Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes


Date: November 9, 2017

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 Leslie Birk (Boy Scouts of America)                                                        1:05pm - 1:20pm

Many boy scouts/eagle scouts become leaders when they grow up. There are cub scouts, boy scouts, venture scouts, and exploring scouts. There are traditional activities like hiking, fishing, skill building, and even experiences that help the boys to learn about themselves and to develop leadership skills. Scouting helps kids to learn the importance of helping others and helps them in almost every aspect of life. 

Encouraged everyone to purchase tickets for their “Good Scouter” award dinner at the Log Cabin on 11/30/17 at 6:00pm, honoring Eddie Caisse.  Tickets can be purchased online or through Dan Iozzi.

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

Laura Banks: RVCC

They have a module curriculum for ages 15-19. She can come into your organization and run that program for free.

Veronica Garcia: WGBY

Community of Faith: collecting winter coats that they can provide to families (rise up)

Dec. 22nd at 5:30 pm

Contact #: 413-657-6271 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Madeline Landrau: Mass Mutual

MassMutual’s LifeBridge program: Free life insurance program for parents between 19 and 42. (children under the age of 18). Have to be in good health and currently working at an income between 10,000 and 40,000

They do not work on commission.

Rob Houle/Josh Sotolongo: Unity Financial

Unity Financial: working with the Paulo Freire Charter School. They go to organizations and give free seminars that help people to get out of debt for example. They don’t collect people’s information and are located in the People’s Bank.

Shannon Sarkisian: Holyoke Community College

Dec. 5th, there is an ‘I AM College bound’ event from 3:30-6:00; free dinner.

Maureen Grodan: UMASS Nursing

Looking to partner with agencies.

Steve Roberts: Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts: 1296 acres with equipment if anyone wants to rent in Russell, Ma. Can also help with programing in case anyone is interested.

Bishop Boyd: National Alliance of Mental Illness

Dec. 6th they are partnering with C3 policing and having a dinner that is showing the connection between police and mental health and is meant to bring awareness. There will be a forum and people can ask questions. There will be tables available for different organizations to show their services and get connected with people in the community. Dec. 2nd there is a free breakfast where people can come and get the information for the 30 kids that they want to bring to Mass next year and they want to raise awareness and get donations in order to reach their goals.  8am-10am at the Sheraton Hotel.

Colby Singleton: HUBS

Holyoke Urban Bike School (through the Holyoke YMCA) they teach bike repair to young people and do group bike rides in order to help them to be safe and build togetherness. This programing is during school and after school. They will continue through the cold season until they no longer can. Looking for referrals for students and also for partnerships with older teens and other organizations. Holiday Bike Sale: Dec. 9th (affordable prices).

Deidre Murphy: MSPCC

They serve parents under 24 and do home visiting, the program is mentorship. Please refer teen dads that you know. Also raising awareness about the fact that teen dads are not recognized as fathers MSPCC.org is the place to go. Accepting donations for new children’s books.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library

Rachel is the teen outreach librarian at Holyoke Library. They have an early literacy group that is ongoing. Also in collaboration with the Gandara Center they have youth learning about media literacy and editing. Open to new partnerships and referrals of youth.

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council

They do adult programs around education referrals for older students, high-set, English as a second language, etc. There is a new class; Bridge to College & Careers, which is free and is focused on people who have a GED, high-set or a diploma who want to work on reading, math, and writing in order to brush up on those points before going to college.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

ROCA is located in Springfield but is transitioning to Holyoke; they are a transitional program that target 17-24 year old proven risk young men. They help with mental health, transitional employment, high-set training, etc. Also open for referrals of young men who have been turned away from other organizations and/or disconnected.

Nancy Texiera: Department of Children and Families

DCF is desperately in need of foster homes. Lots of children are going night to night for weeks on end. If you are interested in being a foster parent, please contact them. Lots of babies and infants are there because of the opioid crisis. If anyone wants to sponsor a family or donate gifts they are accepting them.

Elsa Weintraub: Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

They have healthy incentives program: Working on educating people on how SNAP recipients can get their money back almost dollar for dollar when they buy fresh produce. Check out Facebook page at hippioneervalley.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Work with people who are seeking or in recovery. Feel free to call for referrals.

Jesus Periera: Holyoke Veterans’ Services

He wants to change the way that veterans are seen and viewed. Helping with rent, co-pay, helping with homeless veterans, helping to help them get sober, etc. War memorial building on Appleton St. Mentioned you can follow them on Facebook.

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools

Passed around flyer for event on 11/16/17, ‘Celebrating all Holyoke Parents’.

Passed around flyer for 12/5/17, ‘College Access and Career Readiness’.

Lexus Phillips: Holyoke Boys and Girls Club

Lexus Holyoke Boys and Girls Club: Thanked to everyone involved in their 125 year event last Thursday. Monday and Tuesday (11/13 and11/14) Grumoli Basketball Tournament at 6:30/7:00. General admission is 2 dollars.

Chakai Duany: Way Finders

11/14 5:30-7:30 ways to re-vitalize the community and beautification projects for the Spring. Hold community action planning meetings.  Like them on Facebook. Wayfinders Community Building and Engagement.

Maritza Martinez: CFCE

Coordinated family community engagement: reaching people who are hard to reach in the community and helping families to get education for their kids from birth to 8 and also helping with basic needs for the kids. Like us on Facebook.  They are in the process of setting up a new parenting group at the Chicopee Boys Club.

Dennis Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke

Always accepting referrals. Especially with winter months coming, keep sending people with substance use issues.  Can make the referral to Hope for Holyoke through James Maloney.

Rosana Rivera: Homework House

Seeking a program coordinator contact Virginia Dillion.

Mike Lewis: Sober Housing Providence Ministries

Mike is the director of sober housing: providing a nurturing environment for men who are homeless for whatever reason. Addiction, incarceration, veterans, etc. Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day coming up at Kate’s Kitchen (volunteers welcome, reach out to Mary Jane from Providence ministries) Accepting Christmas donations from furniture to toys Contact through the website or on Facebook

Sarah Chadwick: Bay Path University

American Women’s College at Bay Path University: financial aid and an accelerated program for women who did not start school or who delayed their education.

James Biscoe: Cleanslate

Medication assistance treatment program.  Offices in Holyoke, Springfield, and West Springfield.

Yaritza Baez-Reyes: Career Point

Training opportunity: Advanced Manufacturing Training at Futureworks: Tuesday 11am-noon training at Career Point Wednesdays 11-noon training.

Luis Arzola: CHD

Family Matters, presentation on Dec. 16th in the central library in Springfield MA. It will advocate for families involved with child services, educate them, and expose them to new opportunities for their families such as boy scouts. Would love to have partnerships.

Milany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

Wants to connect to anyone who is in need of training or professional development, offers program development, etc. Next week there is a forum on critical relationships in Boston

Dori Digenti: Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness

Introduction to yoga workshop on the 18th 1:30-3:30. 3 drop in programs each week by donation

Capt. Manny Febo: Holyoke Police Department

Captain Febo did not have any updates but is very excited for the new relationship with ROCA and welcomed them to Holyoke.

Family Fun Night at Morgan, Thanksgiving Dinner: November 17th 6pm to 8pm            2:20pm - 2:25pm

Since our networking meeting the November 17th event has been pushed out, more information to follow.

Old Business / New Business

Next Meeting is Thursday, December 14th at 1:00pm at the 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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