Meeting Notes 2/13/20

Meeting Notes 2/13/20

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative Meeting Notes Date:   February 13, 2020 Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm Place:   Holyoke Public Library Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human...
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Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20

The monthly meeting has been cancelled, due to the precautions around the Coronavirus.
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Agency Updates 6/11/20

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...
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...
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...
Meeting Notes 2/13/20
Meeting Notes 2/13/20
February 14, 2020
Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20
Meeting Cancelled 3/12/20
March 12, 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 Notes

Date:   September 13, 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        

Seneida Torres: A Better Life Homecare                               1:05pm - 1:20pm

Seneida talked about the history of Better Life Homecare since their origin in 2014. They are a Medicare and Medicaid certified home health agency serving the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Better Life offers personal care (PCA) services and Group Adult Foster Care (GAFC) to those that are eligible through MassHealth. They offer many medical services including: RN/LPN, Physical Therapy, Nurse Med, Diabetes Management, Psychiatric Nursing, Coumadin Management, In Home Blood draws, and Wound Care. Non-Medical services include: Personal Care, Homemaking and Errands, Companion Care, Respite and Transportation.   A client may be referred to a Better Life Homecare by their physician, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, caregivers, family as well as self-referral. Contact info: (413) 285-5929 or (413) 209-8866. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Operate 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

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

Jesus Pereira: Veteran Services

Director of veteran services in Holyoke and deals with Chapter 115. Can help with housing and other areas of support. Contact him at (413) 322-563 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sarah Schmidt/Shannon Sarkisian: Picknelly/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.

Shannon stated that they anticipate openings for their Health Worker classes based on new grant they have received for the spring cohort.

Miguel Arce: Springfield College

Referenced article in El Sol Latino newsletter summarizing the efforts of the HCSD and HSNI partners in last month’s back to school event.

Maritza Martinez: Holyoke Chicopee Family and Community Program (HCFCP)

They are operating on a 25 year grant through headstart under the Department of Education. They provide opportunities at no cost for families with young children living in Holyoke or Chicopee. Through the collaboration and involvement of many community agencies their programming supports children 0-8years old. Talked about Baby & Me group for newborn to 2 years. It will be every Friday starting 9/7 at the Holyoke Public Library from 10-11:30am. Call Maritza to register (413) 536-0363 x5643.

Sarah Pennington: MSPCC

Sarah talked about the survivor services offered by MSPCC to individuals, families and the community to promote recognition, understanding and recovery from the impact of traumatic victimization. She passed around Pop Culture flyer that explores heroines in popular movies, TV shows, and books who cope with trauma. Wednesday evenings 5-6:30pm 9/19-11/7. They also have Caregiver Support Group for caretakers of children that are survivor of sexual abuse or assault. Wednesday mornings 9-10am 9/19-11/7.

Iohann Vega: Gandara

Iohann gave brief overview of the many services Gandara offers on Race Street in Holyoke surrounding computer literacy and technology. He continued to say that they are developing young people to grow professionally in the field of journalism and media literacy through program called Radio Plasma. Recently, the local cable station partnered with them to air their podcasts. He continued to say that this will provide kids to with more opportunity to promote things that are happening in Holyoke.

Alice Buckner: Westover Job Corp

Alice talked about the reorganization of Westover and process of losing 46 staff. New staff will have a pre-requisite of Bachelor’s degree or higher.   Spoke about the local career centers not being accessible on line by topic. Try to give feedback to add agencies. 10/18, revitalize 10 homes in Holyoke in 1 day. Need approximately 300 volunteers. 9/21, International Peace Day; promoting violence prevention looking for speakers.

Lisa Brecher: Gandara

They have 52 posted employment opportunities within Gandara. they have a need for bilingual staff. They will be going to Puerto Rico to recruit and offer stipends for transportation and/or relocation (housing).

Nelson Roman: Ward 2 City Councilor/ Nueva Esperanza

Nelson referenced the El Sol Latino newsletter and up and coming dates in September/October:
September 15th: Pineapple Diaries is a 120 minute workshop

September 16th: Springfield PR Parade

September 21st: 150th anniversary Grito De Lares

September 23rd: Roberto Clemente Softball Tournament

September 29th: Jurakan: Nacion En Resistencia

October 3rd: Magdalena Gomez

October 8th: Trino Remembrance Day

October 12-14th: Dancing on my Cockroach Killers

October 15th: Martin Espada

Rondey Allen: Cross point

Christian counseling center. Client centered capable or serving that are not in the faith. They accept insurance and run groups utilizing CB tools. They facilitate three groups: Anger Management, A Woman of Moderation, and Saving Marriage before it starts.

They also are trying to bridge gap between mental health field and faith community.

They are looking to expand into Holyoke area.

Cross Point Clinical Services (413) 732-7677

Bishop Neil Boyd: NAMI

Stop the Stigma Bingo Night: Friday, September 14th 5-8pm at Raymour and Flanigan 665 Boston Road Springfield. Passed around flyer for Kenya Foreign Missions to sponsor their children’s choir (30) coming to Springfield.   When you buy a bag of Coffee or Tea, half of the proceeds earned will go to help their travel expenses.

Shelly Bethe Lenn: The Garden: Center for Grieving Children and Teens

The Garden is a program of Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice providing support for grieving young people and their families. IT’s a place to talk about loss. IN addition, parents and guardians learn how to help children through their grief. Intake for those 5-18 that have experienced loss. In need of adult volunteers. Looking to organize event on Thursday, 11/1 from 4-6 pm at the Holyoke Public Library; Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead. RSVP (413) 582-5312

Clementine Lazar: Tapestry Health

Covers most of Western Massachusetts: Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Counties.

Glorimar Irizarry: Holyoke Health Center

Launched new website: Have posters for agencies that are interested. Stop by office at 230 Maple St in Holyoke.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library

Passed around Teen Room Program Calendar for September/October.

Deidre Murphy: MSPCC

Deidre is the outreach coordinator and offers programs for parents under the age of 24. All programs are free and they will be sponsoring Michael Ramos, fatherhood Initiative Coordinator for the Children’s Trust. He will lead a free training for providers on how to identify the roadblocks in your agency that prevent fatherhood engagement, establishing best practices onto include fathers, and the benefits of doing so. Join them on Tuesday, September 25th, from 12-2pm at the Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St. This is the first of six free local trainings held by the Fathers and Family Network.  Questions, contact Deidre Murphy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . RSVP at HTTPS://

Marilyn Nunez: MSPCC

Offer in home therapy and outreach and are accepting referrals. Hiring for therapeutic mentor.

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 and talked about the many grants they have received to offer classes at various times in many different areas of study. Class is Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:30am-1ppm at VOC.

Maria Flores: Salvation Army

Working with Food bank of Western Mass on Tuesday, 9/25 from 11 to 12.

Kathy Anderson: Holyoke Medical Center

She is Community Benefits Manager and she is 11 days into her new role. She is on the board of Salvation Army, she mentioned identifying folks that could ring the bell for Salvation Army. Kathy mentioned her role at the medical center is looking at challenges in the community and bringing services to the community around childhood obesity, teen pregnancy and education. She mentioned that they hold community dinners on the 4th Thursday of the month, which have capacity for approximately 80 community residents. The last dinner was her first one and it was wonderful. Holyoke Medical Center will be holding a Free flu clinic on 10/20.

Migdalia Rivera: Caregiver Homes

10/3 they will be offering training at Springfield Public Library. Suicide between the ages of 12-34 is the leading cause of death. Offering training to have information to bring hope to people who are thinking of suicide.

Asnage Custelly: STCC

Only technical school in area. Passed around flyers for free programs: 9/19 at 11:15am presents Kaila Mullady (2105 World Beat box Champion) at the Scibelli Hall Theater on STCC Campus. Career Fair on 9/26 from 11am to 2pm at STCC.

Akala Chaires: Womanshelter Companeras

Looking to make contacts through meeting along with referrals.

Mike Moriarity: 1 Holyoke CDC

Hiring resident service coordinator along with book keeper. Bachelor degree preferred along with licensure. Will be at Raymour and Flanigan with a fund raising event called Drink and Draw hosted by Umass Professor. Mike spoke about the Chronic Absentism, which is a sign of not having academic success. He mentioned that Septembe is Attendance Awareness Month, which is a national effort.

Officer Romero: Holyoke Police Department

New community elder service officers after his role as SRO for 24 years.   Today is his 3rd day in his new role.

Abimalec Martinez Cortez: AIC

Hosting a fund raising event on 10/20 for relief from Hurricane Urma and Maria. event for Puerto Rico from 4-7pm. Looking for vendors for event for mental health, employment, etc, there is a vendor fee of $25.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mentioned that the Mass Mentoring Partnership has a full-time lobbyist at the state house to lobby to support young people, especially around relationships. Mass Mentoring support community organizations and youth development programs and hold a quarterly meeting, the next meeting is scheduled for 10/10, encourage agnecies to provide their email if they wanted to be added to that distribution list.

Melvin Malave: ROCA Holyoke

They are accepting referrals, and they work all over western MA, with new Holyoke location on High St. They are currently accepting both men and women (SPFLD). The young mothers program is based out of Springfield, 29 School Street. ROCA is working on new grant to work with Young Mothers in Holyoke. Recently had grand opening on 7/24 at High St and thanks to everyone for their support. Guys are showing up and program is doing well. They offer wrap around services, education, and transitional employment, for those involved in criminal justice system.

Ana Jaramillo: Holyoke Health Center

Informed folks they can refer folks to the Holyoke Heath Center that are in need of services. They provide services for folks with Masshealth. They have both a dental department and orthodontis department. They work with kids with behavioral health issues. They also provide services for eye care and for children needing glasses, they do except MassHealth for this service as well.

Ana spoke about Let’s Move Holyoke 5210, which helps educate the community on healthier lifestyle tips around wellness, healthy eating and physical activities, along with behavioral change program, which is all FREE.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Recovery month taking place in September and have been extremely busy. In honor of Recovery Month and Puerto Rican Culture, Hope for Holyoke and Gandara will be marching in Springfield’s Puerto Rican day Parade with a float celebrating recovery. Passed around Hope for Holyoke programming schedule for September. 9/28 is Holyoke Recovery Day. They will be hosting a Recovery March and Celebration starting at Heritage State Park, Appleton St and marching to Veterans Park, Dwight St from 12-5pm. Mayor Alex Morse will be in attendance and will offer proclamation for Recovery Day. Live music and Dance.

Veronica Garcia: WGBY

Stated they will be airing a program on 9/20 at 8pm will broadcast a special, which will be an update as to where Puerto Rico is after Hurricane Maria. Also mentioned that they are looking to host folks from the community for taping at WGBY TV for a 7:30am to 8am slot.

Old Business / New Business

          Back to School Event 8/18/18: Ed thanked everyone that assisted in the back to school event.

          J.J. Barea Event 9/7/18: Ed thanked the Basketball Hall of Fame and State Rep. Aaron Vega for bringing            J.J. Barea and Coach Carlisle to the Holyoke High School.

          Next Meeting is Thursday, October 11th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Close Meeting                                                                           2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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

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