Shelter Housing Specialist

Lantern Community Services | Queens (Ozone Park), New York


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.

Job Summary

The Housing Specialist is responsible for helping clients find permanent housing and become self-sufficient. Services will include assisting with orienting clients to the housing search process and training clients in how to conduct an apartment search, how to interview for an apartment, and how to complete housing applications. Additionally, the Housing Specialist will provide escorts to housing-related appointments and facilitate moving on by supporting clients with direct assistance during the final moving out phase. 

Classification: Non-Exempt

Position Type:

This is a full-time position with a daytime schedule that may include some weekend 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.

Reports To

Reports to: Housing Coordinator

Location: Ozone Park, Queens


 Essential Functions:

  • Conducts the housing intake and housing assessment interviews for all new clients.
  • Adheres to DHS time frames for permanent housing placement.
  • Assists with the completion of the housing portion of the initial service plan/independent living plan and any necessary revisions.
  • Assists assigned Case Managers to complete and submit HRA-2010E applications and obtain related paperwork.
  • Assists with the completion of housing reports and in gathering and organizing any statistics and demographic information requested by funders.
  • Presents workshops for clients to educate about the housing process and the skills needed to secure and maintain permanent housing such as budgeting and credit development and repair.
  • Develops new housing resources and educates clients about available benefits such as subsidies and vouchers.
  • Escorts clients to view apartments and other appointments as needed.
  • Assists clients in moving into permanent housing by providing support such as attending lease signings, assisting with applications for one-shot deals, providing moving assistance, etc.
  • Provides additional information and instruction on the skills required to secure and maintain permanent housing, such as how to create and maintain a household budget.
  • Participate in housing meetings, case conferences, staff meetings, and other meetings/trainings as assigned.
  • Documents all counseling, escorting, referral and discharge planning activities in client charts.

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


Required Education and Experience: 

  • High School Diploma or equivalent required, Bachelor's degree in social services or related field preferred.
  • One year of experience required assisting homeless or difficult to serve populations find housing. 
  • Experience providing services to individuals with mental illness, substance use, chronic health conditions and/or homelessness.
  • Sensitivity to issues involved in working with a diverse organization.
  • Must have  initiative, the ability to work well under pressure,  and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Strong communication and organizational skills. 
  • Bilingual skills in English and Spanish are a plus.


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, 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.

How to Apply

 For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website. 

Lantern Community Services


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations