SOAR Leadership Academy
Journey Home’s Executive Director, Matt Morgan, spent the first three days of December at the SOAR Leadership Academy in New Orleans. The 3-day training was sponsored and facilitated by the SOAR Technical Assistance Center with the objective of creating local leads who can coordinate SOAR in their communities. Matt, along with Patricia Pollicina from Chrysalis Center, and 24 other SOAR leaders from 13 states, learned skills for effectively organizing local SOAR fundamentals trainings and steering committee meetings.
Matt says that the most useful part of the Leadership Academy was learning about best practices used in other parts of the country. “We got a chance to see what has worked in other regions so that we can replicate their success in Hartford.” For example, cities like Nashville and Philadelphia have implemented a quality review process for all SOAR applications, which has resulted in a roughly 98% approval rate for initial applications. “The quality review process is definitely something that we will be including here in Hartford,” Matt says. Participants in the Leadership Academy also discussed successful models for funding and sustainability and shared examples from around the country.
The Leadership Academy also covered techniques for creating an effective SOAR steering committee. The Greater Hartford SOAR steering committee was created at the Greater Hartford SOAR Forum in September of last year. The committee has been meeting monthly to develop and implement an action plan for expanding SOAR in the region. The techniques and practices learned at the SOAR Leadership Academy add will add great momentum to the steering committee and the SOAR initiative in Greater Hartford.