Newsletter – June 2017


June 2017
In This Issue

Providing disability benefits to Austin’s homeless community. Our commitment to SOAR

Integral Care was the first agency within our local community to identify staff positions dedicated to SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery), a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  As Integral Care has expanded services for individuals who are currently or formerly homeless, SOAR is a perfect fit as it is designed specifically for adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
Healthy Community Collaborative’s very own SOAR specialist, Suzie Brady, was designated by the Texas Homeless Network (THN) as the local SOAR lead for the Austin/Travis community in May of 2016.  In this role, Suzie works closely with THN at the state level.  Her responsibilities as local lead include advocating for the use of SOAR in our community in general, assisting with all facets of SOAR training from the online course through the in-person SOAR Fundamentals trainings. She is also responsible for refresher trainings, and providing assistance and support to individuals utilizing the SOAR process in our community.
Through Suzie’s leadership and Integral Care’s commitment to SOAR, we are seeing a new level of excitement and interest in SOAR.  Most importantly, however, this is translating into tangible benefits for the individuals being served.  To date, the Integral Care dedicated SOAR specialists have helped 55 individuals apply for benefits using the SOAR process.  This has resulted in 36 approvals and there are 14 additional applications pending a decision.  Learn more.

Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care

Integral Care is thrilled to launch a new mental health crisis service in Travis County:  the Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care.
The Herman Center will provide short term, emergency psychiatric crisis care for adults.  The goal is to quickly resolve the immediate crisis through prompt stabilization, assessment and appropriate treatment in a secure, protected residential environment so the individual can return home or transfer to another Integral Care residential program for ongoing support and recovery. The Herman Center offers the right level of care at the right time while reducing the cost of care and improving health outcomes for patients. Learn more.

Please join us at the Grand Opening on Monday, July 17.  To learn more about the celebration and RSVP for the event, click here.

Veterans and Safe Haven
Integral Care offers a solution for veterans experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges:  Safe Haven.
Safe Haven provides a safe living environment for veterans staffed by a team of professionals who inspire confidence and guidance to residents with mental illness.  The community offers semi-private rooms with capacity for up to 15 people a day. Individuals are provided with three daily meals, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, an address and a telephone number that can be used by residents.
Safe Haven has a flexible and individualized approach to care and acknowledges that “successful outcomes” are unique to each veteran.
“It’s very peaceful here. The food they give you is substantial and has improved my health. They give you your medicine on time and make sure you get the correct amount. The staff here is very friendly.” Read more about Safe Haven.


Housing First in the News

Housing First is gaining popularity across the nation as an effective healthcare intervention. The city and county of Sarasota, Florida have recently adopted a Housing First approach to dealing with chronic homelessness. Read about it here.

We know that housing is more than four walls – it’s the basic foundation for mental health and well-being. I invite you to be a part of the solution at


Ellen Richards
Chief Strategy Officer
Integral Care
Housing First Oak Springs is a project of Integral Care