St. Francis Friends of the Poor

Executive Director

To Apply

St. Francis Friends of the Poor has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, Chief Operating Officer
Harris Rand Lusk
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please put “SFFP ED” in the subject line of your emailed application

St. Francis Friends of the Poor (SFFP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the most vulnerable population in the City by providing housing, medical care and supportive services to homeless persons living with significant mental and behavioral health issues.  The first St. Francis Residence was opened in 1980, established by three Franciscan Friars whose ministries served this community. Among the first permanent supportive housing programs in New York City, St. Francis was a pioneer in offering a comprehensive approach to the problem of homelessness, combining the security of housing permanency with a range of services including mental and behavioral health counseling and treatment as well as occupational and independent living skills.

Today, three St. Francis Residences located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan provide housing and supportive services for almost 300 men and women.  Starting from a person-centered approach that is based on respect and compassion for each individual resident, SFFP’s staff provides a myriad of onsite activities and services, including a weekly tenants’ council, a breakfast and lunch program, laundry group, music and poetry groups, photography, newspaper group, art program, trips to art galleries and movie theaters and a “night lounge”. The night lounge features such recreational activities as weekly bingo, board games and nightly television, in a normalized setting. Each season there are holiday events and in warm weather residents enjoy day outings to the country. SFFP’s award-winning approach has become a model for programs throughout the US that serve those in need.

The Executive Director (ED)  is the leader of SFFP, responsible for overseeing the operations and administration, financial management, programs, fundraising, marketing and strategic planning of the organization. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director  leads community engagement efforts and outreach services for Manhattan’s most vulnerable populations. He or she will manage programmatic operations and continuity, ensuring exceptional program delivery, and cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships with city and regional agencies and organizations.

The ED must be a highly intelligent self-starter who shares the Board’s commitment to St. Francis’ core mission.  He or she must have the ability to advocate successfully and passionately on behalf of  the organization and the people it serves in the public and private sectors. The ED should be highly knowledgeable, flexible and entrepreneurial in dealing with challenges of government priorities and the delivery of supportive services and be able to adapt to change to foster the growth of the organization.  The ED will have relevant professional experience maintaining regulatory and contractual compliance with multiple government funders.  The ED should also have experience with and knowledge of the unique issues that affect individuals with mental and behavioral health issues facing the challenges of homelessness.

Excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills are critical.  The Executive Director must be comfortable and tactful in communicating with the individuals who receive services from St. Francis, as well as corporate executives, local business leaders, elected officials, public agency administrators, and the community.  He or she must be able to work closely with the Board and staff in a transparent, honest fashion that promotes inclusiveness, cooperation and teamwork.  In addition, he or she will be bright, diplomatic, analytical, creative, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment as well as a sense of humor, humility, and compassion.

Following a reasonable period of orientation to the organization, the Board will expect the ED to work with Board members to develop a strategic plan that will carry the organization forward over the next five years.  The plan will take into consideration the maintenance of excellence of the existing programs but will also explore the options for expanding the organization to serve a larger number of people.

Specific Responsibilities

Board Governance, Mission and Strategy                                                                                                                 

  • Proactively cultivates a strong and transparent working relationship with the SFFP Board of Directors based on trust and confidence; forge relationships with the Board that will bring forth their best ideas and efforts in support of SFFP’s activities; help attract and recruit new Board members.
  • Ensures that the Board of Directors is kept fully informed on SFFP’s finances and services, as well as on all key factors influencing the organization through strategy, operations and external engagements.
  • Collaborates with the Board to develop and monitor work on the long and short-term Strategic Plan consistent with the mission and philosophy of SFFP.
  • Enhances SFFP’s image by raising awareness in the community with active and visible programs, and by working closely with other professional, civic and private organizations and institutions.
  • Ensures that SFFP, all its staff and everyone who works with the organization address residents with dignity and respect in keeping with the ethical principles upon which the organization was founded.

Financial Management and Resource Development

  • Provides leadership to ensure that the organization has sufficient resources to carry out its work.
  • Manages the programs of SFFP to accomplish the contractual goals and objectives established by the organization’s funding sources.
  • Partners with the executive staff to mitigate risks, facilitate compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations and ensure adherence to best practices for management of programs, personnel and financial reporting.
  • Submits an annual budget to the Board of Directors for review and approval, successfully manages the operation to the agreed upon annual budget and provides the Board with monthly variance reports detailing actual expenditures vs. the budget.
  • Works closely with external accountants to ensure that appropriate internal controls are maintained.
  • Partners with the Board of Directors to identify innovative new opportunities to increase fundraising and develop and maintain relationships with major and potential new donors; develop creative strategies for identifying and engaging diverse constituencies critical to SFFP’s fundraising goals.

Program and Operations

  • Focuses the staff and Board on growth and commitment to delivering and sustaining the highest quality of service for the organization’s existing individuals and programs.
  • Ensures that the residents of SFFP are offered mental health/behavioral health services that are evidence-based, integrated into the day-to-day programming, and respectful of the wishes and goals of the residents. The ED will accomplish these objectives either by bringing the appropriate professional background to the position or by ensuring that staff with this professional background fulfill this role.
  • Ensures that all SFFP physical facilities are consistently maintained at a high level of safety and cleanliness. Conducts periodic capital needs assessments to identify investments that may be needed to maintain compliance with NYC building code and contractual and regulatory requirements.
  • Provides a management structure that is flexible and responsive to changing conditions; promotes a culture of transparency and openness that fosters opportunities for career growth.
  • Drives accountability to established quality standards as measured by internal and external evaluations.
  • Manages the team responsible for the day-to-day operational management of SFFP.
  • Responsible for human resources administration, including hiring and retaining competent, qualified staff.


  • A master’s degree in a related discipline.
  • Experience should include at least ten (10) years of increasingly responsible executive management experience in an organization of similar size and complexity.
  • Transparent leadership with the highest degree of integrity.
  • Solid, hands-on financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis and reporting.
  • Strong organization management abilities including planning, delegating, program development and facilitation.
  • Ability to convey a vision of SFFP’s strategic future to staff, Board, volunteers and donors.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff.
  • Strong public speaking ability.

St. Francis Friend of the Poor, Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. SFFP is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. 

For more information about St. Francis Friends of the Poor, please visit their website at www.stfrancisfriends.org

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168