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 Licensed Social Worker as the Director of Social Services for a new Men's Mental Health Shelter.  This position is responsible for ensuring quality care to shelter residents and overseeing the Clinical and Social Services functions of the shelter according to DHS regulatory and accreditation requirements. The Director of Social Services is responsible for the implementation of best practices for meeting the physical, emotional and social needs of shelter residents to ensure the ability to attain and maintain housing stability. The Director of Social Services provides supervision to the Social Work, Case Management and Housing Teams and works closely with the Shelter Director to develop, implement, track, report, and evaluate measurable outcomes. The Director of Social Services reports to the


Classification:  Exempt  


Reports to:  Shelter Director  


Location:  Ozone Park, Queens


Position Type:

This is a full-time position with (day and some evening hours.  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. 


Essential Functions:

  • Hire and train shelter Social Worker, Case Managers, Housing Coordinator, and Peer Specialists.
  • Oversee and provide leadership, guidance, direction, and supervision to Social Service and Housing teams 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.
  • Conduct performance evaluations and implement disciplinary actions as needed.
  • Facilitate regular staff and clinical meetings.
  • Attend mandatory DHS trainings and meetings.
  • Ensure compliance with DHS and OTDA standards for client intake, assessments, and provision of services within mandated timeframes.
  • Ensure accuracy and timeliness of charting requirements in compliance with DHS, OTDA and Lantern standards.
  • Assist staff in developing individualized Independent Living Plans and Housing Plans for shelter residents.
  • Ensure all clients receive needed medical services including physicals and ongoing medical care either at the shelter or through referrals to community based providers.
  • Provide and/or arrange for services to address the needs of mentally ill clients and, if necessary, refer clients for psychiatric assessment and treatment.  Complete mental health assessments of shelter clients if necessary. 
  • Develop assessments, counseling methods, programming, and referral resources to ensure that clients coping with substance and alcohol use issues are fully supported in attaining harm reduction goals.
  • Provide information and resources to assist clients towards achieving housing goals.
  • Work with clients and case managers in identifying community-based referrals for a client to continue treatment after leaving the shelter.
  • Develop and implement crisis prevention and/or intervention strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment.
  • Provide assistance and follow-up in regards to critical incidents with clients including the development of safety plans.
  • Ensure shelter adheres to a Good Neighbor policy by working with social service staff to develop a guide of community resources where clients can appropriately spend leisure time during the day.


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


Required Education and Experience: 

  • LMSW/LCSW required.
  • Experience with electronic case management systems, and demonstrated ability to utilize and review data to inform best practices in service provision.
  • Minimum of three years supervisory experience.
  • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance abuse and chronic homelessness is preferred.
  • Ability to work well under pressure, including crisis situations, and be flexible with work schedule when necessary.
  • Strong writing, communication, and organizational skills.


Preferred Experience:

  • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, mental health, substance use or chronically  homelessness population
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) preferred.

Supervisory Responsibility:   Oversees Social Worker, Case Managers and Housing Coordinator 


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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