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.


The Shelter Peer Engagement Specialist (PES) is responsible for providing support to clients living in emergency housing to motivate them and assist in the development of the stability and resources needed to live independently in the community.  Using lived experience, the PES will help clients to navigate the service systems in NYC including behavioral and medical health, criminal justice, entitlements, and transportation.  They will assist staff in the implementation of shelter social services and housing programming and build positive relationships with residents in order to maximize engagement.


Classification:  Non-Exempt


Reports to:  Director of Social Services ( Task supervision by Shift Supervisor)


Location:  Ozone Park, Queens


Position Type:

This is a part-time position with a regular daytime schedule that may include some later evenings and weekends. Lantern staff may be asked to change the work schedules and hours depending on the operational needs of the site and the agency.


Essential Functions:

  • Build relationships with clients to maximize their participation in supportive services.
  • Works with assigned clients to increase positive social connections, improve life skills and obtaining necessary resources for living independently.  
  • Assist with the development and facilitation of housing groups that provide information about the housing process and support the development of skills needed to maintain independent housing
  • Using a harm reduction approach teaches effective coping strategies and symptom management skills based on personal experience.
  • Promotes client securing benefits and entitlement by assisting clients with the completion of applications, coordination of appointments, providing appointment reminders and escorting to benefits related appointments.
  • Assists with the implementation of shelter recreational and support activities. Engages clients to participate in programming.
  • Models skills and motivation needed for clients to attain housing and recovery goals.
  • Participates in supervision as well as shelter staff meetings and case conferences to promote a team approach to service delivery
  • Document client interactions in confidential records
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned


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


Required Education and Experience: 

  • Peer Certification with New York State or willingness to complete within six months hire.
  • Lived experience with homelessness.
  • Experience receiving services for mental health, substance use, and/or a chronic health condition and a commitment to assist others in attaining recovery and wellness goals.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills; computer proficiency required.
  • High School Diploma or equivalent required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in conjunction with a social services team.
  • Sensitivity to issues involved in working in a diverse organization is essential.

Preferred Experience:

  • Bilingual skills in English/Spanish are a plus

Supervisory Responsibility:  None

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 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 15 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, the 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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