Lantern says goodbye to a transformative Executive Director

Lantern Executive Director Laura Lazarus on the NAMI walk with a resident and case manager Lara

With both gratitude and sadness, Lantern Community Services announces that after three years of transformative leadership, Laura Lazarus will depart as Executive Director at the end of this month.

From expanding the range and quality of services our clients receive, to strengthening the administration and governance of the organization, Laura leaves Lantern a stronger and more effective organization than ever before. Among her many accomplishments, under Laura’s leadership we have:

  • Introduced an evidence-based approach to social services, giving our clients access to some of the highest quality programs available in supportive housing in New York City
  • Established dedicated programming in health, employment, nutrition, arts and fitness, taking a unique, rounded approach to our clients’ wellbeing
  • Broadened our partnerships in our New York City communities, involving over 50 government, academic and nonprofit agencies in delivering our programs
  • Developed a roster of staff trainings and ongoing support delivered by experts in our field, including academics from NYU, Dartmouth University and the University of Minnesota
  • Introduced hundreds of new supporters to our work, including volunteers who lead fantastic activities at our sites, donors who give generously to ensure children have school supplies and holiday gifts, and foundation funders who enable some of our most innovative programming.

Laura will be greatly missed by all of us at Lantern, and we can’t thank her enough for the dedication she has shown to improving services for people impacted by homelessness in New York City. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors.

Chief Program Officer Leslie Abbey will serve as Interim Executive Director, while the Board undertake their search for a new Executive Director. Leslie has spearheaded Lantern’s evidence-based programming over the past two years, and her appointment reflects the Board’s ongoing commitment to quality services.

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