• 5 people are interested

Volunteer SOAR Specialist / CV-ESG Prevention

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ORGANIZATION: Catholic Charities of Buffalo

  • 5 people are interested

SUMMARY: SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is a model used nationwide designed to help individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness who have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder apply for Social Security disability benefits. Access to SSI/SSDI can be a major tool in recovery, both from mental illness and homelessness. With the income support and health insurance that SSI/SSDI provides, individuals are able to meet their basic needs, maintain housing, and pay their bills. As a result, they are more likely to keep appointments and engage in treatment. The end goal of the SOAR Specialist is to assist each client in obtaining SSI/SSDI benefits in under 100 days all while providing case management services that will help further the stabilization goals of the client.


The SOAR Specialist will report to the Housing Program Manager, and will work closely with the SOAR Case Manager, as well as the housing team (Rapid Re-Housing and Prevention) throughout the process and help identify any clients who may qualify for their services. The SOAR specialist will also work with other community agencies to ensure they are aware of the SOAR services available to their specific population as well as help assist/develop SOAR programs for their agencies, if needed. The position is responsible for a shared caseload and will require the candidate to make independent responsible decisions in service delivery with continued supervisory guidance. The position requires someone who is organized and has an ability to prioritize tasks quickly.

The SOAR Specialist must be able to work in the community and meet individuals experiencing homelessness where they are. This position prefers experience working directly with individuals experiencing homelessness who have a serious mental illness and/or co-occurring substance use disorder, as well as evidence of ongoing training and education in related areas such as mental illness, substance abuse, and/or homelessness, and a valid state driver’s license with a clean driving record. This position requires an ability to work in non-traditional settings and unstructured environments. SOAR training is a plus. The SOAR Specialist will also attend any trainings/certifications as required by the state.


  • Work collaboratively alongside the Lead SOAR Specialist
  • Coordinate case management services with partners and help with providing case management services to individuals when needed
  • Complete interviews with individuals to gather information to complete SSI/SSDI applications
  • Gather medical records and other information to complete SSI/SSDI applications, including additional interviews as needed
  • Write and edit SOAR Medical Summary Reports for individual applications
  • Coordinate visits to medical doctors, psychiatrists, and other specialists to obtain evidence for the application
  • Accurately maintain paper files for all clients enrolled in the program
  • Document all links to services and treatments in HMIS, and enter call case notes and other assessments into HMIS in a timely fashion
  • Case advocacy and collaboration with SSA, DDS, and other medical providers
  • Participate in weekly case conferences with the Housing team
  • Participate in local/national SOAR committee meetings
  • Comply with the Agency’s Compliance Program, Code of Ethics, laws, regulations, and ethical standards applicable to your job duties


  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Compassionate self-starter with an eagerness to learn
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and meet frequent deadlines
  • Superior organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Computer experience, including troubleshooting and problem solving and proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel) and database management
  • Good writing skills and the ability to analyze extensive data and create written reports with accuracy and brevity
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries and engagement skills with a challenging population and in non-traditional work conditions


  • Evidence of ongoing training and education in related areas such as mental illness, substance abuse, and/or homelessness
  • Lived experience of homelessness or mental illness
  • Familiarity with Social Security Administration’s Listings of Impairments
  • Cursory knowledge of medical and psychiatric terminology and ability to write using the same
  • Experience with providing outreach and successful engagement to a diverse population, includes working with clients, developing trust, and conducting interviews in non-traditional settings and unstructured environments

Work Conditions, include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent travel for the purpose of meeting with clients by foot, car, or other means appropriate to making contact with the population
  • Must be able to adjust to the environment of the target population including making visits to encampments, shelters, and personal living environments when needed
  • Physically able to participate in training sessions, presentations, and meetings
  • Opportunity for remote work is available

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About Catholic Charities of Buffalo



Mission Statement

Catholic Charities of Buffalo is a Catholic sponsored human service agency serving anyone in need in the eight counties of Western New York. Believing all persons are created by God, we empower individiuals, children and families to achieve and maintain meaningful, healthy and productive lives. We advocate for those in need - particularly those who are poor and most vulnerable.


Catholic Charities of Buffalo is the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, reaching all eight counties with 51 professionally staffed locations, plus a presence in many area schools and other community sites. Catholic Charities serves people in need and those who are most vulnerable without regard to age, race or religious affiliation.

Catholic Charities offers programs that strive to empower individuals, children and families. Among them are comprehensive counseling services for all ages, basic emergency assistance and referrals, child and adult mental health and chemical dependency treatment, educational and job readiness programs, older adult services, parish outreach and advocacy, marriage counseling, immigration and refugee assistance and a variety of programs that address prevention and treatment of a number of family issues.


Homeless & Housing
Community, Homeless & Housing


We'll work with your schedule.


This is a Virtual Opportunity with no fixed address.


  • Case Work / Management
  • Healthcare
  • English
  • Social Work




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Must be available three days a week from 8:45 - 4:45. Willing to adjust based on school hours if necessary.

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