Upcoming Webinars:

DECEMBER 14TH 11:00AM-12:00PM PT / 2:00PM-3:00PM ET

SSI/SSDI: A Foundation for Employment, Recovery, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Inclusion!

The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Technical Assistance (SOAR TA) Center, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), seeks to end homelessness and support recovery through increased access to SSI/SSDI income supports. SOAR extends beyond simply helping people access benefits and also encourages employment as a means to increase individual income and promote recovery in line with the SAMHSA assertion that: “to recover, people need meaningful work and the ability to enhance their skills through education.”

Kristin Lupfer is Project Director of the SAMHSA SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Technical Assistance (TA) Center at Policy Research Associates, Inc. Kristin earned her MSW at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Her previous experience includes work as a Supported Employment Specialist and caseworker assisting people with disabilities who were experiencing homelessness. Kristin oversees all aspects of the SOAR TA Center, including delivery of on-site TA, development of the SOAR online course, supervision of staff, development of new materials and technical assistance to SOAR states on strategic planning, collaborations, funding, sustainability and implementation.


Matthew Canuteson is a Project Associate for the SOAR TA Center. Prior to joining the SOAR TA Center he was the Assistant Director of the Statewide Family and Consumer Network’s Technical Assistance Center at PRA where he coordinated the daily operations of this national Center and served as its primary technical assistance coordinator. He completed his B.A. in Political Science from University at Albany, State University of New York, and served as the first Youth Coordinator for Albany County, New York’s CMHS Systems of Care Grant.  Using his personal experiences as both a family member and as a person with a psychiatric disability, Matt has advocated for the inclusion of the youth and family voices and peer-to-peer support in local system development and service delivery. Later as a Policy Specialist at the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS), Matt led numerous successful advocacy campaigns to advance or protect funding for community support services and important legislative initiatives.  Most recently Matt earned his MA in Social and Public Policy from Empire State College in New York State. Matt provides TA to the states of CO, CT, MA, ME, MI, OR, RI, SC, and VT.

Joann McCann - is a Certified Peer Support Specialist at Genesee County Community Mental Health in the State of Michigan. In her role as a Peer Support Specialist, Joann completes SOAR applications, helping people in her community with accessing the critical benefits that enable them to become housed, employed and able to live successfully in the community. In addition to being a person who helps people receive benefits, Joann is a person who used the benefits to create a foundation for recovery in her own life.

This website was developed [in part] under grant number SM062558-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.