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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

  • 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

  • Myra Fiory
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Email: mfiory@jfcs-cares.org
    Phone: 941-366-2224 xx629

  • 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 x110

  • William King
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Email: wking@bbhcflorida.org
    Phone: 954-622-8121 xx1030

  • 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

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

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

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

  • 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 x2147

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

  • Minta Walker
    Tampa, FL
    Email:
    Phone: 727-732-9762

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

State Events

Events List

No Events currently exist for this state.

State Jobs

Job Title Location Description
SOAR Specialist RiteLife Services, Inc.

Port St. Lucie
FL

RiteLife Services, Inc. is seeking a full-time SOAR Specialist. RiteLife Services, Inc. is a Peer run Agency with several outreach programs. SOAR is a fidelity-driven component for persons living outside or at risk. RiteLife Services, Inc. is connected to street outreach which has realized the high need of persons with co-occurring conditions, who meet criteria for SSI/SSDI benefits.

State Documents

Filename Description