Lantern Community Services is one of New York City’s largest providers of supportive housing for young adults. We provide tailored services for young people ages 18 to 26 who have recently aged out of foster care.
Many of these young people entered foster care due to abuse or neglect by their families of origin. Many are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Like young people aging out of foster care nationwide, they are at elevated risk for homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, incarceration, sexual and physical victimization, and health disparities.
All of these young adults need youth-friendly, developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed services that improve their day-to-day lives while building the foundation for a healthy, independent adulthood.
Lantern’s services are a lifeline for these young people. Lantern promotes a warm and welcoming environment in which young people thrive. This includes LGBT-friendly services and an atmosphere in which diversity in all its forms is honored. Our youth-appropriate independent living skills education, creative and recreational activities, employment and educational services, individual and group counseling, cultural and fitness programming, and other creative interventions, enable each young person to reach his or her full potential.
Our growing suite of innovative youth-focused initiatives includes:
- Our second year of funding for the Moving On initiative, supported by the Robin Hood Foundation and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, provides housing transition services to enable our emerging adults to access independent housing in their community of choice, as well as aftercare to facilitate a successful transition.
- Our forthcoming Transitions Toolkit for young adults, and accompanying staff manual to direct Lantern staff’s work, assist clients in successfully transitioning out of Lantern’s facilities by the age of 26. The toolkit is based on Foster Club’s “Transition Toolkit” for youth transitioning out of foster care.
- The development of multiple strategies to address the financial capacity of our young adult clients, who are budgeting expenses for the first time. We are partnering with Operation HOPE to provide workshops and one-on-one counseling.
- Employment Specialist solely working with Lantern’s young adults. The IPS (Individual Placement & Support) Employment Services program is a proven and robust evidence-based approach to connecting low-income and formerly homeless individuals with severe mental illness to jobs and the support services needed to be productive workforce members. This Specialist plays an important role in enabling vulnerable young adults to gain dignity, independence, and productivity as workforce participants in competitive employment.
- The development, piloting and national dissemination of Food for Life, a new, evidence-informed nutrition, cooking, and financial capacity program for young adults who live in supportive housing.
All Lantern staff receive extensive training in Motivational Interviewing (MI), a person-centered evidence-based model proven to evoke and strengthen client motivation and commitment to change.