Position Title:

Lazarus House Shelter Program Director

Reports To:

Director of Advocacy

Lazarus House Ministries started 37 years ago with a challenge from Mother Teresa (yes, THAT Mother Teresa) to a Marist Brother to make a difference in Lawrence. In the decades since, Lazarus House has earned a reputation as a trusted faith-based nonprofit in the Merrimack Valley. Food, shelter, work preparation, advocacy and clothing are our core strengths and we are committed to innovating to serve our community’s evolving needs best.

Position Summary:

Our family shelter provides an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and resume independent living in the future. This position is responsible to manage the day-to-day operations of the Shelter.

Position Description – Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Responsible for daily operation of the family Shelter including guest well-being, staff and volunteer management and building maintenance needs.

  • Understand the systemic issues that affect low income , newly and/or chronically homeless families and apply this knowledge through advocacy work to engage the dignity of guests by:

  • Working with guests to establish and monitor progress to individualized service plans that address goals and life skills

  • Supporting guests; monitor, assess behavior.

  • Developing and delivering training to guest along with staff to address relevant issues such as daily living skills, budgeting, housing, hygiene, self-esteem, etc.

  • Develop, document, administer and update shelter policies and procedures.

  • Provide clear direction for and management of shelter staff.

  • Effectively manage scheduling, shift changes and last minute shifts in personnel.

  • Provide learning and development opportunities for staff as needed.

  • With Shelter team proactively identify potential challenges and minimize occurrence to provide a safe, supportive, respectful home environment for guests, staff and volunteers.

  • Implement effective communication tools including documentation and shift change meetings to keep all appraised of issues from shift to shift.

  • Conduct initial intakes/assessment for guests coming in through other Ministry Programs or agencies to determine appropriateness for program and willingness to conform to Shelter agreements.

  • Serve as advocate/counselor and case manager for shelter guests to address needs around benefits, employment medical/dental care, education, legal, immigration assistance, mental health and substance abuse. Meet with guests weekly and additionally if necessary.

  • Ensure that shelter guests have completed an adequate housing search during their shelter stay. Meet with shelter guests on a regular basis. Work with clients to maintain goals and life skills.

  • Provide Crisis intervention, safety planning and information about Domestic Violence programs and resources.

  • Attend trainings that are relevant to direct service advocacy. Provide in-service trainings when appropriate.

  • Perform day-to-day administrative duties.

  • With the Grants manager and Director of Advocacy develop, maintain and report on metrics and statistics to measure program effectiveness

  • With the Finance and Accounting Manager and Director of Advocacy develop, maintain and monitor area budget.

  • Be on call 24-7 to address emergency needs.

  • Represent LHM at community meetings and other relevant functions.

  • Fulfills other position-related duties as required


  • Required BA/BS degree in human services, psychology or related field.

  • Prefer and MS in social work, human services or psychology.

  • Knowledge and understanding of homelessness and community resources.

  • At least 5 years’ leadership work experience in the field of human services.

  • Knowledge of state and federal laws that affect and protect the poor and homeless populations.

  • Strong professional with excellent boundaries, decision making skills who is also skilled in housing, crisis intervention, supportive listening, community outreach and working with a diverse population.

  • Bilingual, Bicultural, culturally competent.

  • Strong organizational skills

  • Detail oriented

  • Ability to adapt to all crisis situations as they arise

  • Ability to deal tactfully and establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with others including: working in a team setting, establishing rapport with persons from a different ethnic, cultural and/or economic background, interacting with and demonstrating empathy to people who are under physical and/or emotional stress; maintaining a calm manner in stress and/or emergency situations.

  • Strong verbal, written and organizational skills.

  • Competent in MS Office and social service database programing.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions:

The information described here includes but is not necessarily limited to general physical requirements, demands and/or working conditions that an employee is likely to encounter at Lazarus House, Inc. You must be able to handle or possess the ability to meet the following:

  • Prolonged sitting and standing, some bending, stooping, and stretching.

  • Eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity to operate equipment pertinent to your position.

  • Lifting, moving, and carrying up to 50 pounds.

  • Travel from building to building within the ministry and external agencies.

  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and ability to work with diverse populations, including people who are homeless or have a mental illness or other challenges.

  • Interact effectively with staff, guests, volunteers, benefactors, and the general public.

  • Manage multiple priorities

  • Able to manage the stress of the job

  • This position requires the individual to offer physical stability and support to the guests of the residence, such as but not limited to lifting and assistance if a guest was to fall, stabilizing guests during walking, assistance in execution of stairs, and helping guests up and down from chairs.