LANTERN COMMUNITY SERVICES INC

New York, NY   |  http://lanterncommunity.org

Mission

Founded in 1996, Lantern Community Services' mission is to champion the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Diane Louard-Michel

Main address

494 8th Avenue, 20th floor

New York, NY 10001 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3910692

NTEE code info

Public Housing (L21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The problem that Lantern seeks to address is the homelessness and affordable housing crisis in New York City. With over 60,000 shelter residents a night as of 2018, New York's homeless population has ballooned in recent years to an unsustainable level. The main cause of that growth is the lack of affordable housing within the city, with more and more neighborhoods becoming unaffordable and landlords pushing tenants out of their homes so that they can get higher rents.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Health & Wellness

Lantern Community Services takes a full-service, client-centered approach to fostering our clients’ physical and mental well-being. Our formerly homelessness clients—and the many youth we serve who spent years in the foster care system (usually as the result of neglect or abuse in their families of origin)—face numerous health challenges, including mental illness, trauma, chronic disease, addiction, and poor nutrition.

In all our buildings, onsite Health and Wellness Coordinators, in collaboration with case managers, assess each client’s health and wellness needs and, in partnership with the client, create a plan for addressing those needs. Whether a client needs smoking cessation support, treatment for chemical dependency, HIV risk reduction services, nutritional counseling, or access to primary or specialized medical care, Lantern provides the necessary linkages, services, access, and support. In addition, we employ a proven model called SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) to assist eligible residents in accessing disability income benefit programs that improve their quality of life and ensure they have the income needed to support their permanent housing costs.

Mental health is a major concern for many of our clients. Lantern’s staff are highly trained in working with individuals with mental health conditions, including those with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). In many buildings, we use a proven approach called the Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) model to improve functioning and reduce hospitalizations among our clients living with mental illness. This method features individual and group sessions in which clients acquire skills for managing their illness and moving forward on their personal recovery goals. The University of Minnesota’s Center for Chemical and Mental Health provides our IMR training and model fidelity monitoring (learn more here).

In addition, our trauma-informed services provide support that is responsive to the complex needs of the people we serve. And, as our healthcare system undergoes major transformation, Lantern’s expert teams help residents navigate these changes to get the medical and mental health care they need.

Population(s) Served

Lantern Community Services’ extensive onsite employment and educational services foster independence, community connection, and economic self-sufficiency for the formerly homeless individuals and young people we serve.

Our employment services match our clients’ needs, interests and work histories. Our Employment and Education Specialists work with clients to promote employment as a path to an independent, stable future. These Specialists are also experts in government-provided entitlements, and counsel clients on the interface between employment and benefits. We work closely with ACCES-VR, a New York State Department of Education vocational rehabilitation program that helps individuals with disabilities achieve and maintain employment.

In several buildings, Lantern uses an evidence-based approach called Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to help clients with mental illnesses, physical disabilities, and other challenges enter or rejoin the workforce. The IPS approach prioritizes building relationships with local employers through continuous outreach. Once these relationships are established, our IPS Specialists work to connect these employers with qualified candidates in our buildings. Once a client is employed, the ISP Specialists continue to provide support to help clients adapt to and excel in the workplace. Dartmouth University provides Lantern IPS staff with training and implementation support (learn more here).

Our educational services complement these employment services to promote our clients’ long-term independence and economic security. Since clients come to Lantern with widely varying educational histories, we match our educational services to each client’s needs and personal goals.

Clients preparing for the New York State high school equivalence test (formerly known as the GED) can access Lantern’s onsite classes in the subject areas required to pass New York State’s Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). The classes are taught by teachers from the NYC Department of Education. Lantern provides tutoring, snacks, in-class support and other incentives to help residents make the most of this resource.

We also help high school graduates enroll in college and locate funding to support their college education. For clients wishing to learn a trade, we provide referrals to vocational training organizations with which we have established linkages. Additional services include access to literacy classes and financial literacy workshops.

We also help our families secure their children’s access to educational opportunities, starting with high-quality early childhood education on through to college enrollment. We focus particularly on educational transitions of the children in our buildings by assisting families in enrolling their children in quality early childhood programs and pre-school, and then moving from grade school to middle school, high school, and beyond. Additionally, we assist families in finding enriching afterschool activities and summer camps for their children. Our family support services, cultural programs , and other activities foster family stability and nurture young people’s social, emotional, and intellectual growth.

Lantern’s educational services connect our clients with the transformative power of education and meaningful opportunities for economic self-sufficiency.

Population(s) Served

Lantern Community Services provides our low-income clients with the skills and resources they need to access, prepare, and enjoy nutritious food—a cornerstone of physical health and a good quality of life.

We promote our clients’ access to healthy food on a daily basis. At several buildings, we regularly provide nutritious communal meals, which assist with food security, build community, and decrease social isolation. In partnership with Greenmarket Co., and with support from City Council Member Diane Ayala, we also provide our clients with weekly produce boxes containing an assortment of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables. Several buildings host onsite gardening programs in which residents grow their own vegetables. With the assistance of teachers who are experts in urban gardening, our gardening programs help to build community within our buildings, beautify the spaces, and provide our clients with access to nutritious foods.

Our Health and Wellness Coordinators ensure that all clients who are eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits access this vital program. We participate in the NYC Department of Health’s “Health Bucks” program, so our clients can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables during our group outings to local farmers’ markets.

Along with improving our clients’ food security, we make sure they have the skills to prepare affordable, healthy meals. In weekly cooking classes, residents learn about food budgeting, and prepare and enjoy nutritious meals together. Seasonal cooking workshops focus on preparing the foods in the weekly produce boxes and harvested in our beautiful onsite gardens. Referrals to nutritional counseling are offered as needed.

By gardening, cooking, learning, and sharing meals together, our clients benefit from a true sense of home, health, and community.

Population(s) Served

Access to artistic, cultural, and fitness opportunities builds community among clients in our buildings, reduces social isolation, and promotes physical and emotional wellness.

As with all Lantern Community Services programs, our work in this area meets the distinctive needs of low-income families, people living with mental illness, children, and youth. Our families are enriched through field trips to New York City’s array of museums and other cultural and recreational venues. Our arts classes—led by expert instructors—incorporate therapeutic self-expression, stress reduction, and socialization skills into enjoyable activities like creative writing, digital photography, knitting, and visual art.

We promote active lifestyles in all of our buildings through yoga classes, African fusion dance, walking clubs, and other activities. In 2015, we launched full-scale Fitness Centers in two of our buildings, with more to come. Our Fitness Centers feature free weights, treadmills, stationary bicycles, and strength classes. Lantern’s onsite fitness programs give the residents in our buildings every opportunity to incorporate healthy activities into their daily routines.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Proportion of supportive housing clients who increase or maintain their entry income annually

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

Employment & Education Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

% of all Lantern clients | This is a standard metric set by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for supportive housing providers. The HUD quality benchmark for this metric is 54%.

Proportion of supportive housing clients who remain stably housed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

% of all Lantern clients | This is a standard metric set by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for supportive housing providers. The HUD quality benchmark for this metric is 80%.

Proportion of supportive housing clients who engage with social services each month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

% of all Lantern clients

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Lantern's mission is to champion the independence and well-being of New Yorkers who are impacted by, or threatened with, homelessness. Above all, our goal is to make sure that no one we serve ever becomes homeless again.

But championing independence and well-being is about more than just preventing homelessness. Our aim is to help people build the lives that they want for themselves: achieving mental and physical health or getting the healthcare they need, increasing their income or getting into work, accessing healthy food, and becoming involved in personally meaningful activities in their community.

Lantern's client-centered, individualized services are delivered onsite within our residences to maximize access and convenience, working in close partnership with our clients to promote their housing stability, wellness, dignity, and independence.

The programs we use encourage the best possible outcomes for the low-income and formerly homeless people we serve, and are proven effective in helping diverse groups of people improve their health and economic security. To promote our clients' well-being and independence, we deliver services in four core program areas, using evidence-based practices to achieve the best possible outcomes: health and wellbeing; employment and education; nutrition and culinary arts; and arts, culture and fitness.

Our clients benefit from Lantern's investment in rigorous staff training, program monitoring, evaluation, and quality improvement activities, including partnerships with a number of academic institutions to test our adherence to evidence-based practices.

Now in our 20th year, Lantern Community Services is a well-established organization at an exciting phase in our organizational growth. In our early days, we pioneered supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, and are now one of the city's largest supportive housing providers for young people who have aged out of foster care. We are a team of around 120 staff, serving clients in 15 supportive apartment buildings across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as scattered site properties in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

Lantern has developed more robust programming in multiple domains: re-designing our youth programming to be more responsive to the needs of our 18-to-25-year-old “emerging adult" clients; embracing a rigorous data-driven approach to service delivery, including implementing evidence-based practices with a keen eye toward model fidelity; increasing the standardization and quality control mechanisms across service sites; and building our organizational capacity to ramp up the programs and systems required to improve and measure client outcomes across all areas. These changes are deepening Lantern's impact, improving client outcomes, and demonstrating our effectiveness in ways that are resonating across the supportive housing field.

Over 20 years, Lantern Community Services has grown to now provide on-site social services to over 2,000 New Yorkers. As new buildings have opened to serve many more people, we have greatly expanded our services, introducing evidence-based programming and establishing specialized programs led by expert staff in employment, health, nutrition and the arts.

In 2015, Lantern began introducing a suite of evidence-based interventions targeting employment and economic security, mental and physical health, and self-efficacy. Over the coming year, we intend to bring our clients further interventions targeting HIV, diabetes, and the needs of young adults. Over the next two years, we will also begin providing services to two new supportive housing buildings in Manhattan – Savanna Hall in Washington Heights, and Stardom Hall in Clinton.

Financials

LANTERN COMMUNITY SERVICES INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

LANTERN COMMUNITY SERVICES INC

Board of directors
as of 3/15/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Amy Larovere

Amy Larovere Consulting

Rafal Markwat

Arete Property Management

Christapher Benson

Senior derivatives broker for Sunrise Brokers

Robert Chervenak

Certified Public Accountant

Daniel Kent

Vice President of Initiatives at Galvan Foundation

Jonathan Maddison

Software engineer at OTTO Health

Nathaniel Wice

Technology and publishing entrepeneur

Rafal Markwat

Arete Property Management

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No