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Tuolumne County SOAR Collaborative

In January of 2016, The California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions, in partnership with Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Department received a two-year grant award through the Improving Health in Rural Counties Program from the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare. The grant funds the development and implementation of the Tuolumne SOAR Collaborative (TSC), a multi-agency collaborative working to ensure timely access to income, health insurance and transitional housing for individuals with a disabling mental illness or co-occurring disorder who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.

The TSC provides eligible participants with targeted assistance in applying for SSI and/or SSDI while the individual is in the hospital, jail or prison. In this way, income and health insurance benefits are available as soon as or very soon after these individuals reenter the community. The TSC employs as its main strategy the SAMHSA-supported SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) model of benefits assistance. Once access to SSI or SSDI is ensured and the participant has reentered the community, the TSC further connects individuals to transitional housing, outpatient treatment, case management and recovery support services in the community that are needed to support recovery and break the cycle of justice involvement, chronic illness, and homelessness.

The TSC brings together a strong team of relevant, local partners in a collaborative effort led by the Tuolumne County of Behavioral Health Services that includes partners from county social services, law enforcement, community corrections, community-based providers of homeless services, local peer advocacy, and support organizations. CIBHS provides administrative and fiscal support to this project. CIBHS also serves as the California State Lead for SOAR Technical Assistance.

For more information on the Tuolumne SOAR Collaborative project, please contact Shoshana Zatz at szatz@cibhs.org.

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