Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   November 14, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

 HSNI logo blue

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        

Sylvia Ruiz: Fallon Health NaviCare- Senior Care Options                  1:05pm - 1:20pm

Their main office is located in Worcester. Program works specifically with seniors who are 65 and older. Currently partnered with Mass Health and found that seniors could benefit from extra assistance. Offer stay at home coordination of care, transportation to appointment within 50 mile radius, can assist in obtaining glasses or dental needs up to $300. SCO offers additional benefits and services which Mass Health does not cover. Offer a coordinated care team with registered nurse, PCA, etc. to provide doctors with accurate home life details.

Also have a system in place to ensure clients are taking their medications as directed and ensure their clients attend doctor appointments. Fallon Health is their covering company, with NaviCare being a Mass Health program. In 2020, clients who receive their flu shot, pneumonia shot, etc. will be eligible for $50 gift card towards healthy grocery items. If clients attend their physical they are eligible for another $50 gift card towards healthy groceries. Program is willing to meet with individuals aged 64 who will be turning 65 soon. There is a program in place for individuals aged 55 and older which is an all-day health program which assists with medication and appointments also.

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

Pastor Eliel Gonzalez: Apostolic Renewal Church

Event being held 12/27 at 7 PM at 440 High Street

Alyssa La Joie: New England Farm Workers

Offer Hi-Set & GED prep classes, classes are offered in both English and Spanish

Andrew Cayward: Holyoke DCF

Currently doing their best to place all individuals involved with DCF within the care of a family member to promote best possible outcomes.

Jen Fernandez: United Way THRIVE

A free program which is a ‘one stop shop’ for financial success. Will work with individuals in regards to budgeting, money management, banking, saving, credit score, etc. Offer free tax preparation during tax season. Services are open to the community and in a 1 on 1 setting, located on Maple Street. Jen is at Holyoke office 3x a week, then located within the library in Westfield 2x a week.

Leanne Tamiso: Springfield College Social Work

Looking for individuals who may be interested in pursuing their master’s degree and/or developing themselves professionally. Offer a comprehensive program which covers how to work with clients, communities and beyond. Classes are offered during the week day, week nights, and weekends. Currently partnered with over 350 agencies for internship opportunities. Will be holding an open house on December 5th from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM.

Glennice Ryan: RVCC/WISE

Work with youth ages 8-13 as a support program along with prevention program for opioid use. Currently are partnered with HCSD and are looking for more volunteer mentors to work with youth.

Damon Wood/James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Looking for coat donations. Hosting an open mic night this Saturday evening 11/16. Offices are located at 741 Wesley St and are currently open 3x a week until move to new location.

Adlyn Colon: HCC/PAFEC Intake Specialist

Offering English as a second language class along with Hi-Set/GED prep classes. Have a computer center open to the community from 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM on Monday-Thursday. Currently are looking for volunteer tutors. New programs beginning in January such as EMT, CNA, and line cook, along with transition to college courses.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Will be hosting a community dinner at Kelly School on December 5th. Ed will send flyer out once flyer it is completed. Are currently looking for sponsors for their 3 Kings Day celebration on January 4th, which will be held at Morgan School. Are working on a toy collection for this celebration and currently have toy collection sites at Enlace, New Esperanza & One Holyoke. Next week will be hosting a ‘give thanks’ to individuals involved with clean ups over the summer, please respond to invitation if one was sent to you.

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps

Work with individuals age 16-24, offer Hi-Set classes along with job training, housing, and food.

Natalia Salagornik: AIC

Offer an early college program for young adults, specifically students within the Springfield/South Hampton areas. AIC offers master program for school teachers and paraprofessionals – have locations in Worcester, Marlboro and Wakefield along with Springfield. Classes meet 1x a week.

Sarah Kapinos: Louis & Clark Pharmacy

Specialize in medication management through options such as a ‘medi-bubble’. Will deliver medications to the client at their home, if on multiple medications which are prescribed at different times of the month will do a synchronized, same day delivery of all medications. Will deliver to group homes and have a MAT specialist available 24/7.

Shannon Sarkisian: HCC Admissions

Interested in connecting with individuals who may be nervous to begin transition to college. Willing to work directly with youth and assist them personally, could be a “one stop shop”.

Gladys Lebron Martinez: MassHire Holyoke

A hub for referral services and can provide funding for CDL/CNA trainings. Work directly with Job Corps. They do not provide direct services, but can connect and refer individuals.

Iohann Vega: Gandara Center CHP

Holyoke Media cover stories which the main stream media may not. Also provide media workshops which are held at the Holyoke Public Library and are currently partnered with Holyoke High School on media production. If you would like a segment done on your agency, please reach out. Willing to invite agencies to speak about services they provide. New facility will be located on Suffolk Street which will be used for live productions and theater.

Allison Scott: Dial Self/ Ameri Corps

Partner with schools and other youth serving agencies. Currently looking for a partner or sponsor to host a 2020/2021 AmeriCorps Student.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Library

Annual mini-golf event will be held on April 4th, 2020. Currently looking for volunteers and sponsors for the event.

Mackenzie Umrysz: MSPCC

A support for first time parents under the age of 21 with a child under the age of 1. It is curriculum based support and offer trainings in RISK assessments, GED/Hi-Set prep, vocational trainings, along with offer various supports such as their Father in Family program which meets the first Tuesday of each month.

Ashley: YWCA

Offer services to young parents who are 23 or younger and work on developmental process along with reaching milestones, also offer support with housing, getting their permits, etc. Can make referrals to outside agencies.

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing

A legal resource for individuals who may have experienced discrimination against them in regards to obtaining housing, such as individuals who receive Section 8 assistance or have a disability. Will come to your agency to do presentation surrounding services offered.

Rondey Allen: Cross Point Clinical

Provide outpatient mental health services with hopes of bridging the gap surrounding the stigma of mental health. Has been developing fitness, wellness revelation-based program.

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project

Looking to promote their fundraiser which is being held this evening, 11/14. They offer basic intermediate and advance English classes. Also offer document translation from Spanish to English, along with Russian to English.

Migdalia Rivera: Care Giver Homes

Assist individuals age 16 and older who require assistance with daily living activities. They provide each care giver with a stipend who provide 24/7 care, whenever the client needs care. Also offer case management services in regards to medical care.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

Located at 382 High Street. Assist young men ages 17-24 who are proven high risk (past/current system involvement). Provide wrap around services. Currently partnered with Mass Hire Holyoke, River Valley Counseling Center or mental health services, along with partnered with Holyoke DPW to offer individuals work experiences. Currently have approximately 20 openings within the facility for young men to obtain services.

Yessenia Cruz: Adcare

Offer inpatient substance use detox along with outpatient services. Available for individuals 18 years or older. Located in either Worcester or Rhode Island, but do provide transportation to the facility and back. Offer both individual and family counseling. To reach a detox or treatment center, please call 1-800-ALCOHOL.

Alijah Leombruno: MSPCC Trauma Counseling

Offered for individuals’ age 3-18 that have experienced or witnessed trauma or violence within their homes, communities, schools, etc. It is a grant based program so there are no issues with insurance.

Alicia Zoeller: Office of Community Development

Have federal money to support Holyoke in different aspects. Currently looking to speak to community residents about what areas need support, handed out community survey which Ed will email blast also. There will be a listening session on 11/19 with the schedule on the back of the flyer which was handed out. Looking to hear from different non-profits within the Holyoke area as grant season begins December 11th.

Kim Fernald: RVCC

Offer services to individuals age 12-24 year olds with a community outreach service. Working on developing reinforces to make pro social & healthy decisions. Individuals must have substance use diagnosis, and they offer assessments through RVCC if needed. Will meet clients where they are: home, school, library, park, etc. Insurance based program but have a contract with the state in regards to any extra charges being picked up by DPH. Willing to come to agency for presentation.

Flor Diaz: WIC

Working towards opening a closet within Holyoke and looking for donations, especially children clothing and diapers of all sizes

Shelly: DCF

If willing to be a foster parent or looking for more information please go to www.mass.gov/fostercare. There is an incredibly high need to placements in Holyoke. Willing to come out to agency for presentation.

Family Fun Night at Morgan School: 11/21/19 5pm to 7pm                 2:20pm - 2:25pm

7th & 8th Basketball Sign-Ups: Friday, 11/15 @ 6pm at Kelly School           2:25pm - 2:27pm

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, December 12th 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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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date: October 10, 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        

Clay Connor: Westover Job Corps Center                                            1:05pm - 1:20pm

Westover Job Corps serves Western and Greater MA and is available for students who are interested in making positive changes in their lives and offer different trade-skills along with soft-skills training for gaining employment.

Westover offers services to individuals 16-24 years old; if an individual is a veteran or have a disability; the 24 year age limit doesn’t apply. Most students come from inner cities and the program offers for them to live within the facility – dorms are separated by gender. Westover will provide meals and housing for their students. If an individual lives out of the area and cannot afford transportation to the facility, the center will pay. Westover also offers medical/dental care needs along with have a medical center within their facility.

If an individual is struggling with substance use, Westover can provide drug and alcohol counseling for students who it applies to. Offer evening studies for individuals who may work during the day. If you are a student at Job Corps they have a drivers ed instructor on property who will provide them with driving lessons and assist in getting their license. Westover is now in partnership with API, and all classrooms now have smart boards. Individuals can take college credits while attending Job Corps which the funding for these courses will be covered by Job Cops. Students will be provided with 3 meals a day during the week and 2 meals on the weekends.

There are a variety of trades offered within the facility such as: carpentry, plumbing, brick laying, welding, certified nurse’s assistance, auto mechanic, HVAC repair (coming soon), culinary, etc. When connecting a student with Job Corps, you call the number on the flyer which was passed out and you will be put in contact with a case manager within the facility. After being in contact with a case manager, you will complete medical forms, etc. and then they review the file on the individual applying. They do not discriminate. Student is contacted back with a start date and time.

The first 4 weeks students arrive at the facility they are in “My Pace” where they complete aptitude testing / exploring trades. They will then go in front of a board and the instructor will invite them into the program and go through training. They continue that training for 14-20 weeks then will complete a certification test which is paid for by Job Corp. They also offer additional trainings to further student’s educations which are paid for by job corps, such as enrolling in college classes after earning certifications which is also paid for by job corp. Job Corp also offers transition counseling where if students wanted to go into a career after completing training then they are supported in doing so. Students who have previous legal issues will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Typically individuals with felonies are not eligible for program. Uniform for job corps varies by program student is involved in.

Clay’s direct extension is 413-593-4002 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is direct email.

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

Sergio Vicente: Mass Hire Holyoke

Offices located at 850 High Street - have admission counselor from Job Corp who is there every Tuesday and Thursday. Employment opportunities available for youth who live in Mass Housing Finance Agencies (Tokeneke and Farnum). Based on their interest, can place youth in different agencies such as school, health, financial. Requirement to be 16 or older and living in specific neighborhoods of Holyoke. Have collaboration with HCC through Freight Farms (learn how to grow produce without soil) and have apprenticeships available but are also under same requirements – limited spaces (4 left and then waiting list)

Shannon Sarkesian: HCC

Offer admissions services for access to education, regardless of age. Offer transition programs. Hosting 3rd annual trunk or treat on 10/25 from 5-7:30 PM outside of fitness center.

Denise Kelly-Lachat: DA’s Office

Diversion program and looking for program for youth related to substance use.

Magda Colon: DA’s Office

Magda stated her role is community outreach and she is the co-chair of the HCAT (Hampden County Addiction Task Force). Collaborating with Baystate surrounding stigma of addiction and how it affects recovery. Holding series of Narcan training, next one in Holyoke will be November 5th at the public library from 6-7:30 PM, will be conducted bilingual. October 29th, domestic violence trainings will be held at Springfield College from 1-3 PM, please contact at 413-505-5908. Will be going to Donovan and Sullivan Schools for an adaptive class on how the court system works and offer opportunity for a tour of the courts. Youth advisory board will begin, approximately 60 kids.

Jeremy Rodriguez: Life Coach Inspired by Unity

Alternative to therapy focuses on the solution and what people really want out of life and how to fulfil their needs. Offer family coaching trying to rekindle that chemistry and also offer youth coaching to try to hold youth accountable for their actions. November 9th @ 10 AM will meet at library – free event, organization will match any donations to provide Thanksgiving meals for families. Have office in Hampton Ponds

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing

If service providers are looking for trainings in what their rights are or if they have clients who are, please contact. Looking to speak with individuals who have experienced led paint in their housing at any point or anyone who has been denied housing due to led paint.

Nathalie Vicencio: Way Finders

Located at 261 High Street in Holyoke provide housing support services and counseling in housing rights. Will connect with proper resource or attorney. 222-0048 direct line.

Stefany Garcia: HPS (Holyoke Public Schools)

Next Tuesday will be public information session for possible new schools will be held at new Enlace de Familias at 6 PM. Donahue event on 10/23 at 5 PM for kids who have been diagnosed with ASD to help further understand the laws and resources available. Donahue has moved to uniforms, looking for donations of khaki pants, blue/black shirts

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Passed out calendar for October. Western MA MORE meeting takes place every 4th Wednesday.

Christina Haramut: Hope for Holyoke

Offer volunteer recovery coaching; only requirement is to be open to having someone assist you.


Yorn Trahan: Right Choices

Currently treating Hep C and will be beginning a program in Springfield treating Sublocade, which is the injection form of suboxone.

Sarah Pennington: MSPCC Survivor Services

Currently hiring for bilingual intake coordinator – must have master’s degree in related area. Passed out schedule for Healthy Families Program which is a trauma informed program for individuals aged 3-21, covers 5 different types of trauma. Currently no wait for individual services and can assist with transportation. Holding workshop on 29th at 5 PM for caregivers and how to better provide for their children. Event will be free of charge, will have snacks and can assist with transportation. If child care is needed you must RSVP for event.

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council

Offer free program for youth aged 16-24 and currently have spaces available. Offer college readiness program for those who have high school diploma but cannot pass placement tests yet. Offer free adult education program who are trying to pass high school diploma and offer classes held in the morning, afternoon and evening. Offer English as a second language classes. Looking for volunteers to help during day time services, 2 hours minimum for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Lt. Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department

Halloween event being held on Oct 29 between 2:30-5:30 PM, looking for agencies who would like to have table at event or willing to volunteer.

Maria Flores-Lopez: Salvation Army

Working on Coats for Kids drive from 10/18 to 11/3, partnering with Holyoke Mall and Wmass news – offer donation center near Target in Holyoke mall. Clothes distribution will be November 9th. Toys for joy registration November 18, 19, and 20, times, 9am to 12pn and 1pm to 4pm, passed out flyer.

Kathy Viens: YMCA

Grand opening of new playground will be next Friday 10/18 at 4 PM. Appropriate for ages 2-12 - also have picnic tables around structures to make more family friendly.

Tiffany Marcy: Clearway Clinic

Assist with early pregnancy diagnosis for teens and young women, all services are free. Able to do limited ultrasounds, if more questions please contact.

Cynthia Espinosa: City of Holyoke Planning and Economic Development

In regards to the white and green bikes and how/why they use them to hopefully install more stations. Have 3 day passes which were passed around. Anyone who is on Mass Health or assisted by section 8 can get annual pass for $10.

Rebecca Rennick: Tapestry Health

Partnering in narcan trainings being held in Springfield or Holyoke. Also offer narcan training in offices. Offer sliding scale services but free for youth.

Alison Scott: Dial-Self

Passed out flyers for Holyoke High event, annual glisten youth conference/annual youth legislative forum (YELLOW). Invite youth to come speak to legislators who are present – Saturday November 9th

Naisha Hernandez: Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA

Looking for troop leaders, passed out flyers/information packets regarding requirements.

Olmary Rosario: YWCA

Work with youth up to age 23, please contact or take referral information.

Darryll Roberts: Holyoke Teen Parenting

Residential program for 18-21 year olds. YWCA fundraising breakfast 7:15 – 8:45 AM on November 12th, all proceeds will benefit domestic violence or sexual assault victims and services.

Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

Wellness education and support program for youth ages 8-18 will be offered at Peck/Veritas for individuals who have experienced trauma or have family who have been diagnosed with substance use or mental health disorder. Healing hearts of childhood trauma project, offering training October 25th at log cabin for $50 in ACE has a limit of 200 and spots are becoming limited.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library

Supplement and compliment any services, brochures at front desk of library which details services available. Can use library resources to study for any licensing tests. Public library cards are free.

Casey Howlett: Holyoke Public Library

Strong Box Community Services; new security at HPL and goal is to make everyone feel safe at library. Will be moving into WMass and is a tier one security company.

Paul Alves: Choice Recovery Coaching

Train and provide support services within recovery along with looking to implement peer model. Have been working with Mass Hire and have bilingual training coming up in November. If looking for recovery coaches in your agency please speak with him directly.

Andy Grant: Sociocracy For All

Format for groups to work in small circles to listen deeply to one another and make mutual decisions. Offering training at Library 11/14, have training book available for sale. Will be having catering from Fernandez at event.

Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court Presiding Justice

Continuing work towards helping individuals with substance use disorders or substance related charges. October 30th event 2- 4 PM flyer passed out – being held at war memorial, panel of community members on view of angel police which has been implemented, will speak about HCSD section 35.

Justin Chellman: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services

Opioid overdose prevention with a focus on Springfield, Holyoke and East Longmeadow.

Rafael Fields: Lighthouse Holyoke

Alternative education center for 7th – high school students. In process of getting accredited to offer diplomas to students. Combines education and community engagements, many students struggle with mental health, homelessness, or substance use.

Marissa Egerstrom: St. Paul’s Pastor

Working on community garden project with intern Justin, looking for community activists. Tonight is first service in Spanish. If you have clients who are looking for a home for their faith the church is open and non-judgmental, fully open to LGBTQ members and have LGBTQ on staff.

Cassandra Valcourt: Hope for Holyoke

Winter clothing drives being held, looking for donations. 100 Suffolk Street. Also looking for diaper donations.

Raymond Lozada: Nueva Esperanza

Holding toy drive for youth from October 15-December 31st, unwrapped gifts. Upcoming play: Not For Sale – tickets are however for sale.

Michelle Daries: DCF (Department of Children and Families)

Looking for foster care placements, please contact at (413) 452-3247

Luis Arzola: CHD Employment Specialist

In library every Thursday from 10-2 for workshops. Assist in resume building and completing applications. Also offer nurturing fathers program, work with males on how to be a nurturing fathers. 265-9950

Damon Wood: Hope for Holyoke

If anyone is in need of substance use resources please go to 100 Suffolk Street, Holyoke.

Michelle Luciano: River Valley / Wise Program

Currently working with youth at both Peck and Veritas. Looking for information for families, passed out business cards.

Luz Rolon: AmeriCorps Vista

Lawrence school is looking for donations for uniforms for students.

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project

Offer English classes in day and evening. Offer GED/HI SET prep in Spanish. Looking for bilingual volunteers who would be available 2-3 hours. November 14th comedy fundraiser will be held at culinary art center @ MGM.

Melissa Daniels: HCC

Recruiting for nurse’s aid program along with culinary. In January will begin program which is looking for women

Anna Cruz: WayFinders

Groundbreaking for library commons on October 24th from 1-3 PM

Nayrobi Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Domino tournament this Saturday at Carlos Vega Park from 12-5 in collaboration with Parks and Rec, police, and fire. Hosting 20/20 census tracking recruitment on October 22nd will be offering $18/hr. Hosting meeting and greet for the foresters, looking for people who want more trees to increase air quality on October 23rd.

Ed passed out flyers for the Mass Mentoring Program MMP Connects meeting that will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd at 10am at 100 Bigelow Street in Holyoke.

Family Fun Night at Morgan School: 10/31/19 5pm to 7pm                           2:20pm - 2:25pm

Looking for agencies to pass out information and candy

Ed passed out flyers for the upcoming FFN at Morgan School. They are looking for agencies to pass out information and candy to families during the event.

Basketball Sign-Ups                                                                                          2:25pm - 2:27pm

Ed stated he will be sending out flyers for the upcoming basketball sign-up which are listed below.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, November 14th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th Basketball Sign-ups: 10/25 & 11/1 6pm YMCA
  • 7th & 8th Grade Basketball Sign-ups: 10/21 & 10/28 6pm Kelly School
  • High School Basketball Sign-ups: 10/29 & 11/7 6pm Boys and Girls Club

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:   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:    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

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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Latest Meeting


5th & 6th Grade Schedule 12/6/19

Below is the 5th & 6th grade schedule for Friday, 12/6/19, all games at the YMCA:

Week #1 Friday, Dec. 6

6:45pm: Team 5 vs. Team 6

7:30pm: Team 4 vs. Team 2 

7:30pm: Team 3 vs. Team 1

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