Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Date: February 8, 2018
Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Holyoke Public Library
Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.
Welcome & Introduction 1:00pm - 1:05pm
Becky Lewis, MSW MPH, Chair, Foundations of Health Program, HCC 1:05pm - 1:20pm
Becky talked about her role at HCC and the Community Health Worker Program which offers a clear path to reach educational and career goals. HCC recently received a 4 year grant in the amount of $430,000 from HRSA BHVET. It will pay $3000 per student during a 12 month period. Students take classes developed to fulfill their educational requirement to apply for the Massachusetts certification as a community health worker (CHW) along with getting some practical experience in the field. Practicum consists of 125 hours of field work of where students can apply theory to their field work.
Students will take 1 class in spring, summer, and fall semesters: Care Competencies, Essential Health Topics or Children’s behavioral health, Practicum for CHW. Classes are offered evenings 6-9pm or Saturdays 10-4pm. Criteria for eligibility: College English, Cori/Sori practicum, commitment for completion of 3 classes. You can complete google form, HCC admission application, and placement testing. Must have high school diploma, GED, or HISET. Will not accept certificate of attainment.
Agency Overview and Updates 1:20pm - 2:20pm
Antonio Padilla: Holyoke District Court Probation/ Holyoke Boys and Girls Club
Young Marine program will be starting in March of 2018 and focusing on ages 8-18. Interested applicants will be screened for acceptance to program through interviews with youth and parents. Headquarters will be at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club. They have just partnered with AMR and Baystate to offer a CPR and First Aid training. Parent orientation will be on March 3rd. Have 21 commitments and are still accepting more. Anticipated graduation will be in June.
Holyoke Boys and Girls Club will be starting their Hoops for Dreams Basketball Academy where they will be having coaches from the mens and womens teams at Elms College assisting.
Zuheily Gonzalez/Delia Morales: Community Connection Healthcare
They provide home healthcare services to seniors and adults with disabilities. Care agents are Registered Nurses, Case Managers, and home health aides trying to have client achieve best quality of life possible.
Lauren Dougherty: Womanshelter Companeras
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and Laruen asked everyone to wear orange on February 13th.
Sarah Schmidt: Gill Technology Center/HCC
Sara talked about some of the programs currently being offered which are free of charge at the Picknelly Center:
Pre College level classes, Transition to college, Computer literacy, College and Career exploration. Thanked everyone for the amount of referrals she has received from this meeting. They are recruiting for all levels of classes.
Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library
Announced the return of their Mini Golf fundraiser for the weekend of 4/6/18 and 4/7/18 in all 5 floors of the library. They added a teen tournament on Saturday starting at 9am. Teams will consist of 4 players. Comic book illustrator on 2/17 “Geek Like Me” on how to write comic books.
Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library
Rachel passed around February calendar for the programing in the teen room. They will be having event on 2/21 from 1-3, “Aviation Exploration”. Need to RSVP.
Jen Fernandes: United Way
Talked about the THRIVE program for financial success/debt reduction. They help an individual get ahead financially with an array of free and confidential services. Make appointment locations at the PAFEC building, and Westfield at 36 Court Street.
Dr. Neil Boyd: National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
Dr Boyd introduced himself as the new President of the National Alliance of Mental Illness for Western Massachusetts. He referred to a letter that was passed around inviting agencies to attend an event on Tuesday, March 13th at 7pm. It will be held at Rebecca Johnson School at 55 Catharine Street in Springfield. State Commissioner Mikula and her team will be in attendance to share their new plan and how it will affect our families.
Melaney Mendoza: Ma Mentoring
There will be a MMP summit in Boston next week, talking about partnerships. MMP created MMP Connect, which is a networking group for mentoring and youth development programs. They will be presenting a training every quarter.
Robert Houle: Unity Financial
They go to organizations and give free seminars that help people to get out of debt. Financial Education series (18) is to help employees make smart decisions about their finances. Their goal is to help agencies and their employees achieve financial well-being.
Margaret Curran: Mass Fair Housing Center
Concentrate on issues surrounding housing discrimination. Talked about the SUN program which stands for support, unlock, navigate. Program offers support and assistance as you search for housing. They work with you to find listings that meet your goals and help you become the most competitive applicant you can be.
Gladys Lebron Martinez: Careerpoint/Ward 1 City Councilor
Focused on career/workforce development. On March 6th, they will be hosting Green Thumb Industry (GTI) for a Job Fair. They will have a breakfast from 7:30-9 and Job Fair begins at 10am. First 100 applicants will receive help on matters surrounding their CORI. Presently, they have an influx of Puerto Rican families arriving to Holyoke; they are working with them to receive benefits. They are also getting ready for their summer employment program. Looking for host agencies to either sponsor or pay youth.
Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council (VOC)
Valley opportunity council adult education: referrals for older students, high-set, English as a second language. There is a new class that is focused on people who have a GED, high-set or a diploma who want to work on reading, math, and writing in order to brush up on those points before going to college. Passed around flyer for free college writing and math classes for college eligible students who need a refresher course. Class is Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:30am-1ppm at VOC.
Bangoni Seranyama: MA Attorney General’s Office
Attorney General’s Office has 2 programs that they will be introducing to Western Ma. The first will be around immigration law and correct way to practice. They will be providing education on who can actually practice immigration law, they are willing to do presentations for organizations. The second program will be targeted towards more community involvement to direct folks to free labor council. There will be clinic in April in Springfield. The Attorney General’s Office is looking for more community involvement to direct folks to free legal council.
Laura Farnsworth: MSPCC
Looking for 14-24 parents to engage in young parenting program. They are looking to fill a new youth worker position full time and bilingual preferred.
Laura Banks: RVCC
9 week module curriculum for ages 15-19 in sex education. She has been to local high schools and career centers and would be willing to come out to agencies/organizations.
Shannon Sarkisian: Holyoke Community College (HCC)
Would be willing to do presentation for community providers surrounding various levels of education; HISET/GED, transition, value of education. Shannon stated that she could curtail presentation to fit area of focus.
Daisy Acosta: Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Daisy is a foster care recruiter looking to increase numbers of foster families. She is at the Holyoke Public Library every third Saturday of the month from 12pm-1.
Jharikem Borrero-Irizarry: Nuestras Raices
Their next farmers market is 2/17/19 from 10am – 2pm. They accept SNAP/WIC/DEBT.
Maryanet Wood/Dorrie Brook: Holyoke Public Schools/Jones Whitsett Architects
Inviting agencies to a community meeting at Lawrence School on 2/13 at 6pm. They are working with the Holyoke Public Schools in designing 2 new schools in the ward 1 area.
Rodney Allen: Cross Point Clinical Services
Christian organization that was created to empower individuals, families and communities to overcome life’s challenges, regardless of their faith perspective. They are based in West Springfield along with Worcester. Provide mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families.
Lexus Phillips: Holyoke Boys and Girls Club
Looking to come out to agencies and speak with youth & adults about writing and the spoken word. Currently, she is doing a creative writing class at Boys and Girls club for 6-8th grade. It is an 8 week long program in creative writing and spoken word. Poetry program will be doing an art show coming up. They have basketball at the club on Tuesdays/Wednesdays and HISET 2 days a week. After school program; K-7.
Yessenia Sanchez: BMC
Michael Lewis: Providence Ministries
Michael explained that he is the Director of housing for Providence Ministries. They currently have 3 buildings for sober living and Peer Recovery. They are: Loreto House, Broderick House, and McCleary Manor. Applicant needs to be one year sober and be able to show stable income. Providence Ministries also has Kate’s kitchen of where they provide a community meal 7 days a week. They are looking for facilitators, please reach out to Mike. Fundraising efforts on website and will be having one next week at JP’S proceeds go to Providence Ministries.
Chakai Duany: United Way of Pioneer Valley
They are starting their Resident Leadership Program for ages 16 and up on 5/9/18. It is a program designed to provide tools and techniques to develop and enhance leadership skills of anyone interested in building a stronger neighborhood community.
Freddy Dejesus: Gandara Center
They are at 80 Commercial Street in Holyoke and have combined with their Springfield Office. They offer therapeutic mentoring, family support, and run parent support group. Freddy left his cards. Event on 2/20 from 12pm-2pm, offering lunch. Will send out digital referral through Ed.
Leah Barack: The Nutrition Center
Offer nutritional counseling for youth/adults on grant funded programs.
Ahyeong Park: St Paul’s Church
Literacy program for homeless mothers and children. Lessons for mothers to learn to teach children. The program is a six week program held on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm; they provide transportation to and from shelters.
St. Paul’s holds a veternas lunch every Thursday, from 12pm to 1:30pm. Veterans have an opportunity to meet other veterans and other folks from the community.
Officer Lopez: Holyoke Police Department
Code enforcement work with board of health. Left information to contact him if people notice code violations in apartments.
Basketball Championships: Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke 2/16/18 2:20pm - 2:25pm
Old Business / New Business
- Next Meeting is Thursday, March 8th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
Close Meeting 2:30pm
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
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