Our organization seeks to preserve the bond between person and pet, and to remove the barriers to accessing services that pet ownership can sometimes bring.
Referrals, People We Help, and Overview of What We Do
We receive many of our referrals for requests for help from hospitals, social service agencies, law enforcement, and homeless and domestic violence shelters. However, many of our clients seek us out themselves and we are often their first connection to care. This is because many people care more about what happens to their animals than themselves and may not seek help or medical care they may need if they aren't sure what may happen to their pet. This is why what we do is so important for so many people.
SOAR serves individuals experiencing homelessness or crisis, or who are at imminent risk for either. Some common core groups in the population we serve are the chronically homeless, veterans, people with disabilities, those with substance abuse issues, people with severe mental health issues and domestic violence victims. SOAR serves our target population by helping them learn what resources are available, how to access those resources, and by removing the barriers that pet ownership brings to getting help. SOAR is one of the very few agencies that humans in crisis may work with that will consider their pet as part of their case plan. Additionally, SOAR works with clients after many other agencies' work may be done, so we are able to catch issues that may impact housing or stability after a client’s case has been closed.
Once we make contact with and meet a person needing our help, individual needs and obstacles are assessed to help connect individuals with other social service and/or medical agencies in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, specific to the barriers they may be facing. Depending on the situation, we may utilize one of our three main Program Areas to provide the specific assistance they may need. We treat each person as an individual, identifying their specific needs and obstacles unique to their situation.
In addition to helping individuals navigate the housing system, we also continue to work with them after they have been housed. We advocate on their behalf, where appropriate, for service/emotional support animals where the person's pet is housed and educate on the importance of preserving ownership as a way to promote positive outcomes for people AND their pets.
We have found our clients and animals have a unique and strong bond. It is critical to consider the person’s whole family unit when addressing their care and plan of progression. Finally, we pride ourselves on recognizing the importance of meeting people where they are to address their needs with open communication and follow through.