Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   June 13, 2019

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        

Cassandra Pastorelle: Eagle Eye Institute                                 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Short activity to remember time or experience when you were outdoors or within nature which was impactful to you. Remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with, and most importantly how you felt. Asked to share experience.

Eagle Eye Institute was established in 1991 and is based mainly within Eastern Mass. Their goal is to empower urban youths (especially youths of color) to be active caretakers of our environment. They practice through hands on experiential learning programs in the outdoors to raise awareness, develop responsibility, etc. Eagle Eye has 220 acres under conservation within Berkshire Hills, which provides space for individuals to camp, hike, learn about wildlife, build teamwork skills, and build communication and leadership skills. Eagle Eye emphasizes on practices which promote mindfulness, meditation and self-reflection. They also focus on developing different levels of self, relationships, and connecting with nature. Eagle Eye Institute is available to work with individuals 8-24 years old.

Eagle Eye Institute has been in Holyoke for 3 years now and have partnered with Paulo Friere & Lighthouse Holyoke. Soon they will be expanding to partner with The Boys and Girls Club, New Esperanza, and Homework House. Eagle Eye Institute is looking to begin after school programs for Holyoke youth. Last year the Eagle Eye Institute did 4 over nights with students from the area. They are trying to engage youth in the environment locally rather than out in Berkshires, to show what this area has to offer. The Eagle Eye Institute has also worked with other environmental agencies to connect, and expand, dots which are already there. Not all environmentalists are working with individuals in urban settings, making learning on both ends for youth and environmentalists. The Eagle Eye Institute is also working with Umass, conservation commission, US Fish and Wildlife. They try to always incorporate stewardship into their programs to focus on ways to give back to the community and environment.

Currently offering a summer teen internship which will be an immersive week spent hiking, coordinating, and working with college interns. Room and board will be provided, along with transportation if needed. Eagle Eye Institute typically offers this to someone they have worked previously with, but open to new individuals as well. Ages 13-18. Eagle Eye Institute also finds it important to work with individuals even if unable to pay, so please contact to try to work something out. Groups of 12-15 individuals are typical sessions.

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

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools

Currently have open enrollments for K-8th grades along with summer school openings

Zuheily Gonzalez: Community Connection Health

Provide CNA’s or home healthcare, light housekeeping and personal care along with services for bed bugs extermination and hoarding.

Tony Simmons: Hamden County DA’s Office

Currently recruiting for 2019/2020 youth advisory board, last year they had 46 students from 23 schools. Middle school student project regarding day to day lives and social media to be continued and then presented, they present to 6-8 grades.

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House

Summer program running July 8th – September 9th for students in 2nd-4th grades, will be held on Chestnut Street and is a free program. Program will meet at library once a week along with going on field trips (Majestic Theater, Amherst College, and zoo).

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueve Esperanza

Next Saturday (6/22) from 3-9 PM hosting a festival. They still have spaces for tables - $20 per table for agencies. Applications and flyers handed out to get table for festival. Deadline is Monday for to turn in applications for tables at festival.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Keep It Clean campaign is looking for agencies to host clean up days in areas of Holyoke – you choose date and time! Currently collaborating with Holyoke youth soccer and looking pay the registration free for kids who live in Holyoke Flats from 5-6 years old. They have a new community building and have been hosting monthly meet and greets, as well as neighborhood circles.

Rachel Dowd: Holyoke Public Library

Passed out summer flyers, mural project in community room – will be working with three artists to create murals for library. Partnering with Rebecca from Tapestry for movie series and discussion.

Rebekah Rennick: Tapestry

Focus on LGBTQ competency, safer sex, healthy relationship – beginning empowerment program for young women. It will be a 10 week program and are currently having discussions surrounding ages and content (can change). Passed around flyer for discussion panel on June 17th from 6-7:30 at 21 Orlander Drive in Northampton.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

Serves 17-24 year old males who have system involvement to provide workforce ready courses, education, employment, counseling services. Holyoke location beginning to focus on young women with system involvement. Springfield ROCA location emphasizes on young mothers, as well as serving young males.

Jose Rubero: Hypnosis Solutions

Will be presenting next month at monthly meeting on technique to stop twirling thoughts, not hypnosis just a technique. If any questions please email. Does provide certain free group hypnosis sessions for sleep, anxiety, self-esteem and other issues.

Jessie Channell: MSPCC

Services individuals ages 4+ for those who experience trauma. Looking to start play therapy group for young children (4-6 years old).

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing

Non-profit law firm for individuals who experienced discrimination while looking for housing. Looking to speak with individuals who have experienced lead paint in housing past or present, and how it has affected their search or living conditions.

Allison Proctor: Hampden County Sheriff's Department

HCAT meeting July 10th from 1:00-2:30pm at Sheriff’s Department in Ludlow.

Tyrra Minto: CHD Safety Zone

Work with homeless youth that run away from home. Try to reconcile youth to their families, sometimes DCF gets involved. Work with youth over 18 to assist them toward independent living and assist with various outreach services.

Jasmin Martinez: Avada / Hearing Life Centers

Provide free hearing test for folks and information around untreated hearing loss. Mentioned that some folks overlook hearing issues, but it’s important to pay attention to them.

Kathy Veins: YMCA

Hosting 3rd-6th grade basketball program. YMCA is willing to work with families on pricing when it comes to swim lessons, etc.

Azizah Yasin: Holyoke District Court

Launching community engagement initiative for individuals who have SUD, collaborating with police department “Angel Policing” for crisis intervention prior to case going to court.

Alison Scott: AmeriCorps/Dial Self

Dial Self – currently running a 10 month program for youth development. Have few full-time employment opportunities, or opportunities for positions available for hosting an AmeriCore member

Yhidda Ocasio and Kelly Wood: YWCA

Serves young parents up to the age of 22 and helps with home visits, advocacy, and transportation. They have shelters available for teen moms who are pregnant or parenting. Also offer domestic violence services. Youth Build program – working towards earning your HiSet program along with Children who witness violence program for individuals ages 3-17.

Luis Perez: Food Bank WMASS

Help when applying for SNAP. Currently running a healthy Incentive Programs – a household of 1-2 people can get up to $40 which can be spent at HIP farmer markets to encourage individuals to eat healthy. 3-5 person household can get up to $60, and a 6 or more person household can get up to $80. Flyer passed out has list of farmers markets who accept HIP.

Katalina Melendez: PAFEC/ HCC

Hot Jobs workshop from July 9th to August 1st to learn about networking, data security and other areas. Flyer passed out has contact information along with application link for workshop.

Iohann Vega: Holyoke Media

Looking to connect with other agencies in the area. Currently does media literacy activity with public library once a week to promote media within the youth (creating a movie currently!).

Rondey Allen: Cross Point Clinical

Focuses on outpatient mental health care which is client centered & sensitive towards clients who are not religious. Continuing to educate pastors about mental health and the implications of mental health. Saturday July 13th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM will be hosting Allison Cook author of “Boundaries for your Soul” coming to do presentation on particular approach. For more information please visit www.Crosspointclinical.org

Shellie Daries: DCF

Recruiting possible families as potential fosters and looking to connect with agencies to press the growing need within foster care and adoption agencies. Passed out business cards and will bring more next month.

Claudia Lora: Better Life Homecare

Located in Springfield but services many areas in western mass (Chicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, etc.). Anyone over the age of 21 is eligible to apply for assistance (PCA, at home nursing)

Irvin Concepcion: New Heights LLC

Focuses on treatment towards mental health and substance use disorders within Holyoke. Lunch Project starting next week – will be handing out lunches to individuals in needs and also trying to provide medical along with mental health services on the street. New Heights also offers CPR and first aid certifications.

School Supply Drive (flyers)                                                             2:20pm - 2:25pm

Filling backpacks full of 18 different items for the Back to School Event on August 17th. Need to collect 2,000 of each item! Boxes are located at different agencies, businesses and stores in the community for drop off, passed out a flyer with the locations of the boxes. If agencies are able to bulk on one item (DCF doing 300 glue sticks) we welcome that. Event will be published on Masslive as well. Looking for all 2,000 backpacks to have same supplies in them. If agencies know of any high traffic areas for where a box collection would be good, please contact us. Will send out reminder via email as well. Need 200-250 volunteers for back to school event on August 17th.

Ed talked about Family Resource Guide and thanked Mass Mutual for paying for the printing of 5,500 booklets.

Karen Legace from the US Attorney’s office talked around the basketball league and working with Rafael Santos to deliver curriculum to players. They have focused on topics such as honesty, respect and friendship.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, July 11th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, June 20th @ 12pm at Valley Arena Park
  • Back to School Event: Saturday, August 17th 1pm to 5pm

Close Meeting                                                                                                2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   January 10, 2019

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        

Presentation by Molly Hoyt & Abby Mahoney: Girls on the Run        1:05pm - 1:20pm

Showed short video – Originated in 1996, running is seen as a way to stay grounded by some members, works towards achieving goals. Program is not about finishing first, but if you tried your hardest and completed. Help young females understand self-confidence. Use lessons to build life skills and establish attainable goals.

National organization which is available in every state. Social emotional based program, encourage positive friendships, empower young girls to make difference. Small lesson plans involved being educational, many lessons are based in group settings to build teamwork skills. Some girls come for running, some come for life lessons, and some come for being involved in a team based. Use life skills in school, at home, with other friendships. Parents have noted change in child, especially when surrounding symptoms of anxiety and inclusion. Group based program: teams are approx 8-15 girls. Fall season and spring season – 10 weeks long each. Practice runs approx 90 minutes. If you identify as a female in any sense you are welcomed to the group.

Holyoke – grades 3-5 (heart & soul grades 6-8) located at Kelly, Metcalf, and McMahon & Donahue. Finding volunteers is large obstacle, all coaches are volunteers and are looking for more volunteers/coaches. Do not have to be a runner! Looking for mentors, men or women, to teach young girls life lessons. Many participants use financial aid to participate in program. Always looking for new connections to local businesses that could donate or provide funding. Program costs $150/person. Practices commonly held afterschool at school, do have few community based teams.

5K – June 2nd at Springfield College, approx 3,000 participants, open to community. Celebration of girls on the run season, not competitive. Food available after 5K – food trucks. Located on Springfield College track

5K business festival: set tables up at 5K, $50 for non-profit and $200 for business to be present during 5K. Money goes towards fundraising.

Flyers passed out in English/Spanish regarding 5K and fundraising

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

Alison Scott: Dial-Self/Americore

If looking to host an Americore member or looking to take on leadership role to contact them.

Melinda Stone: Westover Job Core

Recruitment for non-residential students, passed out flyer about job core and services available: respect, resume building, job skills, earn GED/HiSet. Open Houses first 3 Thursdays of each month.

Mican Katz-Zieger: Enlace de Familia

Full family resource center, passed out flyers. Youth program geared towards LGBTQ, recruiting mainly high schools from Holyoke currently. Hosting art show June 17th at Enlace. Meet each Monday at 5.

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueva Esperanza

Looking for youth ages 8-14 to enroll in upcoming session, hold art show at end of June 22nd traditional Puerto Rican event – can apply to have table at event.

Iohann Vega: Gandara

Public access channel trying to get info out about what is happening in Holyoke. If looking to share information with public they will be sure to do so, continue working with youth in workshops to have opportunities to learn how to create media and surrounding media literacy.

Daisy Hernandez: Gandara Residential Services for Women

30 beds for women with SUD/mental health diagnosis. Almost full but no wrong door policy – no detox policy once cleared by medical staff. 507 Appleton Street.

Darryll Roberts: Holyoke Teen Parenting Program

Holyoke Teen Parenting: residential program ages 12-22, eligibility is parenting, pregnant, or reunification plan in place with DCF. Case management, housing, referrals

James Biscoe: Cleanstate

James stated that he does not have any new updates. They are an Opioid treatment program, 14 offices throughout Massachusetts.

Khalil Rodriguez: The Vanguard Movement

No new updates. Work with individuals who are/were tribal members some refer to them as gang members, mentor them and encourage positive growth along with building up one another.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Recent play, around the world in 80 Days went over very well. Promoting #Keep It Clean Campaign – passed out calendar. Going around city to clean once a month, looking to collaborate with other agencies to do clean ups. Events created on Facebook where you can sign up online and be involved. Flats Community Building is looking for new members to participate at that location, will be sending out information on upcoming family fun night.

Neil Desroches: US Attorney’s Office

Office is committed to Holyoke, will continue to work with agencies to stay invested in Holyoke. Interested in human trafficking and open to referrals for victims.

Terry Murphy: Ward 2 Councilor

Thanked Westover Job Corps. Terry mentioned there will be a meeting at Morgan school tonight 6:30-7:45 surrounding revitalizing South Holyoke both housing and economic diversity.

Argho Das: MSPCC

Workshop June 4th for parents/caregivers surrounding trauma and helpful interventions, passed out flyers

Jjarikem Borrero: Nuestra Raices

They will be hosing a plant sale on May 18th, tonight’s event 5/9 sip & paint

Brenda Nickerson: Clearway Clinic

Free confidential medical clinic for early diagnostic pregnancy testing, along with prenatal health classes and STD testing. Most clients aged 15-30, located in front of MGM. All services are free and no referrals.

Sophie Maki: Mass Fair Housing Center

Hiring part time temp. Position, bilingual with Spanish who is interested in investigating fair housing claims. If anyone has had experience with led paint in housing please reach out – passed contact cards out.

Tyra Minto: CHD Safety Zone

18-24 years old, focuses on youth homeless or runaways. Passed out brochures and contact cards

Veronica Garcia: WGBY 37

Bilingual TV show airing 7:30 tonight for premier, view episodes on website. Community event on May 25th at Big E Fair Grounds. Free event. Franklin Graham providing powerful message.

Chassity Crowell: River Valley Counseling Center

Outpatient mental health services. Provide counseling in Holyoke public schools also, along with STCC. Provides SUD services.

Azizah Yasin: Holyoke District Court Clerk Magistrate

Developing community engagement for SUD to address obstacles for individuals who are/have been involved with criminal justice system.

Flor Diaz: Valley Opportunity WIC

Working on opening WIC closet, accepting donations for kids clothing (0-5 years of age), diaper donations. Diaper & clothing drive will be occurring. Passed out flyer. Currently hiring for 3 different positions: has postings

Luis Perez: Foodbank/SNAP coordinator

Community visits to complete SNAP applications. Healthy Incentives program: anyone who has SNAP is able to go to farmers market able to buy fresh veggies and be reimbursed the next day (when participating)

Liz Plouffe/Irving Concepcion: New Heights

They provide Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment. Certified Anger Management along with batterer intervention. They can provide CPR/First Aid and AED instruction.

Deidre Murphy: MSPCC

They have been in community for 20 years. Free program for first time parents under 21. They are trying to expand age to 25. They do home visit in community and schools. Anyone can be referred. Passed around flyer for Father/Family training . They would like to have dads who have engaged in DCF.

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint

Christian counseling center. Client centered capable or serving that are not in the faith.   Specialize to fill gap and reach out to those involved in faith community and pastors.   Host pastor luncheons and education about managing issues. Variety of programs anger management respect 101. Smart step families blending families with other children. Separation between mind, body and spirit. Have wellness component. Crosspointclinical.org.

Cheryl Labrie: YMCA

Talked about their summer league for 3rd and 4th grades. Sign up will be this week.

Sarah Meier Zimbler: Holyoke Housing

Lead developer for housing affordable home ownership.   Will have meetings every 6 weeks passed out flyers. Looking to build up to 60 units in South Holyoke. Community meeting 5/28 at El Mercado.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Passed out May calendar for program. Gandara received funding/grant for a Recovery Center in Springfield. The director of Gandara ( Henry East-Trou) will be retiring this month.

Pedro Alvarez: Tapestry

Harm reduction, syringe access/disposal program. They are in community doing outreach. Tapestry is willing to go out to agencies and provide narcan training. All services are free/confidential. 10am-12pm syringe pick up in Holyoke. On Saturday, May 11th, they will be meeting at 15A Main Street. They have Hotline number for those that come across a syringe; passed around cards.

Melvin Malave: ROCA

Youth program working with those 16-24 years old. Men have to have been engaged with the Criminal Justice system. They offer CBT, mentorship, educational classes, DPW Work Crews, transitional employment services.

John Toro: BUUDDA Brothers

Wants to get connected to community.

Terry Britton: MassHire Holyoke

Working with Veterans and is stationed in Holyoke. He discussed a Human Service Forum that will be held next Wednesday, which is a good opportunity for both veternans and the business community, the event will be held at the War Memorial Building and will have resume workshops, as well as getting veterans connected to employment opportunities. Terry also mentioned the Hot Dog for Hot Jobs event that will be coming up in June.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, 6/13/19 at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Close Meeting                                                                                                      2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   March 14, 2019

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           

Ed welcomed everyone.

Holyoke Middle Schools Building Proposal (Dorrie Brooks)                             1:05pm - 1:20pm

This project has been in development for over a year with the goal to developing two new middle schools for Holyoke. Without the support of those who understand and value the impact of new educational sites and facilities, the project will not be possible. Over the years the educational system has changed from middle school model to K-8, where the change was too drastic and needed new structure to reduce population at elementary school by pulling middle schoolers out and replacing them.

The intent of the project include demolishing Peck School and constructing two new middle schools which could each hold 550 students – located at the current Peck School location and vacant lot next to Chestnut & Cabot Street. Argued two schools were necessary not only for educational purposes but also population control. Looking to open both by fall of 2022. These facilities would be the first new schools in over 30 years for Holyoke. It is important to the district to have schools where their families are located to encourage family involvement in school systems and children’s educations.

The intention of the project is to acknowledge more than the education growth, but also social/environmental/etc. factors which contribute to an adolescent’s growth. The estimated total cost for the project is $131 million dollars - cities share is 40% which is 55 million with the rest being paid for by the state. This would increase in taxes approximately $240/year per average household in Holyoke. Equity (each student would be in new middle school at same time), Cost (most effective, building sequentially would add several million dollars in inflationary cost) & Impact. Building new school can create areas which are now needed but have not been addressed in the past (young parents, special needs, etc). Break each grade level into two communities (90 students) to have “team teaching” in order to build relationships. Services are brought closer to the students rather than separate due to services required.

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

Andrew Batchelor (Mass AGO) 

There are currently grants available for summer jobs via the healthy summer youth job program. This encourages businesses to hire young adults/adolescents for the summer months. The deadline to apply for a grant is March 29th, and applications are available online.

Virginia Dillion: Homework House

Adult spelling bee being held on April 11th, looking for volunteers to help during event.

Rodney Allen: Cross Point Clinical Services

Pastor Luncheon will be held in coming weeks. Will be holding workshops on areas such as family matters along with managing technology.

Luis Perez: Food Bank of Western Mass

Support with applying for or managing food stamps. Mr. Perez is at MassHire almost weekly each Thursday 10 AM – 1 PM. There are new income guidelines for SNAP. Take applications over the phone as well.

Cheryl Labrie: YMCA

Healthy kid’s day Saturday April 27th, 12 PM – 2 PM @ Heritage Park.

Dennis Gonzalez: Hope for Holyoke

Currently collaborating with open pantry, targeting high risk populations with substance use and past incarcerations with gambling risks (March is gambling awareness month). Friday @ 1 PM will be holding meeting on gambling awareness.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Open mic event Saturday March 16th 6-10 PM and will be a sober event. Center is open Sunday during parade, buses routes will differ.

Melinda Stone/Clay Connor: Westover Job Corps

Will be brining variety of students to speak about their experiences

Emil Farjo: United Way

Offering free one on one financial coaching out of office in Springfield

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library

Updated flyers for mini golf event - free for children under 5, looking for volunteers/sponsors for some of the holes. Event is April 6th; sponsors need to have information in by Wednesday 3/20.

Denise Kelly: Disstrict Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Court

Presented on bullying, safety, threats, etc. to 6 middle schools in the Holyoke area. Will be presenting at 4 elementary schools on internet safety by the end of the month. There will be a job fair held at AIC in Springfield on April 15th.

Jennifer Gonzales: Homeless Liaison Holyoke Public Schools

Homeless advocate, passed out business cards to connect further to hopefully provide more services to those in need. Looking for 18 students who are currently homeless to engage in free workshop during spring break in April.

Rafael Santos: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

736 state street in Springfield, support. Safe Neighborhood Initive Program is a program which offers community support through sports.

Melissa Garcia: Gandara Center

Offering a parents support group on March 19th surrounding topics such as cooking matters (healthy cooking). There is currently a low waiting list for intensive care coordination.

Alejandra Torres: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Holding a family fun night on March 22nd from 5-7pm at Morgan School, looking for volunteers to participate.

Nikita Perez: Holyoke Public Schools Family outreach

Holding a state of schools meeting on March 20th from 6:30-8PM on Main street. Some main topics will be addressing dropout rates and graduation rates.

Joseph Krupczyski: UMass Amherst

Working on public art project which promotes community engagement. On March 22nd an online fundraiser will be held on behalf of the project. Creative placement project to encourage Puerto Rican/Latino cultures to contribute and thrive.

Cynthia Espinosa: Nueva Esperanza

Holding a meeting on April 9th to highlight history within the community, along with hosting a comedian/artist from Puerto Rico.

Old Business / New Business

          Next Meeting is at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

          Resource Guide in progress – new ads needed, free of cost

          Back to school event @ MacNally field on 17th

Close Meeting                                                                                                            2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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Date:   April 11, 2019

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        

Liv Anna Homstead, MSW, Special Project Coordinator, HCC       1:05pm - 1:20pm

Free Community Health Worker Courses at HCC

Liv Anna introduced herself as being the project coordinator for the Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program.  She continued to say that HCC offers training with a focus on integrating behavioral health and substance use treatment into healthcare and human service settings.  They have grant funding that is offered for community health worker classes. Massachusetts Department of Public Health has defined CHW role with 10 core competencies surrounding the CHW role. They have identified over 50 recognized job titles that fall underneath the CHW umbrella.  They are seeing more CHW integrated into coordinated care teams, and it as a growing field especially in the shifts in MassHealth. Since 2014 HCC has been rolling out CHW program. Have seen a growing interest. 

HCC has two grants which fully-fund two options for CHW training. That means that there's not cost for tuition, books, or fees for students. All classes are aligned with training requirements for State Certification for CHWs

Option 1 (funded through MassHealth grant)

Two semesters June-December

Seven college credits

1st class - CHW core competencies class held summer 2019 on Tuesdays from 4-8:30 pm in Greenfield

2nd class - Health Topics class held fall 2019 online

Eligibility: High school diploma or HISET, proof of college English or take placement test.

Option 2 (funded by HRSA)

Three consecutive semesters (one class each semester) 

Starts dates: Fall 2019, spring 2020, and fall 2020

10 college credits

1st class - CHW core competency class

2nd class - Health topics class

3rd class - practicum class and 125 placement at service provider or health centers (depends on which semester you start)

Focus is on behavioral health and substance use, classes held evenings and Saturdays at HCC, and some online

Dedicated support and job assistance

To enroll: must have High school diploma or HISET, Proof of college English or take placement test, go through CORI/SORI prior to course enrollment, Commitment to 3 course training sequence.


Can you take two to three classes at a time to finish quicker? You would have to take 1 course a semester.

Do you help CHW with job placement and do you know the pay scale? 20-25 an hour. Certain type of student no age limit. No specific requirement but need high school equivalency and ability to place into college English. Kathy Anderson stated that HMC can offer site placement for interns enrolled in CHW.

Liv Anna passed around flyers for HCC and Greenfield Community College, she passed around two separate flyers for both training pathways.

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

Sara Page: Wayfinders

Involved with working with group called the Chestnut Alliance in the Churchill neighborhood. Planning to partner on the upcoming clean-up May 4th and working on another one in early June. Supported the mini golf in library. Working on See CLICK Fix app for city departments to fix lights etc and alert sent to the right department.

Kathy Anderson: HMC
Community coordinator at Holyoke Medical Center. The hospital is doing a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The CHNA is part of the hospital’s strategic plan that evaluates the overall health of the community. It will identify recurring causes of poor health within the communities they serve, and then focus our resources to support and drive positive change with the identified barriers. Transportation, food, etc. assesses to get health. HMC also does a community dinner twice per month and Kathy tickets if anyone knows of anyone that would like to attend.

Incentive to fill out survey, participants can enter to win an Apple IWatch. The results are anonymous and will help to identify the most pressing health needs in the community. Kathy passed out flyer for the link that connects to the survey.

Jose Bou: Holyoke Public School District

4/27 math carnival event from 10am-2pm at Holyoke High School, 500 Beech Street. For parents to get involved through workshops and tools for parents with children in all grades. Two escape rooms. Slime room and 2 virtual reality headsets. There will be exercises with music and dancing. Food 500 dollars in raffles. They will have nine bus stops to pick parents and families up. Jose passed on out some flyers.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library

Sandy reported out on their Mini golf fundraiser. Over 350 families registered for event. Last year 230 tickets sold. 2 robotically animation holes through Holyoke Codes on 17 and 18 holes. Able to raise $5000 for the library.

James Biscoe: Clean Slate

Provide outpatient substance abuse therapy using both soboxone and vivitrol. Many locations across the state.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke

Kids’ week (4/15/19-4/19/19) at the Hope for Holyoke Center during school vacation week. They will be having a “Sober sip and paint” on 4/27. Open Easter Sunday for two hours.

Cheryl Labrie: YMCA

Annual healthy kids’ day on 4/27. It is a free event from 12-2 promoting family engagement.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC

Flats building open for residents as a community center. Kicking off 2k19 ‘keep it clean’ campaign on 4/27 and willing to collaborate with other agencies and families to clean-up various areas. She stated if anyone is interested in coordinating a clean-up, they will partner and have some supplies. 5/4 HSNI will be partnering with them #keepitclean.

Around the world in 80 Days’ is coming back for its fourth year. One Holyoke CDC continues to partner with MIFA Victory Theatre and Holyoke High School Performing and Media Arts Academy. The event will be on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7pm. The venue will be Peck School at 1916 Northampton St. in Holyoke. Tickets for General Admission $20 and $10 for Students with ID. www.mifafestival.org.

Jessie Channell: MSPCC

Survivor services. Looking to get some groups started with youth and or parents that have a history of trauma.

Luis Perez: Foodbank of Western Mass

Snap outreach coordinator. Goes around helping fill out applications for snap benefits for people that can’t get to DTA. Applications can be streeful and by his assisting it alevates stress and he forwards the information to DTA to get client approved. He passed out a flyer in Spanish and English.

Yajaira Pagan-Marquez: CFCE

They are funded under the Headstart umbrella. Offer programs such as how they partner with ‘learn in motion’ at the library. They work with dad and mom and look for positive male role models. Play group at Enlace de familia. Book buddy program drop off books at your door step for 8 weeks at the end of the 8 weeks, child gets a free book. Willing to partner on other events.

Raul Matta: Springfield Technical Community College (STCC)- Workforce Development 

Talked about the Workforce Development program at STCC. STCC is looking to enroll those who are chronically unemployed or underemployed in theT.R.A.I.N. program, a Work Readiness training and Advanced Manufacturing training. The goal of the program is to offer participants training on how to find, apply, and interview for a job. Then participants will receive specific training about Advanced Manufacturing (a fast growing industry that offers good paying entry level positions with opportunity for advancement) and be encouraged to do paid internships with local employers. During the Advanced Manufacturing training, participants will create fidget spinners using the Advanced Manufacturing laboratory at STCC. The engineering professors will teach participants how to use the machines and local employers will judge the final products during a final event. Our hope is that the local employers will be able to offer participants interviews the day of the final event and offer employment opportunities. Participants must be 18 years old and complete a brief intake process before the program begins. 

The Work Readiness training is from May 6, 2019 through May 24, 2019. Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 1:15 pm. Advanced Manufacturing training will follow in early June. 

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint Clinical

Crosspoint is a faithbased mental health agency. They are client centered and capable of serving those 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 do workshops out in the community. Made well workshop on Saturday. Pastor luncheon a couple of weeks ago to bring all faith together.

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

Cross Point Clinical Services (413) 732-7677 www.crosspointclinical.org

Sergio Vecente: MassHire

Thanked everyone that helped with the youth job fair that took place yesterday and thanked the Shannon partners and Holyoke Public Schools. 300 youth came through and spoke with employers. Youth obtained summer youth employment applications program ages 14-24. Additional applications can be pick-up at MassHire Holyoke.

Terry Britton: VA employment representative at Masshire

Assist veterans that served active duty for at least 180 days that need to get connected to employment goals through job readiness skills and employment. They assist veterans dealing with PTSD and refer to other partners. If you know a Veteran, please refer them to the program. Also looking to connect with employers looking to hire Vets through Department of Labor on medallion program. Human services forum 5/15 having a job fair at the War Memorial Building.

Jamie Santiago MSPCC

Mental health services for youth 6-18 in Holyoke, they are taking referrals.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

MMP is a statewide organization that provides training and support to community agencies supporting relationships, including the HSNI coaches. They do trainings around cultural responsiveness. Looking at state level for funding last year they received $750,000 in funding.   Presently, they have a bill at the Representative level proposed for 1 million and need bill to pass and asked for support from community to continue in offering support success mentoring program. 4/25 9-3:30 youth voice training at South Hadley Library.

Jonathan Alicea: Latino Counseling Center

Eight years ago when he came from Puerto Rico and worked for Gandara in Holyoke for three years. Jonathan has a past in the criminal justice system, he has bachelors in Criminal Justice and a Masters in the Mental Health field and currently has his own practice called the Latino Counseling Center.

Libertad Altreche Bey: Libertad Entertainment

Runs multimedia companies and is a native of Holyoke.

Family Fun Night at Morgan: 4/26/19                                                  2:20pm - 2:25pm

 Eddie mentioned there will be a family fun night at Morgan on Friday, April 26th and agency represented are welcome to partner with us and volunteer.

Old Business / New Business

  • Next Meeting is Thursday, May 9th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library
  • Basketball Leagues: 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th (YMCA), sign-up 5/3 and 5/10 @ 6pm
  • Basketball Leagues: 7th & 8th and High School (Boys & Girls Club) 5/23 and 5/29 @ 6pm
  • Citywide Clean Up: Saturday, May 4th, 9am to 12pm cookout to follow.
  • Back to School Event: Saturday, August 17th 1pm to 5pm

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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Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative

Meeting Notes

Date:   February 14, 2019

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        

Ed introduced himself and informed everyone he is from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department.

Shelly Lenn (The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens)     1:05pm - 1:20pm

Shelly introduced herself and gave an overview of the main philopsohy of the program. It is that grief is a normal response to any loss/change. Focuses on death of someone close. They engage ages 5-18 no limits on death of individual, no limits on where or when death occurred.

The agency is dased in Northampton, but work with wide catchment from Springfield to Greenfield.. Meet students at school and hold groups – have groups at Holyoke High School. Wednesday – Greenfield Middle School. Shelly continued to say that there is no limit on tears or tissues allowed at The Garden, processing emotion is normal and natural reactions. Some of the examples of tools used: “Tough Boris” book (Read a line, have children/clients repeat reoccurring line. Book geared towards preschoolers but used with students from pre-K to high school. Message of book is every one cries)

Other tools used: Finding common grounds – write what you are thinking/afraid of, put in middle of circle, each read random note aloud without judgement. More tools used: How can you feel safe? Talk on the phone walk walking down the street alone, wear your seatbelt and don’t drive distracted, tell you grandmother today you love her if you are worried of losing her. Worry about grades, moving on, taking things for granted, college, taking nothing for college is common occurance. Along with worries about losing other members or themselves getting sick 3rd, 4th & 5th grade – singer songwriter came in and worked with 4 kids to come up with a song of experiences in which the children had. Bright yellow paper – song written by 4 kids experiences and singer/songwriter. Spring program begins Feb 24h, 10 Sunday afternoons 2-4 PM in Northhampton for any family with children between ages 5-18 who has experienced death of someone close. Free of charge! 21st year of program. Referrals: schools, pediatricians, clinicians, word of mouth, religious settings

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

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools

Friday 15th benefit concert will be at Metcalf School from 6-8pm. Friday 28th 5-7pm at Enlace. Next week is February break and kids will be off from school.

Sophie Schouboe: The Food Bank of Wester Ma

She handed out flyers for the locations of the food banks in the area. Offering snap application assistance along with DTA.

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. They have classes for those that are pursuing citizenship. Classes run from April – June. Open enrollment for Bridge 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. Contact them at (413) 612-0206 for more information. Class is Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:30am-1ppm at VOC.

Allison Proctor: DHHS

HCAT is culmination of schoolbase coliotions for substance use to harm recovery, etc. Next meeting, March 13th 1-2:30 at Sheriffs Dept in Ludlow. Working on outreach packet of various resources in Hampden County.

Miguel Arce: Springfield Collge

Offered up students for agencies looking for interns.   Master’s student internship placement has to complete approximately 1000 hours.

Sandy Ward: Holyoke Public Library

Death Care Advocate / Mini-golf in library on April 6th: if you would like to sponsor there are spots available. Change 5 levels of library into 18 holes. $250 to sponsor hole – can have set up related to your business/cause. 1st hole and 18th hole are $500 to sponsor. (May be able to donate holes, would need to speak directly about possibilities).

Jose Rubero: Hypnosis Solutions MA

Free program for Veterans began in December – Started with 10 participants and now only has 9. Smoking cessation program for Veterans, monthly program at Veterans Center in Springfield (2 sessions). Also known as guy that rides the Paso Fino.

Jen Fernandes: United Way Pioneer Valley

THRIVE Program is a one stop finicial success center – free! Help with budgeting, credit scores, banking, pre-tax preperation, becoming more financially healthy. Does presentations and can come present. Used to have location on STCC – has moved to main office in Springfield on Main Street. A Few new coaches have begun (Neil, Walter) Thrive-on-the-go program.

Katlina Melednez: HCC

Community education project. Intakes are available over the phone or in person on Maple Street in Holyoke. Some levels do not have a wait list. Higher levels do have wait lists. Come in for orientation and placement.

Laura Banks: River Valley Counseling Center

Adolesence sexual health program manager looking for new community partners who they can teach (Spanish/English) ages 12-19. 8 hours of curriculum which can be spread out over weeks or also condensed. Services are free.

Joanne O’toole: Homework house

Tutoring from Holyoke, free! 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 tutoring services which help engagement of children. Many tutors are from Mount Holyoke, Smith college, UMASS. Some waiting lists, other no waiting lists. Have locations in the flats / Appleton street. Tutor over 100 kids per day. Spelling Bee fundraiser on April 11th (Aaron Vega MC) @ the Mill at Open Square $150 for team of 3.

Dr Elaine Campbell: River Valley Counseling Center

Main office is Beech Street, have locations in Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield, Easthampton, Hatfield and soon to be in Hadley. Partners with school departments to provide in house services for those who cannot attend services otherwise. Child prescribors (English and Spanish speaking) in all clinics, can typically see individuals within 3 months of wait lists. Grants running to help improve services, now have substance abuse license

Denise Kelly-Lachat: Hampden County DA’s office

April events – Job fair, 3x3 basketball tournament on Patriot’s Day @ AIC for youth. April 4th, distracted driving event @ basketball hall of fame – good for kids who are about to drive or getting ready to drive. Show film / guest speakers who have been in distracted driving accidents / have goggles to see effects of distorted driving. Winter Basketball Championship this Friday @ 5:30 PM.

Iohann Vega: Gandara

Development center/media outlet – provide services for youth in community (up to age 24) on education support. Work with Holyoke high school and Mt Tom academy from HCC to have event with discussion and group session with “black lives matter”. Continue spreading notion of what local media access (Radio Plasma) with creating contet which happen here in Holyoke to be able to be more engaged and open diolouge in order to reach more people and also bring awareness to events which occur within the city.

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Projcet

Education/career: offer day/evening classes for free, along with GED/PREP classes, recruiting students who would like to progress on English speaking skills. Enrolling for Spring but mostly looking for summer participants.

Naisha Hernandez, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Ma

Build relationships/bring awareness and educate.

Lt Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department

Fire safety workshops available.

Andres Villada: Holyoke Mayor’s Office

Hosted event with heart transplant recipients, no major updates yet but things will be rolling out in the next few months. Door is always open if needed

Cass Pasterelle: Ealge Eye

Work with Holyoke Students, work with urban students to bring environmental awareness and experiences. Holyoke High Dean Campus, Lighthouse Holyoke. Build relationships with youths, youth groups, faith base orginzation. 1-2 day programs, over night programs. Developing outside afterschool program to engage Holyoke students in the outdoors. Looking for group for this summer. Week long internships.

Terri Lombardo: Headstart

Service children beginning at 4 weeks old, along with pregnant women that have just given birth.

Michael Moriarity: One Holyoke CDC

Community development center: community engagement director, Izzy has moved on. Just hired Nairobi, new work developing within the flats. Kick off meeting where several dozen signed up for new community member on Canal Street. Building community advise board. Kicked off year long literacy inicitive, Holyoke a City Who Reads. Spread word of value of literacy and reading going on all year long.

Walter Rice: Pioneer Valley

THRIVE one stop success centers: build “to-go” model around pioneer valley, non-profit

Bishop Boyd: NAMI / Kenya Foreign Missions

April 2nd annual art show, Chicopee 9:30 Castle of Knights. Welcome all artists with mental illnesses, a way to advertise/sell artwork. Kenya Foreign Mission: orphan school of 302 children, raising money to be able to bring 30 kids here during the month of August. Looking to hold 2 concerts to raise money. Children affected by AIDS, no parents, little nourishment.

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint Clinical

Faith based counseling, psychotheraphy sensitive to faith. Provide other psychoeducation opportunies which integrate faith. Revelation wellness: 8 week guided, spiritual and fitness components. Online Zoom 8-9:30 (approximately). Pastors Luncheon: CS Lewis quote “We are not bodieswith a soul, but souls with a body.” free luncheon to provide educational services with perspectives of experiences mental health counselors. March 28th topic: Issues of the modern family

Deb Shaier: Holyoke boared of health

Outbreak of hepititus A among homeless, if anyone needs vaccine please contact. Facebook webpage in progress. Volunteer at Red Cross: 18+ looking for volunteers


Khalil Rodriguez: Vanguard movement

Refocus gang members towards other lifestyles, build emotional and educational development with peace treaties

Melvin Malave: ROCA Holyoke

17-24 year old men involved in the system – emotional/literacy services, etc. Young mothers program: provide transportation to/from programming, room for children for mothers to engage in programs. Young mothers do not have to have any criminal attachment, commonly have DCF involvement.


Mel Antuno: Way finders Holyoke/Springfield

Redevelopment of property, expand waiting list for those who work in agricultural fields and need housing.

Terry Murphy: Ward 2 City Councilor

If you need help with someone within the city but are not getting responses, will listen and give respect to proposals. Looking for volunteers for afterschool programs from 3:45-5:15 PM Tues/Thurs with 1st-4th graders basketball program. Park department is overseeing, contact parks department.

Old Business / New Business

Next Meeting is Thursday, March 14th 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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