Disability, General, People Facing Barriers

SOAR Programs and Social Security

January 18, 2024 • By

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Last Updated: January 18, 2024

people holding handsNational Network for Youth (NN4Y) is dedicated to transforming systems so that no young person in America experiences homelessness.

In the United States, roughly 4.2 million young people— one in 10 young adults ages 18 to 25 and one in 30 youth ages 13 to 17— experience homelessness each year. Of those, about 700,000 are unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness without any family, parent, or guardian. Nationwide surveys indicate that homelessness affects youth living in rural, suburban, and urban communities at similar rates.

Homelessness is often hidden among young adults, and it is difficult to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There are different definitions of homelessness, and many obstacles to contacting unhoused people, particularly unhoused youth. Further, many unhoused young people do not go to shelters, and instead transition between temporary sleeping arrangements with friends or acquaintances.

People experiencing homelessness face challenges that include:

  • Lack of necessities like food, clothing, transportation, and medical care.
  • Discontinuation of education due to mobility.
  • Trauma caused by poverty and instability.

Many young adults experiencing homelessness also have disabilities that create additional challenges for their transition to adulthood. Children experiencing homelessness are up to three times more likely to show emotional and behavioral problems than other children. They’re also four times more likely to experience delayed development and twice as likely to have learning disabilities.

Youth homelessness is a complex issue that intersects with multiple public and private entities. The SOAR (SSI/SSDI, Outreach, Access, and Recovery) program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can help. SOAR increases access to Social Security disability benefits for eligible adults and children who:

  • Are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
  • Have a severe mental illness, medical impairment, or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

The SOAR program provides a cross-agency approach to solving youth and young adult homelessness. SOAR provides unhoused young adults with faster access to the supportive services needed to maintain housing and stability. To learn more about SOAR, visit our website. For more information about Social Security disability benefits, check out their publication, Disability Benefits. You can also visit Social Security’s webpage, Information for People Helping Others, for ways in which you can assist people experiencing homelessness in your community.

Please share this with friends and family who may need it – and post it on social media.

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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  1. Mary W.

    Many cheers for referencing on such important issue where SOAR Programs work so that the marginalized communities receive the Social Security support they need. Something that merits marked attention in relation to the mentioned initiatives is how it facilitates access to the needed support services. While completing my dissertation for a doctorate degree in social welfare policies as a student, the distinction of the kind of programs considered essential has been particularly critical. As experienced with the questions above for any individual within the academia, turning to the Best Dissertation Help Uk is very helpful. Consulting with an expert not only helps in writing a cohesive and effective conclusion but also ensures that the dissertation adds substantial value and knowledge towards policy-making and solutions in the social security systems.

  2. Elbert

    Please read this urgent information…. Social security is fraud the reason I say that because it’s a common fraudulent practice of theirs to deny someone their benefits in my case my worker case worker did not do anything that she was supposed to and it was a confirmation from her coworker. I reported the agent in writing at the local office in Inglewood California also online no one returned my call or emails that I sent within a year and a half of time. I consistently reported how the doctors that they send you to disability to determination center is a fraudulent center they should go to jail for perjury I’ve had heart surgery I’ve been without work I’ve been disabled for last two and a half years that is taking for my next appeal to come. Ssdi and SSA are all a bunch of liars crooks and they should all be in jail or prison.. the in California the social security office that’s on spruce Street in Los Angeles refuse to sign my complaint with a stamp so she put a date on top with her pen and I didn’t accept it and then the supervisor did not do anything to her for her actions when they had stamps I could have stamped it I went I had to go to another window to get my paperwork stamped after she refused to do it they’re a bunch of crooks hold on to your in my money I worked all my life I’m still not working comes disabled and they still haven’t paid me yet and it’s going on 3 to 4 years

  3. George H.

    Slthough I believe that no America citizen should be homeless. I do think there is a better way of funding this then taking money from Social Security. SSI is a program to help retired Americas to be able to live out their golden years on some sort of comfort. Over the years I have see the Federal government taking money out of SSI to fund their own policies instead of payment to the pwho paid into people who paid onto this with their own money. This is not a bank account for big government nor should it be taxed by local governments!

    • Luz

      I stand in agreement with George Heintz.

  4. Anthony f.

    Tax payers dollars don’t pay for everything and it’s not

  5. MajJohn

    Faster than walking into the local welfare office?

    • Lisa

      Ha, love it!

  6. Kathy S.

    There could be an alternative to using social security funds, another government agency assigned to just this issue comes to mind, tax dollars could cover this. Kids have many needs and a team of people dedicated to this seems prudent.

    • Luz

      I experienced lack of accomodation on my disability being a 30 years experience in my line of work. Being humble and embracing disability, doing all I knew to do to improve disability symptoms did not help me neither. Bottom line not even a low pay job was ever granted to me. Instead at all times faced this comment ” you are over qualified”. So there is no respect towards our need of fulling responsibilities paying bills nor there is any is anyone becomes homeless. Its a very hard subject to discuss. The key is to have a medical care available in order to continue the battle of fighting discrimination against disabilities. To be honest that was one of my biggest issues to tackle, having no insurance and sustaining a long fight to obtain SSID and at the same time not being to sustain a job due to symptoms, pills ect… Then years later once granted health insurance Doctors do not care to help you since they love money so much.. My best advice is to pray YOU NEVER GET to be disabled, to avoid ALL THESE NEVER ENDING BATTLES. I pray they protect the funds supplying SSID so we can live and be responsible towards society requirements.

  7. Janina

    As far as I remember in the USA exists still a political system called kapitalism not a communism. A child is not a public responsibility but private responsibility of his or her parents.

    • Teabag

      If the children are displaced and the parents have nothing to do with them, then they should be able to get the help that they need. You sound selfish

    • C.Wade

      There are a lot of assumptions about who has parents around and what they know how to do.

    • Lisa

      And the 700 000 it refers to are UN-documented. And the unaccompanied they’re referring to are the children sent over from the b*rder.rider.

      • Linda

        Clearly you are one of the lucky ones who has always had a roof over your head. Your gratitude for having had all of your need met throughout your life should allow you the opportunity to do some homework on the situation and maybe help out the community at the same time. why not volunteer at a homeless shelter and get some perspective on the situation. You may learn that some or all of the homeless in your local shelter are locals from your own community. You may even end up helping folks you know.

    • Don

      Children, no matter where they come from, are a gift from God and it’s every adults responsibility to help and guide these kids so they are taught how to take care of themselves. They need to know how to be a responsible citizen and how to contribute to their society. They have to be shown how to get the education they need and how to do the right things in life. Without these lessons on how to do things the right way and creating a proud responsible citizen, you end up with another angry adult that either neglect’s their own children and teaches them too be angry and mean, or worse, they end up dead because they had to trust the wrong people. No child in America should have to worry about who they can trust but because the world is cruel they do. Instead of being so judgmental and bitter about having to help others, we all need to help and remember that children are like a garden, the more work that’s put into them, the more successful they are. The truth is that most of the people that do bad things in the world were children once that either weren’t taught the right thing from the adults in their life or worse, they didn’t have any adults in their life. That’s why it’s so important to teach children right from wrong. Unfortunately in this free country anyone can have children whether they should be allowed to or not. So if we as Americans truly believe in freedom, then it’s all of our jobs to help our children no matter where they came from. It’s not just our duty because it’s the right thing to do, God commands that we help. We ALL need to remember that one of the commandments is thou shalt not judge. If every American would remember just this one commandment we wouldn’t be so divided in this country today. Our differences in this country is what makes us the greatest country in the world. That’s also what makes us the strongest country in the world. So we need to quit hating each other because we are different and realize that’s what makes us greater. That’s our strength because that’s how God intended things to be. Humanity will determine whether we destroy the world or quit being greedy for wealth and power and learn to live in peace and work together. It’s up to us to make sure there is a future by doing the right things.


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