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May 20, 2020

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date: October 10, 2019

Time:   1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place:  Holyoke Public Library

 Picture for Notes

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        

Clay Connor: Westover Job Corps Center                                            1:05pm - 1:20pm

Westover Job Corps serves Western and Greater MA and is available for students who are interested in making positive changes in their lives and offer different trade-skills along with soft-skills training for gaining employment.

Westover offers services to individuals 16-24 years old; if an individual is a veteran or have a disability; the 24 year age limit doesn’t apply. Most students come from inner cities and the program offers for them to live within the facility – dorms are separated by gender. Westover will provide meals and housing for their students. If an individual lives out of the area and cannot afford transportation to the facility, the center will pay. Westover also offers medical/dental care needs along with have a medical center within their facility.

If an individual is struggling with substance use, Westover can provide drug and alcohol counseling for students who it applies to. Offer evening studies for individuals who may work during the day. If you are a student at Job Corps they have a drivers ed instructor on property who will provide them with driving lessons and assist in getting their license. Westover is now in partnership with API, and all classrooms now have smart boards. Individuals can take college credits while attending Job Corps which the funding for these courses will be covered by Job Cops. Students will be provided with 3 meals a day during the week and 2 meals on the weekends.

There are a variety of trades offered within the facility such as: carpentry, plumbing, brick laying, welding, certified nurse’s assistance, auto mechanic, HVAC repair (coming soon), culinary, etc. When connecting a student with Job Corps, you call the number on the flyer which was passed out and you will be put in contact with a case manager within the facility. After being in contact with a case manager, you will complete medical forms, etc. and then they review the file on the individual applying. They do not discriminate. Student is contacted back with a start date and time.

The first 4 weeks students arrive at the facility they are in “My Pace” where they complete aptitude testing / exploring trades. They will then go in front of a board and the instructor will invite them into the program and go through training. They continue that training for 14-20 weeks then will complete a certification test which is paid for by Job Corp. They also offer additional trainings to further student’s educations which are paid for by job corps, such as enrolling in college classes after earning certifications which is also paid for by job corp. Job Corp also offers transition counseling where if students wanted to go into a career after completing training then they are supported in doing so. Students who have previous legal issues will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Typically individuals with felonies are not eligible for program. Uniform for job corps varies by program student is involved in.

Clay’s direct extension is 413-593-4002 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is direct email.

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

Sergio Vicente: Mass Hire Holyoke

Offices located at 850 High Street - have admission counselor from Job Corp who is there every Tuesday and Thursday. Employment opportunities available for youth who live in Mass Housing Finance Agencies (Tokeneke and Farnum). Based on their interest, can place youth in different agencies such as school, health, financial. Requirement to be 16 or older and living in specific neighborhoods of Holyoke. Have collaboration with HCC through Freight Farms (learn how to grow produce without soil) and have apprenticeships available but are also under same requirements – limited spaces (4 left and then waiting list)

Shannon Sarkesian: HCC

Offer admissions services for access to education, regardless of age. Offer transition programs. Hosting 3rd annual trunk or treat on 10/25 from 5-7:30 PM outside of fitness center.

Denise Kelly-Lachat: DA’s Office

Diversion program and looking for program for youth related to substance use.

Magda Colon: DA’s Office

Magda stated her role is community outreach and she is the co-chair of the HCAT (Hampden County Addiction Task Force). Collaborating with Baystate surrounding stigma of addiction and how it affects recovery. Holding series of Narcan training, next one in Holyoke will be November 5th at the public library from 6-7:30 PM, will be conducted bilingual. October 29th, domestic violence trainings will be held at Springfield College from 1-3 PM, please contact at 413-505-5908. Will be going to Donovan and Sullivan Schools for an adaptive class on how the court system works and offer opportunity for a tour of the courts. Youth advisory board will begin, approximately 60 kids.

Jeremy Rodriguez: Life Coach Inspired by Unity

Alternative to therapy focuses on the solution and what people really want out of life and how to fulfil their needs. Offer family coaching trying to rekindle that chemistry and also offer youth coaching to try to hold youth accountable for their actions. November 9th @ 10 AM will meet at library – free event, organization will match any donations to provide Thanksgiving meals for families. Have office in Hampton Ponds

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing

If service providers are looking for trainings in what their rights are or if they have clients who are, please contact. Looking to speak with individuals who have experienced led paint in their housing at any point or anyone who has been denied housing due to led paint.

Nathalie Vicencio: Way Finders

Located at 261 High Street in Holyoke provide housing support services and counseling in housing rights. Will connect with proper resource or attorney. 222-0048 direct line.

Stefany Garcia: HPS (Holyoke Public Schools)

Next Tuesday will be public information session for possible new schools will be held at new Enlace de Familias at 6 PM. Donahue event on 10/23 at 5 PM for kids who have been diagnosed with ASD to help further understand the laws and resources available. Donahue has moved to uniforms, looking for donations of khaki pants, blue/black shirts

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Passed out calendar for October. Western MA MORE meeting takes place every 4th Wednesday.

Christina Haramut: Hope for Holyoke

Offer volunteer recovery coaching; only requirement is to be open to having someone assist you.


Yorn Trahan: Right Choices

Currently treating Hep C and will be beginning a program in Springfield treating Sublocade, which is the injection form of suboxone.

Sarah Pennington: MSPCC Survivor Services

Currently hiring for bilingual intake coordinator – must have master’s degree in related area. Passed out schedule for Healthy Families Program which is a trauma informed program for individuals aged 3-21, covers 5 different types of trauma. Currently no wait for individual services and can assist with transportation. Holding workshop on 29th at 5 PM for caregivers and how to better provide for their children. Event will be free of charge, will have snacks and can assist with transportation. If child care is needed you must RSVP for event.

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council

Offer free program for youth aged 16-24 and currently have spaces available. Offer college readiness program for those who have high school diploma but cannot pass placement tests yet. Offer free adult education program who are trying to pass high school diploma and offer classes held in the morning, afternoon and evening. Offer English as a second language classes. Looking for volunteers to help during day time services, 2 hours minimum for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Lt. Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department

Halloween event being held on Oct 29 between 2:30-5:30 PM, looking for agencies who would like to have table at event or willing to volunteer.

Maria Flores-Lopez: Salvation Army

Working on Coats for Kids drive from 10/18 to 11/3, partnering with Holyoke Mall and Wmass news – offer donation center near Target in Holyoke mall. Clothes distribution will be November 9th. Toys for joy registration November 18, 19, and 20, times, 9am to 12pn and 1pm to 4pm, passed out flyer.

Kathy Viens: YMCA

Grand opening of new playground will be next Friday 10/18 at 4 PM. Appropriate for ages 2-12 - also have picnic tables around structures to make more family friendly.

Tiffany Marcy: Clearway Clinic

Assist with early pregnancy diagnosis for teens and young women, all services are free. Able to do limited ultrasounds, if more questions please contact.

Cynthia Espinosa: City of Holyoke Planning and Economic Development

In regards to the white and green bikes and how/why they use them to hopefully install more stations. Have 3 day passes which were passed around. Anyone who is on Mass Health or assisted by section 8 can get annual pass for $10.

Rebecca Rennick: Tapestry Health

Partnering in narcan trainings being held in Springfield or Holyoke. Also offer narcan training in offices. Offer sliding scale services but free for youth.

Alison Scott: Dial-Self

Passed out flyers for Holyoke High event, annual glisten youth conference/annual youth legislative forum (YELLOW). Invite youth to come speak to legislators who are present – Saturday November 9th

Naisha Hernandez: Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA

Looking for troop leaders, passed out flyers/information packets regarding requirements.

Olmary Rosario: YWCA

Work with youth up to age 23, please contact or take referral information.

Darryll Roberts: Holyoke Teen Parenting

Residential program for 18-21 year olds. YWCA fundraising breakfast 7:15 – 8:45 AM on November 12th, all proceeds will benefit domestic violence or sexual assault victims and services.

Angela Callahan: River Valley Counseling Center

Wellness education and support program for youth ages 8-18 will be offered at Peck/Veritas for individuals who have experienced trauma or have family who have been diagnosed with substance use or mental health disorder. Healing hearts of childhood trauma project, offering training October 25th at log cabin for $50 in ACE has a limit of 200 and spots are becoming limited.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library

Supplement and compliment any services, brochures at front desk of library which details services available. Can use library resources to study for any licensing tests. Public library cards are free.

Casey Howlett: Holyoke Public Library

Strong Box Community Services; new security at HPL and goal is to make everyone feel safe at library. Will be moving into WMass and is a tier one security company.

Paul Alves: Choice Recovery Coaching

Train and provide support services within recovery along with looking to implement peer model. Have been working with Mass Hire and have bilingual training coming up in November. If looking for recovery coaches in your agency please speak with him directly.

Andy Grant: Sociocracy For All

Format for groups to work in small circles to listen deeply to one another and make mutual decisions. Offering training at Library 11/14, have training book available for sale. Will be having catering from Fernandez at event.

Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court Presiding Justice

Continuing work towards helping individuals with substance use disorders or substance related charges. October 30th event 2- 4 PM flyer passed out – being held at war memorial, panel of community members on view of angel police which has been implemented, will speak about HCSD section 35.

Justin Chellman: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services

Opioid overdose prevention with a focus on Springfield, Holyoke and East Longmeadow.

Rafael Fields: Lighthouse Holyoke

Alternative education center for 7th – high school students. In process of getting accredited to offer diplomas to students. Combines education and community engagements, many students struggle with mental health, homelessness, or substance use.

Marissa Egerstrom: St. Paul’s Pastor

Working on community garden project with intern Justin, looking for community activists. Tonight is first service in Spanish. If you have clients who are looking for a home for their faith the church is open and non-judgmental, fully open to LGBTQ members and have LGBTQ on staff.

Cassandra Valcourt: Hope for Holyoke

Winter clothing drives being held, looking for donations. 100 Suffolk Street. Also looking for diaper donations.

Raymond Lozada: Nueva Esperanza

Holding toy drive for youth from October 15-December 31st, unwrapped gifts. Upcoming play: Not For Sale – tickets are however for sale.

Michelle Daries: DCF (Department of Children and Families)

Looking for foster care placements, please contact at (413) 452-3247

Luis Arzola: CHD Employment Specialist

In library every Thursday from 10-2 for workshops. Assist in resume building and completing applications. Also offer nurturing fathers program, work with males on how to be a nurturing fathers. 265-9950

Damon Wood: Hope for Holyoke

If anyone is in need of substance use resources please go to 100 Suffolk Street, Holyoke.

Michelle Luciano: River Valley / Wise Program

Currently working with youth at both Peck and Veritas. Looking for information for families, passed out business cards.

Luz Rolon: AmeriCorps Vista

Lawrence school is looking for donations for uniforms for students.

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project

Offer English classes in day and evening. Offer GED/HI SET prep in Spanish. Looking for bilingual volunteers who would be available 2-3 hours. November 14th comedy fundraiser will be held at culinary art center @ MGM.

Melissa Daniels: HCC

Recruiting for nurse’s aid program along with culinary. In January will begin program which is looking for women

Anna Cruz: WayFinders

Groundbreaking for library commons on October 24th from 1-3 PM

Nayrobi Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Domino tournament this Saturday at Carlos Vega Park from 12-5 in collaboration with Parks and Rec, police, and fire. Hosting 20/20 census tracking recruitment on October 22nd will be offering $18/hr. Hosting meeting and greet for the foresters, looking for people who want more trees to increase air quality on October 23rd.

Ed passed out flyers for the Mass Mentoring Program MMP Connects meeting that will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd at 10am at 100 Bigelow Street in Holyoke.

Family Fun Night at Morgan School: 10/31/19 5pm to 7pm                           2:20pm - 2:25pm

Looking for agencies to pass out information and candy

Ed passed out flyers for the upcoming FFN at Morgan School. They are looking for agencies to pass out information and candy to families during the event.

Basketball Sign-Ups                                                                                          2:25pm - 2:27pm

Ed stated he will be sending out flyers for the upcoming basketball sign-up which are listed below.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, November 14th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th Basketball Sign-ups: 10/25 & 11/1 6pm YMCA
  • 7th & 8th Grade Basketball Sign-ups: 10/21 & 10/28 6pm Kelly School
  • High School Basketball Sign-ups: 10/29 & 11/7 6pm Boys and Girls Club

Close Meeting                                                                                               2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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

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