Soaring out of Homelessness

Posted by Pam Blanton on March 6, 2010

From Change.org – The population of homeless individuals in this country is chock full of people who are suffering from a serious health and/or mental health condition; HUD’s 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report states that 43 percent of homeless adults suffer from some disability and more than two-fifths of sheltered homeless people have a disability.

While our society has attempted to assist folks suffering with disabilities via the Social Security Administration, the process of obtaining federal disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) is tedious, complex and often far beyond the scope of the typical layperson’s ability to navigate and ensure proper and successful completion of the application procedure (“successful” meaning approval of benefits).

The SOAR program was designed to assist case managers and outreach workers who find disabled individuals in the course of their duties with a streamlined process for applying for disability benefits.  Based on my hands-on experience with the program, it is currently the single best tool we have to assist folks who have physical and/or mental disabilities and who are relegated to the street as a result.  This is not to say it is the best we can achieve, but when compared to other resources currently available in the war to end homelessness, the SOAR program’s ability to rapidly and successfully complete a disability application sits at the top of the pyramid.  READ MORE

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