What is SOAR?
SOAR is a program that helps disabled people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness apply for disability benefits. The goal of SOAR is to end homelessness by making it easier to get benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
How does SOAR work?
SOAR knows that the application process for SSI/SSDI benefits is really hard, especially for people with disabilities who are also homeless. SOAR trains caseworkers to help people apply successfully for SSI/SSDI on the first try and avoid lengthy appeals.
What is the success rate of applying with the help of a SOAR-trained case worker?
In North Carolina, 75% of applications prepared by a SOAR Caseworker were approved on the first application. This is compared to a national approval rate of about 15% for SOAR-eligible individuals who applied without assistance.
Who is eligible for SOAR?
You may be eligible for SOAR if you meet the following three criteria:
An adult includes anyone 18 years of age or older as well as individuals who are within one month of their 18th birthday or children in the foster care system who are within three months of their 18th birthday.
SOAR is not for people who have stable housing. If you have questions about your eligibility, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get assistance through SOAR?
Below is a list of agencies who have SOAR-trained staff. Not every county has a SOAR caseworker, so please contact the SOAR program at If you have questions, call (919) 755-4393. if you cannot find a nearby caseworker. if you cannot find a nearby caseworker.
|Alexander||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Brunswick||Coastal Disability Advocates||910-297-9131|
|Buncombe||Pisgah Legal Services||828-407-4464|
|Buncombe||Homeward Bound of Western NC||828-782-0016|
|Burke||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Caldwell||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Catawba||Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry||828-327-0979|
|Catawba||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Cleveland||Mental Health Association of Cleveland County||704-481-8637|
|Durham||Durham VA Medical Center||919-451-9119|
|Durham||Carolina Disability Advocates||919-286 9983|
|Durham||Lincoln Community Health Center||919-808-5643|
|Durham||Volunteers of America of the Carolinas||919-530-1100|
|Forsyth||Bethesda Center for the Homeless||336-722-9951|
|Guilford||The Servant Center||336-370-1501|
|Iredell||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Lincoln||A Caring Alternative||828-624-0300|
|Mecklenburg||Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services||980-314-1956|
|Mecklenburg||Mecklenburg County Community Support Services||980-314-8928|
|Mecklenburg||Supportive Housing Communities||704-335-9380|
|New Hanover||Coastal Disability Advocates||910-297-9131|
|New Hanover||Carolina Disability Advocates||919-286-9983|
|Orange||Carolina Disability Advocates||919-286-9983|
|Orange||UNC Healthcare Systems||984-974-0939|
|Pender||Coastal Disability Advocates||910-297-9131|
|Pitt||Pitt County Planning||252-902-3280|
Who Funds SOAR?
SOAR is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
In North Carolina, the Program is led by the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness (NCCEH). NCCEH offers trainings and ongoing technical support for caseworkers as they make applications for SSI/SSDI benefits in a more effective and efficient manner. NCCEH also helps communities in NC educate key stakeholders about SSA benefits and create collaborations and systems change to expedite SSI/SSDI applications for individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These caseworkers then go back to their agencies and out into their communities and help individuals apply for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), programs that provide monthly income benefits and healthcare benefits.