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Policy Director

Coalition For The Homeless

Job Description

The Coalition for the Homeless (the ‘Coalition’) is the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless individuals and families. The Coalition believes that affordable housing, sufficient food and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society. Since its inception in 1981, the Coalition has engaged in litigation, public education and direct services to ensure that these goals are realized.

The Coalition is well known for its aggressive and innovative large-scale advocacy on behalf of homeless individuals and families through its policy analysis, lobbying, organizing, media relations, and public education. The Coalition’s credibility derives from more than four decades of experience as both an advocacy and direct service organization, and from ensuring that their advocacy is directly informed by the experiences and desires of the thousands of homeless and at-risk people served every day in their 11 programs.

Importantly, the Coalition serves as the court-appointed independent monitor of the DHS shelter system for single adults, and as the City-appointed independent monitor of the DHS shelter system for homeless families. The organization also has a long and invaluable institutional relationship with The Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project (HRP), with whom they work closely on a daily basis on a range of issues, including protecting the legal rights of homeless New Yorkers and ensuring the City’s compliance with past litigation brought by the two organizations.

This is an exciting time to join the Coalition as it is currently in the process of rebuilding and expanding its Advocacy Department while continuing to address homelessness and its intersections with racial and social justice. As such, the Coalition is seeking a passionate and energetic individual to fill the position of Policy Director.

The Position:
Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy, the Policy Director will play an integral role in helping to develop and lead the policy initiatives and advocacy efforts of the Coalition. The Policy Director primarily will be responsible for lobbying, policy research and data analysis, and will help lead the Coalition’s public relations and media strategy. The Policy Director will organize and oversee advocacy campaigns, including the Coalition’s upcoming, multi-year campaign to encourage New York City to create 12,000 units of affordable housing a year for five years. 

In order to develop and implement effective policy strategies that promote positive change and support the Coalition’s mission to end mass homelessness, the Policy Director will have a deep familiarity with both the New York City policy landscape as it pertains to homelessness, housing, and related issues and the Coalition’s external stakeholders, government agencies, City Hall and Council.

The Policy Director will be a strong and persuasive advocate for families and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and foster a tone consistent with the values, mission, and goals of the Coalition. In addition, they will be diplomatic, a team player, an active and engaged problem solver, and possess sound judgment.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Meet and communicate with key New York City administration officials; prepare written materials as needed; monitor Mayor’s press conferences and statements for mentions of relevant topics.
  • Meet with City Council Members and staff on a variety of topics; monitor and testify at Council hearings; prepare and submit written testimony; track relevant Council legislation.
  • Prepare and submit funding applications and budget request background info and correspondence; liaise with IBO (Independent Budget Office) on specific requests.
  • Manage contract and work of NYC lobbying firm; register with City Clerk lobbying commission; track lobbying activities of the NYC office including reportable social media content; prepare bimonthly City and State lobbying reports and info for Federal 990 reports.
  • Gather, analyze, track, and update NYC homeless population data, including shelter capacity information; submit regular FOIL requests and track responses.
  • Draft and edit policy documents and related work such as Coalition’s annual State of the Homeless report, policy briefs and other documents.
  • Coordinate with Coalition partners on campaigns; plan and lead regular meetings.
  • Assist leadership team with: PR and media strategy; triaging and responding to requests from journalists; arranging client interviews for news media; and overseeing draft statements, news releases and website content.
  • Pursue grassroots organizing and create written advocacy materials.
  • Supervise work of Policy and Data Analyst as well as work closely with Coalition team to execute agenda.



  • Graduate degree in relevant subject preferred
  • Minimum ten years of experience in advocacy, organizing, campaign, government, media relations, and/or direct service experience with homelessness, housing, poverty, public benefits, or related issues
  • At least six years of experience with public policy issues
  • Highly developed communications skills are critical: excellent writing and editing ability, polished oral presentation, ability to speak on your feet
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and project‐management abilities
  • Ability to manage a large, varied, and constant workload while maintaining the highest professional standards of work product, conduct, and communications (both internal and external)
  • External facing, able to develop relationships with a wide array of constituents
  • Ability to build and work with a collegial team
  • Ability to manage critical communications and tasks on evenings and weekends, if necessary
  • Deep and unwavering commitment to racial and social justice required


Salary range for this position is $150,000 – $160,000.

For more information about the Coalition, please visit their website at https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org.

All positions at the Coalition are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  All are encouraged to apply. 


To Apply:

The Coalition has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, President & CEO

Harris Rand Lusk

260 Madison Avenue, 15th Fl.

New York, NY 10016


Email your cover letter and resume to: groose@harrisrand.com

Please include “Coalition for the Homeless Policy Director” in the subject line of your emailed application.

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