Welcome to the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island

At the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI), our work is to ensure that our region is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to live. We can set the standard for what an equitable region looks like. That means safe communities, decent, affordable housing, healthy food, access to care and an opportunity to thrive. In our quest for improvements and systemic change, we face a unique set of obstacles. In fact, the poverty rate today is at its highest since 1959. Given the current assault on the country’s most vulnerable communities, our work is more important than ever.

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Recent News

February 14, 2024

M&T Foundation awards $675K to six Long Island nonprofits

By Adina Glenn

Posted on February 13th, 2024

Read on LIBN

The M&T Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of M&T Bank, has awarded $675,000 in grants to six Long Island nonprofits. The grants are part of $8.2 million that the foundation awarded to 68 nonprofits across New England, Long Island and Rockland County.

This grants are through the foundation’s “Amplify Fund,” a $25 million philanthropic investment that was announced in 2022 and stemmed from the merger between People’s United Bank and M&T Bank. The initiative aims to work with groups that are dedicated to “addressing social issues through a racial equity and social justice lens in low- and moderate- income communities and underrepresented populations,” according to M&T Foundation.

For this second round of funding, M&T had announced a call for proposals in August of 2023. The foundation sought initiatives from nonprofits that worked to solve a specific issue with a focus on either family stability, income and wealth equity, workforce development or health equity.

On Long Island, the funding was awarded to Community Action Southold Town in Southold, Erase Racism in Syosset, EAC  in Garden City, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island in Huntington Station, Long Island FQHC in Westbury, and Northwell Health in New Hyde Park.

“At M&T, addressing the institutionalized and systemic issues preventing disadvantaged communities from accessing opportunities and achieving long-term success is key to our mission as a community-focused bank,” Dominique Goss, executive director of the M&T Charitable Foundation said in a written statement.

“We are proud to provide the Amplify Fund as a difference-making resource in the communities we serve and look forward to continuing our work to increase racial and economic equity throughout our footprint,” Gross added.

The grants ranged from $50,000 to $150,000 on Long Island.

“The Health Equity Taskforce and Northwell Health are committed to advancing health equity for vulnerable and marginalized populations throughout Long Island,” Dr. Debbie Salas-Lopez, senior vice president of Community and Population Health at Northwell Health, said in a written statement.

“This generous grant from the M&T Bank Charitable Foundation’s Amplify Fund will advance our work to strengthen the youth mental health ecosystem throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties,” Salas-Lopez said.

“With improved access to mental health services, education, and support, the Health Equity Taskforce will realize a significant and sustainable impact on the mental health of Long Island’s underrepresented youth,” Salas-Lopez said.

The M&T Foundation will offer a third round of grants, which will be announced later this year.

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February 14, 2024

HWCLI Press Release: Health & Welfare Council of Long Island Receives $150,000 From M&T Bank's Amplify FundHWCLI Press Release

Huntington Station, New York  February 14th, 2024 – The M&T Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB), has awarded $150,000 to Health & Welfare Council of Long Island. The grant is part of the second round of giving through the Amplify Fund providing more than $8.2 million to 68 lead nonprofit organizations throughout New England, Long Island, and Rockland County, NY.

“On behalf of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, I am grateful that we have been awarded the Amplify Grant from the M&T Charitable Foundation,” said Vanessa Baird Streeter, President and CEO. “With this recognition and support, our organization can help a network of providers and community-based organizations hire, train, integrate, and retain Community Health Workers (CHWs). CHWs play a vital role in enhancing the health of individuals and communities and this initiative will boost the growth of this sector within the public health workforce.”

HWCLI provides a host of direct services and opportunities that are dedicated to improving the lives of Long Island's most vulnerable residents. We operate a series of programs and coalitions that address health equity, nutritional security, access to affordable healthcare, and economic security. Together with our network of nonprofits, we are able provide a unique and crucial safety net for our Long Island neighbors.

“Through the Amplify Fund, we are committed to continuing our partnership with organizations like Health & Welfare Council of Long Island that work hand-in-hand with community members in the field to provide the critical resources and programming necessary to truly make a difference,” said Dominique Goss, Executive Director of the M&T Charitable Foundation. “At M&T, addressing the institutionalized and systemic issues preventing disadvantaged communities from accessing opportunities and achieving long-term success is key to our mission as a community bank. We are proud to provide the Amplify Fund as a difference-making resource in the communities we serve.” 

First announced in May 2022, the Amplify Fund is a $25 million philanthropic investment as part of the merger between People’s United Bank and M&T Bank. Powered by the M&T Charitable Foundation, the Amplify Fund is a one-time supplemental charitable program to provide further support in the legacy People's United communities. The first round of funding totaled more than $11.8 million to 105 nonprofit organizations and focused on equity and environmental initiatives, mission-driven and capacity-building work, community and tenant organizing, and financial empowerment and education for individuals and small businesses. 

Phase II of the Amplify Fund focused on providing funding, for up to three years, to nonprofit collaboratives working together toward a common goal for solving a specific social issue, to help advance equity in the following key areas of focus: 

Family Stability: Affordable housing, food security, and access to quality and affordable childcare. Income & Wealth Equity: Employment, small business development, homeownership, and financial empowerment initiatives.  Workforce Development: Education and training opportunities focused on upskilling and career pathways in high-growth sectors leading to economic prosperity.  Health Equity: Access to quality and affordable healthcare, with a priority on youth mental health and women and infant health. 

The Amplify Fund is designed to drive sustainable impact that is equitable, accessible, and responsive to local needs. Regional representatives of the bank will continue to meet with local leaders to help inform the strategic direction for the Fund’s third round. 

For more information on the Amplify Fund, including the full list of grant recipients in New England and Metro New York, please visit the Amplify Fund website.  

About M&T Charitable Foundation 

The M&T Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of M&T Bank, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization founded in 1993 and funded by M&T Bank. The M&T Charitable Foundation awards nearly $40 million in grants per year to thousands of nonprofit organizations focused on improving the quality of life in the areas the bank serves. M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, provides banking products and services in 12 states across the eastern U.S. from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. Trust-related services are provided in select markets in the U.S. and abroad by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. For more information on M&T Bank, visit www.mtb.com.  

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January 5, 2024

Vanessa Baird-Streeter is the next president and CEO of HWCLI

By Adina Glenn

Posted on January 5th, 2024

Read on LIBN

Vanessa Baird-Streeter will be the next president and CEO of Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, effective Feb. 5.

The former deputy county executive of community recovery for Suffolk County, Streeter brings knowledge of government, non-profits, finances, fundraising, collaboration and more.

“Fighting for the underserved and creating a Long Island where all communities have an equal opportunity to thrive has been at the core of my lifelong personal mission,” Baird-Streeter said in a written statement.

“The fact that I can use my own voice and actions to cultivate leaders and represent those who do not have a seat at the table is a blessing and I am eager to bring that conviction, alongside the expertise of my 25-year public service career to the role of president and CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island,” she added.

In her role in Suffolk County, Baird-Streeter served as facilitator of the county’s Police Reform and Reinvention Task Force. That experience, according to HWCLI, “has prepared her well for bridging divides between stakeholders and will serve” both the organization and the region.

Baird-Streeter worked closely with HWCLI on its 2020 Census work and knows the organization’s mission and values. In the county, she was responsible for initiatives that involve language access, veterans services and aging and many other community initiatives.

Born and raised in Wyandanch, Barid-Streeter went on to earn bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College with a double major in economics and education.

Earlier in her career, she worked in finance as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs Investment Bank and subsequently serving as head bond buyer and portfolio analyst for KLS Professional Advisors.

Baird-Streeter takes the helm from Rebecca Sanin, now a Suffolk County legislator.

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