Posting: PATH SOAR Specialist

August 25, 2020

Department: Community Programs and Outreach

Reports to:  Community Programs and Outreach Manager

Employment Status Classification: Full Time Salary

Job Description Summary:

The PATH SOAR Specialist will be a team member in the Community Programs and Outreach department, assisting those who are homeless with accessing housing and supportive services, using a Housing First Model. This position focuses on assisting eligible PATH program participants using SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) an expedited process to apply for social security for those who are homeless and have a disability.
This position includes an outreach component, as the candidate will be part of a team working to engage those who are eligible for this service, canvassing the Pontiac and other areas in Oakland County where persons experiencing homelessness may congregate, locating those that are homeless with mental health issues and developing trust built relationships with these individuals. Screening and intake, along with linking to CMH and mainstream resources is an important part of this position.

Essential Functions:

  • Review referrals provided by the PATH team and community partners to evaluate appropriateness for potential program participants to apply for benefits through the SOAR process.
  • Compile and prepare applications for Social Security, filling out paperwork with program participant, gathering appropriate medical documentation, and organizing the packet of materials to be submitted to the local SSA office.
  • Compose a medical summary as outlined in SOAR trainings, using pertinent information that was compiled to develop a justification for eligibility of benefits.
  • Remain a point of contact with SSA representatives during the application process on behalf of the program participant.
  • Assist eligible program participants with the appeal process, as applicable and work in conjunction with disability attorneys when requested to provide supplementary materials to add to the application process.
  • Participate in development and implementation of a consistent outreach schedule specifically in the Pontiac area as well as other areas of Oakland County to include engaging homeless persons to establish trust based relationships and educate them in housing and recovery resources. Outreach schedules should include canvassing on the street to those literally homeless and places those experiencing homelessness are known to congregate, warming centers and shelters, and referrals from community partners. Outreach scheduling will include some Thursday evening hours to “meet program participants where they are at” at local warming centers and shelters on a scheduled regular basis.
  • Maintain contact and document interactions with all PATH program participants on an ongoing basis, utilizing both the case file and HMIS as appropriate. Link to other programs, services and organizations as appropriate in conjunction to services.
  • Provide program participants with hands on assistance to link with mental health services through the community mental health system. Assistance will include but is not limited to, making the phone call or visit for screening and eligibility with the program participant, providing follow up documentation, and continuing to communicate with assigned service providers to coordinate services.
  • Provide assistance to locate mainstream and community resources in obtaining benefits, birth certificates, social security cards and other important documents necessary for housing and supportive services
  • Assist in efforts to secure housing for PATH program participant by utilizing existing resources within the county. This will include but is not limited to, assisting the program participant in filling out housing applications, locating mainstream resources to assist with security deposits and other housing assistance needs, and providing the limited financial assistance available through PATH when the program participant is eligible and funding is available.
  • Develop an individualized housing case plan for all PATH program participants, while providing consultation to consumers and supportive service providers to develop housing goals and interventions in the person centered planning process.
  • Provide housing related case management on an ongoing basis for program participants, working with consumers and landlords to establish positive professional relationships
  • Contribute input and feedback in the creation and implementation of project evaluation materials for PATH
  • Participate in community-based activities when appropriate such as Project Connect, PIT Count, and Human Services Fairs


  • Successful completion of SOAR training preferred with a history of successful applications.
  • Solid writing skills to prepare a medical summary, ability to compile information in a succinct manner.
  • Compliance with HUD and local governing agency/entity regulations and standards
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and effectively, both internally and externally, with individuals with diverse backgrounds
  • Working knowledge of computer programs such as MS Office, internet and databases
  • Experience working with homeless and precariously housed persons and at risk households is preferred
  • Experience working with community agencies and resources
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a human service related field or 5 years’ experience in the field working with program participants in mental health.
  • Persons who are able to communicate and relate a personal experience of recovery are preferred.
  • Candidates must have reliable transportation (as personal vehicles are used for required travel) and adequate insurance coverage (100/300/100 coverage)

Physical Demands:

This position requires the ability to canvass a variety of locations by automobile and walking to locate potential program participants in parks, under via ducts, in the woods/campgrounds, or other places that those in housing crisis may frequent for makeshift shelter in all seasons/weather. This position will also require the ability to lift and carry items up to 20 pounds.

Transportation Requirements:

Reliable transportation, possession of a valid driver’s license, and maintenance of automobile insurance coverage that meets organization coverage limit requirements. (BodilyInjury $100,000 each person and $300,000 each occurrence and Property Damage of $100,000 each occurrence.).

To apply for this position OPEN HERE:

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