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.  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 experienced Shelter Director for a new Men's Mental Health Homeless Shelter. The position requires a demonstrated ability to manage social service programs serving individuals with mental health needs. Additionally, it requires a combination of skills in the following areas: program design, operational oversight, and evaluation of services, personnel management, budget development and control, and governmental relations within the homeless shelter system.


The Shelter Director is responsible for ensuring quality care of residents in accordance with DHS regulatory and accreditation requirements. The Shelter Director provides supervision to intake and social services and insures program development, implementation, tracking, reporting, and evaluating measurable outcomes in compliance with standards set by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.


Classification:   Exempt


Reports to:  Vice President


Location:  Ozone Park, Queens


Position Type:

This is a full-time position.  The exact schedule will be determined by the needs of the shelter.   Lantern staff may be asked to alter their work schedule depending on the operational needs of the site. 


This position regularly requires availability outside of the standard workday, and as such must be ready and available to direct and support staff either by phone or in person if needed during the evenings, weekends and holidays.  


Essential Functions:

  • Hiring, supervision, and development of a shelter team with a strong sense of accountability for achieving outcomes for shelter residents and complying with Lantern and funder regulations and requirements.
  • Provide leadership, guidance, direction, and supervision to all shelter staff to ensure accurate and timely completion of deliverables, targets, and benchmarks.
  • Conduct and document one-on-one supervision of direct reporting staff to assess and improve work performance.
  • Identify staff training needs and organize onsite and offsite training opportunities for professional development of staff.
  • Conduct staff performance evaluations and implement disciplinary actions as needed.
  • Oversight of all aspects of the site's operation including service delivery, compliance to contracts, case management, employment, and housing targets, medical and chart compliance, recreational activities, shelter security, food service, linen supplies, and supplies for program and staff.
  • Develop program content to address clients' needs related to psychiatric stability, functional ability, skills of independent living, and housing readiness.
  • Ensure implementation of all Lantern and DHS policies and procedures.
  • Ensure compliance with all regulatory agencies standards.
  • Plan and organize program activities to maximize program contract's goals and performance targets. Plan, coordinate and facilitate social/peer support.
  • Conduct regular staff meetings.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting and statistical information for both Lantern Community Services and regulatory agencies.
  • Conduct periodic internal file review and implement Quality Assurance measures needed to ensure quality service delivery to clients.
  • Connect with community leaders to build connections, gain support and troubleshoot issues/concerns. Develop and maintain a Community Advisory Board.
  • Develop and implement crisis prevention and/or intervention strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment, ensure shelter maintains an active Good Neighbor Policy.
  • Provide assistance and follow-up in regards to critical incidents with clients.
  • Assess serious incidents, review the appropriateness of incident management and make corrections as needed.
  • Responsible for ensuring appropriate levels of staff coverage at all times including during emergencies, severe weather and disaster situations.


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


Required Education and Experience:  

  • Master's degree in related area required; MSW preferred, LMSW/LCSW preferred.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred.
  • Ten years of experience working in the field of social service, housing or emergency shelter. 
  • Experience with electronic case management systems, and demonstrated ability to utilize and review data to inform best practices in service provision.
  • Minimum of five years supervisory experience.
  • Must have initiative, the ability to work well under pressure,  including in crisis situations and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent computer skills, with knowledge of Microsoft suite, Excel and comfort working with databases such as CARES.


Preferred Experience:

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


Supervisory Responsibility: 

Direct reports include Director of Program Operations, Director of Social Services and the Administrative Assistant;  All staff indirectly report to the Shelter Director. 


Work Environment:  This job operates in a homeless shelter and works with a population who may experience mental illness, substance use, disability, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic illnesses.


Physical Demands: 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, sit, stoop, climb stairs 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 10 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.


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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