Lantern Community Services

Lantern Community Services' (Lantern) mission is to champion the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness.  The lantern provides innovative services to help New Yorkers who are homeless, formerly homeless, or have recently aged out of foster care recreate their lives. Our programs with proven results in health, employment, education, and life skills are delivered inside our residences and tailored to each person's needs.  We provide our clients'many of whom live with mental illness, addiction, disability, HIV, or other chronic illnesses with the tools they need to integrate successfully into the greater community with dignity and independence.


We are seeking a dynamic and engaging Substance Abuse Counselor who has experience working with formerly homeless, mentally ill, single adults, and young adults aging out of foster care or with histories of residential treatment. The Substance Abuse Counselor will be expected to assist these populations in stabilizing their lives, maintaining their housing stability and navigating lifestyle changes, relapse prevention, avoidance of triggers for using substances, life skills, and recovery. The ideal candidate will have solid clinical knowledge as well as experience working with individuals that have been impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, legal, criminal justice, and/or medical issues.  Additionally, the Substance Abuse Counselor will be passionate about helping people; be a proactive and creative problem solver, and work well both as a part of an interdisciplinary team and independently. 

 Classification:    Full time, non-exempt

 Reports to:  Program Director

 Location:  Bronx, NY

 Position Type:

This is a full-time position with a regular evening schedule that includes weekend shifts.  Lantern staff may be asked to change work schedules and hours depending on the operational needs of the site and the agency. 

 Essential Functions:

  • Provide substance abuse counseling services that effectively engage residents and promote health and wellness, personal growth, and housing stability.
  • Provide assessment services to residents who may experience barriers related to substance abuse. Determine short term and long-term service needs.
  • Utilize a harm reduction approach to support residents around issues of mental health and substance use. 
  • Conduct Harm Reduction groups. Discuss basic self-care, wellness activities, health education, stress reduction, issues of life priorities, and addiction awareness.
  • Prepare, conduct, and document individual and group counseling and education sessions.
  • Meet regularly with residents to discuss harm reduction, education, treatment decision making, identification of relapse triggers, and improvement of coping skills.
  • Assess barriers and difficulties for residents to participate in substance use treatment. Develop strategies to help residents overcome these barriers and difficulties.
  • Develop, maintain, and update a log of community resources. Make referrals to other healthcare or counseling professionals when necessary.
  • Educate residents on substance abuse treatments and prevention programs.
  • Develop safety plans for residents and work with the team to deescalate clients and collaboratively manage the crisis as they arise.
  • Develop and maintain confidential records for each resident according to the mandated schedule documenting all relevant interventions and assessments as well as correspondence with collateral services.
  • Participate in staff and clinical meetings and individual supervision to ensure best practices in the performance of role responsibilities. 
  • Work collaboratively with members of the team to ensure coordination of care. Provide education and support to staff related to addiction and substance use.
  • Participate in a robust training program that includes training in evidenced-based models to ensure the highest level of service is provided to clients.
  • Perform other job-related functions, as assigned.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

 Required Education and Experience: 

  • High School Diploma required; Associate/Bachelor Degree preferred.
  • NYS CASAC certification required.
  • Bi-lingual Spanish/English preferred.
  • One year of experience working with Young Adults in foster care, aging out of foster care or with a history of residential care.
  • Experience with single adults impacted by poverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance use and/or medical issues
  • Experience running groups is preferred
  • Ability to work independently as well as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Highly organized and able to manage a diverse caseload of clients with diverse needs.
  • Able to work well under pressure including in crisis situations and able to be flexible with work schedule when necessary.
  • Experience with ETO, or other electronic case management systems.
  • Experience working with evidence-based models, specifically Motivational Interviewing, preferred.

 Preferred Experience:

  • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance use or chronically homelessness population

Supervisory Responsibility:  None

Work Environment:  This job operates in a supportive housing site and works with a young adult population that may experience mental illness, addiction, disability, HIV, and other chronic illnesses.

 Physical Demands: 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, sit, stoop and/ or kneel.  They must also use hands to type, handle, or feel.  The employee is frequently required to talk or hear and must occasionally lift and/or move up to 5 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

 Some positions at Lantern Community Services have work responsibilities at more than one work site as well as fieldwork in the community.  These employees are required to travel between sites during the workday with physical demands that could include walking up to .25 miles, climbing stairs and carrying work materials that could weigh up to 8 lbs. 

 The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Other Duties:

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Lantern Community Services provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment.

Lantern Community Services (Lantern) values the diversity of all our clients, staff, Board of Directors, and partners.  By bringing diverse individuals and viewpoints together, we create more vibrant, healthy and just communities.  Lantern welcomes individuals of all backgrounds and experiences regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, pregnancy, religion, immigration status, veteran status, class, creed, mental or physical disability, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state, and local law.

Lantern Community Services
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