Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:    September 12, 2019

Time:    1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library


Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                              1:00pm - 1:05pm         

Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales: Holyoke Public School Homeless Liaison                 1:05pm - 1:20pm

McKinny Vento Act protects individuals facing marginalized housing by helping remove barriers to education for individuals and families and also encouraged the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act along with Every Student Succeeds Act. These acts are aimed to assist children or youth who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residency due to economic hardship, loss of housing or other similar reasons. These acts can apply to youth who are living in hotels/motels, emergency or transitional shelters, trailer parks, camp groups, a public or private place not designed for humans to live in such as cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings. Some classroom indicators that a student may be facing homelessness: lack of continuity of education such as attending many different schools, lack of personal records needed to enroll, and/or the inability to pay fees. Social and behavioral signs: poor/short attention span, poor self-esteem, unwillingness to form relationships with peers and teachers, and/or difficulty socializing at recess.

There are many effects of facing homelessness, such as: food insecurity, lack of medical/dental/mental health services, loss of connection to family/friends/community, more likely to drop out of school, educational gaps due to high mobility. Some barriers to education individuals facing housing instability may experience: stereotypes and lack of awareness, enrollment requirements (birth certificate, proof of residency, recent physical exam), poor health/fatigue/hunger, emotional trauma/depression/anxiety, lack of transportation/school supplies/clothing.

There are many educational rights in which youth facing marginalized housing have access to such as: school selection and enrollment – parents have the right to choose where their child receives their education. This may include their school of origin; school which was last attended, school attended when student became homeless, or enroll in the school that’s closest to the student temporary nighttime residence. Youth are also guaranteed transportation; each district has their own transportation policy which they follow under the McKinny-Vento Act and can vary from district to district. Each district must provide transportation to and from the school/preschool of origin. Nutrition may be provided under the McKinny Vento Act such as free lunch and free breakfast.

There is also a guaranteed equal access and comparable services available for those facing marginalized housing. Other services available for students under McKinny Vento: uniforms, hygiene products, shoes/socks/undergarments, winter coats/gloves/hats, backpack and school supplies, summer programs, weekends backpack program, etc.

Agency Overview and Updates                                                            1:20pm - 2:20pm

Rebekah Rennick: Tapestry

Looking to improve sexual education policies within Holyoke Public Schools. No formal sexual education currently in place for high schools in Holyoke.

Shelly Bathe Lenn: The Garden Center

She comes out to different schools to give safe space for youth to talk openly about those who have passed. The Garden does not put limits on how these individuals have died, where they died, or when. Services are available for individuals aged 5-18. Upcoming program on Sunday 29th from 2-4 PM.

Naroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Saturday September 21st will be the last city clean-up. She would like community members and agency representatives to come out to help with citywide clean-up. Sunday September 22nd will be hosting first co-ed volleyball tournament, available to community and agencies. Fall program will be ‘Knowing My Neighborhood’ and will be teaming up with Umass Amherst to decorate red fence at Kelly School – goal to have different agencies/schools to help sponsor or decorate different areas of the fence.

Stefany Garcia: Holyoke Public Schools

Open houses for Holyoke Public Schools are coming up quickly. If agencies are looking to have a table at open houses, they are welcome to; they just need to contact administration. Many open houses are happening on September 26th, all information is on HPS website. Some community members have expressed fears surrounding new middle schools and the effect on taxes, please review information on HPS website regarding the new schools. Hispanic heritage month is beginning 9/15-10/15 in city of Holyoke, HCC has official calendar of events on their website, official kick off will be at city hall with food trucks and performers which are connected with Hispanic heritage.

Jeremy Rodriguez: Motivational Speaker, Inspired by Unity

Trying to help individuals understand that many of the adulthood tendencies come from how they were raised and their tendencies which were formed during their youth. Trying to teach information to adults and children because with information you don’t know you cannot apply. Interested in being a caring adult in children’s lives.

Neil Desroches: US Attorney’s Office

Initiated lawsuit in Worcester against landlord due to accepting sexual favors for lowered rent or payment. Even if you are in a stable housing environment, it may not be an ideal situation. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and there are resources available. Can always contact civil rights unit of US Attorneys.

Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical

Specialize in delivering services with a Christian based approach. Provide services, workshops, and various trainings to pastors along with educational sessions to help further understand mental health needs. Reach out to individuals who do not know how to accept services due to their faith or beliefs. Provide wellness coaching to provide deeper understanding between physical and mental health correlations. Free event “Meet Up – Faith, Food & Gut Connection” where wellness coach will be present Friday/Saturday for combination of wellness and nutrition services.

Yorn Traham: Right Choice Health Group

Closest location is in Chicopee. First time attending meeting and looking to connect with other agencies.

Glennice Ryan: River Valley Counseling Center

60 locations of inpatient, outpatient, and at home services. New services WISE, which is free, promote wellness. Looking for group of kids who may not have access to counseling and do not have diagnosis of a mental health need but need support due to other adversities they face. Also, prevention for substance use.

Sergio Vicente: MassHire Holyoke

Currently wrapping up summer programs. Collaborating with HCC for individuals who live in specific housing areas to go through their hydroponics course to further understand different ways to grow/sustain crops. There are limited openings within hydroponics course and are trying to break it into two different sessions. Hoping to kick off program in October, there will be a screening process involved, more information to come. YouthWorks is moving into year-round service as compared to only summer service to give youth more opportunities to be exposed to workplace opportunities.

Alijah Lembruno: MSPCC

Survivors Services MSPCC – include trauma counseling for youth ages 3-22 for youth who have survived abuse or witnessed violence, homicides, or other adversities. Grant funded program so able to accept any participants. Referrals are on website which is on flyer that was handed around. RSVP by September 20th for workshop, childcare will be provided as long as notified in advance.

Kelly Wood: YWCA

Passed out referrals and brochures. Offer parent support and promote self-sufficiency, whatever the parents or child needs they do their best to support.

Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court Presiding Justice

Working on incorporating treatment within the court system rather than incarceration. Working and collaborating with probation office and clerk’s office. Office is located on corner of Race and Appleton Street. Will be expanding soon with recovery coaching and different treatment services for offenses such as shoplifting. Trying to change model of where a court date is set months in advance into more of an immediate intervention. Wednesday, October 30th will be holding public forum with Sheriff and DA along with recovery coaches for a panel presentation along with community aspect and open question, so panel is able to hear community recommendations. Tentatively holding meeting from 2-4PM will finalize timeframe and will produce advertising for meeting.

Antonio Padilla: Holyoke Probation Officer/Young Marines

Currently on 3rd recruit, working with youth age 8-18. Staff consists of individuals who are court officers, police officers, individuals who have served. Baystate comes in to teach CPR/first aid trainings. Encourages self-esteem and teamwork, youth put together schedule and planning. Based out of the Boys and Girls Club. Taking applications for 4th platoon. December 14th from 11-1 is next scheduled graduation, held at Boys and Girls club. – please consider attending! Interview process is extensive for program. In order to get promoted within program must do 50 hours of community service.

Elizabeth Plouffe: New Heights LLC

Still continuing brown bag initiative program on streets on Holyoke to help support individuals who may be homeless or unable to have access to food, also to get community feedback on where services are needed. Offer certified anger management services. Workshops for youth such as healthy relationships, domestic violence education, CPR/First Aid safety for young parents.

Kelsey Poole: Transition Specialist for HPS

Work with youth aged 18-24 who may have disability. Extension of the high school, all have graduated but have not been able to meet MCAS standards. Looking to connect to build additional partnerships, goal is to expose individuals with work-based experiences such as organizational experience, food prep, etc. Individuals are always accompanied by job coach from HPS.

Peer support center will be opening up later in September, will be similar to Hope for Holyoke and will be a Gandara program.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Currently participating in recovery month celebration. Will be closed Sunday and Monday due to recovery events being hosted. On September 20th, Liberty Prep High School hosting MA recovery event. Will also be closed September 21st due to recovery event. The 27th they will be hosting their own recovery event at Heritage State Park for a recovery march.

Luz Rolon: Americore Vista/ Way Finders

Community engagement for Holyoke residents.

Josh Pagan: Buudha Brothers

Looking to integrate into community more and open marijuana establishment. Establishment is through Cannabis Control and has very strict security and selling guidelines. Looking to provide training and employment opportunities for community residents.  Stressed that they are focusing on 21 and over.

Mara Schulman: Mental health advocacy program

Working to advocate for kids, just opened center in Holyoke. Provide free legal advocacy to families who have children who may have unmet mental health needs. May need access within or outside of school facilities. Open house on 9/26 at 1 PM at Enlace de Familia, refreshments provided.

Kimberly Fernald: River Valley Counseling Center

Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, supporting individuals with substance use disorders age 12-24. Can be in community, school or at home services. Pro-social approach and works towards building up strengths, finding other healthy ways to enjoy and live life. Does referrals to MAT or inpatient treatment centers. Currently no wait list, if referral comes in then individual will be met with quite quickly. Insurance based first, anything not covered by insurance will be covered by the state. If individual has no insurance, still able to receive services.

Dolly Colon Rivera: Don’t Grab That Receipt

Adult/youth collaboration that spread awareness of chemicals within receipts to limit expose. Offer trainings for workers and cashiers. Do presentations in different high schools and work hand in hand with youth. Presentations are available online as well as in person.

Brittany Meadows: CleanSlate

Does work with other agencies if individuals could benefit from any referrals, goal is to fight opiate addiction. If individual does not have insurance, they will work one on one to see what they can be eligible for. Brochures and flyers passed out.

Jessica Cintron: Valley Opportunity Council (VOC)

Bridge class for individuals who are interested in attending college, can get GED/HISET training, citizenship classes and adult education.

Luis Arzola: CHD

Employment specialist CHD – help individuals get connected with resources in the area. At Holyoke library every Thursday from 10AM-2PM for individuals who may want to work on resume building or job searching along with personal development. Open to the public. Also have program for nurturing fathers which they take referrals for. Conference will be Through Her Eyes held on October 25th

Jamie Santiago: MSPCC

In home care for therapeutic care.

Domasco Santiago: Tapestry

Provide safer syringe access for IV drug users along with Narcan training. Can get people connected to MassHealth or detox services. Syringe hotline for if you find any syringes in the community for them to be picked up. Open M-F 8-4

David McCoy: HSNI Outreach

Attended opiate taskforce by DA office, HCAC at DA’s office meets once a month. If looking to get involved, please contact.

Thanks to Partners, Volunteers and Donors: Back to School Event                     2:20pm - 2:25pm

Looking for Coaches and Volunteers                                                                      2:25pm - 2:27pm

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, October 10th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Close Meeting                                                                                                     2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   August 8, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

Picture for Notes

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                                                                                 1:00pm - 1:05pm        

Monica Baldyga: Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass Leadership Experienc       1:05pm - 1:20pm

With her family moving to the US from Cuba when she was 2 years old, she was connected with the Girl Scouts organization through her church & priest. This connection changed not only her American experience, but also her families. Girl Scouts began getting her mother very involved in different activities from bake sales, craft fairs and even camping. Being involved in these experiences offered the opportunity to bring back experiences to their whole family. More than 50% of girls in the US have been involved in girl scouts however until recently the majority of those 50% were most likely mainly White or African American who were involved. The GCSWM are currently looking to expand knowledge of girl scouts organizations to more cultures and races. 80% of women who are leading in tech field were once Girl Scouts, 73% of senators were Girl Scouts, 100% of Secretary of State were Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts offer a variety of programs which touch on different areas such as NASA, a cyber security program, and even the cookie sales are structured around a financial literacy program. All programs have community service component and ways to earn badges. Please reach out to connect and brain storm of how different things could be beneficial to different families. The Girl Scouts organization begins working with females who are in kindergarten through senior of high school. They have the opportunity to earn the Gold Award which is commonly earned as juniors or seniors in high school. If you join the military you are entered one rank higher, and also available for college scholarships. College application gets moved up in review process if gold award earned. Girl Scout membership cost $35/year, but financial assistance is available. If your agency or organization is in need of volunteers, send over flyer to GS and see if they would be good volunteers from different age ranges. Best time to request is fall, winter & spring as many leaders take summer break

Handed out packets and flyers in both Spanish and English along with financial assistance options. Troops predominantly ran by volunteers so commonly meet locally in public place. Does not have transportation available.

If interested in volunteering as leaders they offer training and support (must pass criminal background check CORI and obtain membership organization $25/yr for adults. Membership covers secondary accidental insurance when participating in G.S. events.

Agency Overview and Updates                                                                                             1:20pm - 2:20pm

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueve Esperenza

Documentary of El Mercado from Puerto Rico along with guest speaker on Aug 29th. Cynthia will be stepping down as program manager for new opportunity therefore program manager position is available & flyer handed out regarding opening.

Shannon Sarkisian: Community Outreach Holyoke Community College

Fall classes are starting in less than 1 month. Currently piloting late start classes which start late/mid-September for students who register late or need extra assistance. The HCC campus center is now open & done with renovations and open to the public. Shannon offers presentations for agencies or organizations on college readiness, etc.

Stefany Garcia: Donahue School

Hosting family meet and greet august 20th from 2-5 PM, Donahue school only! District is holding two initiative around kindergarten families – countdown to kindergarten August 12th & parade August 29th

Daisy Rentas: EN White School

Block party August 10th from 11 AM-2 PM to give parents opportunity to sign up for extra curricular activities & welcome families into the school

Liz Plouffe: New Heights Counselling Center

Mental health & substance use for adults. Offer domestic violence program along with natural anger management. Continuing with their brown bag lunches for individuals facing homelessness along with continuing CPR & first aid trainings until end of summer.

Jose Montalvo: Clean Slate

Outpatient medicated assisted treatment for alcohol/opiates, cards and brochures available on further services.

Israel Rivera: Candidate for City Councilor at Large

Will be hosting a greet the children at Kelly school, looking for more coordinators. Now partnering with One Holyoke to begin organizing for annual event which feeds 4,500 community members.

Mel Antuna: Way Finders

Specialize in overseeing section 8 housing, running shelter programs, own and manage affordable housing. Walnut street location information handed out (Carlos Vega housing) for those working in agriculture or farm culture (or retired) and would pay 30% of their household income to live in that area. Please contact if you know of anyone who would qualify for this.

Demaris Aponte: Natural Ventures

Cannabis Company. Spoke about fruits/veggies being grown indoors so will be supplied to community year round. Giving out free classes for career building along with offering nutrition classes. Looking to educate on cannabis, not necessarily promote. Free vendor tables available for flyer which was handed out.

Nayrobi Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Community cleanup is going great with the school department scheduled to clean tomorrow (8/9) – you can join in on any clean up group! Looking to hold extra event this month. Holding transportation to HSNI back to school event for individuals for families who are looking to attend but may have limited transportation options. Volleyball tournament will be held at Springfield Park – 6 youth teams & 6 adult teams. All day event with food trucks. Will be hosting a sponsored youth soccer team program for kids in the Holyoke flats – all paid for program. Holyoke City That Reads is still going strong! Nature and nurture program at the Holyoke flats who adopted and planted a tree and care for tree weekly. Meet and greet – cannabis industry on August 28th.

Michelle Luciano: River Valley Counselling Center

Working with kids who are not diagnosed with substance use disorders but may need intervention. Program is still being developed. Will be working out of Peck School. Referral needs: ages 8-13, poor school attachment, lack in academic development, substance use history or parental substance use disorder.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

Work with any program/district which communicates with young individuals (sports, after school program) and try to support them by learning their needs. For small organizations have funding available. Will also offer a few trainings throughout the year– trauma awareness, mentor relationships, etc. They have received increased funding for formal mentoring programs to $1 million. Back to school event is next weekend – still need volunteers! Sign up on volunteer sheet & will send email with link to register to volunteer…please pass on!! Flyers handed out.

Tyra Minto: CHD Safety Zone

Work with individual’s aged14-24 year olds who are in unstable housing or homelessness. Programming is different for over/under 18. Please contact for more information or specifics.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Teen Library

Partnered with students from Puerto Rico along with community youth to paint murals in library!

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House

Open to register kids for fall - open September 16th (Guadalupe, St. Paul’s Appleton st) in church buildings but not affiliated with church itself. It is a free program. Registration August 13th & 15th. October 10th will be holding their annual breakfast. Always looking for volunteers & also a few paid positions available currently such as site supervisor.

Glen Sexton: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Oversee community restitution program, some positions are paid (DPW, parks, Holyoke housing authority) individuals go out to clean up areas of the community for non-profit. Looking to partner with community clean ups.

Elizabeth Rivera: Thrive HCC

For students who are in need of shelter or housing. Thrive also assists with SNAP applications and budgeting help. Always accepting donations from community residents for pantry items which is also open to the community. Walk-in appointments available on Wednesdays to meet one on one or can schedule an appointment.

Iohan Vega: Holyoke Media Center

Documenting murals completed at library and will be showing documentary of process soon. Working on putting more content on social media and invites anyone who has content to be shared to please connect and figure out way to create programming. Having Wednesday sessions at library for youth to engage in media literacy and in the fall hoping to continue program but for adults. Radio plasma will be featuring interviews for city council public elections. Any candidates who refuse interview, they will do profile on individual from content they collect. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sophia Schouboe: Food Bank

Passed out locations of local food banks & HIP locations which are also listed on website. Information provided in English & Spanish for SNAP applications and will be having support coming to town. Individuals are also able to complete applications in person or over the phone. Anyone who has SNAP is automatically enrolled in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) and is granted extra money to use at local food stands – must be HIP certified food stand. ‘Will bike for food’ event will be held at the end of September.

Allison Scott: Dial Self/Americorps Vista

10 month full time program with inspired leaders working with youth. This program will be beginning later this month and they still have a few positions available – apply to program if interested. If you are an agency or organization who serves the youth, please contact if looking to expand.

Rebecca Rennick: Tapestry

Teaches sexual education and will begin LGBTQ competency trainings to further individuals understandings of their community and how we can provide appropriate services.

Cheryl Labrie: YMCA

Expanding preschool program which will be moving in onto site from St. Paul’s to the YMCA location. They have been granted a community build grant for new playground (beech tree side of building) which will begin in October – if any volunteers to help assemble it will be held on October 4th. The kids attending camp will be designing the new playground with design team from Washington.

Maritza Martinez: CFCE

Connect families to different services who have young children. Monday countdown to kindergarten will be held at the museum to enhance comfortability level for children and families. Resources will be available on upstairs level along with dinner offered and a story walk with a tour of museum. This is seen as a healthy & exciting way to transition for young children and their families. Flyers handed out. Must register for event to attend. Play group flyer handed out, also at Enlace de Families every Monday.

Dennis Gonzaelz: Hope for Holyoke/Gandara

Handed out this month’s calendar for Hope for Holyoke events. Voices From Inside will perform August 14th at 6:30pm. This a group of women who either faced incarceration or struggled with a substance use disorder. Currently collaborating with Holyoke hospital with new opiate treatment – offer suboxone and by the next night an intake will be done. Trying to initiate same day treatment styles! Holyoke Hospital will transport individuals who are looking to leave Hampden County and maybe attend treatment elsewhere.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke/Gandara

September events: Puerto Rico day parade in Springfield, 27th a recovery march will be held starting at Appleton st and ending in Veterans Park – this will be a 5 hour event. At Veterans Park there will be live music, food & resources available. Gambling ambassadors available to come out and speak at agencies or organizations.

Michelle Daries: Department of Children and Families

Looking for potential foster homes within the area. Flyers handed out.

Jazmin Serrano: Sullivan School

Back to school event at Sullivan School will be held on August 22nd

Ali Pinschmidt: Don’t Take That Receipt

A youth & adult coalition put together to educate community members on receipt paper and the toxins which it can contain. Other labels such as amazon or parking tickets can also contain same or similar toxins. A team can come in and do training to different agencies or organizations about safer options. Expanding from Holyoke area into Springfield, West Springfield, etc.

Bill Hadley: Chief Justice Holyoke District Court

Looking to get to know community better and what adversities they face. Majority of charges are drug related so trying to get out into community (working with Chief, Sheriff, local hospitals, recovery coaches) to find new approaches to the judicial systems current approach on substance offenses. Looking to change approach from prosecution to treatment, rather than criminal records try to help assist individuals. Bench bar to be held beginning of September with the goal of bringing clinicians and recovery coaches into the court house.

Katherine Ramos: En Lace de Familias

Family resource center which works with children who require assistance (truancy, extra support in school, behavioral needs) and are looking to enhance quality of education and care. They provide free workshops for the community on topics such as parenting, nurturing fathers, co-parenting & cooking matters. Currently creating an email list of community partners to send out monthly calendars to.

Shelly Bath Lenn: The Garden Center

Works with individuals ages 5-18 in school settings when someone close to them passes with no restrictions on how they passed, when they passed, or where they passed. Also offer an onsite program for whole family treatment opportunities.

Altavise Chinn: Center for Student Services

Work with youth from ages 16-24 with hi-set prep along with after completing hi-set for job training. Career readiness programs and trainings are also offered. Job placement opportunities such as internships and resume building can be inquired.

Alijah Leombiano: MSPCC

Anyone can access services. They provide trauma services for individual’s ages 3-22. Currently have no wait list so eager for referrals!

Pack the Backpacks Event: Friday, August 9th 9am to 12pm                                               2:25pm - 2:27pm

Old Business / New Business

                       Next Meeting is Thursday, August 8th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

                     Back to School Event: Saturday, August 17th 1pm to 5pm

Close Meeting                                                                                                                                2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   June 13, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library


Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                                1:00pm - 1:05pm        

Cassandra Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute                                 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Short activity to remember time or experience when you were outdoors or within nature which was impactful to you. Remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, and most importantly how you felt. Asked to share experience.

Eagle Eye Institute was established in 1991 and is based mainly within Eastern Mass. Their goal is to empower urban youths (especially youths of color) to be active caretakers of our environment. They practice through hands on experiential learning programs in the outdoors to raise awareness, develop responsibility, etc. Eagle Eye has 220 acres under conservation within Berkshire Hills, which provides space for individuals to camp, hike, learn about wildlife, build teamwork skills, and build communication and leadership skills. Eagle Eye emphasizes on practices which promote mindfulness, meditation and self-reflection. They also focus on developing different levels of self, relationships, and connecting with nature. Eagle Eye Institute is available to work with individuals 8-24 years old.

Eagle Eye Institute has been in Holyoke for 3 years now and have partnered with Paulo Friere & Lighthouse Holyoke. Soon they will be expanding to partner with The Boys and Girls Club, New Esperanza, and Homework House. Eagle Eye Institute is looking to begin after school programs for Holyoke youth. Last year the Eagle Eye Institute did 4 over nights with students from the area. They are trying to engage youth in the environment locally rather than out in Berkshires, to show what this area has to offer. The Eagle Eye Institute has also worked with other environmental agencies to connect, and expand, dots which are already there. Not all environmentalists are working with individuals in urban settings, making learning on both ends for youth and environmentalists. The Eagle Eye Institute is also working with Umass, conservation commission, US Fish and Wildlife. They try to always incorporate stewardship into their programs to focus on ways to give back to the community and environment.

Currently offering a summer teen internship which will be an immersive week spent hiking, coordinating, and working with college interns. Room and board will be provided, along with transportation if needed. Eagle Eye Institute typically offers this to someone they have worked previously with, but open to new individuals as well. Ages 13-18. Eagle Eye Institute also finds it important to work with individuals even if unable to pay, so please contact to try to work something out. Groups of 12-15 individuals are typical sessions.

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Agency Overview and Updates                                                   1:20pm - 2:20pm

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools

Currently have open enrollments for K-8th grades along with summer school openings

Zuheily Gonzalez: Community Connection Health

Provide CNA’s or home healthcare, light housekeeping and personal care along with services for bed bugs extermination and hoarding.

Tony Simmons: Hamden County DA’s Office

Currently recruiting for 2019/2020 youth advisory board, last year they had 46 students from 23 schools. Middle school student project regarding day to day lives and social media to be continued and then presented, they present to 6-8 grades.

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House

Summer program running July 8th – September 9th for students in 2nd-4th grades, will be held on Chestnut Street and is a free program. Program will meet at library once a week along with going on field trips (Majestic Theater, Amherst College, and zoo).

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueve Esperanza

Next Saturday (6/22) from 3-9 PM hosting a festival. They still have spaces for tables - $20 per table for agencies. Applications and flyers handed out to get table for festival. Deadline is Monday for to turn in applications for tables at festival.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Keep It Clean campaign is looking for agencies to host clean up days in areas of Holyoke – you choose date and time! Currently collaborating with Holyoke youth soccer and looking pay the registration free for kids who live in Holyoke Flats from 5-6 years old. They have a new community building and have been hosting monthly meet and greets, as well as neighborhood circles.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library

Passed out summer flyers, mural project in community room – will be working with three artists to create murals for library. Partnering with Rebecca from Tapestry for movie series and discussion.

Rebekah Rennick: Tapestry

Focus on LGBTQ competency, safer sex, healthy relationship – beginning empowerment program for young women. It will be a 10 week program and are currently having discussions surrounding ages and content (can change). Passed around flyer for discussion panel on June 17th from 6-7:30 at 21 Orlander Drive in Northampton.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

Serves 17-24 year old males who have system involvement to provide workforce ready courses, education, employment, counseling services. Holyoke location beginning to focus on young women with system involvement. Springfield ROCA location emphasizes on young mothers, as well as serving young males.

Jose Rubero: Hypnosis Solutions

Will be presenting next month at monthly meeting on technique to stop twirling thoughts, not hypnosis just a technique. If any questions please email. Does provide certain free group hypnosis sessions for sleep, anxiety, self-esteem and other issues.

Jessie Channell: MSPCC

Services individuals ages 4+ for those who experience trauma. Looking to start play therapy group for young children (4-6 years old).

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing

Non-profit law firm for individuals who experienced discrimination while looking for housing. Looking to speak with individuals who have experienced lead paint in housing past or present, and how it has affected their search or living conditions.

Allison Proctor: Hampden County Sheriff's Department

HCAT meeting July 10th from 1:00-2:30pm at Sheriff’s Department in Ludlow.

Tyrra Minto: CHD Safety Zone

Work with homeless youth that run away from home. Try to reconcile youth to their families, sometimes DCF gets involved. Work with youth over 18 to assist them toward independent living and assist with various outreach services.

Jasmin Martinez: Avada / Hearing Life Centers

Provide free hearing test for folks and information around untreated hearing loss. Mentioned that some folks overlook hearing issues, but it’s important to pay attention to them.

Kathy Veins: YMCA

Hosting 3rd-6th grade basketball program. YMCA is willing to work with families on pricing when it comes to swim lessons, etc.

Azizah Yasin: Holyoke District Court

Launching community engagement initiative for individuals who have SUD, collaborating with police department “Angel Policing” for crisis intervention prior to case going to court.

Alison Scott: AmeriCorps/Dial Self

Dial Self – currently running a 10 month program for youth development. Have few full-time employment opportunities, or opportunities for positions available for hosting an AmeriCore member

Yhidda Ocasio and Kelly Wood: YWCA

Serves young parents up to the age of 22 and helps with home visits, advocacy, and transportation. They have shelters available for teen moms who are pregnant or parenting. Also offer domestic violence services. Youth Build program – working towards earning your HiSet program along with Children who witness violence program for individuals ages 3-17.

Luis Perez: Food Bank WMASS

Help when applying for SNAP. Currently running a healthy Incentive Programs – a household of 1-2 people can get up to $40 which can be spent at HIP farmer markets to encourage individuals to eat healthy. 3-5 person household can get up to $60, and a 6 or more person household can get up to $80. Flyer passed out has list of farmers markets who accept HIP.

Katalina Melendez: PAFEC/ HCC

Hot Jobs workshop from July 9th to August 1st to learn about networking, data security and other areas. Flyer passed out has contact information along with application link for workshop.

Iohann Vega: Holyoke Media

Looking to connect with other agencies in the area. Currently does media literacy activity with public library once a week to promote media within the youth (creating a movie currently!).

Rondey Allen: Cross Point Clinical

Focuses on outpatient mental health care which is client centered & sensitive towards clients who are not religious. Continuing to educate pastors about mental health and the implications of mental health. Saturday July 13th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM will be hosting Allison Cook author of “Boundaries for your Soul” coming to do presentation on particular approach. For more information please visit www.Crosspointclinical.org

Shellie Daries: DCF

Recruiting possible families as potential fosters and looking to connect with agencies to press the growing need within foster care and adoption agencies. Passed out business cards and will bring more next month.

Claudia Lora: Better Life Homecare

Located in Springfield but services many areas in western mass (Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, etc.). Anyone over the age of 21 is eligible to apply for assistance (PCA, at home nursing)

Irvin Concepcion: New Heights LLC

Focuses on treatment towards mental health and substance use disorders within Holyoke. Lunch Project starting next week – will be handing out lunches to individuals in needs and also trying to provide medical along with mental health services on the street. New Heights also offers CPR and first aid certifications.

School Supply Drive (flyers)                                                             2:20pm - 2:25pm

Filling backpacks full of 18 different items for the Back to School Event on August 17th. Need to collect 2,000 of each item! Boxes are located at different agencies, businesses and stores in the community for drop off, passed out a flyer with the locations of the boxes. If agencies are able to bulk on one item (DCF doing 300 glue sticks) we welcome that. Event will be published on Masslive as well. Looking for all 2,000 backpacks to have same supplies in them. If agencies know of any high traffic areas for where a box collection would be good, please contact us. Will send out reminder via email as well. Need 200-250 volunteers for back to school event on August 17th.

Ed talked about Family Resource Guide and thanked Mass Mutual for paying for the printing of 5,500 booklets.

Karen Legace from the US Attorney’s office talked around the basketball league and working with Rafael Santos to deliver curriculum to players. They have focused on topics such as honesty, respect and friendship.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, July 11th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, June 20th @ 12pm at Valley Arena Park
  • Back to School Event: Saturday, August 17th 1pm to 5pm

Close Meeting                                                                                                2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Agenda

Date: July 11, 2019

Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place: Holyoke Public Library

 Coaches Revised

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                      1:00pm - 1:05pm      

Jose Rubero: Hypnosis Solutions MA                                 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Jose did an overview presenstation of his work and a NLP technique to assist folks in dealing with twirling thoughts.

Hypnosis is natural. Think of driving to the meeting – did you remember every turn and bump or were things on ‘autopilot’ since you may drive this route frequently. Hypnosis can be viewed as day dreaming while your eyes are open – you’re awake and present, but your mind may be elsewhere. When looking to stop using a substance or uncontrollable thoughts, without hypnosis there is a 4% success rate with just using willpower to stop, where as a 95% success rate exists with hypnosis treatment. You cannot get stuck in hypnosis, it is more about gaining control over things you once lost control over. There has to be a cooperation from the individual receiving hypnosis, that they are open and receptive to the process. It is important for rapport and trust to be established for hypnosis to be successful. We do hypnosis every day without realizing it - you’re programming yourself while visualizing things. For example, not being able to sleep and imagining a movie in the background, you’re in control, at peace and preparing for tomorrow to be a successful day. Hypnosis Solutions MA offers individual and group hypnosis for either youth or adults. Their services are free but Jose works mainly Tuesday Wednesday and Thursdays at other employment so not very available those days for hypnosis.

Nero Linguistic Programming (does not involve hypnosis): a possible solution for any revolving, negative, twirling thoughts or habits. It is important to find a universal “no” for the individual - something they will automatically say no to (such as watching a mother and child almost entering a busy street). Then it is important to find a personal “yes” – something easily relatable to for the client, something they would automatically say yes to. Then, identify twirling thought or habit which you would like to stop. *Close eyes. Visualize universal “no” in depth and think of the words “NO, STOP” until the count of 5* – when you count to 5 repeat “NO, STOP” very loudly and aggressively (in your mind) that the car moving towards the child and mom will stop. While counting to 5, each number becomes more and more involved in the universal no to heighten the need for a reaction. Once you reach 5 you are able to stop the event from happening. Open your eyes and look to your right and then to your left with only your eyes. Then visualize your personal “yes” in detail, while repeating “yes” aggressively and consistently in your mind. Open your eyes look to left and look to right with only your eyes. Close your eyes and rethink of negative emotion or event and the twirling thoughts which occur. Count to 5 again while “NO STOP” is running through your mind. Open eyes, look left and look right. Reclose eyes and think of personal “YES” in deep thought. Looking left to right engages both sides of your brain to release twirling thoughts. Stamford University offers detailed explanations on how hypnosis works on their online website.

Test: before going to sleep, tell yourself you want to remember your dreams. Do this 3 nights in a row and by the 3rd day see if you’re able to remember your dreams.

Agency Overview and Updates                                                 1:20pm - 2:20pm

Jena Duncan: Community Action Pioneer Valley

Anyone interested in health equity work for youth, please contact!

Allison Scott: Dial Self

Position available in Holyoke for working with youth, Americore positions available.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

ROCA works specifically with 17-24 year old men with a high-risk proven model. They also work on providing wrap around transitional services. There is currently a Case Management position available – if interested please apply though ROCA Holyoke online.

Antonio Quinones: Holyoke Medical Center

Youth hire program began in hospitals this past week

Lynn Spicer-Lindquist: Gandara

Work towards helping families who are facing homelessness after leaving residential programs for SUD and provide housing subsudies by Wayfinders and then work towards implementing transitional to independent housing options.

Jade Rivera-Mcfarlin: Gandara

Positions are available (residential, clinicians). Gandara will be opening a LGBTQ program in Northhampton and are currently looking for a program director. Will be hosting frozen yogurt 5K

Dennis Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke / Gandara

Have a focus on gambling within men of color, individuals who have SUD, and individuals who are post incarceration. Available to give presentations to local agencies or groups, and also provide recovery coaching

Pedro Alvarez: Tapestry Health

This Saturday Tapestry will be hosting a community syringe pick-up – all community members welcome! The goal of the syringe pick-up is to not only clean up Holyoke, but also bring community members and agencies together. Passed out cards with locations of all offices and provided list of different services provided.

Shellie Daries: DCF

Many individuals in our own communities need foster care or adoption services. Looking to make connection with community members and community providers. Looking for events or resource fairs to be at to provide more information.

Amy Karengekis: Attorney General’s Office

Fair labor division which protects workers from exploitation and sets level playing field for employers. An updated guide for working teens was passed out and email PDF link sent to Ed. Available training for youth on teen working rights and will come out to different organizations to give presentations surrounding working rights.

Rondey Allen: Cross Point Clinical

Christian faith based counseling – have programming such as pastor luncheons and trainings. Next session is this Saturday, 7/13, and will focus on Bounties for Your Soul – a Christian approach (flyers passed out).

Jasmin Martinez: Avada/ Hearing Life Centers

Offer free hearing screenings for all community members to keep up with hearing health.

Claudia Lora: A Better Life Homecare

Provide PCA services and at home nursing care for anyone over age of 21 who wants to remain independent but may require extra assistance. These services are expanding through Connecticut area currently. Individuals who have been denied previously from different agencies may still be eligible through A Better Life Homecare!

Alijah Leombmno : Elliot MSPCC survivors

Provide trauma counseling for individuals ages 3-22, currently have no waiting list and can get referral online.

Vivian Rodriguez: Holyoke Housing Authority

Family self-sufficient voucher – anyone receiving section 8 could be eligible to buy a house.

Low income opportunities in Holyoke, engagement sessions with community members - next session is 7/24 at 6:00 pm

Naisha Hernandez: Girl Scouts of Western Ma

Passed out flyer for hike which happens every Wednesday in August.

Katalina Melendez: HCC

Passed out flyer for intermediate English speakers, providing training opportunity for OSHA and safeserv.

Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court Presiding Judge

Currently working with Mayor’s office, Chief of Police, DA’s office in hopes of diverting individuals who come into court to immediate access to treatment when applicable and appropriate.

Irving Concerpcion: New Heights Holyoke

Substance use and mental health groups for individuals who are both court mandated and non-court mandated (youth and adults). They also provide CPR training. This past week have been focused on passing out lunches and water to displaced individuals in Holyoke and also providing treatment while out on the streets. About to create a curriculum to train staff on depression, anxiety, etc.

Anna Cruz: Way Finders

Two Americore Vista positions are available, only 2 weeks left until selection process. Please submit applications ASAP if interested.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke

Clean Up Campaign working with one agency per weekend. Agencies will meet One Holyoke at the park (Chestnut and Sargent street )working with DCF, May Center and city counselors to clean up the park and also provide services. New Holyoke flats community building which will be made into community center – looking for agencies to provide workshops to bring attraction to community building.

Maya Rivera: Community Education Project

Offering free Spanish HISET prep classes (currently only offered during the daytime). Also offering community space (creative circles) where youth are invited to have Multilanguage conversations and do creative engaging projects.

Debbie Schaier: Holyoke Board of Health

Offer TB testing for only $10 (comparable to $40 elsewhere). Currently working with Tapestry at Kates Kitchen to provide Hepatitis A vaccines to homeless individuals

Marlene Corales: Westover Job Corps

Online program offered to individuals who did not pass their MCAS testing but looking to graduate or receive completion certificate.

Nick Pelegrino: MA State Police / Springfield

C3 policing program moving into Holyoke on a pilot program to encourage and build relationships between the community and law enforcement.

Bishop Boyd: NAMI

Looking to expand to all of Massachusetts, not just Western Mass, to provide mental health services for both individuals and families. Available to come and do free presentations, all services are free.

Susan Hogan: US Census

Looking for recruitment and will be holding recruiting fair. Offering $18/hr and are looking for bilingual individuals. Will be rolling out 2020 Census

Holyoke Public Schools: Working towards creating strong partnerships with community. “A path for each student”. Looking for people who are close to the schools in proximity in order to develop and implement a school improvement plan. The goal is to meet once a month to see what is working and what is not working, and to provide input as a community member. If you go to the Holyoke Public School website and search your address, you will be able to locate which school/zone is closest to you. Looking to have family fun night once a month at each school. Agencies are able to have tables at events (open house, BBQs) to provide information about their agencies and services available. Peck School BBQ will be held on August 23rd from 3-5 PM and flyers will be passed out once dates/times/locations are finalized for other schools. If you are interested in becoming more involved in A Path For Each Student, please call the school and request meeting with family engagement coordinator at 413-534-2000 or reach out to Jose Beau.

Family Fun Day: Saturday, July 20th 11am to 3pm                                   2:20pm - 2:25pm

Volunteers Needed:

(2) Bounce House

(2) Water Slide

(2) Registration

(2) Popping Popcorn

Pack the Backpacks Event: Friday, August 9th 9am to 12pm                     2:25pm - 2:27pm

2,000 backpacks with 18 different items – about 2 hrs of work anticipated

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, August 8th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • Back to School Event: Saturday, August 17th 1pm to 5pm

Close Meeting                                                                                                  2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   January 10, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

Welcome & Introduction                                                                           1:00pm - 1:05pm        

Presentation by Molly Hoyt & Abby Mahoney: Girls on the Run        1:05pm - 1:20pm

Showed short video – Originated in 1996, running is seen as a way to stay grounded by some members, works towards achieving goals. Program is not about finishing first, but if you tried your hardest and completed. Help young females understand self-confidence. Use lessons to build life skills and establish attainable goals.

National organization which is available in every state. Social emotional based program, encourage positive friendships, empower young girls to make difference. Small lesson plans involved being educational, many lessons are based in group settings to build teamwork skills. Some girls come for running, some come for life lessons, and some come for being involved in a team based. Use life skills in school, at home, with other friendships. Parents have noted change in child, especially when surrounding symptoms of anxiety and inclusion. Group based program: teams are approx 8-15 girls. Fall season and spring season – 10 weeks long each. Practice runs approx 90 minutes. If you identify as a female in any sense you are welcomed to the group.

Holyoke – grades 3-5 (heart & soul grades 6-8) located at Kelly, Metcalf, and McMahon & Donahue. Finding volunteers is large obstacle, all coaches are volunteers and are looking for more volunteers/coaches. Do not have to be a runner! Looking for mentors, men or women, to teach young girls life lessons. Many participants use financial aid to participate in program. Always looking for new connections to local businesses that could donate or provide funding. Program costs $150/person. Practices commonly held afterschool at school, do have few community based teams.

5K – June 2nd at Springfield College, approx 3,000 participants, open to community. Celebration of girls on the run season, not competitive. Food available after 5K – food trucks. Located on Springfield College track

5K business festival: set tables up at 5K, $50 for non-profit and $200 for business to be present during 5K. Money goes towards fundraising.

Flyers passed out in English/Spanish regarding 5K and fundraising

Agency Overview and Updates                                                          1:20pm - 2:20pm

Alison Scott: Dial-Self/Americore

If looking to host an Americore member or looking to take on leadership role to contact them.

Melinda Stone: Westover Job Core

Recruitment for non-residential students, passed out flyer about job core and services available: respect, resume building, job skills, earn GED/HiSet. Open Houses first 3 Thursdays of each month.

Mican Katz-Zieger: Enlace de Familia

Full family resource center, passed out flyers. Youth program geared towards LGBTQ, recruiting mainly high schools from Holyoke currently. Hosting art show June 17th at Enlace. Meet each Monday at 5.

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueva Esperanza

Looking for youth ages 8-14 to enroll in upcoming session, hold art show at end of June 22nd traditional Puerto Rican event – can apply to have table at event.

Iohann Vega: Gandara

Public access channel trying to get info out about what is happening in Holyoke. If looking to share information with public they will be sure to do so, continue working with youth in workshops to have opportunities to learn how to create media and surrounding media literacy.

Daisy Hernandez: Gandara Residential Services for Women

30 beds for women with SUD/mental health diagnosis. Almost full but no wrong door policy – no detox policy once cleared by medical staff. 507 Appleton Street.

Darryll Roberts: Holyoke Teen Parenting Program

Holyoke Teen Parenting: residential program ages 12-22, eligibility is parenting, pregnant, or reunification plan in place with DCF. Case management, housing, referrals

James Biscoe: Cleanstate

James stated that he does not have any new updates. They are an Opioid treatment program, 14 offices throughout Massachusetts.

Khalil Rodriguez: The Vanguard Movement

No new updates. Work with individuals who are/were tribal members some refer to them as gang members, mentor them and encourage positive growth along with building up one another.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Recent play, around the world in 80 Days went over very well. Promoting #Keep It Clean Campaign – passed out calendar. Going around city to clean once a month, looking to collaborate with other agencies to do clean ups. Events created on Facebook where you can sign up online and be involved. Flats Community Building is looking for new members to participate at that location, will be sending out information on upcoming family fun night.

Neil Desroches: US Attorney’s Office

Office is committed to Holyoke, will continue to work with agencies to stay invested in Holyoke. Interested in human trafficking and open to referrals for victims.

Terry Murphy: Ward 2 Councilor

Thanked Westover Job Corps. Terry mentioned there will be a meeting at Morgan school tonight 6:30-7:45 surrounding revitalizing South Holyoke both housing and economic diversity.

Argho Das: MSPCC

Workshop June 4th for parents/caregivers surrounding trauma and helpful interventions, passed out flyers

Jjarikem Borrero: Nuestra Raices

They will be hosing a plant sale on May 18th, tonight’s event 5/9 sip & paint

Brenda Nickerson: Clearway Clinic

Free confidential medical clinic for early diagnostic pregnancy testing, along with prenatal health classes and STD testing. Most clients aged 15-30, located in front of MGM. All services are free and no referrals.

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing Center

Hiring part time temp. Position, bilingual with Spanish who is interested in investigating fair housing claims. If anyone has had experience with led paint in housing please reach out – passed contact cards out.

Tyra Minto: CHD Safety Zone

18-24 years old, focuses on youth homeless or runaways. Passed out brochures and contact cards

Veronica Garcia: WGBY 37

Bilingual TV show airing 7:30 tonight for premier, view episodes on website. Community event on May 25th at Big E Fair Grounds. Free event. Franklin Graham providing powerful message.

Chassity Crowell: River Valley Counseling Center

Outpatient mental health services. Provide counseling in Holyoke public schools also, along with STCC. Provides SUD services.

Azizah Yasin: Holyoke District Court Clerk Magistrate

Developing community engagement for SUD to address obstacles for individuals who are/have been involved with criminal justice system.

Flor Diaz: Valley Opportunity WIC

Working on opening WIC closet, accepting donations for kids clothing (0-5 years of age), diaper donations. Diaper & clothing drive will be occurring. Passed out flyer. Currently hiring for 3 different positions: has postings

Luis Perez: Foodbank/SNAP coordinator

Community visits to complete SNAP applications. Healthy Incentives program: anyone who has SNAP is able to go to farmers market able to buy fresh veggies and be reimbursed the next day (when participating)

Liz Plouffe/Irving Concepcion: New Heights

They provide Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment. Certified Anger Management along with batterer intervention. They can provide CPR/First Aid and AED instruction.

Deidre Murphy: MSPCC

They have been in community for 20 years. Free program for first time parents under 21. They are trying to expand age to 25. They do home visit in community and schools. Anyone can be referred. Passed around flyer for Father/Family training . They would like to have dads who have engaged in DCF.

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint

Christian counseling center. Client centered capable or serving that are not in the faith.   Specialize to fill gap and reach out to those involved in faith community and pastors.   Host pastor luncheons and education about managing issues. Variety of programs anger management respect 101. Smart step families blending families with other children. Separation between mind, body and spirit. Have wellness component. Crosspointclinical.org.

Cheryl Labrie: YMCA

Talked about their summer league for 3rd and 4th grades. Sign up will be this week.

Sarah Meier Zimbler: Holyoke Housing

Lead developer for housing affordable home ownership.   Will have meetings every 6 weeks passed out flyers. Looking to build up to 60 units in South Holyoke. Community meeting 5/28 at El Mercado.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Passed out May calendar for program. Gandara received funding/grant for a Recovery Center in Springfield. The director of Gandara ( Henry East-Trou) will be retiring this month.

Pedro Alvarez: Tapestry

Harm reduction, syringe access/disposal program. They are in community doing outreach. Tapestry is willing to go out to agencies and provide narcan training. All services are free/confidential. 10am-12pm syringe pick up in Holyoke. On Saturday, May 11th, they will be meeting at 15A Main Street. They have Hotline number for those that come across a syringe; passed around cards.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

Youth program working with those 16-24 years old. Men have to have been engaged with the Criminal Justice system. They offer CBT, mentorship, educational classes, DPW Work Crews, transitional employment services.

John Toro: BUUDDA Brothers

Wants to get connected to community.

Terry Britton: MassHire Holyoke

Working with Veterans and is stationed in Holyoke. He discussed a Human Service Forum that will be held next Wednesday, which is a good opportunity for both veternans and the business community, the event will be held at the War Memorial Building and will have resume workshops, as well as getting veterans connected to employment opportunities. Terry also mentioned the Hot Dog for Hot Jobs event that will be coming up in June.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, 6/13/19 at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Close Meeting                                                                                                      2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Latest Meeting


Video: Back to School Event

Just wanted to take another minute to thank all of our planning team, volunteers, agency representatives and donors for a successful 2019 Back to School Event.  Below is a link that will give you an idea what the event was like.




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