SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, Recovery) is a national model created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SOAR helps individuals experiencing homelessness get connected to mainstream benefits and entitlement programs through the Social Security Administration.
Since Community Support Services implemented SOAR within the Homeless Services Division, the work of SOAR has generated approximately $1,761,782 to Mecklenburg County SOAR claimants.
Roughly 35% of initial SSA disability claims are approved nationally. Individuals experiencing homelessness have an even greater denial rating because lack of a stable mailing address, access to medical care, mental health, and substance abuse adds an even greater chance of denial.
Mecklenburg County SOAR claims have a 79% approval rating, more than double the national rating for approvals. Approximately 82% of individuals who were formerly homeless are now housed with the help of benefits received from the Social Security Administration.
SOAR Coordinator and active SOAR Caseworkers in Mecklenburg County meet monthly to improve capacity, share resources, and support community goals.
The SOAR Coordinator serves as the County Lead for active SOAR providers. In mid-2016, Community Support Services added the SOAR Coordinator position to the department's Homeless Services Division. The Coordinator provides monthly meetings, organizes referral processes through Coordinated Entry, and maintains a collaborating relationship with the local Social Security Administration.
Through SOAR, individuals experiencing homelessness and disabling conditions can access health care through the state Medicaid program, improving their health outcomes and quality of life.
The SOAR Coordinator holds monthly meetings for all active SOAR Caseworkers within Mecklenburg County to:
If you are a community provider, disability advocate, curious or concerned resident, and would like more information about the SOAR program, please contact the CSS Homeless Services Division SOAR Coordinator.
SOAR Coordinator Interim Contact:
Kenya Dawson, Social Service Program Supervisor
To learn more, and find additional resources about how SOAR is changing the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness and disabling diagnosis, visit
Mecklenburg County Public Health encourages all eligible residents ages 12 and older to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.