Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   June 13, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

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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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www.eagleeyei.org

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

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