Description of Project

The “SOAR Across Washington” initiative is sponsored by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and partners with the Community Services Division in the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. This is a multi-agency initiative that started over 12 years ago when the Projects for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness (PATH) State Contacts from Washington and Oregon co-hosted a training session for PATH staff. DBHR and CSD are working with the SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center to develop a process for maintaining high quality and consistent training while incorporating the SOAR Online Course in the state’s implementation plan.


The “SOAR Across Washington” initiative includes collaboration with Region 10 of the Social Security Administration as well as staff in the local SSA offices, the DSHS Disability Determination Service staff, DSHS Community Service Office staff, service providers for adults experiencing homelessness, local government, and behavioral health and medical providers. All of the Washington PATH programs have SOAR-trained staff.  


The goals of “SOAR Across Washington” include:

  • Serve as a leader in developing high quality SOAR applications;
  • Educate stakeholders across the state and secure support for SOAR implementation;
  • Work closely with local and regional planning teams to implement SOAR and to ensure the quality and consistency across the state that will allow approval on first application;
  • Build on the foundation of strong supportive relationships with SSA and DDS, and encourage participation in local steering committees and training sessions;
  • Increase the number of SOAR trained and certified staff committed to maintaining fidelity to the SOAR model and providing the intensive work to develop a complete application;
  • Increase the number of successful SSI/SSDI claims approved on initial application, and decrease waiting times for claims to be adjudicated;
  • Collect data on SOAR applications through the SOAR Online Application Tracking (OAT) system.
  • Assist local communities with developing strategies for funding ongoing sustainability and growth.  

Expectations of Participation in SOAR

The SOAR Across Washington initiative is a multi-agency effort at both the state and local level.


In several communities across the state, Local Leads are working with steering committees to implement SOAR. For more information about the Local Leads and the efforts in local communities, please see the Contacts page and the Documents page.