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Florida

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SOAR is available in all 50 states and D.C. Please select your state to view information or find SOAR assistance for your state.

State Information

Florida SOAR State Team

State Team Lead(s):
Teresa Berdoll
Email: teresa.berdoll@myflfamilies.com
Phone: 850-296-6923

TA Center Liaison: Dazara Ware
Email: dware@prainc.com
Phone: (518) 439-7415 x5260

SOARing in Florida

The SOAR effort in Florida is an initiative designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have mental illnesses, medical impairments, and/or co-occurring substance use disorders.

Individuals interested in training are encouraged to reach out to the State Team Lead or the SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above.

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

Individuals may become eligible to use the SOAR model by completing the SOAR Online Course. Prior to beginning the online curriculum, individuals are encouraged to contact the State Team Lead or the SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above to discuss their training needs and expectations.

Expectations of SOAR-trained Caseworkers

  • Serve as appointed representative for the purpose of applying for SSI/SSDI. Representation includes “standing in” for the applicant, responding to questions, receiving copies of all mail sent to the applicant, and communicating back and forth with SSA and DDS**
  • Complete all required SSA forms for SSI and SSDI; submit online whenever possible
  • Collect medical records from providers who have treated the applicant
  • Write a comprehensive SOAR Medical Summary Report that includes psychosocial, treatment, and functional information that is co-signed, if at all possible, by a physician or psychologist who has seen the individual
  • Conduct ongoing outreach and engagement with the individual to stay connected throughout the process
  • Track applications and outcomes, including number of applications completed, approvals/denials, and time to decision
  • Report outcomes into the OAT Data system on at least an annual basis
  • Actively collaborate with Local SOAR Leads
  • Participate in refresher courses and quality review of applications
  • SOAR caseworkers are encouraged to send redacted versions of their first few Medical Summary Reports to the SOAR TA Center for quality review before submission to DDS
** No fees will be collected for assisting with the application
 
Marking and submitting SOAR applications is contingent upon following the local SOAR process.
 
SOAR-trained individuals will also be connected with the State Team Lead, the SOAR TA Center Liaison, and Local SOAR Leads. Any of these persons may be contacted for information or questions at any time about SOAR and they are available to assist with connections to SSA and DDS offices in the state.

Outcomes Tracking

Training in the use of the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) program is available and the SOAR TA Center can answer questions about the OAT system. It is expected that SOAR-trained caseworkers will enter data about their SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model as they complete each application. The SOAR TA Center will review data periodically and follow-up with SOAR caseworkers regarding this data and the quality review of applications.

Local Leads

Connie Allen
Clearwater, FL
Email: callen@directionsforliving.org
Phone: 727-270-3317 

Michael Blessing
Gainesville, FL
Email: michael.blessing@lsfnet.org
Phone: 904-415-4455 

Christopher Booker
Flagler Beach, FL
Email: chris@flaglercares.org
Phone: 386-589-1839 

Tara Booker
Sarasota, FL
Email: tara@suncoastpartnership.org
Phone: 941-955-8987 

Susan Finlaw-Dusseault
Pinellas Park, FL
Email: susanf@pinellashomeless.org
Phone: 727-417-2550 

Rachel Freeman
Jacksonville, FL
Email: rachel.freeman@lsfnet.org
Phone: 904-654-0510 

Traci Fuglestad
Jacksonville, FL
Email: TraciFuglestad@sulzbacherjax.org
Phone: 904-394-1374 

Jeandel  Georges
Jupiter, FL
Email: jeandel.georges@sefbhn.org
Phone: 772-207-6800 

Devon Jarrett
Sarasota, FL
Email: devon@suncoastpartnership.org
Phone: 941-955-8987 110

William King
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Email: wking@bbhcflorida.org
Phone: 954-622-8121 x1030

Antoinette  Kruse
Fort Myers, FL
Email: administration@providencefamilylifecenter.com
Phone: 239-676-3759 

Guillermo  Lauzurique
Miami, FL
Email: glauzurique@sfbhn.org
Phone: 786-394-7818 

Lourdes Mata
Miami, FL
Email: lourdes.mata@myflfamilies.com
Phone: 786-257-5172 

Colleen  McManus
Orlando, FL
Email: cmcmanus@cfchs.org
Phone: 407-985-3566 

Barbara Moody Holbrook
Stuart, FL
Email: barbara@ritelifeservices.org
Phone: 561-503-1323 

Paula  Pinkerton
St Augustine, FL
Email: ppinkerton@sjcfl.us
Phone: 904-209-6159 

Jason  Saffels
Tampa, FL
Email: jsaffels@cfbhn.org
Phone: 813-614-1569 

Mary Smith
Jacksonville, FL
Email: mary.smith3@va.gov
Phone: 904-832-6107 

Whitley Smith
Tallahassee, FL
Email: whitley.smith@bigbendcbc.org
Phone: 850-556-7690 

Erica  Thomas
Jacksonville, FL
Email: ethomas@communityrehabcenter.org
Phone: 904-358-1211 

Jennie  Thompson
Middleburg, FL
Email: jennie.thompson@firstinclay.org
Phone: 904-291-5561 2147

Randy Vargas
Tampa, FL
Email: vargasr@hillsboroughcounty.org
Phone: 813-557-9571 

Trainers

Carol Caraballo
Miami, FL
Email: ccaraballo@sfbhn.org
Phone: 305-858-3335 

Cindy Schwartz
Miami, FL
Email: cischwartz@jud11.flcourts.org
Phone: 305-548-5319 

SOAR for Children Leads

Connie Allen
Clearwater, FL
Email: callen@directionsforliving.org
Phone: 727-270-3317 

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