Meeting Notes 2/13/20

Meeting Notes 2/13/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Meeting Notes Date:   February 13, 2020 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...
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Meeting Notes 1/9/20

Meeting Notes 1/9/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Meeting Notes Date:   January 9, 2020 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...
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Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20

Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20

The monthly meeting has been cancelled, due to the precautions around the Coronavirus.
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Agency Updates 5/14/20

Agency Updates 5/14/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Agency Updates May 14, 2020 Because the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative had to cancel our monthly networking meeting, we are providing the updates below, which we received from various agencies that typically attend our monthly meetings. HSNI We are...
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Agency Updates 4/7/20

Agency Updates 4/7/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Agency Updates April 7, 2020 Because the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative had to cancel our monthly networking meeting, we are providing the updates below, which we received from various agencies that typically attend our monthly meetings. HSNI Although we have...
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Meeting Notes 2/13/20
Meeting Notes 2/13/20
February 14, 2020
Meeting Notes 1/9/20
Meeting Notes 1/9/20
January 15, 2020
Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20
Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20
March 12, 2020
Agency Updates 5/14/20
Agency Updates 5/14/20
May 20, 2020
Agency Updates 4/7/20
Agency Updates 4/7/20
April 07, 2020

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Agency Updates

May 14, 2020

Nalxone SM Graphics Holyoke 02

Because the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative had to cancel our monthly networking meeting, we are providing the updates below, which we received from various agencies that typically attend our monthly meetings.

HSNI

We are updating our About Us tab on our website at www.Shsni.org. We are listing all agencies that have submitted an Agency Participation Form. If your agency is not listed on About Us tab and you would like it to be listed, please send an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will send you out an Agency Participation Form.

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Steve O’Neil: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Cocchi continues the strict preventative measures he put in place at the Sheriff’s Department to ensure the health and safety of our staff as well as the inmates. He is pleased to report that due to these protocols we have had no positive COVID-19 inmates to date. We have however had a few staff test positive (14 out of 850 staff) having contracted the virus outside the jail. All of these staff have quarantined at home. Ten have recovered and returned to work with 4 still recovering.

As the state slowly reopens it is important to stay safe, wear masks when you cannot maintain social distance, wash hands frequently and take care of yourself and your families and your community. We look forward to a return to a “new normal” as we all work through this challenging time.

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Chief Manny Febo: Holyoke Police Department

The Holyoke Police Department is fully staffed and remains healthy during this crisis. We have started walking patrols in the city along with increased anti-narcotics patrols by our detectives. We are seeing the usual uptick in warm weather activity and are making adjustments to deal with those issues. Some of our weather related issues are drag racing, dirt bikers, speeding, gang activity and so on. We appreciate everything all of the agencies are doing to improve the quality of life and overall community health. Please let us know how we can help moving forward. 

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Chief Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court Probation

The Holyoke District Court Probation Department continues to operate on reduced staff and will do so until at least 6/1/20.  While the building is closed to the public we continue to supervise those under probation supervision and are available by phone to handle inquiries from probationers, the public and victims.  As always I can be contact by phone at

413-493-0212 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. concerning any probation related matters.

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Aaron Vega: State Representative

The legislature has now moved to remote formal sessions and voting. A number of pieces of legislation have passed so far including tenant protections, pandemic unemployment and additional funds for health care. Things like expired drivers licenses, car registration and tax filings have all got 60 day extensions. We will be taking up legislation for mail in ballots for the fall elections and will be passing some portion of the FY21 State Budget in June. To date over 900,000 people have filed for unemployment here in the State, we are looking at projected State revenue losses of $-6 billion if not more and though we are moving in the right direction as far as testing and confirmed COVID-19 cases the move to opening businesses will be slow and with many new guidelines and regulations.  Addressing education needs and food access continue to be my priorities for Holyoke.  I continue to provide updates on my Fifth Hampden Facebook page. Be safe and thank you to everyone for the work they are doing during this crisis. 

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Amy Karangekis: US Attorney General’s Office

The AGO has recently created the below flyers on COVID-19 multilingual assistance & assistance for victims of DV.  Please circulate and share with others.

Attorney General's Office Multilingual COVID-19 Publications: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/attorney-generals-office-multilingual-covid-19-publications

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Resources (multilingual): https://www.mass.gov/guides/resources-during-covid-19#-domestic-violence-&-sexual-assault-resources-

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Heidy Fontanez: Bethany Assembly of God

Bethany Assembly of God continues to service the community by providing groceries.

Bethany Assembly of God in Agawam continues to serve the community through its FOOD PANTRY ministry during the Covid-19 challenge.

We are keeping everyone safe by having a drive through set up and our volunteers are adhering to the safety protocol established by the State.  

The Food Pantry is open:

  • Mon & Tue from 1 pm – 3 pm
  • 1st Tuesday of the Month 6 pm – 8 pm
  • And the last Saturday of the month from 9 am – 11 am.
  • Picture ID and a bill with the person’s address is all they need.

For questions regarding the Food Pantry, please contact our office from Mon – Fri from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. at 413-789-2930.

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Cass Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute

Join Eagle Eye Institute and Kestrel Land Trust as our 2020-21 TerraCorps Member

We are looking for a TerraCorps member to join our team! TerraCorps is an AmeriCorps program focused on land access and equity. As a Community Engagement/Youth Education Coordinator serving with Eagle Eye and Kestrel, your focus will be on engaging Holyoke youth in hands-on outdoor learning programs, as well as engaging community members and volunteers in land-related programs and events. You can find the full position description here: https://terracorps.org/apply-ma/#KLTEEI1.

Members serve in full-time (38 hour/week) positions from August 2020-July 2021. These 1,700-hour AmeriCorps positions receive a living allowance and are eligible for an education award, loan forbearance, healthcare coverage, childcare reimbursement, and additional AmeriCorps benefits. Members receive access to mentorship, training, and professional development throughout their service. Application specifics and additional information about the program can be found at terracorps.org/apply.

Our preference is to hire someone from the community as this position's role is to engage community members in the Pioneer Valley and coordinate programs with Holyoke youth. We encourage folks from communities of color and underrepresented communities to apply. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

AmeriCorps programs provide equal service opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons for all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive community. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and varying experiences, including people with disabilities, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. We will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and services upon request. TerraCorps is a grant program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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Maryann Linnehan: Western Mass Elder Care

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the way we live and work these last few months, WMEC staff is actively responding to the needs of our clients and delivering services in the safest way possible throughout this evolving situation.  Our staff is available telephonically, by email or by video chat Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.  Here are some of the many ways we can help: 

 

    • WMEC Care Managers provide frequent telephonic support and phone “check-ins” for all program consumers.  We work with our direct care vendors to plan for services in the home.  Direct care staff are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE). 
    •   Our Community Resource Specialists (CRS) continue to take new referrals for home care services daily.  They listen, assess needs, answer questions and help navigate referrals and resources to our programs and other services in the community.  
    • We can provide PPE for consumers and family caregivers.  Masks, gloves and face shields are available upon request. 
    • New services have been designed to both meet COVID Care recovery needs and deliver care safely in the home.
    • WMEC Nursing Staff conduct telephonic assessments to assess and monitor consumers’ physical and mental health. They assist with discharges from nursing facilities back to home.
    • Our Meals on Wheels staff and drivers wear masks and gloves, follow strict social distancing protocols, and make contactless deliveries to protect their health and that of our consumers.  Meal options include daily delivery, a seven day frozen pack option and meals for the weekend if needed.
    • A virtual gathering is held weekly to connect and support our LGBTQ Community.  Visit https://www.wmeldercare.org/lgbtq/ for more information.  
    • WMEC provides critical Caregiver Supports including strategies for those caring for a loved one with dementia or chronic conditions, or raising grandchildren.  

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Melissa Garcia: Gandara Center

We are continuing to provide services remotely to the community. Our physical location will continue to be closed for the public until further notice; the agency is currently reviewing the state phases and working on plans for reopening as the weeks come by.

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Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) continues to provide compassionate and quality services during this unprecedented time. All our clinics are open utilizing safety protocols and we offer telehealth services. Talk to one of our caring and professional therapists using your computer, mobile device, or your home phone. Because we contract with local school districts (Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, Granby, and select schools in Springfield, East Longmeadow, Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, and South Hadley) to provide school-based therapy, our clinicians continue to work with students using telehealth. Our STCC students also continue being served through the use of telehealth. We continue to partner with Western MassEldercare, LifePath, Womanshelter/Companeras, En Lace de Families, and ROCA to provide counseling services. Please call our Central Intake Department for more information or to schedule an appointment at (413)540-1234 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.rvcc-inc.org

RVCC is very appreciative of the Hampden County Sheriff's Department's donation of face masks made by inmates! THANK YOU for protecting our staff and the people we serve!!

RVCC Program Updates:

Eighteen families in RVCC's Wellness Interventions Support and Education (W.I.S.E.) Program from Peck Full Service Community School and Veritas Prep in Holyoke received calming boxes last month. W.I.S.E. staff delivered boxes containing games, journals, a psychoeducational insert, items to make glitter jars, stickers, colored pencils, hand sanitizer, and more. Families also met together during a Google Hangout chat to talk about coping strategies. WISE followed this up with a movie night drop off featuring the film "Inside Out" and they provided psychoeducational materials about managing emotions and popcorn! It was a great way to support our families involved in the W.I.S.E. Program. The program conducts weekly check-ins via phone and some of our kids have a mentor who checks in via phone as well. They also have bi-weekly Groups/ Family Sessions via video/phone on Google Hangouts. To learn more about W.I.S.E. please follow the link to our website: https://www.rvcc-inc.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=64547&cn=0 

RVCC's CBHI Programs (In-Home Therapy, In-Home Behavioral Services and Therapeutic Mentoring Program continue to accept new clients. For more information, please contact Natalie Lavallee at

(413) 594-2141 x2165 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I forgot to add one more thing under RVCC Program Updates. If it's not too late, can you please add this under RVCC's CBHI Programs update?  I understand if you're not able to. Thanks either way!

RVCC's CONCERN Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is accepting new clients. Currently offering deferred payment options to those who need support for employees. Contact Joy Brock, Psy.D. at 413-534-2625 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Justine Saabs: Holyoke Housing Authority

HHA is still closed to the general public however staff is at the office on a rotating schedule and is available via telephone or email, and in person for urgent matters.  A contact list for all administrative staff can be found on the website at www.holyokehousing.org. Maintenance is working regular hours and completing only emergency work orders, they can be reached at 413-539-2216. We have collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club to offer meals to school-aged youth at your family developments, Beaudoin Village, Churchill & Toepfert daily from 4:30-5:30PM. The Mobile Food Bank is still operating at Beaudoin Village the 1st and 3rdMondays of every month from 11:00-11:45AM.

Justine Sabbs

Director of Resident Empowerment and Community Programming

413-539-2229

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Luis Perez: Foodbank of Western Mass

We hope you and your families are healthy during these difficult times. We would like to reach out and remind you about our resources at The Food Bank of Western MA. And how to access those resources since some things have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic.

All SNAP outreach events are cancelled until further notice.SNAP application assistance is still available via phone at (413) 992-6204.

Most of our Mobile Food bank locations are still up and running. Please check our website www.foodbankwma.org under the get help tab for schedules.

There are no eligibility requirements to receive food from our Mobile Food Bank. Anyone in need of assistance can attend. It’s a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to distribution time and bring with you boxes or bags to carry your food. ‌ 

Find a food pantry or free meal during COVID-19 crisis

During the COVID-19 crisis, some member agencies of The Food Bank have adjusted their hours or have decided to close. Please refer to the schedule on our website to find free meals or a food pantry. This schedule is updated frequently, so please check back regularly.

Please check our website www.foodbankwma.org under the get help tab for more details.

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Mara Shulman: Health Law Advocates

My organization, Health Law Advocates, has prepared a remote training on advocating for special education students during COVID-19 and I would be happy to present to your agency at no cost at a time convenient for your staff. In this training, we address the guidance received from the U.S. Department of Education and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on the provision of special education services during extended school closure. Even if your role does not include formal advocacy, knowing the parameters of the above guidance will help you navigate better this unusual time for already vulnerable youth.

We also have trainings in English and Spanish for parents of special education students, available also at no cost and at times convenient for parent groups.

Please contact me to schedule a remote training.

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Shelly Lenn: The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens / Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice

  1. The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens supports youth ages 5-18 years and their families following the death of someone close. There are no limits on how, where or when the death occurred. Join on Sunday afternoon family support program. Phone/Zoom consultation available. For more information call 413 727 5749 or email Shelly Bathe Lenn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  1. Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice All Services are offered at no cost and are facilitated via Zoom video conferencing. Adult Bereavement support: Parent Loss, Mondays, 530-7 pm for 8-weeks beginning 6/1 AND/OR Spouse/partner Loss, Wednesdays, 530-7 pm for 8-weeks beginning 6/3. To register and for more information please contact Shelly Bathe Lenn at 413 727 5749 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Angela Baez: Behavioral Health Network

https://www.bhninc.org/services-and-programs/telecare-counseling

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Sarah Schmidt: Holyoke Community College

One thing we have coming up in June is a free "How to Work & Learn Online" series, for info & to register click here: http://hcc.3dcartstores.com/-How-to-Work-Learn-Online-Free-_p_17050.html

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Jennifer Fernandes: United Way, Thrive Program

THRIVE now has a new 1-800 number to help people with questions around unemployment, student loans, stimulus checks, small businesses.  The number is 1- 888-308-4748 number, so as soon as I get that, I’ll email it to you. 

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Betty Lichtenstein: Enlace de Familia Inc.

Enlace created a new HOLYOKERESOURCES.COM, so it can be used by providers and by families. The state area is all translated into 14 different languages. WE will translate the local services and resources when they aren't in Spanish. 

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Thais Rivera: Career Connections

At Career Connections we are continuing to serve our clients in the community while working from home. We are still waiting on an update on when clients will be able to return to our offices. We are working with clients on budgeting, self-care, soft skills, study skills, and more all virtually with the help of our staff. 

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Iohann RashiVega: Holyoke Media

Holyoke Media. Public Access TV and local media information source. We are reporting the most recent updates in the local, state, and federal level related to the COVID-19 emergency, through interviews, posting on our social media platforms, the Information Brief / Síntesis Informativa service that is broadcasted through Facebook Live, Channel 15, Instagram, and is available in two segments, one in English the other is Spanish. 

We are on holyokemedia.org and social media:

Facebook:       facebook.com/holyokemedia

Instagram:       @holyoke_media

Also we have daily interviews in Spanish as part of el Colectivo de Medios Latinos, in partnership with the latino journalists from Presencia - New England Public Media; and El Pueblo Latino (The Republican). 

Facebook:        Facebook.com/colectivodemedioslatinos

Web:                 colectivodemedioslatinos.info

People interested on sharing information, interviews, stories, content of relevance for the community can reach out to us via email to:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through messaging us on social media.

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Monica Baldyga: Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass

I hope this email finds you well. While schools are closed and students are home, I’m excited to share that the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts is offering virtual programs to families!  We ask that you present this information to your families. If your families do not have a computer, access to the internet or a printer? No problem, let us know and we will mail you or them the activities. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything the Girl Scouts maybe able to do to assist you and the families you serve

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Jennie Adamczyk: Providence Ministries

We will begin bringing residents back into Loreto House from secure facilities such as Prison or Detox/CSS the week of 6/1.  No self-referrals or walk ins.  Kate’s Kitchen will continue operating Mon-Fri with no weekend service until the first of June (date coming soon)  Margaret’s Pantry is still opened by appointment for food service and St. Jude’s is currently closed until July.

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Tarah Shepard: South Bay Community Services

Hope all is well, I wanted to give you another quick update about South Bay, there is no wait for English speaking adults for therapy or medication management services, the Wait for Spanish speaking consumers is about 3 months (youth and adults) and the wait for English speaking youth is about 1-2 months. If anyone has questions they can email me, thank you so much, looking forward to "new normal". 

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David Beturne: Big Bothers / Big Sisters of Hampden County

BBBS is continuing to support our matches virtually. At his time, we are asking all matches continue to “meet” using technology such as facetime or zoom.

We are in the process of drafting recommendations and guidelines for match meetings as stay at home orders loosen. Everyone’s health and safety is our number one priority.

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Yesenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital

AdCare Inpatient & Outpatient is open during COVID; we follow all CDC and state guidelines and in addition we have taken precautionary measures such as deep cleaning all facilities daily, installing clear partitions in transport, admissions, etc. We will continue to follow Governor Baker's guidelines on re-opening. 

We understand that this transition will be difficult and some people need help now more than ever -especially once restrictions are lifted and people have to return to work/school/back into the community. One goal we will be focusing on moving forward is how to access people back into treatment, who are struggling, have relapsed, etc. Limiting wait times is a must. We will continue to offer telehealth to any patients not comfortable coming on site once things re-open. 

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Christine Zaskey Cullen: Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program

Families can go to our Facebook page - Holyoke Chicopee CFCE Facebook to find activities to do with children, story times, video playgroups, parenting tips and support.  We will also soon be offering online parenting classes in both Spanish and English.  If families need help finding basic need resources in the community, we can help with that as well.  We also offer support for families who have a newborn, and can do a virtual visit.  We can be reached at (413) 536-0363 ext. 4536 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Jesus Pereira: Holyoke Veteran’s Services

Holyoke Veteran’s Services are still working remotely with one person in the office to handle phones. If any veteran is having a hard time and needs financial assistance they can still reach us via email or phone. 413-322-5630 

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Brenda Carroll: Commonwealth Care Alliance

Over the past few weeks, together we have faced and responded to an unprecedented situation in providing care to those we serve. Now more than ever, Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) remains committed to putting people first in all that we do and fulfilling our mission. We continue to aim to improve the health and well-being of people with significant needs by innovating, coordinating and providing the highest quality, individualized care to those with the most significant needs. I wanted to reach out to remind you of a few of the services we are currently providing our members:

  • CCCA is providing coverage for the full cost of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. CCA members who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for testing will have no co-pay, coinsurance, or deductibles for these tests.
  • Consistent with the guidelines issued by MassHealth, CCA is providing coverage to our members for all medically necessary COVID-19 treatment at doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and urgent care centers within the United States or internationally.
  • To ensure our members have adequate medications and to encourage social distancing guidelines, CCA members are currently able to receive a one-time early refill of their medications and may receive up to a 3-month supply.
  • CCA has removed authorization and referral requirements for all medically appropriate care related to COVID-19.
  • CCA has authorized transportation to pharmacies and grocery stores for caregivers.
  • Our primary care clinics and crisis stabilization units remain open.
  • CCA has permitted qualified providers to deliver clinically-appropriate, medically-necessary CCA-covered services to CCA members via telehealth.
  • CCA continues to deploy clinical staff in the community to provide care to members in their homes.
  • CCA has implemented contingency plans to ensure that our members receive the same level of quality care and comprehensive support for health related needs as was in place prior to the pandemic, and for our current members, we have taken measures to provide additional support for our members’ needs.
  • CCA has donated $50,000 dollars to our Commonwealth’s food banks.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, we want to let you know that CCA is prepared to help. CCA can partner with your practice to provide clinical oversight and care coordination in the community for patients with complex medical, behavioral, and social needs who are eligible for MassHealth Standard (with or without Medicare).

Through our Senior Care Options program for individuals 65+ and our One Care Program for individuals 21-64, we can work together to help your patients receive the support and services required to keep them living safely and independently in their homes. If you feel that there are individuals you are caring for who may benefit from the services we provide, please let me know—we are still able to enroll new members and we will continue to do all we can to support you.

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Kathy Goulet-Fenn: Womanshelter/Compañeras

We continue to work remotely as an agency and have not closed down.

Kathy: 413-537-0478

Flo: 413-537-0089

(Spanish Speaking)

Brenda: 413-537-0336

(Spanish Speaking)

Nashly: 413-537-0057

(Spanish Speaking)

*These advocates are available to assist anyone who is a victim of Domestic Violence with

referrals and Safety Planning from Monday -Friday 8:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m.

24 Hour Hotline Phone Number: 413-536-1628

Ehra Rodriguez: Womanshelter/Compañeras

Womanshelter/Companeras: Crisis Line operating 24/7 (413-536-1628) with backup staff to pick up. All Advocates and Safe Plan Advocates are available via Office Cell Phones, new participants designated accordingly.

The Main Office remains closed to the public at 208 Race Street, Holyoke, MA and continues to follow the closure mandate by the Governor. Everyone working remotely since March 23rd.

Shelter (full) is cautionary on accepting new families, we do lodge survivors in imminent danger, assessed by an Advocate or Executive Director, in local hotels (short stay) and still assisting them in seeking a "safer"place to relocate too.

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Judy Taylor: Holyoke Public Schools

Severe weather caused roofs to collapse in one of our Holyoke neighborhoods on Friday, May 15th. Over 100 families with close to 50 Holyoke students lost their homes and had to be evacuated that night. We humbly ask you to partner with us to support these families affected by this tragedy. Please consider donating to this cause https://bit.ly/2Tg7IbN.

We would like to share information with you about the following topics in this week’s Holyoke Update:

  • Hurry!  Applications are due Friday for Preschool Lottery (We still have full-day PreK openings for 4-year olds) and Options Programs Lotteries
  • Remote Learning Expectations
  • Enroll Online to HPS for School Year 2020-21
  • Special Education Update 
  • Contacting HPS During the School Closure
  • Food Access – Grab and Go meals, social service resources, P-EBT
  • Summer & Extended Learning Offerings – Apply today!
  • School Choice
  • “Cone of Excellence” Awarded to Virginia Roche, Michelle Macklin, Brian Harris, Jacqueline Escalera, Kelly Curran, Chris Noel Labieniec, and Amanda Smith
  • Holyoke High School News – 
    • Salute to Our Seniors
    • Virtual Talent Show 
    • Reminders – Remote Learning, Senior Events, Senior Survey, Early College 
  • News Briefs 
    • Dr. Zrike’s Facebook Live Sessions
    • Staff Appreciation Notes
  • HPS in the News
  • Upcoming Events – 
    • May 18th – Virtual School Committee Meeting 6:00 PM
    • May 20th,  HPS Facebook Live session with Dr. Zrike
    • May 22nd, Future Teacher Signing Day
  • Reminders – STEM Kits and Chromebooks for students, Scholars Lounge, Provide your updated contact information, MCAS, Senior surveys, Census

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Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public School

We stilling giving out free breakfast, lunch and now dinner on Monday, Wednesday, Friday (on Friday we give for the entire weekend from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm and the site are Donahue, Lawrence, Morgan, and Kelly and on Wednesday we are giving chrome books for students from Holyoke 10:00 -12:00 pm at Morgan school and if your want your child to attend summer school please apply on the Holyoke Public School website we are taking applications.

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Suzanne Parker: Girls Inc. of the Valley

Here are a couple of paragraphs on what we have been up to. 

Girls Inc. of the Valley continues to support girls in Holyoke and beyond. The presence of supportive, caring adults is crucial for youth during a crisis. Staff are connecting with girls regularly, providing referrals to resources as well as emotional supports. We are providing virtual/remote Girls Inc. activities for all ages. Some activities are open to all and others require an online registration. Activity kits are also being sent home. We are starting a new project in the next couple of weeks to provide menstrual and other hygiene products to those in needed. More information can be found on our website and through our social media channels.

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McKenzie Umrysz: Healthy Families Program, MSPCC
Healthy Families is a voluntary home visiting program for first time pregnant or parenting individuals who are 20 years old and younger. A Home Visitor works with the individual on parenting skills, child development, goal planning, and connecting to local resources such as food, shelter, financial aid, education, and counseling services. We normally meet the individual out in the community where they feel most comfortable (in the home, at a library etc.), but during this time we are doing telehealth visits. We have Spanish and English speaking staff, and serve the communities of Holyoke, Chicopee, and Westfield. For our current participants in need, we are providing diapers, wipes, activity boxes, and deliveries from grocery stores as the pandemic goes on.

If anyone would like to make a referral, or has any questions, they can reach out to McKenzie Umrysz, at this number: 781- 482-4324, or by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We take referrals over the phone, by paper submission, or by our online referral link. If they choose to do the online referral, it can be accessed by going to the MSPCC website, under the "Pregnancy and Parenting Support" tab, and clicking the request services button on the right side of the screen.

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Sophie Schouboe: Food Bank of Western Mass

Here are some updates from The Food Bank:

If people are looking for feeding programs they can visit our website or call 413-247-9738: https://www.foodbankwma.org/get-help/covid-19-food-pantry-meal-program-schedule/

The Food Bank now has a direct SNAP line for people that need help with SNAP applications in either Spanish or English, 413-992-6204. If they leave a message, the SNAP team will return the message within 48 business hours. There’s a flyer attached.

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Angel Coriano: Homework House Inc.

Homework House update:

We are promoting our free summer Reader and Leaders Program. It is open to student entering 2-5 grades. I have attached the flyers in English and Spanish. 

Homework House is also providing remote tutoring to students.visit our Facebook page or contact me

Any questions please let me know contact Angel Director of Programs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 413-887-2012.

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Ron Johnson: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We continue to offer Christian-based Mental Health Counseling via Teletherapy during the Covid-19 crisis. These sessions are typically covered by insurance and require no special technology beyond a smart phone of computer. Call us to schedule an appointment (413) 73-CROSS

We’re rolling out new and exciting online Health and Wellness offerings – delivering on our promise to Redeem Mind, Body and Spirit. These services include group and one-on-one coaching and wellness training. Please note that we will also be providing two free meditation webinars on 5/18 and 5/23. Find out more and sign-up at this webpage.  And to learn more about all of our Health and Wellness services, take look at this webpage.

We’re thrilled to announce that six of our clinicians are now fully certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitators. Prepare/Enrich is the international gold standard in marriage preparation and enrichment. We are planning an online webinar on this topic on May 29. Please check out the Events Section of our website to learn more. And Find out more about Prepare/Enrich in this short video https://vimeo.com/217220768

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Victor Nunez-Ortiz: VA Central and Western Mass

VA Central Western Mass (CWM) is operating under special conditions:

With mission of geriatrics, mental health, and primary care, CWM closed its Community Living Center (CLC) early; is conducting drive-through testing; is supporting over 150 Soldier-On residents on its campus; patients are seen by appointment only in their CBOCs; practicing social distancing; and 90% of care is now being delivered virtually.

All VA locations are screening for respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19.

Our Greenfield, Fitchburg, Worcester-Plantation Street, and Worcester-Lake Ave Clinics are closed effective Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, until further notice. For questions or concerns please contact the call center at 1(800) 893-1522. 

Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for urgent issues: 1(800) 273-8255, Press 1

When using telehealth services, VHA will provide a first line of defense by virtual screening for symptoms or exposure. Standardized screening questions are in place for all administrative call centers and Clinical Contact Centers (CCC).

At medical facilities, VHA is screening at all points of entry.  Facilities will use standardized screening questions at appointment check in and during initial clinical screening.

In addition, VHA is strongly encouraging Veterans to call their local medical center before visiting the facility and advising Veterans to consider using VA’s telehealth and virtual care options like VA Video Connect. VA’s telehealth providers can evaluate their symptoms and provide a diagnosis and comprehensive care. 

For updates, please visit http://www.centralwesternmass.va.gov  or our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VACWMASS

Stay well everyone!

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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.

Friend Request us on Facebook @ Shsni Holyoke

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Agency Updates

April 7, 2020

Nalxone SM Graphics Holyoke 06

Because the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative had to cancel our monthly networking meeting, we are providing the updates below, which we received from various agencies that typically attend our monthly meetings.

HSNI

Although we have no idea when the COVID-19 threat will be gone or when the restrictions will be lifted, we are still planning our Summer Basketball League, date TBD and the large Back to School Event that is targeted for August 15th at McNally Field. Both of these activities take a lot of planning and we want to ensure that we are prepared when the Coronavirus is behind us. ALL of our community based activies will remain on hold, including community meetings, family fun nights, etc., until the threat is gone.

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Steve O’Neil: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Nick Cocchi has implemented strict preventive measures to reduce the chance of the COVID-19 virus entering any of our facilities. Our All-Inclusive Support Services (AISS) program is closed to the public, however it is staffed to handle issues via the phone during this pandemic. We follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Health recommendations. All staff and incarcerated individuals are required to wear masks at all times, maintain social distancing guidelines, cleaning and disinfecting protocols are all ongoing. Our overarching goals are to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Sheriff Cocchi is opening the First Responder Recovery Home as a safe refuge for doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, EMTs, corrections professionals and military members who are working to recover from COVID-19.

Many of these professionals have elderly parents, newborn infants or immunocompromised children or spouses, which means they can't safely go home to recover without putting loved ones at risk. The new recovery home is for them and will have restaurant-quality food and hotel bedding. In just over 24 hours, supporters from the community have pledged around $25,000 to the efforts.

The program will operate out of our Pre-Release Center in Ludlow where the program will be housed as long as it's needed for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Chief Manny Febo: Holyoke Police Department

The Holyoke Police Department has been mostly unaffected so far. We continue to operate at full capacity delivering police services to the citizens of Holyoke. We have a strong partnership with both the Mass State Police and the Hampden County Sheriff's Department who have offered their personnel to ensure we stay fully staffed. Sheriff Nick Cocchi has also provided the Holyoke Police Department with masks to ensure our officers stay safe while protecting our citizens! These times are unprecedented and the best thing we can do is work together with whatever your agency has to offer. Stay safe and let me know if we can help your agency in any way.

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First Justice William Hadley: Holyoke District Court

THE HOLYOKE DISTRICT COURT IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19. FOR EMERGENCY COURT MATTERS, PLEASE CALL THE MASSACHUSETTS TRIAL COURT HELP LINE AT 833-91COURT.

EMERGENCY FILINGS MAY BE MADE BY EMAIL TO THE HOLYOKE DISTRICT COURT AT This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PRIOR TO APRIL 21, 2020, PLEASE CALL THE HOLYOKE POLICE DEPARTMENT AT (413) 536-6431 AND THEY WILL NOTIFY US OF YOUR INQUIRY. LEAVE YOUR NAME AND NUMBER WITH THE POLICE HOUSE OFFICER AND SOMEONE WILL CALL YOU BACK TO DISCUSS YOUR OPTONS.

AFTER APRIL 20, 2020, YOU MAY INITIATE AN EMERGENCY MATTER BY CALLING THE CLERK'S OFFICE AT 413-538-9710.

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Chief Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court Probation

The Holyoke District Court is currently closed for all matters for the next 2 weeks. A firm reopen date has not been set. We, or I should say I am working remotely to triage any non emergency court matters. All criminal matters are temporarily sent to Westfield DC and all civil matters have been forwarded to Chicopee DC. As I get further guidance I will pass it along! As always you or your team can feel free to contact me by email.

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Heidy Fontanez: Bethany Assembly of God

Bethany Assembly of God continues to service the community by providing groceries.

Hours of operation are:

Mon & Fri from 1 – 3 pm.

1st Tuesday from 6 – 8 p.m.

Last Saturday from 9 am – Noon.

Participants will need to bring: Picture ID, and a piece of mail with their current address.

We are taking precautionary measures to service the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participants do not come into the building. We have a drive through method and our volunteers are working hard to make sure they and the community are protected.

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Cass Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute

With our colleagues at Holyoke High School, Eagle Eye and Kestrel Land Trust have put together a resource page for Holyoke students to connect with nature for wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they are able to get outside or not. The resource page can be found here: https://sites.google.com/hps.holyoke.ma.us/creativeconnections/explore-nature-eagle-eye. There are all sorts of other great resources on there put together by the counselors of Holyoke High. We'll continue to update the page and our social media with resources and tips for connecting to nature and staying well (Instagram: eagleeyeinstitute and kestrel_land_trust).

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Maryann Linnehan: Western Mass Elder Care

WestMass Elder Care is still providing services to existing consumers and taking referrals from new ones.

Stay safe,

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Justine Sabbs: Holyoke Housing Authority

The Holyoke Housing Authority is closed to the public however staff is operating on a limited, rotating basis. Maintenance will respond to emergency work orders as needed and all maintenance related calls should be made to 413-539-2216. Although tenants are still responsible for their rent, we have deferred rent collection until the office is officially re-opened. Tenants are able to mail in rent payments via check or money order as they are able. Any pertinent matters can be directed to 413-539-2220 to the general voicemail or via email to Justine Sabbs, Director of Resident Empowerment and Community Programming at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Justine Sabbs

Director of Resident Empowerment and Community Programming

413-539-2229

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Jamie Santiago: Preferred Behavioral Health

Preferred Behavioral Health is a new practice and they are accepting outpatient clients for individual therapy via telehealth.

ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS

AGES 6 AND UP FOR

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING

125 LIBERTY ST. SUITE 202

SPRINGFIELD, MA 01103

PHONE:413-310-3681

FAX:413-310-3669

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

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Melissa Garcia: Gandara Center

In response to COVID-19 and the State of Emergency declared by Governor Charlie Baker. As of Monday, March 15, 2020, The Gándara Center officially implemented our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).

We will continue to provide the people we serve with the highest standards of service delivery. Our agency is taking precautionary measures and following best practices to uphold Gándara Center’s part in the public

health responsibility to mitigate the spread of the virus. This includes using Telehealth (phone/video)

at our Outpatient clinics as well as for our Children’s Behavioral Health, Care Coordination, Family Support and Training, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentoring and In-Home Therapy services. We will also be

offering limited in-clinic services by appointment only and practicing social distancing at all of our locations, with over 270 employees working remotely. When visiting, we ask that you please follow the practices we are being asked to implement, including: social distancing (6 feet), cleansing of hands, limiting groups of people gathering. We also ask that if you are sick please refrain from visiting at this time. Gándara Center's essential services continue in time of need.

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Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

True Partners in Care - Here for You! Telehealth

River Valley Counseling Center is committed to providing high quality services during this time of COVID-19 − and always. Our team is taking additional precautions to keep our clients and staff safe, while continuing to establish true partnerships with every client. All our offices are open, and continuing to offer outpatient child, adolescent, and adult mental health services, including:

Outpatient Clinics in Easthampton, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative Services (In-Home Therapy, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentoring) CONCERN EAP - with deferred payment options to those who need support for employees.

To learn more visit rvcc-inc.org, call 413-540-1234, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

@RiverValleyCounselingCenter

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Migdalia Rivera-Ortiz: Caregiver Homes

Hello community partners, as we continue adjusting to this new way of life, we wanted to let you know we are here for you and your members, and are fully operational while supporting our 3000+ families in MA . As a result of Adult Day Health Closures and some Hourly Care Workers no longer making home visits, we have experienced an increase in families looking for support as they assume responsibility to care for a loved one at home. Many of our newly added families have found themselves out of work due to the current pandemic, and programs like Caregiver Homes that offer a stipend to family caregivers, has become a favorable option for some. With Vela, our HIPAA - secure collaboration app, we have been able to quickly move to remote visits and stay connected to families using the chat feature, broadcast messaging system, daily check-ins and COVID – 19 risk screenings. All of this provides an opportunity to collaborate with you regarding health status of members, medication reconciliation, and more.

As a quick refresher, Caregiver Homes serves individuals 16 years and older, that live in the same home with the caregiver, and that require physical assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing/personal hygiene, toileting, ambulation, transfers, and feeding.  The care recipient must have Masshealth Standard or Commonhealth.  That means that we serve SCO, ACO, MCO, One Care and PACE members.

If you have program specific questions, I can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 413-209-1010. If you have a consumer in our services and want to reach the Care Team assigned, I can be the liaison between your patient and our organization.

Stay safe and can’t wait to see your face soon!

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Thais Rivera: Career Connections, Springfield

At CPM Career Connections in Springfield and Holyoke we are closed to the public, however we are still serving our clients from home. We are utilizing various methods to keep our clients engaged and continuing to work towards their employment training and educational goals. Career Coaches are available to clients by phone, email, and video conference. We have also put together a virtual classroom through Google, in which we are able to connect with clients, assign work, and track their progress. We have also shared numerous resources that are available to clients during COVID 19.

We look forward to the continued resources the agency shares with us, to continue sharing with our clients.

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Angela Baez: Behavioral Health Network

https://www.bhninc.org/services-and-programs/telecare-counseling

BHN has introduced an innovative new program, BHNTeleCare connecting individuals with therapists by phone or through a secure internet connection.

This new program allows those currently served by BHN to continue counseling sessions with their therapists via the Internet or by phone, and new individuals are welcome to use this new resource.

While BHN’s outpatient clinics are operating reduced hours for in-person sessions due to the COVID-19 crisis, BHN is open for business and our counselors are available via BHNTeleCare seven days a week.

Sessions and therapists available:

8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday

Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While BHN’s physical outpatient clinics are closed to sessions and therapists are working remotely, those needing an internet connection or assistance with using the technology can access BHNTeleCare services at several of BHN’s outpatient clinics. There, they will be able to use a monitor to access their therapist who will be working remotely.

Children, youth and family programs continue to accept new clients and remain available to those who need them. Individuals will continue to receive all services with the same level of support via remote technology.

How to Access BHNTeleCare Phone & Online Virtual Counseling Services

Need help connecting to Zoom? View our Quick Start Guide.

Zoom Quick Start Guide

For more information or to request an appointment, please contact BHN at any of the following numbers:

Springfield (413) 733-1423

Holyoke (413) 532-0389

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Sarah Schmidt: Holyoke Community College

Holyoke Community College is operating, staff and faculty are working remotely and classes are being held remotely. This includes our adult education and workforce trainings at the Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center. Anyone interested in starting classes should call Marisol Fontanez at 413-552-2990 and leave a message. She will call them back right away. 

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Jennifer Fernandes: United Way, Thrive Program

Hope you’re doing well and staying safe. As far as United Way, we want to stress that Thrive is still open, doing coaching by phone during COVID-19. If you here of anyone that needs financial help during this time, let them know that THRIVE is still up and running!

Here are the coaches and our phone numbers:

Jen Fernandes- 413-333-8365

Emil Farjo- 413-693-0232

Emmanuel Reyes- 413-302-3871. Emmanuel also provides coaching in Spanish.

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Amy Karangekis: Office of the Attorney General

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office work, as the People’s Law Firm, continues amidst the Coronavirus public health emergency. The AGO’s hotlines are still fully staffed during regular hours, and we are here to assist. 

The AG’s Office is warning Massachusetts residents to be on alert for individuals and business that may try to take advantage of uncertainty about COVIC-19, and has set up a special resource page at:  https://www.mass.gov/guides/resources-during-covid-19.

Additionally, our Community Engagement Division is holding weekly webinars. Information and registration regarding the webinars can be found at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey-virtual-trainings-tickets-99353709620.

Please let me know if I could be of further assistance to you or others.

Take care,

Amy

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Melissa White: Valley Opportunity Council

At VOC, many of our programs are still open, with the exception of Child Care, we are just operating differently. Fuel Assistance and WIC are fully functioning and can provide all assistance for new and returning individuals via phone. Our Adult Education Programs are providing classes for existing students virtually and are developing a plan to admit new students. Our College and Career Readiness Programs are also fully functioning virtually. We are posting regular updates about programming on our website and Facebook page as well.

Thank you, take care,

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Iohann RashiVega: Holyoke Media

I Hope you are doing well and staying safe and healthy.

I have shifted from the regular work to transform Holyoke Media in a news hub and we are broadcasting daily, a news information brief, with updates and announcements of services and programs available for the community. I am doing this in two segments, one in English, another in Spanish.

Whoever has information that would be helpful for the community to know about, feel free to reach out, or send me all press releases, flyers, videos, and I can also do zoom or phone calls to get statements or interviews, to inform the public. This service is being broadcasted on Holyoke Cable Channel 15, and also distributed through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the Colectivo de Medios Latinos team that includes El Pueblo Latino (also The Republican and MassLive), Presencia from New England Public Media, a news segment in Spanish that is being aired on WHMP radio in Northampton, and also through Radioplasma.  

Take care and let me know if I can be of assistance with anything.

Warmly,

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Dori Digenti: Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio

First, I am wishing you and your family to be safe and healthy!

Breathing Space Yoga & Mindfulness Studio (a 501c3 nonprofit) on Race Street is closed during the crisis. We will keep our space in the STEAM Building ready until we can reopen in the future. Our volunteer work in the Hampden County Sheriff's Department is also on hiatus, as volunteers cannot enter the facilities at present.

We are providing services to the community during this time:

FREE Online resources include Youtube yoga classes, group meditation sessions on Sundays, and stress relieving audio guided meditations on our website: https://breathingspaceholyoke.com/online/

ONLINE yoga classes scheduled each week, presented through Zoom, and paid on a sliding scale $5, $7 or $10. Those classes can be signed up for here: https://breathingspaceholyoke.com/schedule/

Peace and health to all, we will meet again!

Dori

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Matthew Leone: BHN Crisis

BHN Crisis services is still available 24/7 for assistance, support and assessment of any urgent behavioral health concerns. We are attempting to limit face to face interaction, when possible, and we have expanded to offer telehealth services utilizing telephone or the Zoom video conferencing platform. We are still providing mobile and on site face to face interventions when appropriate. The Living Room program also continues to remain open 24/7 for those in need of support.

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Bud Delphin: MassHire

Mass Hire Holyoke Career Center is open for business remotely. Please go to our website, MassHireholyoke.org to access information and contact numbers. We are available to answer questions and provide support. Job Postings also are available on the website.

If you have a question about job seeker services, you can call 413-532-4900 and leave a message. A staff member will be in contact with you as soon as possible. If you need to file an unemployment claim, please call 877-626-6800, or you can do so on line at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits. Thank you

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Sergio Vicente: MassHire

Greetings Team,  

My hopes are that this message finds you in good health. The reason for this message is to provide an update from the Youth Services Office at MassHire Holyoke Career Center. As we gear up for our summer programs, we are faced with various challenges that have been received as opportunities for innovation and creativity. 

In an effort to keep our community safe during these times, we have devised an electronic version of our YouthWorks Applications for 2020. With the creation of this application, we are able to commence the application process as we are hopeful that in the near future, things will normalize and that our youth will be of great help to many organizations that have suffered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

To participate in the YouthWorks 2020 Employment Program please keep in mind that there are some eligibility requirements that are addressed in the application itself. We also would like to stress that the application itself is not a promise of employment and will be used more as an initiation as families will need to follow up with the Youth Services Office at MassHire Holyoke in order to complete the process.  
 

Please help us by spreading the information in the following link to all of the families that you service that you feel would benefit from this program.  

To fill out the YouthWorks 2020 Interest Form, Please click on the link or go to: 

https://masshireholyoke.org/youth/apply2020/  

THIS IS NOT A PROMISE OF EMPLOYMENT. APPLICATION WILL BE OPEN UNTIL MAY 1ST, 2020 @ 5:00 PM

Any questions please feel free to contact to reach out to myself or any of the members of our youth team. Contact information can be found within the application website. 

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Monica Baldyga: Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass

Virtual Girl Scout Information Session!

The way we do things may be different, but Girl Scouts is moving forward! If your girl is interested in being a Girl Scout, join us for an upcoming virtual information session to learn more. https://www.facebook.com/gscwm/photos/gm.636929563768735/10158152472546668/?type=3

Intro to Girl Scouts

Welcome! 

These are unprecedented times, and we know families like yours are looking for ways to bring optimism, joy, and purpose to each day during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Whether or not you’re familiar with us at Girl Scouts, we want to be there for you.   That’s why we’re proud to offer Girl Scouts at Home, an innovative way for families to embrace the experiences, learning, and joy of Girl Scouts—for free—wherever they may be members or not.  Through Girl Scouts at Home, we are proud to offer free access to a wide variety of Girl Scout activities, including two full badge activity guides per grade level group that allow girls to earn official Girl Scout badges. Additionally, we’ve partnered with our Girl Scout community far and wide to offer you special videos leading girls through this new experience.

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/girl-scouts-at-home/introduction-to-girl-scouts.html

Girl Scouts ¿Quiénes Somos? Aprende más https://www.girlscouts.org/es/quienes-somos.html

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Jennie Adamczyk: Providence Ministries

Here are the updates to Providence Ministries,

The following changes have been made to the services at Providence Ministries:

Kate’s Kitchen will continue to serve lunch to the community Mon-Friday from 12-2 and has ceased operations on the weekends.

Margaret’s Pantry will continue to hand out food to the public by appointment.

Sober Housing is currently not taking any new residents in and houses are on lock down to the general public.

Thank you Ed!

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David Beturne: Big Bothers / Big Sisters of Hampden County

Feel free to share that BBBS of Hampden County is operating on a limited basis, providing support to existing matches. Intakes of volunteers and children have been suspended. Match meetings and home visits of any kind have been put on hold for the time being.

All questions, concerns should be directed to David Beturne, Executive Director. I can be reached at 781-4730 ext. 112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Guy Ciancio: River Valley Counselling Center

RVCC is still admitting new clients and continuing to see existing clients via telehealth. Our Central Intake phone number is (413) 540-1234 for anyone looking for behavioral health services. Our prescribers are also continuing care and services via telehealth. 

Thank you, 

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Christine Zaskey Cullen: Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program

The Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program (CFCE Grant) is supporting families during this time. We are listing basic need resources, parenting information, and learning activities on our Facebook page. (Holyoke Chicopee CFCE Facebook). We are able to check in with families by phone for those who just need someone to talk to during this time. Families can also provide an email address to receive information by email. The Facebook page has video playgroups for children ages 3-5. These videos engage children in learning activities and give families information on how to support learning through play at home. We will also be implementing a Parent Chat on Zoom for families to connect with each other. Please call Christine at (413) 549-0259 for more information or to join our email list. Or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Jesus Pereira: Holyoke Veteran’s Serices

The Holyoke Veterans' Services Department is still available via phone or email. Veteran's, surviving spouses and eligible dependents may contact us at 413-322-5630 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Brenda Carroll: Commonwealth Care Alliance

News Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Providers

March 16, 2020

Dear Commonwealth Care Alliance providers:

As you know, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak has presented a public health emergency across the world. Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) remains committed to working with our provider partners to provide the highest quality, individualized care to the members we so proudly serve. We are also working to help enable our members to remain in their homes in order to help reduce COVID-19 exposure and transmission, and to preserve health system capacity for the duration of this public health emergency. As part of these efforts, we have implemented the following:

  • • CCA will cover the full cost of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. CCA members who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for testing will have no co-pay, coinsurance, or deductibles for these tests.
  • • Effective March 10th–April 9th 2020, CCA members can refill their medications early (without being rejected for filling too soon). This will help ensure they have an adequate supply of medications so they have the ability to remain at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • • All administrative barriers, such as prior authorizations and referrals, for medically appropriate care for COVID-19 will be removed.
  • • CCA will permit qualified providers to deliver clinically-appropriate, medically-necessary CCA-covered services to CCA members via telehealth. Providers are encouraged to use appropriate technologies to communicate with individuals and should, to the extent feasible, ensure the same rights to confidentiality and security as provided in face-to-face services.
  • • CCA will cover all medically necessary COVID-19 treatment at doctor's offices, emergency rooms and urgent care centers within the United States or internationally. Consistent with the guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Insurance, this will include the cost of vaccination, once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

CCA also continues to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to keep our members and employees safe. We encourage providers to consult the CDC, the DPH, Mass.Gov Coronavirus and CCA websites for the most up to date information.

We will continue to provide updates to you as they become available. If you have any questions, please contact CCA’s Provider Services at 866-610-2273. 0070_COVID-19 30 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108 | Tel: 866-610-2273 | Fax: 617-426-1311

Thank you for your continued support and the quality of care you provide to CCA member as we work through the challenges of COVID-19.

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Pamela Barnes: Womanshelter Companeras

Womanshelter's priority remains the provision of support services to those who are experiencing domestic violence.  Anyone who wishes to access domestic violence services should call our emergency hotline number at 413-536-1628.  This is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  A domestic violence advocate will be available by phone to conduct an intake assessment and determine the next steps for services and safety planning.

Our main office is closed for walk-in and group meetings, and all staff are working remotely.  Domestic violence advocates can be reached by calling the hotline number at 413-536-1628.  

We are not accepting donations of clothing, toys, household items, etc. from the general public until furthernotice.  Anyone who is interested in donating cleaning supplies and paper products should call the mail office at 413-538-9717, ext. 170 and leave a message for Pamela Barnes.

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Ana Jaramillo: Holyoke Health Center

HHC is still open an seeing patients mostly via Telehealth. I'm working remotely, but still actively looking for ways to get accurate information to best serve patients of our and/or Holyoke Community to overcome challenges during this Covid 19 Crisis.

I have trying to get as much information I can for basic needs such food access, homeless resources including those who are presumptive or positive Covid 19. Do you have any info about these?

Ana

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Judy Taylor: Holyoke Public Schools

Following Governor Baker’s announcement that schools across Massachusetts will open no earlier than Monday, May 4th, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shared a series of recommendations for remote learning last week.  The guidance notes that while nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, it is clear that districts have an obligation to continue the learning process for students.  In alignment with the Commissioner’s guidance, today begins the second phase of our remote learning efforts that will extend for the next five weeks.  Our schools will continue to post assignments on the www.hpsathome.com site and are designing remote learning plans anchored by the following philosophy:

Remote learning in Holyoke Public Schools will be a combination of online and offline learning opportunities that engage students in meaningful learning that reinforces skills and concepts already explicitly taught this school year (prior to closure).  Students will be immersed in learning that asks them to apply these skills and to deepen their understanding. 

Components of Remote Learning

Parents/Guardians can expect the following moving forward:

Time on Learning: Schools are developing learning opportunities for approximately 3 hours a day (half of the school day) for our K-12 students and approximately 1.5-2 hours a day for our preschool students.

Types of Activities: The assignments provided by our educators will be both technology-based and non-technology based. It will be a combination of work directed by the teacher (video recordings, read alouds, demonstration lessons and explicit directions for the completion of projects, etc.) and work that students are required to complete independently (reading a book or article, completing writing journals, using learning platforms the student is already familiar with from school, etc).

Material Taught: Beyond Science, Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies, students will be exposed to various areas of the curriculum including physical education, social-emotional learning, music/dance, media and visual arts opportunities.

Feedback for Students: Educators will provide students with ongoing feedback on work submitted using online tools like Bloomz, ClassDojo, Google Classroom or other electronic modes of communication used across our schools.

Team Teaching: Our educators will be working together – classroom teachers, interventionists, Special Education teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals, and English Learner teachers – to manage and guide students through the work assigned.

Supports for Special Education Students and English Learners: To the extent possible, students who have Individual Education Plans and receive English Learner Students supports will be provided resources and services to ensure access and continuity of learning. . 

Paper-based work packets (by grade band) will continue to be available at our six food sites:  Morgan, Kelly, Lawrence, Holyoke High North, Donahue, and Sullivan.

Technology Guidelines and Access

Video-conferencing: Given that our staff will be using video-conferencing more regularly, we have developed guidelines for students and families to safely and effectively use these tools. English, Spanish.

Devices: We have now distributed more than 1,100 devices to HPS families over the last two weeks. If your family is still in need of a device in order to access remote learning, please contact your child’s teacher or call/text our English-speaking hotline at 413.561.0862 or Spanish-speaking hotline at 413.314.3560.

Internet Access: With the assistance of Mayor Morse, we have established a partnership with Comcast to provide a free Internet connection to any HPS family over the next six months (as long as they have not had service within the last 90 days). We will share information on how to initiate this service later this week. 

Grading

Below is the grading plan during school closure.  Please note that a decision regarding last quarter grades in grades K-12 will be made once there is more clarity as to whether schools will reopen on May 4th as predicted.

Grades Kindergarten-5: Grades closed on Friday, March 13th for the 2nd trimester. Report cards and special education progress reports were mailed home last week. 

Grades 6-8: 3rd quarter grades will now close on March 13th, but students can make-up work assigned until April 17th to improve their 3rd quarter grades.  Final 3rd quarter report cards and special education progress reports will be shared with students and families during the week of May 4th. 

Grades 9-12: 3rd quarter grades will now close on March 13th, but students can make-up work assigned until April 17th to improve their 3rd quarter grades. Final 3rd quarter report cards and special education progress reports will be shared with students and families during the week of May 4th. 

Thank you for your patience as we adapt to a new way of teaching your children while away from school, and thank you for all you are doing at home to support your children’s learning.  Please continue to encourage your children to complete the assignments that our educators share so that they can continue to develop their academic and social skills.    We encourage and welcome your insights and feedback in the days ahead. We send you our deepest wishes for the continued well -being of our precious students and of you our families.

Dr. Zrike is hosting a Facebook Live for students (only) on Wednesday evening at 5 pm.  We are asking students to submit questions via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the end of the day Tuesday or ask questions live.    

Recent communications:

4-3-20 Emotional Well-Being and Support for Families During COVID-19 School Closures

Food Access for Holyoke Students during District Closure

Last updated 4-3-20 at 10:00 AM

Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch for Holyoke Students – Menus (PDF)

Food Service Changes – Grab and Go Breakfast and Lunch to take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Holyoke Public Schools is changing the grab and go schedule for meals beginning Monday, April 6th.  Distribution will be changing from Monday through Friday to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.This is being done to limit person to person contact as much as we can and still provide the service.

The meals will include two breakfasts and two lunches on Monday and Wednesday for each student so they will be covered for breakfast and lunch Monday-Thursday.  

Please note that on Fridays students will receive 4 extra meals, so they can enjoy breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays during the closure.

The times and locations will remain the same.  

Holyoke school-aged students can pick up breakfast and lunch at the front doors of ANY of the following schools: Morgan, Donahue, Holyoke High School North, Kelly, Lawrence, and Sullivan schools from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 

If these hours or locations present a challenge to you, please contact Jose Bou, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 413-534-2000, Ext. 1104 or the Family and Community Engagement member from your school.  

Holyoke Boys and Girls Club Offers Grab and Go Dinner for Holyoke Students

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke offers a free “Grab & Go” Dinner Club Meal Program to all youth in Holyoke ages 18 years old and younger. The program operates Monday through Friday from 5 – 6:30 pm at the Main Club facility location on 70 Nick Cosmos Way, Holyoke MA.

Flyers with more information (PDF).

Food for Families

Kate’s Kitchen is providing to-go meals in the parking lot of 56 Cabot Street, Holyoke from 12:00 – 2:00 pm and Margaret’s Pantry is available by appointment by calling Brenda at 413-536-9109 Ext. 119.

To better help families access food resources during this time, Project Bread’s Child Nutrition Outreach Program has created a master list and map of all meal sites in Massachusetts currently serving students and families. In addition, counselors at Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 are available to connect you to food resources as well as provide information about elder meals programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The Hotline will continue to operate Monday-Friday, 8 am – 7 pm and Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm, and can provide information in 160 languages.

Additionally, to find food pantries and meal sites near you, the Foodbank of W. Massachusetts has prepared a user-friendly site where you can search by town or county and by the day of the week.  Use the link below to find food assistance. You can also use this link if you wish to donate or volunteer: https://www.foodbankwma.org/get-help/covid-19-food-pantry-meal-program-schedule/. This map updates live as information is received about program hour changes, as programs are added, and closures.

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Debbie Flynn-Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke Peer Recovery Support Center

Hello all- please share with your distribution lists- we are premiering the puppet show tomorrow on HFH Facebook Live at 1:30 but it will be available after that for family viewing.  Age appropriate for young children in addressing stress and worry, questions children may have, also fun for adults! Also included our revised online group schedule as we continue to provide “virtual peer recovery support”! Share with friends and families!

If people seeking recovery support or treatment can still call the HFH main number 561-1020 we are still fielding calls and getting back to people and assisting people and getting into treatment over the phone. We have literally been getting calls every day and have been able to get people into detox or assist with other options so we are willing to help where we can.

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Dee Ward: Girls Inc. of the Valley

Girls Inc. of the Valley is offering programs virtually!  Please view the Girls Inc. website at https://www.girlsincvalley.org/ to register and learn more.  We also encourage girls to follow us on social media where we will post program offerings, YouTube videos and activities.   Programs are open to girls ages 5- 18.   

Thank you,

Dee

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Freddy DeJesus: Gandara Center for Children Health Behavioral Initiative (CBHI)

Gandara Center for Children Health Behavioral Initiative (CBHI) is still providing services. Our office location at 80 Commercial St. Holyoke, MA 01040 is closed but the business operation is still open. We are providing telehealth services for our Intensive Care Coordination, In-Home Therapy, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentor, and Family Support and Trainer services. We can take referrals via phone at 413-846-0445 or on the attachments you can send referrals via email. Our hours of operation is from 8am to 5pm Monday thru Friday, although we are closed on April 20, 2020 due to Good Friday, we will be back open on Monday April 13th, 2020.

If there are any questions please feel free to contact Freddy DeJesus Jr. at 413-846-0445 ext. 6025 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Susan Ventura: Golden Years Home Care Services

Golden Years Home Care Services is hiring HHAs, CNAs, and PCAs for immediate hire. All CNAs and HHAs must have a valid certificate. Candidates must have reliable transportation, good references, clean and neat appearance, and a professional attitude. All caregivers are trained to infection control, proper Personal Protective Equipment use, and further continuing education to ensure the safety of our caregivers as well as our clients.

Job duties will include providing assistance in daily living and personal care services in patients homes in accordance with an established care plan. 

Benefits: 

Sign on bonus

Paid Time Off 

Tuition Assistance Program 

Health Insurance 

All candidates will be expect to undergo CORI,SORI checks. 

Application must be submitted online at:

http://ow.ly/PWOl50yXxBH

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Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We Thrive in Connection

Are you ready to make changes in your Health & Wellness? Are you looking for support and accountability in your health? Are you looking to build a healthier lifestyle? Are you looking to start or enhance your fitness plan?

Learn more here

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Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library

The 2020 Mini Golf and Games at the Holyoke Public Library has been re-scheduled for Saturday September 26.

The Library building is currently closed, of course, but many electronic resources are available 24/7 from the library’s website: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.holyokelibrary.org_&d=DwIFaQ&c=lDF7oMaPKXpkYvev9V-fVahWL0QWnGCCAfCDz1Bns_w&r=EfIfhC4kTXl0FggdHw1jE2qNvv-jpVE6OZG-EVXhrYA&m=Fgw3I_p--V03ooRr4BIjxlHJ9kORW3gzuz_HqpahsUU&s=j1o1RJjXjUFEXS6ZdSANUHxXcexhNDOZIgUkLLudGJ0&e=

Census information, including links to guides in Spanish and English, is posted prominently on that Library webpage.

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Neil Desroches: U.S. Attorney’s Office

The Federal government is continuing to work through these difficult times to ensure the physical and financial safety of our communities.

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Angel Coriano: Homework House Inc.

Homework House will be offering open tutoring to their students via google hangouts Mon-Fri from 2:30pm-4:00pm

Homework House is posting activities that you can do from home to keep busy (Family Fun Crafts)

Homework House is still planning on having their Free Summer Readers and Leaders Program (July 6-Aug 7) 

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Ron Johnson: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We want you to know that we are here for you. You can now receive teletherapy in the convenience of your own home. Teletherapy does not require any fancy equipment and is covered by insurance. Your phone or your computer will do just fine. Please contact us and we will walk you through the simple setup. Contact Us Referral Form

Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your families.

Covid 19 Teletherapy Announcement, Teletherapy is available at 1-833-327-6777

Watch Video

https://youtu.be/l7WSlhfHOCw

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Tuesdays & Thursday from 7:30am – 7:45am

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We will be helping to build community while sharing ways to say health in mind, body & spirit!

Let Us Prepare You for Your Marriage

Upcoming Workshops:

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Learn More About SYMBIS (online Zoom Course)

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Join CrossPoints Facebook Community!

CrosPoint Clinical Service, Visit Our Website

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Victor A. Nunez-Ortiz: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Central Western Mass (CWM) is operating under special conditions:

With mission of geriatrics, mental health, and primary care, CWM closed its Community Living Center (CLC) early; is conducting drive-through testing; is supporting over 150 Soldier-On residents on its campus; patients are seen by appointment only in their CBOCs; employees are having their temperatures taken prior to their shift; they are practicing social distancing; and 90% of care is now being delivered virtually.

All VA locations are screening for respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19.

Our Greenfield, Fitchburg, Worcester-Plantation Street, and Worcester-Lake Ave Clinics are closed effective Tuesday, March 24th, 2020, until further notice. For questions or concerns please contact the call center at 1(800) 893-1522. 

Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for urgent issues: 1(800) 273-8255, Press 1

When using telehealth services, VHA will provide a first line of defense by virtual screening for symptoms or exposure. Standardized screening questions are in place for all administrative call centers and Clinical Contact Centers (CCC).

At medical facilities, VHA is screening at all points of entry.  Facilities will use standardized screening questions at appointment check in and during initial clinical screening.

In addition, VHA is strongly encouraging Veterans to call their local medical center before visiting the facility and advising Veterans to consider using VA’s telehealth and virtual care options like VA Video Connect. VA’s telehealth providers can evaluate their symptoms and provide a diagnosis and comprehensive care. 

For updates, please visit http://www.centralwesternmass.va.gov  or our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/VACWMASS

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Marisol Guevara: Springfield College

A Virtual Open House All About You You can learn more about our bachelor’s degrees in human services, business management, criminal justice, and recreational management, and our master’s degreesin clinical mental health counseling, organizational leadership, and nonprofit management. Talk to students and meet faculty and staff members. Our admissions counselors also can assist you in completing your application. 

Ask us about:

  • Earning undergraduate credits for work and life experience.  
  • Creating a schedule that works for you with our fully online or hybrid evening and weekend programs. 

Email today to reserve your place! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Once you register, you will receive a link to a Zoom session for your virtual open house experience. Call (413) 271-7692

Undergraduate Open House

Organizational Leadership Information Session

Regional Campus

263 ALDEN STREET SPRINGFIELD, MA

springfield.edu/adultlearning

Founded in 1885, Springfield College is a nonprofit institution and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

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Sarah Kapinos: Louis & Clark Pharmacy

We are committed to ensuring our customers receive the medications they need in a safe and timely manner, dependent on our suppliers. Our entire staff has been trained in proper handwashing, cleaning and infection control procedures, including our delivery drivers.  Much of our prescription-filling process is automated, which reduces the number of people handling products.

We offer free prescription delivery. If you have a loved one or client has not taken advantage of this service, we encourage you to do so, especially our elderly and immune-compromised patients who benefit the most from limited social contact. If they do not receive delivery from their pharmacy, we are happy to help them transfer their prescriptions to Louis & Clark Pharmacy so they can benefit from this service. In addition, through our website www.MediBubble.com, you can easily manage your prescriptions and refills, request delivery, pay your bill, enroll and reach out to us with questions.

The health and wellness of our patients and staff are the utmost importance to us.  We are actively monitoring the news about the coronavirus COVID-19 and following recommendations from local, state and federal agencies, including the CDC.

Stay Safe & Health!

From your Local and Family owned Pharmacy since 1965,

Louis & Clark Pharmacy

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Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project (CEP)

The Community Education Project (CEP) is a non-profit agency that prioritizes adult literacy and language education. Based in south Holyoke MA., most of our work is carried out through educational counseling, grassroots organizing and community partnerships. We are seeking your help and support in sharing the word about our ESOL program and Native Language Literacy in Spanish program. Due to COVID-19, our committed educators are continuing to hold their classes remotely. The Community Education Project (CEP) is seeking to recruit students for our Summer and Fall programs. 

Our class offerings are as follows: 

l- 3 levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Classes

|- 2 Levels of Native Language Literacy in Spanish

*Day and evening virtual class schedules are offered

To apply and coordinate an orientation you can reach referral specialist, Adlyn Colon at 413.552.2990 or by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wishing you well and good health,

Ruth

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Bronwyn Murphy: Holyoke Health Center

The Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers continue to serve our patients and communities during COVID-19.

Services available during COVID-19:

  • Pharmacy – Open to serve patients and community, now offering curbside pick-up and home delivery. Call (413) 533-7323 for our Holyoke Pharmacy, and (413) 420 – 6222 for our Chicopee Pharmacy.
  • Medical – Open for sick/urgent and essential appointments, Telemedicine virtual phone/video visits for non-urgent and non-essential visits. As always, we have 24/7 nurse triage available via phone at (413) 420 – 2200.
  • Dental – Closed for all non-urgent services. Emergency services available at our Chicopee location on 505 Front St. Chicopee, by appointment only – call (413) 420 – 2200 for emergency dental services for adult, pediatric and orthodontics. Teledentistry virtual video visits available for urgent dental appointments. You do not have to be a current patient of the Holyoke or Chicopee Health Center to receive emergency dental services.
  • Eye Care – Closed for all non-urgent services. Emergency eye care services are available by appointment only, call (413) 420 – 2825.
  • Center for Recovery & Support (CRS) – Walk-in services are no longer available. Appointments for MAT, HIV, and testing & counseling are by appointment only. Call (413) 420 – 1730 to speak to a member of our CRS team.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, Holyoke and Chicopee Health Centers have implemented the following protocols:

  • Single point of entry to our facilities – All patients, visitors, and employees who enter our facilities will be screened for COVID.
  •          Limit to patient visitors – Patients can bring one caregiver with them to an appointment, and only if necessary. Additional visitors will not be permitted.
  •          ILI Clinic – ‘Influenza Like Illness’ Clinic that is specifically for patients who are presenting COVID symptoms.
  •          Clinical staff required to wear masks at all times in our facilities
  •         Increased cleaning/disinfecting in our facilities, especially high touch surfaces.

Please visit our website at www.hhcinc.org for the most up-to-date information during COVID-19, or call (413) 420 – 2200.

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Cynthia Espinosa: Planning and Economic Development

Thank you for your email. Due to a declared public health emergency, City Hall is closed until further notice.

During this time, many of our department staff members will not be in office but will be available remotely via email and/or phone for assistance. Essential services will still be provided, including trash & recycling pick up.

Please visit www.holyoke.org for a listing of city departments, contact information and ongoing updates regarding the City's Coronavirus response. Email communications and voicemails are welcome and a staff member will return your message as soon as possible. 

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Sarah Aasheim: WestMass ElderCare, Inc.

I'm writing with an update for the HSNI group.  WestMass ElderCare is continuing to operate as an essential service throughout the COVID-19 Crisis.  Our office is closed to visitors and 90% of our employees are working remotely.  Our homecare and nursing staff are offering assessments and support telephonically.  

WMEC's Meals on Wheels Program is running Monday through Friday and has experienced a 30% increase in home delivered meals requests since the COVID-19 public health advisories began in mid-March.  Many of the seniors who were receiving meals at the Holyoke Senior Center signed up for WMEC home-delivered meals when the Senior Center closed due to COVID-19. All requests are processed and new clients begin receiving meals within 1-2 days of referral.  Our nutrition staff and drivers are following strict safety and social distancing protocols.  We are in need of both volunteer and paid drivers.  Interested applicants should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 413-538-9020.

Donations are also needed to sustain our ability to respond to the COVID-19 needs and continue to deliver Meals on Wheels to anyone who needs it to stay safely at home throughout the outbreak.  You can give at www.wmeldercare.org or mail a check to WMEC, 4 Valley Mill Road, Holyoke 01040.

Thanks for delivering this update and please let me know if you have any questions!

Best, Sarah

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Tarah Shepard: South Bay Community Services

South Bay is providing telehealth therapy services for youth and adults, we are also providing medication management services through tele med and there is no wait. If someone would like to refer an individual have them email me so I can process right away. They can also email me with any questions, thank you so much! Take care during this time.

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Leanna Tamiso: Springfield College

We are still accepting applications for our summer and fall semesters and have waived the application fee indefinitely, making right now a great time to apply for a Master of Social Work degree. We have also extended our scholarship application deadlines to May 1st. 

We will be hosting a Virtual Information Session on Thursday, April 30th, from 5-6:30 pm for those who are interested in learning more about our weekday, evening, and weekend programs. Prospective students will be able to tune in from the comfort and safety of their homes! They can register here: https://springfield.edu/department-of-graduate-social-work/admissions

I encourage anyone interested in obtaining their MSW degree to explore our website, here: https://springfield.edu/department-of-graduate-social-work or contact me, Leanna Tamiso, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for continuing to connect us with resources during this challenging time. 

I hope that everyone is staying well.

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Andrea St. Louis: National Farmworker Jobs Program, New England Farm Workers’ Council

In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the National Farmworkers Jobs Program at New England Farm Workers’ Council has moved to working remotely, temporarily closing its offices to the public. We continue to serve our participants and work with our community partners via email, phone, and regular mail. We are still enrolling new participants and providing support and qualifying financial assistance to existing participants. Our hours of operation continue to be 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Individuals who have worked on a farm within the last 2 years, can connect with with one of our Career Coaches by phone or email for assistance:

Marilyn Rodriguez - 413-386-6117, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Valerie Martinez - 413-355-6677, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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:   February 13, 2020

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

Picture of 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        

Katherine Ramos: Enlace Family Resource Center Program Manager         1:05pm - 1:20pm 

Located at 299 Main Street, Holyoke. A family resource center which provides services to children who have attendance issues, have been sexually exploited, exhibit behavioral needs runaways etc. Family will meet with a family support specialist to work through what challenges they are currently facing and then be referred to proper services. Will also meet with on-site clinician to see if mental health services are necessary. Any individuals who are referred to mental health services do get priority services. Also provide workshops for financial literacy, budgeting, parenting, cooking matters, etc. for family members and adults. Also provide nurturing fathers workshop which is a 14 week program on how to discipline properly, etc. Mom & Pop program is a co-parenting workshop (does not have to be biological parents) on how to properly co-parent in a healthy manner. All services are free, most services do not require a referral but referral can be beneficial if other services are in place order (DCF, other mental health services). Business cards / program pamphlets / newsletter available. 14 FRC located throughout state – can be referred to closest site if Holyoke is not the closest.

Agency Overview and Updates                                                  1:20pm - 2:10pm

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council

Adult Education Program – recruiting for HISET prep and English as a second language – looking for students who are looking to attend college and already have high school diploma but need to past testing.

Sergio Vicente: Mass Hire Holyoke

Summer employment opportunities coming up soon, will have summer employment application kick off in April at local job fair.

Rosalee T. Williams: Ward II School Committee

Phone number on channel 12

Antonio Padilla: Holyoke District Court Probation/ Young Marines

The next Young Marines platoon will be beginning in March, currently have 30 youth participants have 5 spots available for the next platoon. Now have partnership with UMass ROTC & Baystate. Youth can get CPR certification from Baystate through their partnership.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Awarded two grants which assists with individuals applying for employment. Has handout on what Census earnings count. A lot of potential employment, another hiring event on Feb 26th, one @ HCC Kitrick Center Suite 301 – From 3-1 for panel. Another at Flat Community Building. Has resident from flats who was victim of fire who has decided to host football game at Holyoke High this Sunday from 10-3. Refreshments available. Will be hosting human foosball game. Holyoke Clean-Ups will be beginning in April also, looking for organizations to participate.

Ron Thompson: Cross Point Clinical

Offers both Christian and traditional based counseling. Have workshops for both public and church leaders. Offer services to church leaders on mental health. Pastors’ Luncheon Flyer: Thursday, February 20, 2020

11-1pm @ 85 Montcalm St. Chicopee.

Veronica White: Teen Librarian Holyoke Public Library

Veronica introduced herself as the new Teen Librarian. Looking to collaborate with other agencies on youth engagement.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library

April 4th mini golf event, official letter being sent out for sponsorship opportunities. 150th year celebrating since library opened. March 7th, poetry reading being held by local who utilized library as a young adult.

Katie Roberts: Clean Slate

Outpatient care for drug and alcohol, have staff who can organize inpatient care. Katie introduced Jose and Marissa from program.

Marisol Guevare: Recruitment/Admission for Springfield College Continuing Education

Offer bachelors and masters’ degree, can complete degree in 16-24 months with help from online or weekend classes. Classes can be completed online. Degrees are relevant with no testing, hands-on approach. Offer Masters in Human Services which can be completed in 1 year. Passed out information in regards to next open house.

Victor Nunez Ortiz: Department of Veterans Affair

He works out of Leeds with minority veteran program in central/western mass. Any minority veteran can contact Victor for service eligibility. Passed out brochures and will provide in email.

Adlyn Colon: HCC/PAFEC

Education Center offering transition to college. HiSet prep. Completely free program, only requirement is that student wants to learn and is open to attending classes. Every Tuesday from 10-3 doing tax preparation. Passed out flyers

Susan Ventura: Golden Years HomeCare

Looking for CNA, HHA. If know of any organization who assist elderly with heavy tasks within the home, please contact.

Hope Ross: Learn in Motion

CPPI Grant through VOC – have 5 spots still in Morgan, 1 spot in Lawrence. Looking for kids who are going into kindergarten within 2020 and have limited to no care in past.

Angel Coriano: Homework House

Just expanded to third site, provide educational services to mainly public schools. Hosting 5th annual spelling bee @ Open Square on April 30th – will be sending out flyer

Katelyne Tiffany and Michael Keefe: Western Mass Eldercare

Adult foster care that is designed to help elders or others with disability to stay in their homes with extra assistance. Care givers are trained by company and receive tax free stipend. Have variety of care givers who have spaces available within their home which can take patients in.

Micah Katz-Zieger: Enlace Americorps

Organizing Hampden County Youth Resource Fair, Community Room at the Holyoke Public Library in April. Looking for services/organizations to come and speak to youth. Sent around sign-up sheet and will be in touch for finalized date.

LeAnna Tamiso: Springfield College Social Work

If you are looking to pursue masters in Social Work, please contact. Also having open house on March 5th and 7th. Classes are very flexible (week day, week night, weekend, half online half in person, etc.)

Captain Denise Duguay: Holyoke Police Department

Resource to community

Jimmy Pickett: St Paul’s Episcopal

Establishing community garden outside of church. March 7th at 3 PM having greenhouse party to build physical space for garden. Passed out garden and sign-up sheet.

Danielle Maroni RVCC

Creating blue room for student interested in art and music. Looking for individuals who are willing to donate art supplies. 413-540-1167

Ashley Ruiz: Young Parents Support

Work with youth who are parenting up to age 23, help advocate for both parents and children. Brought hotline card.

Valarie Martinez-Ortiz: New England Farm Workers

They are career coaches who help individuals and their dependents in regards to financial aid for college or job placements.

Jen Falcone: Prevention Collaborative

Prevent sexual abuse in children. Hold groups and presentations within school and outside of school. Provide age appropriate books to families. Also work with businesses against human trafficking, looking to expand into Westside and Holyoke. Send any referrals to Jen.

Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department

Free fire alarm installation passed out

Melvin Malave ROCA

Currently accepting referrals for 17-24 year old young men who are proven at risk. Work on workforce readiness, transitional services, etc.

Lashanda Stone: DCF Foster Care Review Unit

High need for volunteer case reviewer, handed out flyers and business card for further information

Melissa Shaw: Dial Self Americorps

Invited agencies working with youth that would benefit from resource fair, please contact

Patricia Walsh: AIC

Coordinate internships and volunteer sites

Luis Arzolo: CHD

Every Thursday at library from 10-2 to help with writing, etc, open to public. TRAIN begins in March at HCC/STCC, free program for career readiness along with identify interests.

Lavagn Claudio: Gandara

Individual therapy, family partner, in home behavioral. Every 3rd Tuesday offer care giver connection group from 11-1:30 work on different topics which care giver presents. No connection to Gandara needed, open to public.

Jaime Santiago: MSPCC

Looking to hire a clinician.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentorship

Offer youth development programs, offering youth engagement training along with March 9th training for trauma informed practices.

Holyoke Public Library - 8-10 AM legislative breakfast in Community Room and HPL, please as many as possible attend to honor HPL. Offering free breakfast.

Boy Scouts: Looking to begin Cub Scouts chapter, need 5 volunteers for 1.5 hrs/1 day a week

Steve Sell: Great Schools Partnership                                                        2:10pm - 2:25pm

Education non-profit. Looking to support the process of selecting new superintendent for the school to gather community input. Looking to identify priorities of community members and give a sense of what considerations the search committee needs to keep in mind while screening for candidates.

What are characteristics you feel are important for the new receiver to possess?

What skills and knowledge, background and experiences, you think is important for the new receiver to possess?

What are other considerations you would like the commissioner to keep in mind?

Family Fun Night at Morgan School: 2/28/20 5pm to 7pm                                  2:25pm - 2:28pm

Looking for volunteers, please email Ed, volunteers arrive for 4:30 please.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, March 12th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • Basketball Championships: 2/21 5:30pm to 9pm 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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Picture of Library

The monthly meeting has been cancelled, due to the precautions around the Coronavirus.

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   January 9, 2020

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Holyoke Public Library

All Star Picture 

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        

Mara Shulman: Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids     1:05pm - 1:20pm

Staff Attorney, Health Law Advocates

Mara and talked about the many services that their program offers. They are located in seven counties across the commonwealth. They begin to improve special education services; secure and or coordinate community based mental health services. Collaborate with DCF, DMH and Department of Developmental Services. They advocate for general education accommodations and assist with health insurance coverage.

In 2015 Boston University’s School of Public Health conducted a 2 year study on the efficacy of Mental Health Advocacy Program (MHAP) for Kids.

The results showed that MHAP engagement improved school attendance and decreased use of emergency mental health services by children, impatient hospitalizations of children, stays in residential facilities and emergency shelters. Study also showed an improved overall mental health of child, reduced parental rates of depression and stress.

To start an intake contact (617) 338-5241 or fill out an intake form.   The intake paralegal will ask for basic information surrounding your household along with detailed description of problem(s) experienced. If you are determined to meet criteria an attorney will contact you as soon as possible.

Mara concluded with playing a testimony called ‘Tristan’s Story’ which summarized the work of MHAP.

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

Sergio Vicente: Masshire

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 Recruiting youth for Ma Housing. They are currently working towards summer opportunities and hoping to partner with agneicies to place youth in employment positions for the summer program.

Nathalie Vicencio: Wayfinders

Wednesday, 1/22/20 from 1-2:30 and 1/29/20 for a fair housing presentation by Nathalie. You will learn basic fair housing rights under federal and state law and how to identify discrimination in housing transactions.

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint Clinical Services

Specialize in Christian based counseling, accept most insurance. Practice evidence based counseling along with create environment where counselors are trained in faith based services. Educate pastors and reduce stigma surrounding mental health. Anger management group for men, Respect 101, beginning 1/11/20 8-9:30am. 10 sessions. They also have next Pastor Luncheon, 2/20/20.

Nayroby Rosa Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Nayroby talked about employment fair for Census 2020 on 1/22/20 from 4-7 pm at 43 Canal Street in Holyoke.

Adlyn Colon: HCC/PAFEC

Offering classes at HCC for Cannabis Education on 1/16, 1/23, 2/6, 2/27, and 4 /30/20 from 6-9pm.

Bishop Boyd: NAMI

Mental health support for quality of life improvement. Bring awareness to mental illness by community outreach and presentations at schools and local organizations.

Migdalia Rivera: Caregiver Homes

Migdalia talked about the services provided in home for case management. First Wednesday of month they meet at Holyoke Senior Center.

Susan Ventura: Golden Years Homecare

Home Healthcare Services to assist with daily living activities, entrench themselves within the community, looking to train and hire local individuals who are familiar with the community and its members. Train on site for all individuals. Looking to get involved with community work involving seniors and youth to bring the two together and build relationships.

They are looking to hire LPNs, CNAs, HHAs and will educate and certify on in-house professional training program. Contact Susan Ventura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Shannon Sarkisian: HCC

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”. Folks over 60 can take credits for $50 beginning January 14th.

Jose Bou: Holyoke Public Schools

Trying to create spaces to talk about search for new Holyoke Public School Superintendent.

Katelyne Tiffany: Western Mass Eldercare

Provide brochures, provide care to elders and service providers. Public health institute/Baystate received grant for electronic resource database. Spoke about agencies going to the database on-line and claiming their program. If the program is not yet listed in the database, you can add it.

Angela Callahan: RVCC

Started group focused young children that experienced loss on Mondays 4-5pm, flyer passed out. They have also started a therapeutic writing program for victims of sexual abuse in Chicopee.

Sophie Schouboe: Food Bank of Western Mass

Passed around flyer for SNAP benefits and how to see eligibility. Income is just one of the eligibility factors considered. Call 1 800 247 9632 for more information. They are able to help folks fill out the application for Snap benefits over the phone, both in English and Spanish. They are looking for young folks and hosting a volunteer session on 2/4 from 5:30pm to 8pm.

Angel Coriano: Homework House

Angel was recently hired as a program director of a Homework House. They engage youth between 1-4 grades. They are looking to hire two part time staff.

Angie Savageau: HCSD Grant Coordinator

Angie introduced herself as being the contact for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department if other agencies are looking to partner on a grant.

Azizah Yasin: Holyoke District Court

Working towards diversion program for individuals who struggle with substance use and have come into contact with the criminal justice system. Looking to bring clinicians to the court house, to address issues and work towards becoming positive, constructive members of the community and our families. Looking to implement this in several stages within the criminal justice structure and process. Overall goal is to help with sobriety outside of incarceration.

Cass Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute

Partner with youth and schools for individuals to connect with the natural world through hands on experiences. Looking for new partners to work with, currently in 3rd year of working with Dean Campus. Connecting with nature will further one’s ability to connect with self, others, and leadership roles. Please reach out if interested, work in Holyoke and Berkshire areas. Offer teen internship during summer. Currently recruiting Americore member specific for land conservation, full-time paid position for January – July to expand program offering.

Jim Pickett: St Paul’s Episcopal Church

They are always looking to collaborate with other agencies. They have started services on Thursday nights at 6pm in Spanish. Also looking to start community garden.

Veronica White: Teen Librarian Holyoke Public library

Veronica introduced herself as the new Teen Librarian. Looking to collaborate with other agencies on youth engagement.

Sandy Ward: Holyoke Public Library

Annual mini-golf event will be held on April 4th, 2020. Currently looking for volunteers and sponsors for the event. It will be $5 admission for ages 6 and up and those under the age of 6 are free. They are offering foosball this year.

Katie Roberts: Clean Slate

Offering medical assisted treatment (MAT) for opiate/alcohol addiction. They also assist with Hepatitis C treatment. The have evening hours, but are closed on weekends. They take self pay or insurance.

Jose Montalvo: Clean Slate

Asked agencies to refer those that are struggling with addiction, because the opiet crisis is bad, there have been many overdoses.

Erica Matos: Top Flight Nutrition

Recently opened nutrition program on Dwight St. Passed around flyer and cards.

Thais Rivera: CPM

Works with DTA to find employment and to make career connections. Young parent program for 14 -24 in English/Spanish. Transition to College programs. Work with employers for job placement and offer wrap around services. Passed around flyer and cards.

Alyssa Lajoie: NEFWC

Offer HI Set & GED prep classes for individuals 16-24, classes are offered in both English and Spanish. Accepting referrals.

Debbie Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke

Serving adults 18 and over in recovery. Services are offered all week including weekends. They have approximately 50 clients a day looking for support.   5th Anniversary of Hope for Holyoke and will be giving Partnership Awards.

 

Melissa Daniels: Hope for Holyoke

Recovery coach offering services.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Looking to collaborate with other agencies and can give presentations surrounding Gambling prevention. 2 ambassadors from Pittsfield to Holyoke.

Jasarah Burgos: Holyoke Public Schools

2 family resource centers at Morgan and Peck Schools. Looking to engage community.

Dean Santiago: Peck School

Parent workshop for those who have kids with behavior challenges and how to identify source of behavior, passed out flyers. Also offering Facilitator Workshop on 1/14/20 from 12:30-3pm at Peck school.

Luis Arzola: CHD

In library every Thursday from 10-2, facilitates resume building, employment search, can use the computer lab at the library. Assist in resume building and completing applications. Also offer nurturing fathers program, work with males on how to be a nurturing fathers. 265-9950. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

David McCoy: HSNI Outreach Coordinator

Engage with community in springtime to participate in clean-ups, along with knocking on doors to connect with community members to find out what services may be needed.

Jaime Santiago: MSPCC

Opening Therapeutic mentor program for children that have experienced trauma, have a short waiting list.


Shawn Garvey: HCSD

Working in collaboration with Holyoke Police department Monday-Friday.

Glenda Vargas: DV Shelter

Emergency shelter for sex trafficking survivors and victims of domestic violence. They have case manager working with you and are looking to hire.

Flor Diaz: VOC

Diaper bank is coming along at 300 High Street, planning a grand opening and hoping to open on February 14th, still accepting donations. Inviting partners to come take a tour of the facility, she will send out information.

Yashira Luna: HCS Headstart

Recently opened two facilities and are enrolling in both Holyoke and Springfield.

Kim Colwell: Girls Inc.

After school and summer program have openings, they are open even when schools are closed.

Laura Soderbaum: Holyoke Housing Authority

Mentioned that Holyoke Housing will be starting a development in South Holyoke. They will be holding an informational meeting at El Mercado on January 22nd at 6pm.

Debbie Schaier: Nurse, Holyoke Board of Health

Mentioned the importance of the Hep A vaccine for adults, especially the homeless population. They are looking to engage some of the homeless to focus on disease prevention. Flu is on the rise in Holyoke, encouraged folks to get vaccinated, which will be available up until March.

Family Fun Night at Morgan School: 1/17/20 5pm to 7pm         2:20pm - 2:25pm

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, February 13th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • All-Star Game at the Basketball Hall of Fame: 1/22 5pm to 9pm

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.

Friend Request us on Facebook @ Shsni Holyoke

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Signs of An Opioid Overdose

Social distancing puts people with opioid use disorder at increased risk for overdose-especially those who were recently released from jail, residential treatment, or a hospital. If you know someone who may be at increased risk, encourage them to get naloxone (Narcan®), learn how to use it, and to tell others where they keep it in case they overdose. Start here: www.HealTogetherMA.org/Holyoke.

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