment Conversation Guide
SOAR Enhances Recovery by Providing a Pathway to Employment
SOAR Enhances Recovery by Providing a Pathway to Employment

SOAR Success

Springfield, Missouri Veteran Returns Home at Last

By Holly Butler, SSVF Intake Specialist/SOAR Specialist, The Kitchen, Inc., Home At Last in Springfield, Missouri
We will call our client, "John" for confidentiality purposes. John is a Marine Veteran who served for 5 years and received an honorable discharge. John came to Home at Last in March 2017 but did not qualify for our services based on his housing status. In April 2017, he was evicted from his home, which left him on the streets. John was now homeless and had no one to help him or give him shelter. He posted about his situation on Reddit and was referred to Home at Last.
When he first came to Home at Last, he was experiencing financial issues, mental health problems, and physical conditions that prevented him from working any type of job. His anxiety was extremely severe, to the point that he could not be out in a public setting for a long period of time. This is when he reached out to Home at Last's intake and received assistance on his SOAR application. John began the application process with me in March 2018 and was in approved June 2018.
I remember John was sitting in his case manager's office when I walked in, and he was so happy to tell me that he received a call saying that he was approved for SSI. He would receive back pay and have an income next month. That was the first time I had seen him smile so big that eyes lit up. He told me that he did not know how to thank us enough because now he was able to provide for himself and maybe pay off some bills. I have to say that his smile is what got to me and made me think, 'this is why I come to work every day, and this is why I help people apply for SOAR'. One application changed his life and helped him maintain housing stability and improve his well-being.
*Please note, SOAR Success Story submissions have been edited for space and clarity. Beneficiary names have been changed to protect their anonymity.
Submit Your SOAR Success!

SOAR Job Postings


Tarzana Treatment Centers, Inc. is hiring a full-time Benefits Specialist based in Reseda, California. The successful candidate will assist individuals experiencing homelessness in creating claims for various streams of government benefits, including disability, using the SOAR model. 


New Reach is hiring a full-time SOAR Benefit Specialist based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The successful candidate will be responsible for engaging individuals and families who are homeless in the SOAR process. The SOAR Benefit Specialist is also responsible for becoming a SOAR Local Lead.
New Reach is hiring a full-time SOAR Benefit Specialist based in New Haven, Connecticut. The successful candidate will assist women who are affected by homelessness as well as who present with co-occurring disorders in applying for SSI/SSDI using the SOAR model as well as other needed entitlement mainstream benefits.


Wyandot Center is looking for a full-time, dedicated SOAR Case Manager based in Kansas City, Kansas. The successful candidate will meet with applicants and complete SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR process. 


The Maryland Benefits Counseling Network is hiring a full-time, contractual Benefits Case Manager based in Baltimore, Maryland. The successful candidate will be SOAR trained and will have experience dealing with Social Security entitlements to work within two of Maryland State Psychiatric Hospitals.


MPHI is hiring a SOAR Specialist based in Lansing, Michigan. The successful candidate will be responsible for statewide coordination and implementation of Michigan's SOAR Initiative.

Washington, DC

Miriam's Kitchen is hiring a SOAR Advocacy Case Manager based in Washington, DC. The successful candidate will collaborate with individuals to complete SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR process. 
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 and high-quality application assistance to individuals applying for disability benefits, using the essential SOAR components.
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!


SOAR: A Reentry Tool for Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System

SOAR: A Reentry Tool for Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System

October 24, 2018; 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
A new webinar, SOAR: A Reentry Tool for Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System will be presented by the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center in partnership with SAMHSA's GAINS Center.  We will explore how SOAR implementation in criminal justice settings can be a strong reentry tool to increase housing stability and promote post-release success.
On this webinar, you will learn:
  • Key strategies for introducing SOAR to and engaging with criminal justice systems
  • SOAR best practices for assisting SSI/SSDI applicants who are involved in the criminal justice system
Register for the Webinar

Federal Updates

VA Highlights SOAR at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center

In a new series of white papers on promising practices for ending Veteran homelessness, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently highlighted successful SOAR partnerships at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Chicago, Illinois. The paper details how HUD-VASH staff are collaborating with treatment teams within the VAMC and their local SSA office to efficiently assist Veterans with SSI/SSDI applications. Kudos to the Jesse Brown VAMC team for their great SOAR work and VA recognition!
Interested in strengthening partnerships with your local VAMC? Contact your SAMHSA SOAR TA Center Liaison to learn more!

VA Achieves Historic Goal by Delivering 81,000 Appeals Decisions to Veterans in Fiscal Year 2018

On September 14, 2 weeks ahead of schedule, VA exceeded its goal to deliver 81,000 appeals decisions of disability benefits and services to Veterans in Fiscal Year 2018 — 28,000 more decisions than the previous year. In doing so, VA's Board of Veterans' Appeals provided thousands of Veterans with critical, life-changing decisions. 

Can Nonprofits Get Out the Vote?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
In This Issue: Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? ● A Message of Support For Immigrant Neighbors ● Warren Bill Takes on the Affordability Crisis ● 30 Years of Reporting on the Nation’s Housing ● Can Nonprofits Get Out the Vote? ● Also: Jobs ● Shelter Shorts ● Events ● Opportunity +

A: Yes, and they should! Nonprofits are often uncertain about what they can legally do leading up to an election and therefore hold back, but there’s a lot that can be done. For example, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations can… View Full Infographic
Shelterforce Staff
A New Kind of Library Lending | Amazon's Wage Raise | Life for Philadelphia's Poor | Bipartisan Work on the Opioid Epidemic | And More Quick Takes From Our Editors
Review by Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink
As Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and other older cities rebound, Alan Mallach wrestles with an unsettling question: Is it really a comeback if a city leaves so many of its residents behind? PolicyLink’s Angela Glover Blackwell reviews Mallach’s new book, The Divided City, and offers her own answer to the question. Read Full Article
Lena Afridi, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
In today’s climate, the first and often most important barrier between vulnerable residents and deportation is simply their front door. Read Full Article
Peter Cohen, San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations 
Sen. Warren's proposed bill represents the kind of holistic housing strategy we need from the federal government in facilitating affordable housing for all Americans. What are its strongest points, and what are its blind spots? Read Full Article
Daniel McCue, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Although the problems of inadequate housing supply are familiar to us—obstacles to homeownership, renter cost burdens, assistance programs not keeping pace with need—all of them have gotten significantly worse since 1988… Read Full Article
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Shelterforce Receives Media Award

We’re proud to be recognized for a second time by the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey for our work to “inform the public about the inequities in housing and add to the understanding of income disparity in our communities.” Shelterforce “has been a medium for discussion on equity and social justice issues including housing, economic development, health, education, safety, and other issues that affect low-income communities in America.” Friday, Oct. 12, the award will be presented at the network's annual meeting, Under One Roof. Click here for the full list of awardees, and here for general and registration info about the conference.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2 p.m. ET | State and Local Policies to Expand Access to High-Opportunity Neighborhoods | Presented by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, this webinar will discuss two areas where state and local policies can help expand low-income families’ access to neighborhoods of opportunity—prohibiting discrimination against voucher holders and expanding opportunity through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

  • Arts in Complex Community Change: For teams from up to 15 community agencies and arts organizations who want to strengthen their ability to work adaptively and address complex community challenges through the arts.
  • Artists as Change Agents within Complexity: For groups of up to 10 artists who are interested in developing their artistic practice as a central methodology for systemic change in their local community.

Applications are due Oct. 15 and availability is limited to four communities.
You Said It!

It absolutely seems to point in the right direction. One caveat from a middle America perspective—it must address more than just the ‘hot market’ problems of the coasts, where attention is generally centered. There are also disinvested communities where prices are too low, resulting in blight and… —Steve Lockwood, more

What is good for neighborhoods, every neighborhood, from the poorest to the richest, is good for housing, either directly or… —Norm Seubert, via Facebook (read more)

Banning discrimination by income source is not a silver bullet. California bans discrimination by income source, yet landlords can still refuse Section 8 tenants. Our courts ruled that Section 8 is not a source of “income.” It’s a subsidy. Even if the subsidy were considered income, landlords could still… —Jerry Rioux, more

Help support Shelterforce, the original voice of community development!

Southeast Texas Co-Director ● Texas' foremost housing policy research and advocacy organization seeks a leader dedicated to racial and economic justice; possessing a passion and expertise for fair housing, affordable homes, environmental justice, and equity in public infrastructure for low-income communities. We seek a person who is confident to speak out and… Read Full Listing
Policy and Program Manager ● NHRC brings together many parts of the housing counseling community to be an effective advocacy voice. The PPM will develop policy positions, working with member organizations and housing advocates to develop consensus. This is a high-impact position with national significance, which… Read Full Listing
Relationship and Innovations Manager ● The person in this role will convene local outreach events for underserved homebuyers and work with local housing counseling agencies to develop innovative programs and funding opportunities that could become models for housing counseling organizations around the country… Read Full Listing
Director of Communications The Florida Housing Coalition, a statewide nonprofit providing training and technical assistance on all things affordable housing, is seeking a Communications Director. This individual will implement the strategy for marketing new initiatives, website, public relations messages, and collateral to… Read Full Listing
Real Estate and Cooperative Development Director ● The person in this role will direct and assist the effective development of affordable housing, non-housing facilities that serve Oregon communities, and the conversion of manufactured home parks into resident-owned communities. As a member of the management team, this… Read Full Listing
Manufactured Housing Cooperative Development Community Organizer and Technical Assistance Provider ● The principal tasks of the CO/TAP are to organize the tenants of manufactured housing communities, train them to operate a resident-owned cooperative, and help them understand the responsibilities and duties required to… Read Full Listing
Financial and Business Manager ● This thriving St. Paul nonprofit housing organization seeks the right individual to manage our office, oversee our home improvement loan program and asset management (residential rental properties and commercial buildings), prepare budgets, work plans, and… Read Full Listing
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Shelterforce began in 1975 and is the oldest, national, independent, nonprofit community development publication in America. Whether you provide or support affordable housing, economic or workforce development, community organizing, arts and culture, community planning, health or transportation, Shelterforce will help you do your work better tomorrow than yesterday.