October 22, 2021

HWCLI Digest Oct. 22, 2021

Health Equity Alliance of Long Island

HWCLI convenes a Health Equity Alliance of Long Island (HEALI) meeting, which strives to address the integration of health and human services for better health outcomes across Long Island. The mission of HEALI is to engage health and human services, community members and other stakeholders to ensure equitable health and life outcomes for all Long Islanders through cross-sector partnerships, innovative funding strategies, and improvements in the health & human service delivery system by:

  • Developing an IT infrastructure that allows for multi-directional data sharing among agencies while respecting clients’ rights and protecting their privacy.
  • Improve connectivity between agencies as they screen clients and track referrals within the sector.
  • Engage community members, being inclusive and using a culturally and linguistically competent lens.
  • Use our collective power and unified voice to advocate for services and investments needed for Long Island’s diverse communities.
  • Develop strategies that simultaneously prepare CBOs for change, convey value, and highlight our leadership and expertise to collectively impact a transforming healthcare system.

The HEALI Steering Committee is looking for feedback about your experience to help inform their planning and advocacy work. Please help HEALI advocate for increased health and human service integration and better outcomes for all Long Islanders by completing this very brief HEALI Survey. It will take less than five minutes and will provide valuable input.

The next HEALI remote meeting is November 17th at 10:00am. If you would like the link to the meeting, to participate in the coalition or have any questions, please email Jake Ryan at jryan@hwcli.com.

HWCLI’s Client Services


The HWCLI Healthcare Access Team helps our clients find health insurance plans that best fits their medical and financial needs. We have an outstanding health care team of certified navigators who help individuals and families enroll in free or low-cost health insurance plans through the New York State Health Marketplace. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the open enrollment period has been extended to December 31, 2021. Enroll with one of our navigators today!

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

HWCLI connects Long Islanders with SNAP benefits by assisting with applications and enrollment and providing necessary education and outreach through community events at the grassroots level. SNAP provides nutrition assistance to eligible individuals and families. In response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed. This federal act allows the issuance of emergency allotment supplemental benefits to households who receive SNAP benefits.

For additional information about the services offered by HWCLI, click here.

Empower Life on Long Island

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many. Whether its grief, anxiety, depression or substance abuse, Americans are still grappling with how the pandemic has shaped our lives for the past eighteen months. The Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Service is using the COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention Grant to support the Long Island community by providing a robust support system, counseling and treatment for those struggling with their mental health.

For more information about this important initiative, please click here.

Hunger Solutions New York Welcomes Andres Vives as Executive Director

Hunger Solutions New York’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Andres Vives as Executive Director. Mr. Vives assumes the Executive Director position with more than eleven years of experience in executive leadership, including nine years as Hunger Solutions New York’s Associate Executive Director. In that role, he managed a significant organizational expansion, developed and implemented a strategic plan to increase organizational visibility, improved program design, and organized Hunger Solutions New York’s first statewide Anti-Hunger Conference.

“I’m grateful to Hunger Solutions New York’s Board of Directors for their trust in me and for this opportunity to lead a well-established organization that’s making a difference for New Yorkers every day,” said Andres. “My goal as Executive Director is to increase the reach of our organization by investing in our dedicated team, strengthening and promoting the Hunger Solutions New York brand, and deepening our partnerships with other anti-hunger stakeholders. I will build on the successes of the past 36 years while creating new opportunities for collaboration, resource development, and outreach. I’m excited to be working with our staff, board, statewide and community partners, and others committed to ending hunger in New York State.”

Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project


The Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project is based on the principles of mutual self-help. By bringing veterans together to share experiences, camaraderie, and support, each has the opportunity to speak freely and openly about their military service without judgment. The Dwyer Project is staffed by veterans of all eras who have experienced their own readjustments to civilian life. By facilitating group discussions and engaging in activities of mutual interest, veterans build trust, learn from each other, and overcome common challenges.

Weekly group meetings are held in accessible locations throughout Suffolk County. They are facilitated by trained veterans, who are backed-up by a team of behavioral health professionals and resource experts. Veterans may participate in multiple groups or find one that matches his or her needs and interests.

To learn more about the services provided, please email vetspeertopeer@suffolkcountyny.gov, call (631)-853-8345 or click here.

The Dwyer Project Brochure can be found here.

Centering the Family Experience: Implications from Help Me Grow-Long Island’s Report Webinar

Join The Education Trust – New York and Kids Can’t Wait in a discussion about Help Me Grow – Long Island’s “Centering the Family Experience: Implications for Long Island’s Early Childhood System.” In this report, feedback from families led to further exploration of existing quantitative data to identify an under-recognized issue for families: specifically how obstacles in registering for the local school district discouraged and delayed families seeking special education evaluation for their young children with suspected developmental delays. The event will include a panel to discuss the reports findings and recommendations.

November 5, 2021 at 12:00pm

If you would like to register for the event, please click here.

Hope For Youth is Looking for Therapeutic Foster Families

Hope For Youth announces the launch of Project 21 designed to increase foste­r bed capacity and ensure that every youth in care has a home to come back to after a long day. The goal of Project 21 is to increase the number of therapeutic foster families certified with Hope For Youth. The increase in therapeutic foster families will directly increase the number of beds available for youth in care.

Hope For Youth offers digital orientations the last Thursday of every month for those interested in learning more about the process of becoming a therapeutic foster parent at Hope For Youth. Individuals interested in additional information or attending the orientation sessions should contact, Tina Basile, Project 21 Coordinator at (631)782-6516 or tbasile@hfyny.org.

COVID-19 Booster Shot

The COVID-19 vaccines continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including against the delta variant. CDC data show that in August 2021, the risk of dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. was more than 11 times greater for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people. The FDA had amended the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of a single booster dose as follows:

  • The use of a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine that may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals:
    • 65 years of age and older
    • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19
    • 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2
  • The use of a single booster dose of the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine.

The Public Health Collaborative has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, which can be found here.

Community Organizations Urge New Yorkers to Vote YES on Voting Rights and Redistricting Ballot Questions

On November 2nd, as voters head to the polls, they will have the opportunity to vote on ballot questions that will improve the state’s voting rights and redistricting process.

To view the ballot questions and for more information, please click here.

NYS FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers

The Coastal Storm that hit Long Island this week brought heavy rain and high winds, causing flooding and power outages. Personnel from state agencies such as the Department of Financial Services, Department of Health, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Office of Children and Family Services and Department of Labor will be stationed within the DRCs to connect impacted citizens with state programs or services that may be available to assist them in their recovery. At the recovery center, residents can come tto apply for assistance, check on their application status, and ask questions.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center for Nassau County

Location: Senator Michael Tully Park
1801 Evergreen Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Operating times: 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center for Suffolk County

Location: Rose Caracappa Senior Center
739 NY-25A, Mt Sinai, NY 11768
Operating times: 10am-6pm Monday-Friday

For additional online resources, as well as FEMA downloadable pamphlets, please click here, or call 800-621-3362

HHS Launches Spanish Language App to Help Latinos Navigate Health Care Questions

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a Spanish version of the QuestionBuilder app, which can help Latino patients prepare for their in-person or telehealth appointments. An HHS report found that Spanish-speaking Latino adults are more likely to worry about medical bills compared to their English-speaking counterparts, and previous research shows that Latinos with limited English proficiency are less likely to obtain outpatient care and receive prescriptions than English-speaking Latinos. The QuestionBuilder in Spanish is available for phone, tablet, or laptop at no charge through Apple App Store and Google Play.

To read the full press report in English, please click here.

To read the full press report in Spanish, please click here.

Restaurant Meals Program Signed Into Law

Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation establishing a statewide Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Once approved by the USDA, the law will allow those who are homeless, disabled, or over 60 to use their SNAP benefits to receive prepared or hot food from participating restaurants. HWCLI is working with partners across the region on the roll-out of this important program. To learn more, contact Jake Ryan at jryan@hwcli.com.

In addition to helping those who may encounter challenges cooking and storing food, Governor Hochul announced the creation of a Restaurant Resiliency Program that will enable food pantries to contract with restaurants. The Long Island region has been awarded $1.5 million with Island Harvest and Long Island Cares receiving $793,657 each. Funds will provide relief to the restaurant industry which continues to face challenges due to COVID-19. Restaurants can apply for this program by clicking here.

To learn more about the Restaurant Meals Program, click here.

Secure Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant

Governor Hochul announced the opening of the application period for $25 million in grants to strengthen safety and security measures at facilities of nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or missions. The funding is being administered through the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and allows for the purchase of additional security needs.

Through the latest round of funding, awards of up to $50,000 will be granted to support two-year contracts that are expected to begin in June of 2022. Funds can cover exterior or interior security improvements, including lighting locks, alarms, panic buttons, fencing, barriers, access control, shatter-resistant glass, blast-resistant film and public address systems. Funds can also cover costs associated with security training.

Eligible organizations may submit up to three applications for a maximum of $150,000. Each facility will require a separate application.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 7, 2022. Please click here for eligibility requirements, instructions, and additional information.

Realtors Relief Fund

The Long Island Board of REALTORS® is helping those displaced by Ida’s flooding. Have you been negatively affected by Hurricane Ida and need housing assistance? You may be eligible to receive housing assistance. LIBOR, in partnership with the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and New York Association of REALTORS® is providing assistance to those in need.

Assistance is available to qualified applicants towards one of the following options:

1) Monthly mortgage expense for the primary residence that was damaged by the Hurricane Ida Disaster or;

2) Rental cost due to displacement from the primary residence resulting from the Hurricane Ida Disaster. Relief assistance is limited to a maximum of $2,000 per applicant per household. Please read application for complete requirements, eligibility and restrictions on use. Deadline for application submission is October 31, 2021.

If you would like to apply online, click here.

If you would like to mail you application, download and print the application here and send to:


c/o Long Island Board of REALTORS®

300 Sunrise Highway

West Babylon, NY 11704

Any questions? Please email idarelief@lirealtor.com

No-cost cancer screening!

Cancer screening is important because it can detect cancer at an early stage in people who aren’t showing symptoms, thereby reducing their chance of dying from cancer. The Cancer Services Program offers no-cost breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings to uninsured men and women in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. To learn more about the Suffolk program, call (631) 548-6320. To learn more about the Nassau program, call (718) 470-4998.

Financial Recovery Resources for Households, Small Businesses & Non-profit Organizations

Boost Nassau Resource Center – Connects residents, businesses, and non-profits with COVID-19 financial recovery grant and loan programs. Newly added to the Center is the BOOST Main Street Small Business Grant Program and the Boost Nassau Nonprofit Grant. The Household Assistance Program will be released soon.

Entities can make an appointment with the Boost Nassau Resource Team to find out which resources align with various recovery needs. The Center is in Eisenhower Park and can also be reached at (516) 572-2888.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance – Provides financial assistance for funerals that have resulted from deaths related to COVID-19.

NYS launches new COVID-19 data website

On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a new centralized website for New York State COVID-19 data. The one-stop website features data on testing, cases, and variants, hospitalizations and fatalities, vaccines, long-term care facilities, and schools. Users can sort New York State Department of Health data by age, gender, race/ethnicity, facility, and county.

Vaccinations at Your Workplace!

Businesses, non-profit organizations and municipalities can request for the Nassau County Department of Health to come to your place of work to provide vaccines for you and your co-workers. To request a vaccination event at your workplace, call (516) 227-9570.

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Established in 1947, the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI) is a regional, nonprofit umbrella organization for health and human service providers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of Long Island’s most vulnerable residents by responding to their needs through the promotion and development of public policies and direct services.

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