Meeting Notes 7/9/20

Meeting Notes 7/9/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Meeting Agenda Date:   July 9, 2020 Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm Place:   Zoom Meeting 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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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Agency Updates June 19,2020   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. Ed Caisse: HSNI We are...
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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 7/9/20
Meeting Notes 7/9/20
July 17, 2020
Agency Updates 6/11/20
Agency Updates 6/11/20
June 19, 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

Meeting Agenda

Date:   July 9, 2020

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:   Zoom Meeting

Stigma

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        

                                                                       

Talene Jermakian: Robbins Associates - 413 Families                           1:05pm - 1:20pm 

Chrissy Howard: Manager of Reading Success by 4th Grade

Chrissy Howard: Reading Success by 4th Grade 

Works with Talene and together they partner and run the 413 Family Texting program. Families can sign up and opt in to the texting program. Texting program is direct to families. Launched in 2016 for families in Springfield and the surrounding area; expanded to Holyoke in 2018. Program has grown to 3,800 families. Typically sends 2 messages per week and families have the option to receive the message in English or Spanish. Provides families with young children, birth to 8 years with reading and parenting tips and resources information about events, giveaways such as (free or close to free) tickets to community events, bookstore gift cards, Pride Store gift cards etc. two way access, you are able to text back to our text messages. Ways to access: Working on a card with a QR code, 413families.com and physical distribution.

Talene Jermakian: Robbins Associates - 413 Families                                     

The PowerPoint that was presented today is attached here

What kinds of information do we share through the texting program? Our content is geared for families with children birth to 8 years. We share tips and resources for families, and information about community events. We also engage with our families through giveaways such as free tickets to community events, bookstore, grocery store or other types of gift cards (for example, we ask them to share how they are learning at home during the COVID pandemic, through a photo or text, for a chance to win a gift card). We keep our messages short and sweet, and try to stay within 160 characters. We also are able to share flyers/links to additional information that may not fit within a text.

How do organizations contact 413families to share information? If you have information for families with young children, please send to me, Talene Jermakian, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact Chrissy Howard, Manager of Reading Success by 4th Grade, with information.

To receive printed materials about 413families, contact Chrissy Howard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will get them to you.

To opt-in to Holyoke-specific messages, text the keyword 413familiesH to 313131. To receive Holyoke-specific messages in Spanish, text the keyword 413familiasH to 313131. 

413families has a website, www.413families.com.

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

Denise Kelly-LaChat: Hampden County District Attorney's Office

The courts were starting to gradually open.   We are hoping to move forward with Holyoke District Court Diversion once things are back up and running.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library

Started doing curbside services for everybody. Doing the summer reading program where the kids will be joining virtually. Also have packets that the parents can come to the library and collect. We’re not letting anyone come into the library as of now but working slowly towards that. People can call us or they can put books on request and we will call them once the books are available for them and we call them and make an appointment to stop at the library and we bring out to their cars. So just pass the word that we’re open and functioning and still have a lot of online resources from Kindergarten, preschoolers and beyond. Also have online non-credit courses for adults, we have classes for professional development and everything is FREE, all you need is a Holyoke Public Library card. Free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any information that you like and I would like to work with a lot of you in providing information to our patrons as they come get books, and also for the parents as they come for the summer reading program. It would be nice to be able to offer your services to them too.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Library

Help with fundraisers like mini-golf in the Library. Could not do it in April, so was postponed to September. Now thinking it will get postponed again to April 10th. Thinking of virtual games at the library on September 26, 2020. Trying to learn how to use tools to do a fundraiser.

Flor Diaz: Community Coordinator WIC

WIC offices only open to staff, not seeing any participants in person, not allowing anyone in the building. All appointments will be held over the phone, so participants are still able to communicate with a nutritionist. Documentation can be sent via email. The WIC Dept. now has a new breastfeeding website page. Farmer’s market coupons will be sent to participants by mail. Typically participants come to the office to pick up farmers market coupons, but they will be sent by mail. For now the offices won’t see any participants in person until the end of September.

Anna Jarimillo: Holyoke Health Center

Operating on a limited basis are open providing telehealth visits. Everyone should call (413) 420-2200 to make an appointment. Covid19 testing in the parking, must call main number to make an appointment to be tested. Testing capacity has been improved.

John McCarthy: Community Relations Officer USCIS

Agency adjudicates applications for immigration benefits like becoming a permanent resident or citizen etc. Reopened field offices in Lawrence and Boston for interpersonal engagement as of 6/4/20. There’s a requirement that you have an appointment. If anyone needs assistance with providing information to anyone in the general public about immigration issues, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Terri Lombardo: HCS Headstart

Getting ready to reopen 3 classrooms in a couple of weeks at 50% capacity. Have all sorts of safety precautions in place and it’s going to be very challenging. Great event on Tuesday!! Thank you to Maria from the Holyoke Fire Dept. for letting us use the thru-way and thank you to Eddie for the freezer for the ice-cream, the kids loved the ice-cream. Gave free back packs to kindergarten kids with lots of great books and fun things for them to do. Families loved it! Hoping to do something like this in the fall on a smaller scale. It’s been challenging but hoping to plow through and get the kiddos in there. So that’s it for now.

Amanda Ortiz: Young Life Springfield

Thank you for inviting first time at the meeting. Give hope to teenagers through relationship and then inviting them to have relationship (baby crying so she skipped). Christian organization that brings hope to children by building relationships with kids. We do skits, fun events, we feed them dinner. We were supposed to have camp this summer for about 63 kids from Springfield, but due to COVID, it was cancelled. So instead, we are planning some unique things like barbeques, paintball shooting, etc. Young Life is an organization to bring hope and to get the kids focused on something positive. Can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Amy Karangekis: Chief of Springfield Office of the Mass Attorney General’s Office

Amy stated her office serves four Western Counties. Attorney General’s Office has seen significant increase in scams and fraud during the pandemic. Ed mailed out an advisory flyer this morning. Types of scams and fraud on the uptick are robo calls, telephone phishing scams, insurance and Medicaid fraud, specific Covid-19 scams. There are others we’ve seen before, but are also on the uptick are; grandparent scam, lottery & sweepstake scams, door to door scams and mail scams. Tips on how to avoid identification theft and how to report scams and the fraud, as well as, contact information for certain hotlines and in office information on how to contact our office. Flyer that was circulated is in English. Team is working on preparing a Spanish flyer, as well as, in other languages. I’ll circulate to Ed to circulate as soon as those are done. Any issues or questions, contact me or go on our website. Fully operational, hotlines are working.

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of America Western Mass Council

First time joining. Having a Family Fun Day event on 8/8/2020 which is an online activity hosted by the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America. Aiming at families with young children. It is open for folks not currently part of the organization, hope to have folks join. Don’t have current meeting protocol to send just yet but will send to Eddie to pass out to others when it becomes available. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Family Fun Day 8/8/2020 413 594-9196 ext. 7034

Bishop Neal Boyd: Outreach Crisis Counselor for Mass Support Network Riverside Trauma Center

Bishop Boyd explained the Mass Support Trauma Center is funded by FEMA to give help to those who’ve been traumatized through the businesses no matter where you’re from, it’s a FREE service. Invited everyone to town hall meeting that is being held tonight @ 6pm. Gave out data reports concerning COVID not only in Western Mass, but the state of Mass and the nation. Will be talking about ways to cope, people having problems coping with this situation, managing your reaction. Will put information in chat and email to Ed.

Brenda Carroll: Commonwealth Care Alliance

Hi everyone! Brenda Carroll from Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA). We provide FREE benefits to seniors 65+ (SCO) who have Mass Health standard. We also provide FREE benefits to our 21-64 age population with our One Care program (Mass health and Medicare). Our model of care supports members with coordination of care and wrapping around services/supports; in both the community and in their homes. Please visit our website for more information: Commonwealthcarealliance.org Please reach out to me directly with any questions 413-302-0770 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. CCA is dedicated in supporting our members needs during this pandemic. Our clinical teams are assessing members needs and supporting them now more than ever with implementing services/supports in the home. We have a dedicated field team who continues to visit members in their homes; wearing PPE to assess any urgent medical/social needs. We continue to work with many community agencies/resources to keep everyone healthy and safe at home.

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project

Due to the virus, we have gone through a long transition. Specialize in adult literacy. Offer summer ESOL classes. Actively looking for non-English speaking adults to improve their English. Provide basic, intermediate and advanced level classes for improving English. Holyoke Tutor Mentor Program is seeking bi-lingual volunteers to help provide support to our learners. This is related to other adult programs through the Care Center and Holyoke Public Schools Opportunity Academy. For more information check the comment box. The Community Education Project focuses on expanding ESOL literacy for adult non-English speakers. CEP is offering free adult ESOL classes this summer and fall and we are recruiting students of all Spanish/English literacy levels to come join our classes. All classes are being conducted online, so the only requirement is handheld mobile device with access to internet. Folks interested are encouraged to apply by contacting our intake specialist, Ms. Adlyn Colon. Her contact info is as follows: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 413-534-3741. Or you can contact me directly @ 413-561-0254, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like some flyers to share. We will also be featured in a virtual open house organized by our HCC coordinators for July 30th and August 27th. Orgs like career readiness trainings programs we partner with. ~VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE for ABE~July 30, and Aug 27 at 10 a.m and 6 p.m. HPS Opportunity AcademyCare CenterCommunity Education ProjectHCC Adult Learning CenterHCC Workforce ProgramsHCC Jump Start

Chief Febo: Holyoke Police Department

Holyoke PD is a model department for departments across the country. Trying not to get caught up around the negativity surrounding the police. Staying positive! Wants to be good partners to everybody.

Cindy Stovall: Springfield Family Resource Center

Runs an open pantry site 3 days per week at the Springfield Family Resource Center. Everyone is welcome. Drive-thru pantry, so you will have to call in so we can get information. Open Mon., Thurs., and Fri. from 10:30-3:00. Call the Springfield Family Resource Center 413-733-7699. You don’t have to be a Springfield resident to come to the pantry.

Cynthia Espinosa: City of Holyoke Social Services Emergency Response Team

Weekly meetings on Fridays at 2pm to look at First response when it comes to mental health.

Meet every Friday for next steps and future planning strategies. If interested I recommend people to join in. Will send a handout about social services available during COVID, will update this week intention to make it front and back in both English and Spanish. Feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 413-322-5655. Also will update the handout (front and back) for you all to use. Feel free to reach out if you want to be added on it. Stay hydrated everyone and thank you!

Dee Ward: Girls Inc.

Starting summer program. Starting virtual program on Monday for 4 weeks. Not taking registration for July program but gearing up to take registration for August and fall programs. Once it’s all put together will let Ed and everyone know about them.

Emmanuel Reyes: Career Development Counselor HCC ESOL Culinary

Recruiting for ESL culinary class. Program began yesterday, still accepting bi-lingual students and underemployed students. https://www.hcc.edu/courses-and-programs/workforce-development/free/subsidized-classes-for-unemployed-and-underemployed/culinary-and-hospitality/esol

and Line Cook Training: https://www.hcc.edu/courses-and-programs/workforce-development/free/subsidized-classes-for-unemployed-and-underemployed/line-cook-training

Will help to obtain a job after successful completion of the program.

This is my phone number, +1 (413) 302-3871 if you need to get in contact with me directly.

Gina Nelson: St. Paul’s Church

Veterans Program closed because church is still closed have stayed in contact as much as possible. Directing Vets to Senior Center Lunch Program. Mobile Food Bank Site starting 7/14/20 (2nd & 4th Tuesday from 11-12pm) through food bank of W. Mass at St. Paul’s Church, 45 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA. We welcome volunteers. Spread the word, Eddie has the flyer.

Glendalia Vargas: YWCA

No updates, just here to get resources and keep kids busy. I am the child support specialist at the YWCA domestic violence shelter. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I can use any and all resources for children and adults.

Greg Williams: Boy Scouts of Western Mass

Initiative to get scout programs in Holyoke but obviously they are on hold, looking forward to returning as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales: Holyoke Public Schools

Online enrollment for PreK-12th grade. Sent a link and a flyer in the chat. Families have questions about enrollment can call the hotline at 413-561-0862. Office is open but not to the public. People can call with questions. Families can email if looking for work permits, can be requested online and permits will be sent by email. Working with Ed on the Back to School planning committee. Looking for flyers to add to the backpacks for families, if you want to provide your agency information and what services you are providing, please send to my office at 57 Suffolk Street, Holyoke, MA and we will need 2000 copies, preferably bi-lingual copies if you have them, have a lot of families that speak Spanish only. I will put information about the flyer in the chat and I will also send to Ed to forward.

Also Pre-K spots available, so if families are interested, they can call the hotline as well. Child must be 3 or 4 years old on or before 9/1/20. HPS is enrolling student online. Web page is www.enrollholyoke.com . Due to COVID-19 this year we are not hosting the Back to School event instead we are having 11 individual school events. We are not having community agencies tabling. If you want to share your agencies resource/information please send me 2000 copies of the brochure so we can add it to the backpacks. Send/drop-off at 57 Suffolk St. Holyoke MA 01040. If you are planning on dropping off the flyers/brochures please call ahead 413-512-5308.

Jesus Pereira – Holyoke Veterans Service Dept.

Crazy times. Still open via email or phone calls. Vets w/ financial hardship, food insecurities, rental problems will be connected to a resource. Call 413-322-5630, or email. Find information on website. Huge resource and can extend money pretty quickly do everything to set veterans up with benefits.

Jimmy Pickett: St. Paul’s Church

Partnering with Atkins Farms at St. Paul’s Church. Starting a monthly Farmers Market at the church, 3rd Saturday of every month. Farmers Market 12-3pm, 45 Appleton St. everyone is welcome. Accept cash, card Snap and WIC.   We’ve working with a group that Cynthia’s involved with…There’s Good Food in Every Hood to donate any leftover produce at the end of the market. Trying to increase food security to the city so if you want to learn more about what we’re up to check our Jeremiah’s Garden and Good Food in Every Hood on Facebook and I can share that information with Ed to get to everyone else. Next weekend on the 18th we will be having our market.

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House

Currently not using volunteers due to COVID. Free Summer program – our Lady of Guadalupe, 340 Chestnut Street for kids going into 2nd -5th grade 8:30-3pm until 8/7/20. Having a virtual trivia night (don’t have a date yet) – free for adults. Taking donations.

Josh Colon: Officer, Holyoke Police Dept. Community Officer

Continue to go out and offer outreach in South Holyoke and Churchill. Along with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Deputies that are assigned to the task force. We continue to do that on a daily basis and offer services to individuals who need recovery. That’s it for now.

Justin Chellman: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services

Quick question are you going to talk about the FB for the healing communities study today at all? I was just going to mention unfortunately that in Springfield and in Holyoke opiate overdoses have gone way up since the corona virus especially in the last few months and I was just thinking of going to plugging Narcan because obviously that people can get now can be a brief way of connecting folks to the resources on the Facebook page, Healing Communities Study, and getting people involved with this Narcan would be a really good push right now for that. The hospitals have been seeing double the amount they normally would see for overdoses, most of those are not fatal, which is great, but when they come to the hospital but then also Chicopee police and Springfield police have been reporting numbers much higher than they normally have prior to all this. So that aside, I also wanted to say that the Springfield Health Department has a Covid-19 hotline to basically answer statewide questions and local questions. We have a lot of local (City of Springfield) information about what the state is doing and the phases and all that and questions about the virus in general, what is does, that’s what folk from Holyoke and Chicopee and other communities have been calling in for. I’ll put the number in the chat but I’ll just say it now, its 413-750-3250. It’s staffed M-F 8:30-7pm and then on Saturday 9-5pm so if you have any questions – Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield- you can call in for that and they’ll do their best to get you answers. And just from Chelsea, who I work with, just want to say thank you Ed for sharing the substance abuse prevention team parent perception survey a few weeks ago regarding substance abuse programming efforts so that we know what parents would like to see happen in the cities of Chicopee, Springfield and East Longmeadow, also trying to push that into Holyoke as well too. As far as I know, the Springfield schools websites have it on there with a link to the survey. Chicopee schools website has a link to the survey and I can put my contact in there as well for anybody who thinks that parents would like to talk about some programming they would like to see they can contact me and I can put them in contact with Chelsea.

LaShonda Stone: Department of Children and Families

Just wanted to underscore that the Volunteer Case Review program is one of the few opportunities where someone from the community is invited into making the decisions that are made on behalf of kids in care. When we have these foster care reviews, there are many ways we can serve our children. We are really asking for folks to come forward, folks that represent the community and be a part of the decision making on their behalf. So if you are interested. I also wanted you to know that we are also doing interviews remotely so the train keeps moving and so we really want to bring people in to participate. I can, I guess put in the chat box more information and the link to apply online and that’s it. Additional information about the program via the following link https://www.mass.gov/guides/about-the-volunteer-case-review-program

Our online application can be assessed here: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-to-be-a-volunteer-case-reviewer. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

Laura Mackie: Springfield College

Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I am the new Assistant Director of Guild Education at Springfield College’s Department of Social Work. So we are still planning to have internships for MSW students in the fall and looking for any opportunities as we can whether it be remote or in person so I can put my information in the chat. I’m really looking forward to knowing as many of you as possible. Thank-you. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , working from home number is 802-497-7277. Hoping for opportunities to connect our wonderful graduate social work interns!

Madeline Fernandez – AISS, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

I haven’t been to any of the meetings, due to my position and meetings that kind of fall on the same days but this is my first zoom meeting. I am the Ward 5 coordinator, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator working with Donahue School. I work for AISS, what do we do? We help anyone with any services out in the community, so we’re actually closed right now; we’ve been closed since 3/13/2020. We used to only help ex-offenders coming out of jail with services anything from MassHealth, to SNAP benefits, to employment leads, substance abuse, you name it. Now the Sheriff has opened it to anyone, so anyone you know that you’re working with or you feel needs help, we can do that over the phone right now until the Sheriff gives us the green light to open the doors. It’s a lot that we do, we do a lot of great stuff, so feel free to call me, you can call me at the office at AISS or if you don’t know how to reach me you can call Eddie, but I’ll just throw my number out there, 413-781-2850 x.8308 and there’s two Madeline’s here, so make sure you ask for Madeline Fernandez. Thank you.

Mark Swygert: Donahue School

I have a couple of HPS things. I want to reiterate what Jennifer said earlier about online registration. Especially if you have any young kids going to school for the first time this fall or anyone who has moved into the district, please help them make sure that they go and register online. School offices are now staffed, not open to the public, but most offices, most of the days if you want to contact them during regular office hours can call the office if you have school specific questions for Holyoke Public Schools. Also I want to make everyone aware, I’m sorry if I’m stepping on your toes, but there was a survey sent to all families on behalf of our district, we are trying to get a good sense of what families are planning for as far as sending their students back. If you work with any families, please encourage them to fill out that survey. It should only take 5 minutes and it’ll be available on the Holyoke Public School website. It’ll be posted on social media as well. That will need to be completed by the 15th, so please encourage any families that have students in the Holyoke Public Schools to complete that survey that will help us for our planning for August.

MaryAnn Linnehan: West Mass Eldercare

I am the Community Action Supervisor relatively new just came on board just before Covid started but I have learned a lot about the Holyoke area and all the different services provided. Shout out to the Holyoke Police Department for providing tons of toiletries to our consumers and AT surgical down in Holyoke also for helping us to provide 2,000 masks to each and everyone of our consumers. We have more than we need and that was great. We are still open, fully staffed and trying to do whatever we can via video and telephone, but we are visiting some of our consumers that are in need and again we are still connecting with them trying to keep them safe. But again if you need anything from me I am the new Community Action Supervisor, thanks for all you do for us Ed – you give me lots of good information.

Nathalie Vicencio: Wayfinders

Hi everyone, happy to be able to see everyone, it’s been a long time. Just reminding everyone that I’m here to provide any type of housing counseling and support to people that are experiencing a housing crisis and also reminding people that Wayfinders received a substantial amount of money to help people experiencing any Covid-19 related delays in regards to rental payments, any homeowners that are behind on mortgage payments can also apply. People can apply for these services in English and Spanish and any type of housing issues. I’m also happy to help people and guide them on their rights. I’ve added my number to the chat. Feel free to share my mobile number 413-222-0048 with clients looking for housing resources, financial assistance and information about their tenant rights. We also counsel property owners on their responsibilities and obligations.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano-Director of Community Engagement, One Holyoke

One Holyoke has been busy; we haven’t closed, so we continue to provide service to our tenants. We have apartments throughout Holyoke and we have an elderly building which every month I have been providing groceries for and things like that, so they are able to stay safe in their homes. So we’ve been going to Margaret’s Pantry and every month we’ve been bringing them groceries. We’ve also received some stuff from W. Mass Eldercare and from the Senior Center on hygiene products and toilet paper for the elderly that we’ve been bringing to them. One Holyoke received a grant from the Mass Census Equity Fund, as well as, from the Secretary of State and with this grant we’ve been able to work closely with folks in the community to get our response rates better. Currently right now, Mass is at 64%, Holyoke is at 57% and the US is at 61% so we’re doing pretty good in Mass, we should be doing a little better in Holyoke. We have set up some mobile QAC’s which are Question and Answer Centers. We’re going to be available for folks in the city in different locations from Enlace, to C-Town to Margaret’s Pantry to Kate’s Kitchen so you’ll see census folks there if people need help filling out their census. We will be at these different locations on different day to be able to provide support. We were at the Farmers Market last week and had 11 people filled out their census form right with us, right there. So please send them our way!! If anybody has any issue with filling out their census, we also are doing a raffle for people who fill it out they get access to receive a $50 gift card for doing their census and inform One Holyoke of it. So pretty neat and they get a lot of goodies too, backpacks, water bottles, things like that.

We are kicking off our Clean Up campaign finally; we were a recipient of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). We are going to be kicking off our clean-up campaign on 7/25/20. Ed, I will send you the press release, as well as, the flyers this afternoon. We will start cleaning on 7/25/20. One Holyoke will clean the 4th Saturday of the month, a different street in the Flats. Looking for other organizations that want to set up a clean-up. We will provide all the cleaning supplies, we will make sure that the trash is picked up; we just need organizations to sign up and be able to pick a street in Holyoke and clean it up. We did last year, now of course, continue to use safety guidelines, make sure people wear masks, no more than 10 people things like that. So just following those guidelines and we should still be able to clean the city. Also kicking off a show, a virtual show. Calling it One Holyoke Goes Viral. A lot of information around community engagement what we’re doing and things of that nature. So look for that show, it’s going to be posted this week and then we’ll be putting a show every week. And finally, we will be kicking off our City that Reads campaign with a Read Aloud program. We were hoping to do pod casting and interview folks but our Flats community building, our Center for the Community is currently closed for the public, only providing training for census hired folks and some individual trainings. We are going to be collaborating with different companies that are trying to have a space for training, which they can utilize our space. If anybody is in need of that, you know our space holds about 200 people upstairs and downstairs and we can maintain a good amount of folks, maybe 10-12 people on each floor in keeping that distance needed for training. We have a smartboard, a projector on the 2nd floor as well so if you’re interested in that you can reach out to me. I’ll send my contact information with Ed. Thank you very much nice seeing everyone.

Pedro Alvarez: Tapestry

Syringe access & disposal, Narcan training & distribution, Screening and counseling for HIV, HEP C and STI’s, and a lot of Community Outreach.

I’ll start by saying we have a new location in Holyoke, so we have moved from our 15A Main Street location to a couple blocks down on Race St. 306 Race on the corner of Race & Cabot. Same building where we have sexual reproductive health clinic, soft hand off in case someone gets tested and we need to send them to the clinic. Because of Covid, we have scaled back on some of our services. Beginning 7/20/20, we will be offering screening & counseling. So we will start the testing back up HIV, Hep C & STI’s. We haven’t been doing it since Covid hit, but we’re starting to open back up. We’re definitely taking precautions and wearing the required PPE and having discussions with participants when they come in about certain safety precautions we’re taking. But we are offering screening & counseling on Mon & Wed. 8-2pm beginning 7/20/20. Scheduling a community syringe pick-up on Saturday 7/11/20. We do these periodically when the weather is nicer, in Holyoke, the 2nd Saturday of every month. We ask community members to volunteer and join us on some syringe pick-ups in the community. It a great opportunity for members of the community to learn a little more about the program, ask questions of staff and get to know what we do for work a little more. There are a lot of misconceptions about some of the work that we do, so it’s a good opportunity to add Q & A with some of the staff members. Providing vaccinations for Hep A, Hep B and meningitis every Thursday doing that remotely. Have a mobile unit going through certain areas of Holyoke trying to engage the community and we’re providing vaccinations for Hep A, Hep B and meningitis. Scaled back on some of the services we provide due to Covid. But we do have virtual Narcan trainings available for individuals or agencies. Please reach out, we can provide Narcan in bulk for agencies. Have a mobile service where individuals can call and we’ll come to them. 413-270-3277. That’s it for Tapestry. I’m also a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Healing Community Study, part of the communications team.   Have posters to hang in the community that deal with healing community studies, how to obtain Narcan, providing MOUD’s.

Rafael Rodriguez: Healing Community Study Holyoke Coalition

Involved in a 4 state study which includes Massachusetts, Kentucky, Ohio and New York. We are in Phase 1 of the starting process. Just submitted rules of our action plan, strategies and trying to implement things such as MAT’s, easier access to MAT’s, getting outreach workers, finding better ways to support and reaching our goals of decreasing overdose deaths by 40% within our community. Involved in all facets of this and all parts of the subcommittees so if there is anyone willing, trying to reduce the stigma of MOUD’s, trying to make Narcan accessible and destigmatize it as much as possible because everyone has an active role in supporting this community and saving a life. Anyone willing to be involved can reach out to me or Eddie.

Ron Thompson: Cross Point Clinical Services

Offers faith based mental health counseling. We are open and have stayed open. Patients receiving clinical care via telephone and computers worked out well. Some patients actually prefer, less stress of having to drive somewhere. Want to echo Bishop Boyd’s comments about the fact that there is great need out there. Really urge everyone to keep close eye on all of their constituents in this particular area. We have added clinicians along the way to keep up with the community need. We have also opened an additional office. Besides the clinical care, we offer, we also do some other services just launched recently a brand new health and wellness program, all web based, called Purpose Posse. You can find out about our services including Purpose Posse on our website – crosspointclinical.org.

Sean Garvey: Deputy, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Works closely with Josh Colon and other deputies, Josh covered the bases so I will pass.

Sophie Maki: Massachusetts Fair Housing Center

Physical office in Holyoke is closed. Everyone is working remotely. People are welcome to call – information in the chat box. Anyone with experience in housing discrimination, are welcome to submit a complaint to us. Recent case of someone who was the victim of a scam. Landlord had them pay money, gave them the keys to the apartment and the keys did not work. If you know anyone with section 8 voucher and looking to move, we can provide counseling or advice about the moving process. Information in the chat. If someone has experienced housing discrimination they can contact our office at (413) 539-9796 or online at massfairhousing.org. Additionally, we’d like to provide counseling to anyone with a Section 8 voucher who is looking to move. If anyone has any questions for me personally, they can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephanie Garcia: Holyoke Public Schools

Survey for families to update their contact information. Want to make sure we have the right contact information. Phone numbers and emails.

Silvia Ruiz: Fallon Health & Navicare

Still open and out there enrolling and getting great benefits for the ages 65 and older population. Chair for the Metro West Conference for Women. Just formed first conference board in Pioneer Valley. Our parent company is called She’s Local (sheslocal.org). Looking to have a conference for women, and it’s women from your own community to acknowledge women and their efforts and what they have done to sort of join forces and it’s an opportunity for networking. It’s a one day event. We’re looking to have the event Spring 2021. Right now the conference Metro-West, this is my fourth year, and we have sold out conferences and over 100 people are on the waiting list. We do 600 women and it’s an amazing event. Looking for people who would like to be a part of this whether you want to be sponsors, looking for folks to be part of one of our committees. The way we form our conference is we ask everyone to join what we call an open meeting and we do that virtual and we base it on what you want. The five local committees we do have are: communication, outreach, speakers, sponsorship and exhibitors. This year for the first time we’re having our virtual conference. Looking forward to it. Think it’s something needed, we’re not taking away from any other women conferences going on in Hampden County. Price per person is $52, breakfast, lunch and break-out sessions. All local women!! Fortunate to have the only man on the board and it is Ed. Ed has contact information. Looking for volunteers. Great opportunity for women to join forces and acknowledge someone.

Vida Zavala: Community Education Project

Taking over the Holyoke tutor mentor coordinator position. Revamping the program now merged with the community education project. Working on more outreach, and using all of your references and help to publicize new changes and recruit some more volunteers. Planning on expanding our volunteer base which currently consists mainly of tutors and mentors that are supporting teachers. Hoping to include other types of volunteer opportunities to enable other members of the community to become involved. Will publicize through flyers and outreach.

 

Yesenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital (Alcohol and Drug Care)

Offer telehealth services, Offering intensive outpatient programming, early recovery groups, Individual and Family Counseling, Support for family members at the office via phone and meetings for groups.

Transportation provided if there’s a bed available for detoxing. Will travel from here to NY, southern VT, southern ME and NH.

Free family support virtual set 3rd Wednesday of every month for families struggling with someone that has an addiction. Can speak to a licensed clinician to get support.

Marisol Guevara: Springfield College

Springfield College, Regional, Online and Continuing Education department has been serving adult students in the region for more than 35 years. As graduates, they are leaders in human service organizations throughout the region, strengthening communities and improving lives with an emphasis on social and economic justice.  Busy adults have an opportunity to take courses on the weekends, online, and in the evenings.  Please attend our next virtual information session on Saturday, July 18th from 1-2.  To RSVP Contact Marisol Guevara at (413) 271-7692 or by email.

 

Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

RVCC's Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) Program is accepting new clients. The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) Program is brief, intensive, evidenced based treatment for 12-24 year olds to support substance use recovery. A-CRA is a minimum of 10-14 sessions, which includes 1-4 sessions with Parent/Caregiver. Therapeutic groups will be an additional intervention offered during treatment to support peer connection, education and skill building/practice. For more information, please contact Amanda Hichborn at (413)540-1137 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

This fall, RVCC will be partnering with the Westfield School District to provide School-based Therapy throughout Westfield Schools. Currently RVCC partners with Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, Granby, Amherst, Hadley, Hatfield, South Hadley, Springfield, and East Longmeadow school districts to provide School-based Therapy Services. During COVID-19, RVCC has continued to provide services via telehealth.

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) is excited to announce that we will be holding our 5th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, September 18, 2020 at the East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. We're on par and going fore it! As we stay the plan of course for this year’s tournament, we invite you to consider joining us as a sponsor, golfer, or by donating an item towards our raffle. Registration is $100 and includes golf, golf cart, goody bag, lunch, and dinner. Click on the following links for the Registration form and Sponosrship Opportunities form. For more information visit www.rvcc-inc.org

 

Sierra Forney: MSPCC

MSPCC in Holyoke continues to service families through telehealth during the COVID crisis. We are currently accepting referrals with immediate openings for In-Home Therapy, and Therapeutic Mentoring (*Please note: Current CANS, COMP, IAP are needed when making TM referrals.) We also have only a 1-2 week waitlist for Outpatient Therapy services at this time. Referrals can be made by phone (413) 532-9446, fax 413-534-0047, or online at www.MSPCC.org

If there are any questions or in need of assistance making a referral, they can reach out to Sierra Forney, at 781-698-5462, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.

Back to School Event:

Not doing large back to school event. Looking to do many of them in several different schools in Holyoke. Looking for 11 different events, events will go from 8/20/20 – 9/10/20. More to come, look out for email.

Healing Community Study:

Asking for agencies support

Study is trying to reduce opioid deaths by 40%

Lots of other issues in Holyoke around substance abuse

Issues youth are faced with either come from one or two of the folks living in their households that are actually using some sort of substances

Did a 2 1/2 month Narcan distribution plan in terms of getting information out to the Holyoke Community. Asked agency representatives, if you have lists and you service folks in Holyoke consider helping getting the information in the hands of those people in Holyoke that probably need it the most. Want to get Narcan training and Narcan in the hands of every family that might have someone in their families using drugs, so we can prevent the overdose. Many of our ultimate goals is to try to reach folks using drugs and try to develop a relationship with them and to get them to turn away from using drugs and get them the help and support they need. When you see emails from the Healing Community Study, forward the information to the folks that you are servicing in Holyoke, so we can get this information in the hands of those that need it the most.

Getting ready to kick off our Stigma Campaign

Campaign is important because some people don’t want to get treatment or go to counseling, because of the stigma attached to it.

Help get stigma information out there.

Graphics on posters may make them feel more comfortable in terms of reaching out to an agency that can actually help them with their substance use issues.

So if you have large distribution lists, please forward the information out to those people and then ask them to forward, to get in the hands of all the people in Holyoke, so we can make a great impact to try to get people to get off of opioids and get off of substance use and prevent overdose deaths.

Melissa White: Valley Opportunity Council

Valley Opportunity Council is open for business but business looks different. Please feel free to reach out to me (Melissa white) for more information about our programs or about potential referrals. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Back To School Events / Supply Drive                                                    2:20pm - 2:25pm

We are looking to collect 2,000 of (18) different items to place in backpacks to be give out to 2,000 Holyoke youth during one of our back to school events.

We are still in need of the items below:

Notebooks

Erasers

Eraser Caps

Glue Sticks

If any agency wants to donate a number of any of the items below, please contact Ed at the contact information below:

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, August 13th (Zoom)

Close Meeting                                                                                                2:40pm

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

Agency Updates

HSNI logo blue

June 19,2020

 

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.

Ed Caisse: 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.

In lieu of our large Back to School event that is normally held in August, due to COVID-19, we will be doing smaller events in multiple neighborhoods in August where we would be able to control social distancing.  We are receiving 2,000 backpacks from Cradle to Crayons via the Holyoke Public Schools, but will need to supplement the supplies, so we will be doing a virtual supply drive, more information to follow.

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Rob Rizzuto: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Following testing of all of the people in custody at each of its facilities, the Hampden County Sheriff's Department is proud to report that there are presently zero active COVID-19 cases among the people in its care. The testing revealed just 12 positive cases among the people in custody at the Main Institution in Ludlow, and zero at the Women's Correctional Center and zero at the Western Massachusetts Treatment and Wellness Center. All the men who tested positive have since recovered and been medically cleared to return to the general population.

Since the onset of the pandemic and ahead of CDC guidance, the Hampden County Sheriff's Office has been operating under some of the strictest protocols in the Commonwealth. The department made wearing masks mandatory early on, and completely reorganized the way it does business to limit the number of people coming into contact with the people in its custody. New arrivals to the facility who are at much higher risk of being COVID-19 positive are placed in preventative medical isolation units for at least 14 days. These units are not locked down but are managed with medical oversight to best mitigate any spread of the virus. All staff undergo a medical screening procedure before clocking in for their shift, and are also required to wear masks while on the job.

As of Tuesday, June 16, the department has had a total of 13 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19, with zero active cases. There are four staff members currently positive for COVID-19 and 15 staff members who previously tested positive but have since recovered and been medically cleared to return to work.

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Chief Manny Febo: Holyoke Police Department

The Holyoke Police Department continues to operate at full staff. We are continuing to take all precautions against COVID 19. We having been dealing with an unusual uptick in fireworks this year city wide. We have implemented foot and bike patrols in most areas to have officers visible. We will be deploying our MCP truck at some point in the next month or so and encourage agencies to join us in the community outreach events. More information will follow.

We have partnered with the Sheriffs Department and have several full time officers and Sheriffs working with recovery coaches to assist those struggling with addiction in our community.

Please let us know how we can assist your agency. 

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Chief Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court Probation

The Holyoke Probation Department remains closed to the public until at least July 1st.  During this time the probation department continues to actively supervise probationers and are available by phone to speak with both probationers and victims of crime.  We are also available to speak with individuals who may be looking for assistance with section 35 petitions, whether that is for the individual or a family member who wishes to file a petition on behalf of a loved one.  As always, as updates on when our office will open becomes available we will effectively communicate with Ed Caisse.

Thanks and stay safe!

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Amy Karangekis: US Attorney General’s Office

I hope you are doing well.  The AGO is launching a series of AGO Summer Online Educational Trainings for the public and/or private for organizations that would like to host a training for their members and/or clients.  The following information is detailed in the attached flyer.  

For the public:  The AGO will hold weekly presentations to educate individuals about their rights in different contexts and how our office can assist.  To register and view an updated schedule, visit:  https://MassAGOsummertrainings.eventbrite.com

For private virtual trainings for a class or community group:  The AGO is offering private virtual trainings for class or community groups.  To schedule, email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Presentations are offered on the following issues:

  • Teen Workers’ Rights
  • Landlord/Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
  • When You Turn 18
  • Scams and College Budgeting
  • AGO COVID-19 Assistance to Immigrants
  • Financial Literacy
  • And more

Thank you for spreading the word.

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Tony Simmons: Hampden County District Attorney’s Office

HCAT continues to meet monthly via zoom. We continue to support the efforts of Tapestry and other organizations having to address the issue of addiction and homelessness.  

Our YAB just wrapped up on Monday and we hope to debut their projects soon.  We have a summer YAB starting in July,

and last, we’re  close to completion of an eye opening documentary for middle school students and parents on “Navigating Social Media”

We’re working on some other initiatives but we are too early in the process to mention at this time.

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Aaron Vega: State Representative Holyoke

The legislature is still holding off on the FY2021 Budget; waiting to see what the Federal Government may do for State support.

Most likely a 1/12th budget for July that will be funding to keep everything going for the month.

Black & Latino Caucus is leading along with support from the Speaker, Senate President and Governor on Police reform focused on training, use of force and civil service. Bills HD.5128/SD.2968

Pat Duffy from my office continues to work with a number of constituents on their unemployment claims.

We continue to use my Fifth Hampden Facebook page for daily updates on reopening and COVID-19 data.

Aaron 
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Heidy Fontanez: Bethany Assembly of God

Bethany Church continues to provide food pantry services to the community. We need supplies and are reaching out for donations.  You can drop off items like canned goods, dry cereal, rice, and pasta at Bethany Assembly of God, 580 Main St, Agawam, MA M-F 8:30 to 4:30 or send a monetary donation of any amount to P.O. Box 422, Agawam, MA  01001. 

Food Pantry hours, unless on a holiday:

  • •             Mon & Fri, 1 to 3 PM
  • •             1st Tuesday, 6 to 8 PM
  • •             Saturday, 9 to 11 AM

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 413-789-2930.

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Bud Delphin: MassHire Holyoke Career Center

MassHire Holyoke Career Center reminds everyone that we are open and operating remotely. Please visit our website to learn how to register and have access to free services, such as career counseling, resume reviews, and job postings. There also are a number of virtual and interactive workshops, including On-lIne Job Search, On-line Applications, How to Write a Resume, Interviewing Skills, Spanish Language Job Search During Covid 19, Training Opportunties, and How to Work a Virtual Job Fair.

Don’t forget to check-out the Virtual Hot Dogs for Hot Jobs Job Fair form June 24th 8:30 am to June 26th 5:00 PM.

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Cass Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute

We are recruiting a 2020-21 TerraCorps member for a little while longer. This position will work hands-on with Holyoke students, engaging them in transformational learning opportunities outdoors, as well as with the general public, organizing educational programs and events. Someone from the community is a plus, with a passion for youth development and the environment. We encourage individuals from communities of color to apply. Contact Program Director Cass Pastorelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more.

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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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Freddy DeJesus: 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.

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Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) continues to provide compassionate and quality services. 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. 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's CBHI Programs (IHT, IHBS, TM) are taking referrals.  We currently do not have long wait lists for most of our services.  We are starting to do some limited services in the home/community again as long as we can use proper precautions (meeting outside, wearing masks, washing hands and/or carrying sanitizer, etc). More exciting for us is that effective July 1st, we will be able to provide IHBS and TM services to those clients who have Tufts/Network Health in addition to those with MBHP that we have always been able to serve.  At this time, we are still not able to provide IHBS or TM to those with BMC Health Net or Fallon but we continue to work on amending this contract as well. Please find our referral forms attached.

For questions/more info please contact Natalie Lavallee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at 413) 594-2141 x2165.

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.

RVCC's Director of School-Based Clinical Services, Alexa Mignano, spoke to Zydalis Bauer on WGBY Public Television's news program CONNECTING POINT to discuss youth mental health during COVID and how RVCC's school-based teams are supporting clients during this challenging time. Check it out: http://connectingpoint.wgby.org/youth-mental-health-during-covid-19/

RVCC is grateful to the Community Foundation of Western MA for being selected as one of their COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley grant recipients! We are so grateful to all the donors who have given to the fund.  

RVCC is excited to announce that our 5th Annual Golf Tournament will be taking place on Friday, September 18, 2020 at the East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. Join us for a good time while supporting a great cause! Please visit our website for more information www.rvcc-inc.org. The link below will get you to a page with a list of referral forms:

Here's the link:https://www.rvcc-inc.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=63612

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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

Bereavement Support Group

For adults remembering someone who died during COVID-19

When: Wednesdays, August 5 through September 16

When: 5:30 - 7 pm

Where: This weekly support group will be virtual using Zoom until further notice.

The group will help you:

  • Cope and connect with others
  • Remember and share about the person who died
  • Discuss and learn about grief

Facilitated by:

Shelly Bathe Lenn, M.Ed., Bereavement Coordinator

To register, call or email:

413-727-5749 |This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A brief interview is required for participation. This group is free of charge.

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Angela Baez: Behavioral Health Network

Behavioral Health Network's Opioid Treatment Program offers methadone in a supervised

setting with counseling services for individuals 18 and older. Admissions are scheduled on a daily basis.

Clinic Hours: Sunday - Saturday, 5:30 am - 1:30 pm

Dosing Hours: Sunday - Saturday, 5:45 am - 12:00 pm

For more information call (413) 272-1333.

Most insurance plans accepted, inquire for details.

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

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Sarah Schmidt: Holyoke Community College

We will be offering free sessions in July and August for How to Work & Learn Online: 

How to Work & Learn Online

Working and learning remotely have made computer skills even more critical. In this four part workshop series, you will learn how to navigate computer settings, create and organize files, and safely use the internet, including digital communication tools such as Zoom. These sessions will also cover best practices of being an online learner, including tips on study habits, expectations of online learning, and how to use Google Drive and other computer applications.  Participants will be sent a link to join the class and can join using a computer, laptop, Chromebook or smartphone.  

These sessions are done virtually over zoom. The July and August dates aren't posted yet, but I'll send the link along when we have it.

We are also accepting new students for HiSET prep and ESOL classes, contact Marisol Fontanez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Jennifer Fernandes: United Way, Thrive Program

THRIVE is up and running and we are doing appointments over the phone.  We are always taking new clients and we have a coach that speaks Spanish.  If anyone needs assistance with stimulus checks, student loans and unemployment due to the pandemic they can call 1-833-308-4748.

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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

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

Kate’s Kitchen will begin serving lunch on the weekends again starting Saturday June 20th at noon. This will put us back serving the community 7 days a week.

Margaret’s Pantry is still open Monday - Friday by appointment only. Please call Brenda at 413-538-8026

St. Jude’s Clothing remains closed and is not accepting donations. The store is set to re-open on 7/14/2020 with donations being accepted starting 7/1/2020

Sober Living Houses (Loreto House, Broderick House and McCleary Manor) are currently accepting new residents ONLY from document Covid-19 free facilities. We will be accepting/interviewing other new residents and self-referrals beginning 7/1/2020.

All of the above is subject to change given the status of the pandemic, guidelines and community safety recommendations.

Please take a moment and complete our quick survey!

Thank you,

Jennie Adamczyk

Interim Executive Director

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Yesenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital

Adcare is still fully functioning. Our outpatient sites are continuing to provide tele-health/virtual individual and group sessions (Intensive Outpatient, Early Recovery, etc). Accommodations can be made for folks who do not have access womans

to a phone or computer to be seen on site-individually- with proper precautionary measures in place. Our detox facilities are still providing transportation to/from. 

We have also transitioned our family education program to a virtual group. The Education Program focuses on Addiction 101- coping techniques/skills, family dynamics of addiction, how substance use changes the brain, resources available, and so forth. It is open to anyone who has a loved one suffering from a substance use disorder. Information is presented by a licensed counselor. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there is a need. I’m happy to help any way I can.

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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

Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) continues to do great things in the community with both our One Care and SCO members; especially during these unprecedented times.

Our clinical teams are actively in the field assessing our members health and social needs. They continue to assess and implement services for our members; such as personal care, home delivered meals, medication management, and many more individualized needs. Our member services department is available 7 days per week with 24/7 on call Clinician coverage for any health, social, and behavioral health needs for all of our members. We continue to support our members with transportation needs and will approve a PCA or caregiver to utilize our transportation for food shopping/pharmacy trips for the member if they are too vulnerable to go out d/t pandemic.

If you know of any seniors age 65 + in the community that may benefit from CCA SCO please feel free to contact me or send a referral

Eligibility requirements for Commonwealth Care Alliance SCO plan:

-65 years of age and older

-have Mass Health Standard

-not have a diagnosis of ESRD meaning they are on dialysis (this is a CMS guideline)

FREE BENEFITS:

  1. No co-pays on Medications
  2. Tele-Health is 100% covered at no cost
  3. Transportation for Medical appts. and outings such as food shopping, pharmacy, church, etc.
  4. Healthy Savings Card to purchase OTC items without a RX at no cost
  5. Dental benefits
  6. Vision benefits
  7. Care Team supports available 24/7 365 days/year
  8. Integrated Behavioral Health support 24/7 365 days/year

Also please reach out to me if you have any dual eligible clients Mass Health and Medicare part A & B to learn more about our One Care Plan age 21-64

Attached is my referral form and information on our free benefits for our SCO plan in both English and Spanish; I also speak Spanish.

Due to Covid-19 our enrollment team is currently completing enrollments applications via phone and DocuSign and also via postal service for those who may not have email access. As soon as we are able to be out in the community; outreach will resume back to normal practice; in the prospective members home or somewhere in the community of their choice.

Please feel free to share with any agencies that may have access in sharing this information within our communities. We serve Massachusetts and have an awesome Provider network.

Please reach out to me directly should you have any questions or would like to refer an individual. Best way to contact me is on my work cell 413-302-0770.

Stay well,

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Ehra Rodriguez: Womanshelter/Compañeras

Womanshelter/Companeras main office 208 Race Street #303, Holyoke, MA remains closed due to COVID-19, until further notice.

 Hotline operational 24/7 at 413-536-1628. 

Safe Plan Advocates available to assist with Orders of Protection/Restraining Orders (209A) and Harassment Orders (258E), M-F 8:30am to 4:30pm. Chicopee/413-537-0478: Kathy; Holyoke/413-537-0336: Brenda S. and Nashy M/413-537-0057; Springfield/413-537-0089: Flo P.

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Judy Taylor: Holyoke Public Schools

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

  • Reopening Leadership Team Update #4
  • Enrollment for PreK and New HPS students is Happening Now at www.enrollholyoke.com
  • Summer Learning Update – Register Today!
  • School Choice Information
  • FY 2021 Budget
  • Show us Your Mask
  • COVID-19 Resources
  • Grading
  • Chromebooks and iPads
  • “Cone of Excellence” Awarded to Richard Rodriguez, HHS North
  • Holyoke High School News – 
    • Graduation and Car Parade
    • Salute to Our Seniors  – Signed College Recruits, and More!
  • Food Service – P-EBT Access, Grab and Go meals, social service resources, 
  • MCAS Update for High School Students
  • Contact Us During the Closure
  • News Briefs – Dr. Zrike’s Facebook Live Sessions and More!
  • HPS in the News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Reminders – Students’ Medications & Belongings, High School Fall Sports Sign-ups, Work permits, Scholars Lounge, Provide your updated contact information, Census

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

  • Summer is Officially Beginning
  • Do we have your Current Contact Information
  • How to Contact Us
  • Updated Summer Learning Information for Families - Register Today!
  • Reopening Leadership Team Update #5
  • LBGTQ Pride Month
  • Enrollment is Happening Now at www.enrollholyoke.com 
  • Social Media Challenge - Slow the Spread of COVID-19
  • Panorama Survey Results
  • COVID-19 District Closure Communications and Resources
  • Grading
  • Chromebooks & iPads
  • Food Service - P-EBT Access, Summer meals, social service resources, 
  • Cone of Excellence Awarded to Corrine Moguel
  • High School News - 
    • Salute to Our Seniors, Seniors Earn Seal of Biliteracy, Class of 2020 Future Plans, 
    • Students Participate in Commissioner Riley's Team Building Challenge, and More!
  • News Briefs - Dr. Zrike’s Facebook Live Session
  • Upcoming Events & School Calendar
  • Reminders - Students’ Medications & Belongings, High School Fall Sports Sign-ups, Work permits, Scholars Lounge, Census

We hope that you have an enjoyable weekend and a Happy Fathers Day!  

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Sylvia Ruiz: Fallon Health

I have attached our Fallon NaviCare Referral brochure along with some of our benefits that are important to the times we are living currently.  I am also available to complete the “Frail Elder Waiver” (FEW) for those that are not eligible for Mass Health due to being over the financial threshold and have some complex medical conditions that require assistance with their “Activities for Daily Living” (ADL’s).

  1. Transportation – If seniors are having issues getting to the early hours shopping we can help them get there.
  2. Telehealth – Is a free service that gives our members 24 hours/day access to a doctor on the phone, online or through a mobile device.
  3. Silver Sneakers – A way to stay fit at home.
  4. Save Now – Card is pre-loaded with dollars that can be used to purchase eligible every day, health-related item with mail order option.
  5. Healthy Foods Incentive – Earn up to $100 per year with the Fallon Health Food program

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at my cell listed below.

Please stay safe and healthy!

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Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public School

HPS has open enrollment on line at the Holyoke Public website from preK -12 grade 

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Deb Flynn-Gonzalez: Hope For Holyoke

Attached is the link for our virtual calendar- we are still providing recovery supports virtually, 40+ groups a week,through Zoom and Facebook Live- all info is on our FB page. We are also present at the purple tent at the library MWF 10-12 and at& TR 2-4 for info and ref, assistance in getting treatment, and supplies including water, Narcan, snacks, personal items. HFH is planning to reopen in July and will keep you updated on details.

Hope For Holyoke Online Meeting Guide June Esperanza para Holyoke Grupos en linea (virtuales) Junio 

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Rebecca Neubardt: Girls Inc. of the Valley

Hello Girls Inc. Families and Community Members,

We hope that you are all healthy and safe. We understand that with the pandemic and current events with racial injustice that this is a difficult and overwhelming time. During this time we want to emphasize that we are here to offer support and connect families to any resources that they may need.

Meanwhile, we have a fantastic virtual program planned for the summer! Our virtual summer program will run for 4 weeks from July 13th - August 7th. It is open to all girls in the area, not just our current Girls Inc. girls! We plan on having 3 Zoom calls per week - two for virtual hands-on lessons and one for a special guest pertaining to the weekly theme. Our weekly themes will be: Mind & Body, STEM-inistas, Girl Power and Literacy!

The program is completely free, and families will be given a package containing all the supplies needed to complete the program. Girls will also be able to win prizes for each Zoom call they attend! Likewise, we will have an orientation for parents about virtual programming. All parents and guardians will be awarded a gift card for their attendance (one per household)!

Although we know that this won’t be the same as seeing everyone in person, until then, we want to emphasize that this virtual program will be very engaging and rewarding for everyone involved, and we look forward to a fun summer together!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Warmly,
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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 still doing telehealth visits. We have Spanish and English speaking staff, and serve the communities of Holyoke, Chicopee, and Westfield.

If anyone would like to make a referral, 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.

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Sophie Schouboe: Food Bank of Western Mass

The Food Bank and most member programs are still open. We are keeping this searchable map as up to date as possible: https://www.foodbankwma.org/get-help/covid-19-food-pantry-meal-program-schedule/

There are three Mobile Food Banks in Holyoke. One at Beaudoin Village on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month 11-11:45, one at Providence Ministries on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 2-3pm and one at the Olde Holyoke Development (70 North Bridge St) on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month 1-1:45. There are no verifications required at any of the mobiles and if anyone has questions they can call us at 413-247-9738.

SNAP purchasing is now available online at Amazon and Walmart. Our SNAP department is still doing SNAP applications and answering SNAP questions over the phone in both English and Spanish. The SNAP direct line is 413-992-6204. The line will go to voicemail but the voicemail will be returned within 48 hours.

Best,

Sophie

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Angel Coriano: Homework House Inc.

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 Thompson: CrossPoint Clinical Services

We continue to offer Christian-based Mental Health Counseling via Teletherapy during the COVID-19 crisis. 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 excited to launch our new online Health and Wellness program – Purpose Posse on July 1st. This group of like-minded individuals will work to become the physical and spiritual person God intended them to be! The Posse will enjoy access to “live” and prerecorded workouts and Christian meditations as well as professional coaching and guidance. This program is for people of all fitness levels. Beginners are welcome. Both group and individual training options are available. To learn more or sign-up, follow this link to the events section of our website.

Stay well everyone!

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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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John McCarthy: USCIS District N-11 

USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services)

USCIS closed its offices for interpersonal services on March 18, 2020 to limit the spread of the Corona Virus. On June 4, 2020 our offices began to reopen on a limited basis.

During the office closing USCIS personnel continued to work cases mostly by telework, with only essential personnel in the office buildings. Field Offices began to open, for appointments only, first. They will be followed by Asylum offices and Applicant Support Centers will follow.

USCIS is following follow CDC, and Massachusetts guidelines and consults with industrial hygienists and Medical advisors to ensure that our re-opening is as safe as possible for employees and the public. Please go to https://www.uscis.gov for information on the requirements for admission to USCIS offices. Services are by appointment only and at present are limited to Naturalization Oath Ceremonies. USCIS personnel and those with appointments are limited to less than ten persons at present. The expectation is, that as the data and guidance allows our offices will begin interviews and we will increase service both in type and in size. Field offices will begin with N-400 and N-600 interviews and they onto other applications as circumstances allow.

Presently Field Offices in Lawrence and Boston are focused on Naturalization of candidates whose Oath Ceremonies were delayed by the closing of USCIS offices and the Federal Court.

USCIS Office openings will be staggered. Field Offices began to open on June 4, 2020. Applicant Support Centers are planning to open beginning in mid-July. Please check our web site at https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings to insure that the office you are intending to visit is and remains open before you go.

Asylum Offices have some different requirements regarding interviews, particularly regarding who must attend the interview in person. Those with appointments, will receive instructions with the Notice of Appointment. See https://egov.uscis.gov/office-locator/#/asy for additional information.

If you seek information about a filed application, or petition, you may create an on-line account and; obtain status of your application/petition, provide requested documents, or communicate through the account. Accounts may be opened at https://myaccount.uscis.gov/users/sign_up . If you seek an appointment, wish to follow up on the status of your application/petition, or have an emergency, you should call our contact center at https://www.uscis.gov/contactcenter .

For other general information you can connect with “Ask Emma” at our home page at https://www.uscis.gov . Emma allows you to ask questions and points you to locations on line where information about your topic of interest can be found. USCIS also provides online tools to assist you to fine important information https://www.uscis.gov/tools . In addition Explore my options is an on line utility which can assist you to find information about most immigration based benefits it can be found at https://my.uscis.gov/exploremyoptions or at the Tools subdirectory mentioned above.

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Amneris Narvaez: Generation Teach

My Name is Amneris Narvaez, Director of Western MA Programs for Generation Teach. I am excited to share information about our Generation Teach Virtual Academy. The GT Virtual Academy is a newly-designed dynamic and engaging 6-week online program for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders(please share flyers attached). Students will learn, debate, and grow together in small classes with caring teachers. They will connect with friends and compete for daily gift card drawings. Students will connect virtually from 9:00 a.m to 12:15 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, from June 29 to August 7. Families can learn more at www.gtvirtual.org and enroll at https://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/families/summerlearning/.  

Please contact Amneris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions. The enrollment deadline is June 22, 2020 or when all spots are filled.  

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Ali Pinschmidt: Don't Take That Receipt

Before COVID-19, our youth-adult collaboration Don’t Take That Receipt! was scheduled to present at the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative meeting this month. As our group is wrapping up our programming, we were excited to have a farewell presentation to celebrate our successes and showcase our new educational video about toxic chemicals in places that will surprise you! In lieu of our presentation, we are sending you this email update, so please read on : )

 

We just released a new funny video! Bet you didn’t know that toxic thermal papers are used in so many products you handle multiple times a day. This 2-minute video called It’s Not Just Receipts Anymore... shows the many paper products that pose a health risk to us all, and especially to essential workers at grocery stores, warehouses, post offices, pharmacies, and hospitals. 

 

If you have 2 minutes: please watch the video on Facebook or Youtube.  The video is also available in Spanish! Check it out aquí on YouTube or aquí on Facebook.

 

If you have 3 minutes: please also share it through your networks on Facebook: bit.ly/NotJustReceiptsFB, or on any other social media platform: bit.ly/NotJustReceipts

 

If you have 6 minutes: please take this pre-survey before watching the video, watch the video here, and then take this post-survey! This will help us learn more about the effectiveness of our message.

 

And, if you have 30 minutes: please first do the steps listed above and then listen to our farewell interview show with Holyoke Media! Don’t Take That Receipt! has provided paid health educator jobs to 7 youth over the past two years, and has hired local actors to star in our two collaboratively-made public health films. In this interview hear more about the making of our funny health videos, our face-to-face outreach to over 300 regional stores, the positive experiences youth had working on this meaningful campaign, and so much more! 

 

To see our first video about toxins on receipts and learn more about all of this, visit our website at www.donttakethatreceipt.org. Our new video is there as well.

 

Please spread the word, and thank you for all that you do!

Ali Pinschmidt

Director of Don’t Take That Receipt!

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

Fill out consent form to Sign Up

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Join Our Private Facebook Group for Additional Support

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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:

SYMBIS - Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts - 8 Week Course

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Learn More About SYMBIS (online Zoom Course)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNoGhrtP6jQ&feature=youtu.be

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

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.

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Stigma: Helping Your Patients

Please consider posting the link below to your social media pages and sharing with your community contacts.

https://www.facebook.com/101711764886751/photos/a.110559650668629/184372333287360/?type=3&theater

People with #opioidusedisorder (OUD) can recover when they have our support to get and stay in treatment with medications for OUD. Learn more:

Las personas con # trastorno por consume de opioids, pueden recuperarse cuando cuentan con nuestro apoyo para recibir y permanecer en tratamiento con medicamentos para el trastorno por consume de opioides. Aprenda mas

HealTogetherMA.org/Holyoke,

https://www.tapestryhealth.org/overdose-prevention-services/

http://www.hhcinc.org/en/services/center-for-recovery-support,

https://www.holyokehealth.com/services-specialities/comprehensive-care-center

http://hopeforholyoke.com/ #EndStigma, #HealTogetherMA/Holyoke, #HolyokeHeals

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