Dazara Ware

SOAR 2019 CJ TA Awards

Beginning January 11, 2019, the SAMSHA SOAR Technical Assistance Center worked alongside local SOAR criminal justice (CJ) leads to plan and prepare SOAR Implementation meetings for six sites that were awarded the SOAR CJ Technical Assistance Opportunity.  On May 13, 2019, the final Implementation meeting was held for this third round of awardees. The SOAR… Read More

View of memorial pillars at the National Monument for Peace and Justice

I was looking up at a copper edifice used to memorialize the life of someone I have never met. The structure that captured so much of my attention was not alone.  This structure was meticulously suspended at least 15 feet above my head along with several hundred more some adorned by a single name, but… Read More

SOAR 2019 CJ TA Awards

It is often said that the preparation for individuals to be released from prison and jail begins at the time of incarceration. Although the maxim is ideal, it is not uncommon for people with serious mental illness to return to communities without the support they need to ensure successful community integration.  When faced with housing… Read More

Towel, lotion, candle, and flowers on a table

For many women, a domestic violence experience is an immediate cause of homelessness. Women that are struggling to survive and escape the stress and chaos of their lives are foreign to the idea of pampering themselves. In contrast, many women that I know also have strong stressors in their lives and work hard to protect… Read More

Juneteenth 2018 Reflection

On June 19, 2018, I sat with my family—my son, his wife, her parents and my parents—and had a great dinner filled with old stories and laughter. Red, white, and blue streamers, table mats, and centerpieces infused with American flags made way for a fashionably patriotic ambiance. Comfort adorned the table with barbeque, watermelon, and… Read More

SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

 About Mecklenburg County’s Criminal Justice Services SOAR Initiative  By Dazara Ware, MPC, SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance Center Getting Started with SOAR In 2017, Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services (CJS) in North Carolina was awarded technical assistance through the SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Technical Assistance Center. SOAR is a… Read More

Are you Geechee or Gullah?

I was about 7 years old when I heard this woman ask my father, “You gwon Geechee ah Gullah?” I grew up with a clear understanding the there was something different about the Geechee and Gullah people.  The distinction was often identified by the accent that didn’t sound quite Southern and didn’t sound quite Caribbean,… Read More

“Why do they burn their own communities?” I have been asked this question a dozen times today alone. I have been asked by friends, family, co-workers, and church members. I know many of you have the same question, but may not want to ask or feel that you can’t or don’t have the right to… Read More


Through the nature of my work, I have been focused on “limitations of disabling condition”. Recently I attended a concert performance that challenged the viewer to consider conditions that some may see as disabling are merely “different abilities”. On January 19, 2013, I attended a performance at the 7 Stages theater in East Atlanta, Georgia. … Read More


During the Opening of the SOAR program in Rome, Georgia, participants were asked what they expected to learn from the training and to tell the group one “Wow moment” they’d like to share. Earl Gourdine introduced himself. He worked at Highland Rivers CSB. His wow moment, “I filed my taxes yesterday for the first time after never… Read More

Just last Friday, I scrambled with the rest of the neighbors scrounging for milk and bread while schools and banks closed in preparation for the “winter storm”. There were no rain drops. No precipitation. No gray skies. No roars of thunder or sounds of golf ball sized hale plucking the roofs of buildings. Saturday morning, I watched… Read More