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Tennessee

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Please select your state to view information and contacts for SOAR in your state. While there is SOAR activity in every state, there are not SOAR services available in every community.

State Information

Tennessee SOAR State Team

State Team Lead(s):

  • Christy Spangler
    Email: christy.spangler@tn.gov
    Phone: 615-499-3973

TA Center Liaison:

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

SOARing in Tennessee

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

Individuals interested in training are encouraged to reach out to the State Lead or SOAR TA Center Liaison using the contact information above for more information about SOAR. On the "Contacts" page, there are Local TN SOAR Leads who help with training and SOAR network building around the state. We encourage you to reach out to them for local information about SOAR in your area.

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

Individuals may become eligible to utilize 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 SOAR TA Center 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 the applications for both SSI and SSDI.
  • Collect medical records from providers who have treated the applicant over the last two years.
  • 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 and to work with the individual to obtain other needed services and treatment such as housing, physical and mental health care, other support services, food, and clothing.
  • Track applications and outcomes, including number of applications completed, approvals/denials, and time to decision from application submission to receipt of SSA’s decision.
  • Report outcomes on at least an annual basis within the stated timeframes as requested.
  • No fees will be collected for completion of the application.
  • Actively collaborate with local SOAR Leads.
  • Participate in refresher courses and quality reviews 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.
The ability to submit 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 quality review of applications.

Local Leads:

  • Jim Bare
    Mount Carmel, TN
    Email: angelpatches2002@gmail.com
    Phone: 423-578-0834

  • Jessica Carlton
    Knoxville, TN
    Email: jessica.carlton@mcnabb.org
    Phone: 865-637-9711

  • Kristin Houser
    Knoxville, TN
    Email: kristin.houser@mcnabb.org
    Phone: 865-601-6427

  • Melinda Jones
    Memphis, TN
    Email: melinda.jones@cmiofmemphis.org
    Phone: 901-261-6179

  • Matthew Naylor
    Chattanooga, TN
    Email: MatthewN@HamiltonTN.gov
    Phone: 423-209-6194

  • Lagina Nicely
    Knoxville, TN
    Email: lagina.nicley@mcnabb.org
    Phone: 865-338-2676

  • Lisa Norman
    Kingsport, TN
    Email: lnorman@frontierhealth.org
    Phone: 423-845-2816

  • Cheryl Taylor
    Cookeville, TN
    Email: ctaylor@vbhcs.org
    Phone: 931-432-4123

  • Jenna Yarber
    Knoxville, TN
    Email: jenna.yarber@knoxcac.org
    Phone: 865-546-3500 x1200

Trainers:

  • Jennifer Whitehead
    Johnson City, TN
    Email: whitjl01@etsu.edu
    Phone: 423-957-9544

  • Gina Turley
    Chattanooga, TN
    Email: GinaTurley@aimcenterinc.org
    Phone: 423-624-6605

State Events

Events List

No Events currently exist for this state.

State Jobs

  • SOAR Benefits Specialist

    Are you passionate about helping vulnerable populations, transforming lives, and supporting those in need? AIM Center is looking for a dynamic SOAR Benefits Specialist to assist individuals experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders in obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Make a real impact in our community!

    AIM Center
    Location:

    Chattanooga, TN
    United States

    Job Type:
    Full-time

    Close Date:
    30 Jul 2024
    Type:
    State Jobs
    Date:
    Full-time
  • Statewide Coordinator for Consumer Housing Specialists

    As the Statewide Coordinator for Consumer Housing Specialists at AIM Center, you'll play a pivotal role in advancing the Creating Homes Initiative (CHI) for Region III. Your primary responsibility will be to meet the goals of CHI by engaging key stakeholders, providing mentorship and technical support, and fostering collaboration to increase access to housing and support services for individuals experiencing mental illness, co-occurring disorders, or substance use recovery.

    AIM Center
    Location:

    Chattanooga, TN
    United States

    Job Type:
    Full-time

    Close Date:
    30 Jul 2024
    Type:
    State Jobs
    Date:
    Full-time

State Documents

Filename Description

Success Stories

  • SOAR Success in Nashville

    The following SOAR success story was submitted by Christy Spangler, SOAR State Team Lead, Tennessee.

    Type:
    Success Story
    Date:
    3 Aug 2023