Taking care of our community’s residents has always been a priority for the Community Foundation. Over the past ten years, we have awarded $6.7 million in grants to help strengthen the local social safety-net by supporting health and human services organizations and programs.

The Community Foundation also has a long history of convening resources around important issues that affect the health, happiness and prosperity of our region’s residents. In 1997, we gathered several local job training organizations, encouraging them to work together toward a collective mission that could leverage federal funding. The resulting collaboration, Greater Syracuse Works, has now been helping low income individuals attain and sustain employment for 20 years.

In 2012, we were approached by leaders of local human services organizations about strengthening their network — which would enable them to have a stronger collective voice and build institutional capacity across dozens of local nonprofit members. We are proud to have joined with other local funders to support the Human Services Leadership Council of CNY (HSLC) through grant, administrative and facilitation support. HSLC is a regional network of human services agencies working together to coordinate their high-quality responses to needs in Central New York. HSLC has become a key advocate for members on state policy matters affecting human services agencies and the people they serve.

More recently, we joined Home HeadQuarters, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, numerous government entities and community-based organizations to establish the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Greater Syracuse. This program helps low to moderate-income Syracuse homeowners use less energy and create homes free of health and safety hazards, such as lead paint exposure, that may otherwise have a negative impact on education and employment.

We also provide facilitation, convening, administrative and grant support to the Greater Syracuse HOPE Initiative, a collaboration of community members seeking to reduce the poverty levels in our city’s neighborhoods. And our technical and grant assistance to the Early Childhood Alliance of Onondaga County is helping our community partners meet the health and education needs of our region’s youngest residents.

As our community members face new and ongoing challenges, we know it is more important than ever to ensure that local charitable resources provide the greatest good to help people live happy and healthy lives.