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August 2022

Ed Caisse

August 11 2011

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: August 11, 2022
Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Zoom Meeting

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service 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 and Introduction: 1:00pm – 1:05pm

Sarah Greenleaf and Alicia Milch: DCR Hurban & Community Forestry 1:05pm – 1:20pm
My name is Sarah Greenleaf I am a forester with the Greening the Gateway Cities Tree Planting program and Alicia the forestry assistant. Alicia and I have been working with the program for about five years, the crews work in Holyoke, as well as Chicopee and Westfield. The program, the Greening the Gateway Cities Tree Planting began in 2014 and at that time we began to plant trees for free in Holyoke, Fall River and Chelsea were the first three cities. Since 2014, we have expanded and we currently have tree planting crews in 23 out of the 26 gateway cities. We have really increased the program, which has been really awesome.

This year we hit a goal of planting over 30,000 trees since the inception of the program. Alicia and I are here today, because are on a constant mission to continue spreading the word about our program. The goal is to increase the urban canopies, so we are planting shade trees. We really want to help cool down the environmental justice communities that we work in. Specifically we are looking to get a 5% increase in canopy cover throughout our tree planting activities. We have not yet done that, we still have some work to do but are really trying to get to that 5% increase goal. We do a lot of outreach as far post card mailing, canvassing knocking on doors and we are here to reach out to the community members and to the folks that are working with community members, if this is something you are interested in sharing.

We feel pretty excited about the program, because we are creating an increase in urban tree canopy to try to lower urban temperatures, which is really relevant right now because of the heat, it has been so incredibly hot. The cost savings come from providing additional shade residences and businesses. Therefore cooling down the buildings, really results in a cost savings, because folks won’t rely on their air conditioners as much. That is the primary goal of why the state is funding this program to plant free trees.

In order to get the free trees planted, we need residents, business owners, homeowners; we need people to say yes, I want a tree. Yes, I will water the trees, the trees are free we plant them with trained skill staff, we will site trees, right trees right place, but we need people to water the trees. Each tree needs about fifteen gallons of water for the first two years after being planted that is the only commitment we ask of people. Sarah showed three short videos from their website at We can sign up people for site visits through the website.

Displayed a planting zone for the city of Holyoke, focus on about 1,000 acre region often around the downtown area, in environmental justice neighborhoods, we are looking for the communities that need free trees the most. If you live, work in this area, you are eligible for free trees. We will talk about a couple things that homeowners come up with in terms of questions about the programs. Most of the way we get in touch of folks in having conversations about the benefits of the program. It’s common that folks say they don’t have enough space for a tree. We have in our program about 50 different species of trees that we have to choose from and that we have to offer people, so that gives us a lot of different sizes and shapes of trees. We can tailor what we offer to people characteristics that they like, if they want a certain type of foliage or berries that will attract specific wildlife. We also have a lot of shape characteristics, we have some trees that don’t spread wide, they are more of a vertical tree, and those are great trees if you want privacy in your yard or silencing traffic noise. You get all of the benefits of tree purifying the air, look nice. If you have issues of flooding, they are a great way to make your grass soggy. They can increase the value of your home; there are many benefits to having a tree planted. Will do site visits and speak to the homeowners, renters or businesses to see exactly what they are looking for. There are a lot of options, so we can pretty much find a tree that matches what people will love, which completes the circuit, because if a person loves the tree they will water it and take care of it. When trees grow into full trees, everyone will benefit, it will cool down areas, people will see savings on their energy bills.

Another we get a lot is “I just had to remove some trees on my property, why would I want another tree.” My response is that it’s really important to know that urban forestry has really changed a lot over time. Trees that were planted in the urban landscape 50 or 60 years ago are not necessarily trees that we would plant today. We have really worked on cultivating a list of trees that have attributes that are appropriate for the urban environment that are very urban tolerant that can handle our New England winters; they check a lot of boxes that are tolerant. Urban environment is a harsh landscape for trees it’s not the first choice for a lot of trees. You have intense heat spikes, you have more pollution, road salts, vandalism, there are some challenges up against urban trees and we have worked hard to select a list of trees that are really appropriate in these urban situations. In urban forestry we practice the principle of the right tree in the right place, it is not necessarily a principle that people have practiced in the past. Everyone sees large trees under power lines or a tree way to close to a building, those are all things that we take into consideration and we try to avoid for the next generation of trees in the urban landscape. There are new solutions and more appropriate trees that we can help site in your yards to create some more shade benefits. There is a big selection of trees that we like to chat with people about, because it’s fun when people find something they really like, they say I like that flowering tree or one with the berries. Those are some examples of what we chat about with folks. As we mentioned we go door to door canvassing and we really try to connect with folks and see what they are going to get out of the trees. As Alicia mentioned there are a lot of people out there that love birds and wildlife and we have a specific pallet of trees that we can choose for that. Of course its energy savings, but it’s also the other benefits of trees that we try to promote in people’s lives such as esthetics. I would love to share our website in the chat, its You can get in touch through that website. There is a selection on the website stating “Am I in the Zone”, you can put your address in and it will tell you if you are in the zone or not, if your eligible for the free tree planting program. It’s not just for Holyoke, it’s for the whole state, and you can go into It will send an email to my inbox and we can schedule a site visit. If anyone has a situation in your organization where you have a central common area, I would be happy to set you up with some outreach materials; pamphlets or literature about our program to help spread the word. If you have any questions, place them in the chat and we will answer them. We are happy to explain anything additionally.

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps.
Good afternoon everyone, Yvonne Lomax, outreach and admissions at Westover Job Corps. We are excited and happy to announce that we are receiving young people on campus and in a non res status where they can live on or off campus. We also have two positions that we are looking to fill if anyone knows anyone in a bi-lingual interest of OA/CTS Coordinator or recruiter position directly for my area, we also have two pages of employment for different areas here at Westover as well. Please feel free to reach out or go on If anyone is looking for volunteers or presentations, please feel free to reach out as well.

John McCarthy: USCIS
John McCarthy from the USCIS. I put my information into the chat in case someone needs to get in touch with us. I am the community relations officer for USCIS, citizenship and immigration services. This past week we put on a training down in Lowell at the Middlesex Community College in conjunction with the Lowell Historical National Park. Surrounding that training day, we had a number of conferences, one of them with the mayor of Lawrence, one with the mayor’s office of Boston, we met with interfaith agencies throughout the state and essentially are push is to try and reach individuals that may be eligible to apply for naturalization, but for one reason or another have not already applied. If there is any information that is desired in regards to naturalization, fee waivers or the application of the N648 the medical exemptions, please get in touch with me. That is all I have today.

Zenaida Smiley: ROCA Young Moms of Western Mass Program
Hi everybody, happy throwback Thursday. My name is Zenaida Smiley; I work for ROCA’s Young Mom Program. We have been really busy with our end of the year, graduating some girls our graduation is coming up in September. We service young ladies that are difficult to work with; we want those, the more difficult the better. Young ladies between 16 to 24, they can be DCF involved, or their children. We do relentless outreach; I am going to put my information in the chat. You guys are more than welcome to stop by, I can give you a quick tour, I have snacks in my office. We really try to reach out to young girls, they suffer from domestic violence, they have experience a lot of trauma, we have RVCC on site providing services for them and their children. It’s nice that I get to work with a young mom and I also get to work with their baby too. It’s not just about the young women, but its about that generational curse if you will that we are trying to break that cycle. I am glad to say that I was advocating for our girls, I was meeting with Mayor Sarno this morning, I am hoping a lot of good things come out of that meeting. Looking forward to collaborate with some of you, I placed my information in the chat. I am sure I left out some things, but you guys are all beautiful people, look at those smiles.

Yamaris Rivera: Holyoke Public Schools (Lawrence)
Hi everyone, my name is Yamaris Rivera, I am the Family Access Engagement Coordinator assigned to Lawrence School. I don’t have anything to announce, but thank you.

Tony Simmons: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Good afternoon everyone, Tony Simmons, Hampden District Attorney’s Office, community safety and outreach unit. Good to see everyone out there, I have nothing to report.

Thais Rivera: Trulieve
Hi everyone, I’m Thais, I don’t currently work for a non-profit, I work for Trulieve a cannabis company in the area, but I have a lot of ties to non-profits and I am trying to connect a bridge through the different programs and services in the area to make sure I am connected.

Sintique Carrillo and Juan Martinez Munoz: El Centro at Holyoke Community College
Fairly new, senior community outreach counselor at El Centro/HCC, new program that serves Hispanic and Latinex adult students, provide wrap around services and academic support and pretty much a Hub for Latino students on campus. Introduced Juan, he explained he is also a senior community outreach counselor at El Centro. Provide wrap around services to any student that identifies as Latinex on campus. Regardless of any other identity a person may have such as gender, class, what have you, we provide students to Latinex students, assisting them to get into the school and provide service that are necessary to get them through the courses they are in and get the connected to post HCC plans. If you know any HCC students that are interested in enrolling, please refer them to us, information in the chat. Sintique finished off saying that they are looking for way to connect with the community to be able to better support their students.

Shannon Burke: Holyoke Pediatrics
Nothing to report today.

Sarah Lynn: MSPCC Prevention
Intake and outreach coordinator for MSPC Prevention. We have the Healthy Families Program and the Parents as Teachers Program; we do have immediate openings in both. Have a great day everyone.

Sarah Biette: Tapestry Health
New sexual health and outreach coordinator. A little about Tapestry, we are a community based organization that provides sexual health services, harm reduction services at our syringe access program, and food and nutrition support for families with children under 5. We serve all four counties of Western Mass; Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and the Berkshires. I personally am working with our outreach community, I will be providing education to groups of youth all ages, but will be focusing on 18-24. If you have young people that you want to have sexual education with, I do presentations on consent, relationship health, barrier methods, contraceptives, STI’s, safer sexting and anything else you can think of, thanks so much, looking forward to working with you all.

Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass
We are an independent non-profit and we are just about to release our report of the funeral home prices. We will have a chart and table that will be posted on our website hopefully in the next week. We encourage people to shop around, because you can save thousands of dollars depending on which company you use and which services. We are available for speaking, I gave a talk yesterday and I will be scheduled for one of the local libraries in September, if you have a group that will like information in this area. Like we say talking about death won’t make you dead, thanks.

Ruth Ayala: Valley Opportunity Council
I am a resident service coordinator at Valley Opportunity Council, I don’t have much to say, but I want to mention that we are now able to service Springfield. If you know anyone in Springfield that wants to apply for assistance, this year they can apply at the Valley Opportunity Council in Holyoke or Chicopee.

Roxane Cotton: Mount Marie
I am new to the group; I am the admissions director at Mount Marie in Holyoke. We are a skilled nursing facility, Mount Marie has been around for quite a while, we are looking more at doing more for the families and children of Holyoke. I can reach out and let you know our plans and see if we can work together on them.

Rob Crawford: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
I am the youth prevention program coordinator. What I do is work within the communities of Holyoke, Chicopee and Springfield. Work to bolster capacity, assisting and implementing programing to assist with youth substance prevention. I have nothing to report, but for all the community organizations, agencies and municipal workers thank you so much for your time and effort; I have been extremely motivated by these networking meetings, I look forward to working with everyone soon in opportunities and capacities.

Nayroby Rosa: One Holyoke
I am the director of community engagement and residents services. A couple things that I want to share, first we have teamed up with Valley Bike, we are offering tenants access to one year passes only for $10 and tax. To be eligible for it, tenants can call us; there is a limited number of participants in this program, that is something that we are currently offering. As always, our clean-up campaign is still happening, not sure if you guys have seen a lot of work the mayor has been doing in Holyoke. He is trying and push for better areas in different parts of the city both with landlords and residents, really pushing for clean-ups. I am still available to host clean-ups with any organizations that want to partner up. We will be doing our clean-up the fourth Saturday in August, anyone can come with us and help clean-up. Also that day of the clean-up, we will be doing a Community Walk 5k that will be going downtown through the canal. There will be water stations sponsored by different organizations, if anyone is interested in participating, you can reach out, I will put my contact information in the chat. That same day we will offer a tour of our Flats community building that will pass through the walk, and we will be hosting our parent group that we do with UMass. We continue our efforts with our vaccine clinics at Key Foods Supermarket, we continue to have the space their rented until December, I offer that to any organizations that are interested in doing outreach there. If you want to reach out to me, if you want to spend a couple hours at Key Foods, we can utilize that space, as long as the supermarket is open. OneHolyoke is not set up there the entire time they are open, so there is plenty of time for other agencies to use that space as well. Looking forward to the Back to School event, getting free haircuts to the kids, I am the area leader in the haircut tent, folks can sign up to volunteer and help out as well. Thanks Ed.

Nashalli Pagan: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
I am an intern at the Hampden DA’s Office with the Community Safety and Outreach Unit, noting to report, happy to be here.

Michelle Daries: Department of Children and Families
Hi everyone, Shelly Daries for the Department of Children and Families, I am a foster care and adoption recruiter for the Holyoke area. We are out at all the community events, we had a great four day event at the Fiesta Patronales over the last weekend, it was awesome, loved to see everyone there, we had a lot of interest; people asking us questions about our foster care system and what the requirements are. I put my information in the chat, if anyone knows anyone that wants to do foster care; we are always looking to add foster and adoptive parents to our ranks. I hope everybody has a great day.

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Hi everybody, Marissa Chiapperino registered dietician at the Holyoke Medical Center and the community navigation. In September we will be hosting a live diabetes series for free. I have flyers available for that if anyone would like it, it’s a three part series open to anyone with diabetes or anyone who cares for somebody with it, or just wants more. We continue to have a presence with Let’s Move Hampden County 5210 at the Holyoke Farmers Market, educating participants on how to use their Snap benefits and the Healthy Incentives Program to help support farmers and to increase access to healthy fruits and vegetables, as well as increasing awareness of the farmers market itself, thank you.

Lisa Wray Schechterle: Holyoke Medical Center
Thanks for having me; I work for the Holyoke Medical Center, in community benefits. I often partner with Marissa. I work in collaboration with many community organizations, to address health needs that present in the community.

Leydiani Frias: River Valley Counseling Center
Hi everyone, my name is Leydiani Frias and I am a sexual health educator at River Valley, starting this new academic year I will be teaching six to eight week sexual health based curriculum courses. They can go about eight weeks or one work workshops. We are predominantly in Springfield and Holyoke but are open to traveling. I don’t have anything to report, but I will leave my email down below if you have any questions, thank you.

Laura Soderbaum: Holyoke Housing Authority
How is everybody doing? I don’t really have anything to report, but I will soon, because we are going to have a first time homebuyer’s class in English and Spanish coming up in September and October. As soon as I find out the exact dates, I will let everybody know. Thank you.

Krystyna Boisjolie: RFK Community Alliance
Hi everyone, I am Krystyna Boisjolie and I am with RFK Community Alliance, I oversee our community based services. I am here with Keva who oversees the young adult supported living program and I here with Bianca as well who oversee the mentoring program. A couple quick updates; One is the last time I attended here we were applying for a grant to grow our CSect Mentoring Community Outreach Program, we got it. We officially hired a full time mentor, so we are actively taking referrals mostly for the Western Mass area, but we are willing to travel, it depends just on how far. I am happy to send over a referral form and fax sheet over to you Ed, so you can send out to everyone on this call that would be helpful. In addition, in terms of hiring, we are definitely hiring for many positions on our website at One in particular position is with the YSL program, which Keva oversees for a full-time case manager, working with youth in independent living apartments, DCF funded, it’s a great opportunity and we are hoping to hire someone for that. Also hiring for a DDAP Advocate, not locally, it’s out in Suffolk County, but if folks know of other folks in that area like the Dorchester or Chelsea area and want to share the information if they have another counterpart that works for your agency in that area that would be great as well. Those are just a few of our updates.

Kimberly Maende: Public Health Institute of Western Mass
Hi there, this is Kimberly; I am from the Public Health Institute of Western Mass. I am here to represent 413Cares, which is one of the projects that I am working on, nothing relatively new to report, just encouraging all of the organizations here to please claim your programs on 413Cares. If you are interested in a presentation, please get in contact with me, I can help schedule that or if you are interested in having informational material, please get in contact with me. For Springfield Health Homes, which is a collaborative of different people in housing coming together to address health issues, we have life prevention podcasts that are available to listen to, I will put that information in the chat, thanks Ed.

Kevin Spivey: Enlace De Familia
Good afternoon and greetings to one and all. My name is Kevin Spivey and I here at the Holyoke FRC, we are known as Enlace De Familia. I am a family resources specialist here, we do our best to help people where they are at and connect with them with the needs that they have. We also provide programming, such as the Nurturing Fathers, Nurturing Mother’s Journey, MA and PA’s Program, we also have our House of Colors to address the needs of those in the LGBTQ community. We also offer Yoga once per week, for free, Tuesdays mornings, right here with a professional to walk you through the beginning Yoga stages. We also offer programs around planting within an inner-city apartment and how to garden with limited space. Just to name some of the programs we offer, as well as every Friday throughout this summer, we are continuing to the end of this month to hand out free produce and information about area programming from 12noon until we run out, free of charge, as we are connected to our community. Which is another thing, we have community connections in our building and they are participating in the Summer Nights program every Tuesday and Thursday at Springfield Park. I think I said a mouth full, thank you very much for your time, have a great day.

Kelly Wood: YWCA
Hi everyone, my name is Kelly, I am with the Young Parents Pro Program at the YWCA. We service pregnant and parenting youth up to the age of 23 in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee and all surrounding towns. We do in-home outreach services with the families, we meet them where they are at. They don’t necessarily have to have custody of their children; children can be in foster care, as long as they are working on reunification. Right now we have openings for all towns, please send referrals our way, I will place my information in the chat. Thank you.

Kate Murdock: Committee for Public Counsel Services
Hi, Kate Murdock, I’m from the Public Defender’s Office here in Holyoke. I did want to share some information today; we are going to have an information session on September 8th for people that might be eligible to get back fees and fines, if they had one of those cases that was overturned, due to drug lab misconduct. You may all remember there was about 37,000 cases across the state, due to a couple of different drug lab scandals were all overturned convictions, people are eligible to get back money for fees and fines, it’s probably not going to be like thousands and thousands of dollars, but it certainly could be an amount that can make a difference in someone’s life. Everyone is eligible for this class-action lawsuit to be able to get that money if they have a conviction that has been overturned, which is actually quite a lot of people. So, we are having an informational session about that, I will place the information in the chat, but it’s at our office here in Holyoke on the 4th floor in the DTA building at 3:30 on September 8th. I want to encourage everyone to come and people should be getting the information if their addresses are good, there will be mailings in the mail, although we know it not the best way to attract people. Thank you.

Karen Legace: US Attorney’s Office
Hello everyone, I am Karen Legace from the US Attorney’s Office and yesterday Ed sent around an email from one of our outreach specialists in our office, it’s called End Hate Now. As we have all seen on the news recently there have been a lot of Mass Shootings that started with incidents of hate, based on violent extremism. So, our US Attorney Rachel Rollins set up a hot line that is dedicated to report hate based incidents. Not all hate based incidents are considered state or federal crimes, however, when you see on the news sometimes local law enforcement or the FBI hasn’t seen anything about the particular person that have committed a hate based, even if it’s a hateful view. Hotline is in English, Spanish, Cantonese and French, she would like you to report is you see anything that should be made known to law enforcement. They can take that information, even if it doesn’t arise to a level of a crime, they can be aware of that person and have information should they commit a crime. I will place the information in the chat, but Ed did forward an email about it yesterday.

Julio Torres: Mass Fair Housing Center
Hello everyone, Julio Torres from Mass Fair Housing, we are currently hiring a new executive director, so if you or anybody you know is interested, I am going to place the information in the chat for the posting. Thank you.

Julia Popkin: Attorney at Community Legal Aid in Springfield Mass
Hi everyone, my name is Julia Popkin, I’m an attorney at Community Legal Aid. I am glad to be here, we don’t have any updates from Community Legal Aid, but just as a refresher for everyone, we are a civil legal services provider for all central and western Massachusetts, so we serve all of Hampden County, Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Counties. We cover a wide range of legal issues including; housing, family law, custody, divorce, we have an education unit, we have an immigration unit, we help people with public benefits, disability benefits, I am sure I’m missing something, but we have gone back to live screening. On our website, which I can put in the chat, you can find out hours to call and get in a phone skew to speak to a screener, or you are welcome to walk into one of our main offices and fill out an application for legal assistance. We are open in person to the public Monday – Friday 9 to 5pm. Thanks so much.

Juan Anderson-Burgos:
Hi everyone, thank you all for being here, my name is Juan Anderson-Burgos; I am the legislative aid to Patricia Duffy. Our office handles just about anything and everything. If we don’t handle it, I will get you to the right people. I will tell you what I have become a master at, if you know anyone in Holyoke that is having issues with unemployment, even if there not from Holyoke, I will still get you the help that you need. I have bonded with the unemployment office; we work very well together to get you the results that you deserve. Have a great day everyone, thank you all for being here.

Joanne Gilman: MSPCC
Hi, Joanne Gilman from MSPCC Elliot CHS. We have services for in-home therapy and the TT&S partners that work with them, therapeutic mentors and outpatient. This is mainly for children who need more intensive services that are much more serious kinds of behavioral issues. The difference between in-home therapy and outpatient is that outpatient usually meets for less than an hour once per week and in-home therapy we meet for several hours, several times a week with our families. We are also looking to hire people; we are looking for a new supervisor and TT&S in particular and bi-lingual if at all possible. I left my name and number in the chat, my number is (413) 532-9446 for referrals or they can be done on-line.

Jeffrey Hayden: Holyoke Community College
Good afternoon, thanks Ed, I hope everyone is having a great day. Jeff Hayden, Vice President of business and community services at Holyoke Community College. We have a number of free training courses; I will place a link in the chat. On the workforce side, things like nursing assistant, medical assistant, EMT, manufacturing, culinary, hotels, etc. In addition to that, we offer a number of adult education services, I’ll put a link in for that as well. Adlyn had asked me to highlight the fact that we have GED and Hi-Set classes starting and we also have some ESOL classes starting at the Adult and Family Education Center downtown. Thanks Everyone.

Jac Essing: Dial Self AmeriCorps Program
Thanks Ed, good to be with you all. I’m Jac Essing, I use the pronouns she/they, I am with the Dial Self AmeriCorps Program. The update that I have for you is that in one week we start our orientation for one of our AmeriCorps programs. They are going to be serving in Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin County; you will see them at Enlace De Families, Opportunity Academy and Lighthouse Holyoke. We are really excited to have them back into the community, so if you run into any of them, please give them a big old generous thank you. We are still recruiting for positions in Springfield and Franklin County for that AmeriCorps co-hort. We are also still recruiting for members for the restorative relationships that start in September; we are recruiting for positions in Holyoke, Easthampton and Amherst, where they will be supporting students through restorative practices. I will place my information in the chat.

Isaiah Delmoral: CRV YouthBuild
Good afternoon Ed, good afternoon everyone. My name is Isaiah; I serve as the director of New North’s YouthBuild Program in the city of Springfield. We are getting ready to graduate our first co-hort, October 6th and we are looking to bring in a new co-hort for the end of October as well. We serve young people 16 to 24 who are at-risk or proven risk in our program, they can finish their high school equivalent and gain a trade in construction or certificated nursing assistant. Feel free to give me a call (413) 455-2132, it’s also in the chat, we are having open houses every Friday, I am looking forward to continue to working with all of you from Holyoke.

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America/Western Mass Council
Hello everyone, my name is Iris Sosa; I am an outreach specialist for the Boys Scouts of America Western Mass Council. We are always looking for organizations that want to partner with us, that want to be part of the program or if anyone wants to be a leader of the kids or knows some kids that want to participate in the program, just reach out to me and we can work with that, thank you

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke
Good afternoon everyone, my name is James; we have two main focuses here at Hope for Holyoke for the rest of the month and for September. Wednesday, August 31st is overdose awareness day, as I said last time. We are working with Tapestry and Holyoke Health Center and many other agencies as well; we are going to be looking to extend that invitation to anyone else that would like to join us as always. I plan is to light up the city of Holyoke with purple lights; we want businesses, homeowners, and community partners to put purple lights in their windows. Our overdose awareness vigil event will be at Veterans Park from 2pm to 5pm, we will have speakers, remembrance flags, lights to hand out, resource tables. We also ask if you do put up lights in your windows, that you share your photos on our social media pages with the hashtag of HODA2022. Finally, September is recovery month as I said, we are gearing up for all of the recovery events all across the state, with that said, Hope for Holyoke will be hosting its annual recovery day celebration on Friday, September 16th from 1pm to 4pm. We begin with a recovery march from Heritage State Park on Appleton Street to Veterans Park via High Street and city hall. The march is going to be from 12noon to 1pm. If you or your agency would like to take part in either the overdose awareness vigil or the recovery day event, please feel free to contact us at (413) 561-1020 or email me,, thank you very much.

Greg Graustein: Recovery Connection Centers
Hi, Greg Graustein, Recovery Connection Centers and we are small based outpatient suboxone, sublocade vivitrol program. We are located at 281 Cottage Street in Springfield; we have 16 other facilities located in the state of Massachusetts. We take all insurances; Lilly Rodriguez our manager is also fluent in Spanish, so we are able to provide that support to an underserved population in the area. We will be happy to connect with any of you as the opioid epidemic that rages throughout all the people that are part of this connection. I love this connection, because it connects to us all and I would like to reach out, so please contact me, my contact information, name and address is in the chat, I would be happy to help out.

Gina Anselmo: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Good afternoon everybody, my name is Gina Anselmo from the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, I work in community safety and outreach unit. I wanted to talk briefly about our Youth Advisory Board Program, we start in October, kind of in a nut shell, it’s a program that has a group of around 50 high school students. The students come from high school across Hampden County; they meet with us and talk about some of the issues they see in their schools and communities. They work on projects to address those issues, they also do a lot of other things in the community, like talking to elementary students about being safe on line and getting those public speaking skills. It’s really a great opportunity for young people, if you want to learn more about the program or if you know of any students that might be interested in at least learning more, you can shoot me an email. Another thing I wanted to share is an event that is taking place on August 16th @ 6pm; it’s called Preventing Accidental Poisoning, which was put together by the Hampden County Addition Task Force. It’s an event essentially to bring education and awareness to the right now of counterfeit pills and fentanyl and easy access on-line to drugs. We are going to include some high school students from the Youth Advisory Board to talk about what they see on social media, I can share a flyer in the chat that has more information about it. I believe my email is also on the flyer and I will share in case you have any questions about the Youth Advisory Board or this event, feel free to shoot me an email.

Flor Diaz: Valley Opportunity Council WIC Program
Hi, good afternoon everyone, my name is Flor Diaz, I am the community coordinators from the Valley Opportunity Council WIC Program for Holyoke and Chicopee. I haven’t been here in a little while; unfortunately I have my staff meeting at the same day and the same time. I just want to say that our WIC offices in Holyoke, Chicopee and Westfield are open for participants, we are doing some in person appointments, some are still over the phone. We are having an event on Friday, August 19th, which is going to be a clothing giveaway for kids and maternity clothes. It will be gently used kids and maternity clothes; it’s going to be held at the Holyoke WIC Office, 300 High Street. I will share the flyer with Ed and he can share it with you guys, for some reason I can’t do it here. Another things is that the diaper bank is open in the Chicopee WIC office, every Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm, if you have any families in need, send them to the WIC office in Chicopee, they don’t need a referral or anything, they can just show up and get a pack of free diapers. That is all I have for now, thank you everyone.

Luis Aponte-Ortega: PPLC
Good afternoon, my name is Luis Aponte CHW from PPLC on West Mass and I have nothing to report.

Elizabeth Veillette: CHD
Hi everyone, I am Elizabeth Veilette, Ed, thank you for saying my name correctly, no one ever gets it right. I am the new employment specialist / navigator at CHD’s Shelter System. We have approximately 200 families in Springfield, Holyoke and one shelter in Amherst. My primary role is helping people attain and succeed in education and employment, as a navigator, I am also responsible for overall wellbeing and to that end, I am actively looking to build relationships with agencies and organizations in the area. I will put my contact information in the chat and I would love to hear from anyone who works with families, youth or with moms and would be interested in aligning with us, thank you so much.

Danielle Hartner: CHD
Hi everyone, I’m from CHD, I work with Elizabeth in the Diversion Shelter Continuum Programs at CHD. We are a closed referral from DHCD, but I am thrilled to be here for the first time, thanks for having us Ed. I did want to announce we are having an influx, extra folks that are immigrants, I was glad to hear from John McCarthy, we will be reaching out and try to collect some more resources, folks are coming in with absolutely nothing. Thanks so much everyone, good to meet you all.

Cheryl Livingood: Holyoke Public Library
Here at the library we just finished our children’s summer reading program, but there is still an adult summer reading program until the 19th with raffle tickets and prizes, that can be done on-line, as well as in person. If anyone still wants to get in on the raffles and the reading, there is a card on-line to fill out your hours of reading; you are certainly welcome to do that.

Chelsee Escobar: Gandara Center
Hi, my name is Chelsee Escobar and I am the employment education specialist here at the Impact Center. We serve young adults ages 16 to 26 and our hours of operation or 10am to 5pm. We will be changing in September on Wednesdays 10am to 7pm and Fridays 10am to 3pm. We currently have amenities such as a washer and dryer; we provide the detergent, snacks and food. We do have two events coming up at the end of the month, on the 24th we do have a Back to School Event, we are supplying school supplies for youth and on the 29th we have free haircuts for back to school, thank you.

Ashley Jediny: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Hi everyone, Ashley Jediny Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, I am the program coordinator for our Rapid Response and Connection Team and I also coordinate the Hampden County Addiction Taskforce with the District Attorney’s Office. As Gina mentioned, there is a Preventing Accidental Poisoning event on the 16th, so if anyone would like any more information, please feel free to reach out, my information is in the chat. Thanks Ed.

Ana Gerena: Girls Inc. of the Valley
Hello, good afternoon everyone, my name is Ana Gerena; I’m with Girls Inc. of the Valley. I’m in a new position that was created within the organization called Special Projects and Volunteerism Manager. A piece of my job is doing community outreach and partnerships, I’m hearing some great things, I’m hopeful that we will be able to collaborate in the future. Currently Girls Inc. is wrapping up our summer programs and gearing up for our fall programs. If you are unfamiliar with Girls Inc. of the Valley, we serve youth 5 all the way up to 18, within the school systems of Holyoke, Chicopee and Springfield, as well as at our Teen Center that is located in Holyoke. We also are moving into a brand new building, hopefully within the next year, located at 480 Hampden Street, so we are very excited about that. We also have some job openings; we are hiring for program facilitators during the school year, as well as a youth social worker. For program facilitators, it’s a great job for post high school or any adult that is looking for supplemental income; we do have full-time and part-time positions available as well. I going to put my information again in the chat as well as a link to our employment opportunities. I look forward to collaborating with you all, thank you.

Abby Germaine: Western Mass Moms Program
Hi everybody, my names Abby, thanks Ed; I love this meeting, great to be here to hear of all the wonderful things in the community. I represent the Western Mass Mom’s Program, we are a fairly new program, we are actually part of a research study that is being conducted around us, funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration. What we do is provide services to mothers and other caregivers, who are experiencing some stress, anxiety or even some depression. We provide an 8-week stress management course, which is really a chance for participants to interact and engage with others that may be experiences similar challenges and also to feel safe, supported and heard. In addition to that, we also offer employment services, which is super cool too, we are able to connect participants to resources, if they want to get a job, or get a better job or go back to school and earn a degree or certificate, whatever their personal goals might be, we can help them navigate the stress around that and also connect them to resources. We have been able to a lot of folks through this meeting and within the community that have services that help our participants. Since launching in April, we have actually enrolled 70 participants and we have been able to help them with their personal goals, for that I thank you. Just wanted to not that our program is designed to have little to no wait time, so if you know anyone, we are looking for people who identify as a women or non-binary 18 or older, who care for one child or who may be pregnant at this time, who might be interested in our services. Again, little to no wait time, with potential to receive the stress management class right away, but lastly because we are a research study this means there is a 50/50 chance that a participant will have access to our services. There is a lot more to it, I would love to meet with you all individually, if I haven’t already, welcome to those that are new and welcome to those that have been here, but again I look forward to reaching out to each and every one of you and learning more about your programs as well. Stay safe and have a good day, thanks Eddie.

Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Good afternoon everybody, Rondey Allen, I’m the executive director of CrossPoint Clinical Services. CrossPoint specializes in outpatient mental health and wellness services, especially to the Christian faith based community, but we do serve anyone. We have a very professional, client centered licensed staff. I wanted to highlight a couple of the wellness offerings coming up in the fall. We have a group that is going on for adolescent girls 14 to 17, being put on by our wellness staff called Self-care Isn’t Selfish. It’s going to teach basic principles about nutrition and fitness, going to be led by our personal trainers; I’m going to put a link to that in the chat. We also have a class called Revelation Wellness, which is kind of a Christian faith based health and fitness program that kind of talks about self-image, kind of reclaiming self-image, moving the drive for fitness away from vanity to caring for your temple and embracing the image that you have been given and loving yourself as you are. That’s a couple wellness offerings; I’m going to put a link for that to our events page. Like I said, we also do outpatient mental health services and accept pretty much all insurances and we have immediate openings for people that are in need of a therapist, both virtual and in-person, so reach out for that. I am really happy to be part of the Safe Neighborhood Initiative and I have been serving with Ed for a few years in a few capacities, helping with the basketball league and the back to school event and we recently launched something called the Holyoke Hub. It’s a model that was taken from Canada, kind of community intervention, kind of rapid assessment and intervention; we meet every Tuesday for what is called a Hub Situation Table, where anybody from the community can present a situation of someone at Acutely Elevated Risk (AER), then the providers who attend assess the situation together and make referrals for services and then follow up the next week about the implementation of those services. A great honor to serve, we are partnering with the Holyoke Public Schools; they will be bringing forward situations as they return to school. In the meantime, we have been able to intervene on situations that are pretty severe, people that are really at risk in the community and we have been able immediately get them channeled into services and to collaborate with each other on how to best serve these people in the community. I am saying this as a fellow service provider that if you have the opportunity to participate in that meeting, it really is worth your while. Obviously there are referrals that happen, but beyond that, we really get to serve some acute needs in the community, so, I’m hoping you can take advantage of that. Thank you everybody, have a great afternoon.

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
I just have a couple updates. We are finishing up our basketball season, our championship is tomorrow, it’s going to be outdoors. I know a couple people on the call, certainly Rondey and Karen who help us drive the league, but Abbie has been out, Marissa has been out sharing with the youth. On Friday nights, we have a 3rd & 4th and 5th & 6th grade “You Can Be Anything You Want to Be” career exploration curriculum, every Friday different agencies come out to speak and the engagement with the youth and families has been good. As our basketball league is winding down, the championship is going to be tomorrow from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, agencies are welcome to come out and watch the youth play. We will be having a cookout, if any agencies is interested in bringing a table and chairs and set up to pass out information to youth and families, you are welcome. We are always looking for good volunteers to assist us in driving the league. In fact, most of our volunteers come from the various agencies that are part of these networking meetings. As these season ends and we begin to prepare for our fall to winter league, we will love to see more volunteers both men and women that can come out and invest in the lives of the youth. If you are not a basketball person, we only use basketball as a hook to get into the youth and families. It’s an opportunity to model good behavior, educate, teach and mentor; it’s really a good experience.

Regarding the Back to School Event, we were going to close the registration yesterday, but we decided to keep it open until Friday. We are still in need of about 20 volunteers, if you know anything about the Back to School Event is going to be next Saturday, August 20th from 11am to 3pm at McNally Field, behind Kelly School. We are asking volunteers to check-in at 10am to get their T-shirts and food cards, if you are interested in volunteering; I just place the link in the chat. We still need a couple volunteers for a couple areas and we could always use additional spares.

We excited about moving forward and continuing to get connected to youth and families in Holyoke. We appreciate all of you attending the networking meeting, allowing us to one get to know you better and two to hear about the resources your agency has for youth and families in Holyoke. Thank you so much, have a great rest of the week, see you all soon.

Chat Notes:
Karen Legace
Karen Legace, Project Safe Childhood Program Specialist, United States Attorney's Office,

Julia Popkin- Community Legal Aid

Tony Simmons
Tony Simmons - 413 505-5913 Hampden District Attorney's Office - Community Safety & Outreach
Greg Graustein
Greg Graustein, Recovery Connection Center, out patient MAT

Krystyna Boisjolie
Krystyna Boisjolie, Keva Noel, Bianca Frederick from RFK Alliance

Sarah Biette
Sarah Biette - Tapestry Health

Jeffrey Hayden
Jeff Hayden, Holyoke Community College - Adult Education; 413-552-2587
Go El Centro!

Sarah Lynn
Sarah Lynn, MSPCC Prevention

Doris SSA Intern {Springfield)
Doris Intern at YAD {Springfield}

Kaitlyn DeBlois
Kaitlyn DeBlois, Community Relations Liaison with CleanSlate

Thais Rivera
Thais Rivera, Cultivation Admin from

Sintique Carrillo
Sintique Carrillo - El Centro at Holyoke Community College

HFH - James Maloney
Hello everyone! James Maloney Peer Resource Specialist, Hope for Holyoke

Marcus Quiles
Marcus Quiles Outreach Westover Job Corps

Abbie Germain
Abbie Germain~Western Mass MOMS~ 413-561-7413 MOMS@viability.or Contact me today to hear more about the MOMS Project and the study! We're ready to enroll up to 1,000 participant's over the next 2 years!yearsyears.years/ Thank you.
Can't wait for the Back to School Event!!!

Hilda Rivera
Hilda Rivera Shine Young adult Program at Gandara triage line 413-316-4979 for infomation or an assessment

Michelle Daries
Shellie Daries- DCF Foster Care and Adoption Recruiter email:

Ashley Jediny
Ashley Jediny, Hampden County Sheriff's Department, Program Coordinator Rapid Response and Connection Team/Hampden County Addiction Taskforce, 413-278-5561,
Hello everyone!Rob CrawfordSpringfield DHHSYouth Substance Prevention413.787.6718

Danielle Hartner
Danielle Hartner- CHD Diversion Shelter Programs- good afternoon everyone
Danielle Hartner- Clinical Director, CHD Diversion Shelter Programs- 413-374-2098

Vanessa Bernecer
Vanessa Bernecer - Director of Community Health Services at Commonwealth Care Alliance (413) 262-3311

Lisa Wray Schechterle
Lisa Schechterle, Holyoke Medical Center - Community Benefit

Kelly Wood
Kelly Wood Young Parent Support Program/YWCA 413-732-3121
Kelly Wood Young Parent Support Program 413-732-3121

Nashali Pagan
Nashali Pagan, Intern at Hampden DA, Community Safety and Outreach,

Flor Diaz
Flor Diaz Holyoke/Chicopee VOC/WIC (413)612-0214

Cheryl Livengood
Sorry, I am at a front-facing staff computer so not able to do a camera!

Rondey Allen
Rondey Allen- Executive Director of CrossPoint Clinical Services
to make a referral to CrossPoint you can use the patient referral form
The Hub situation table takes place on Tuesdays at 1 for hour or less

Juan Anderson-Burgos (Rep. Duffy)
Juan Anderson-Burgos-Legislative Aide to Representative Duffy (413-529-4307)

Jac Essing; DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps; she/they
Jac Essing (she/they); DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program;
Highly recommend that yoga class!
Jac Essing (she/they); DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program; - about to start one of our programs serving in youth organizations and schools, still recruiting for positions in Springfield and in Franklin County. Also recruiting members for our Restorative Relationships Program starting Sept 8 - positions in Holyoke, Easthampton, and Amherst. Both positions are 10 months and stipends, educational awards, free health care and childcare. Learn more info here: or by calling/texting me at 515-570-5994
Thanks yall!

Shannon Burke
Shannon from Holyoke Pediatrics here. Sorry I do not have audio or video today. Medical Home Care Coordination
Shannon from Holyoke Pediatrics. good afternoon. I have nothing new to add today. Sorry I have no audio or video today.
thank you

Probation Officer Marian Vazquez
Probation Officer Marian Vazquez Holyoke District Court

Lauren Carpenter
Good afternoon.Lauren Carpenter, Holyoke Medical Center, Addiction Consult Service. carpenter_lauren@holyokehealth.comUnfortunately I am in a new office and haven't figured out the technical things yet so my video and voice arent working. I'm trying to get someone here to help

Adlyn Colon
Adlyn Colon - HCC Adult Education Program at PAFEC. 413-552-2927. HiSET preparation and ESOL classes.
I'm sorry I need to leave for another meeting. Have a good day and I see you on the 20th.

adair medina
Adair Medina Holyoke Pediatric Associates - No camera , no mic. Nothing new to report.

john mccarthy
John McCarthy Community Relations Officer USCIS phone 617 356-5441

Erica Vasquez
Erica Vasquez; Holyoke Pediatrics Medical Home Care Coordinator.
Sorry, my audio is not working now! Erica from Holyoke Pediatrics. Now new updates though. Thank you!

Stephanie Marshall (she/her)
Good Afternoon , I am Stephanie Marshall Recovery Coach @MHA . (413)306-8586

Iris Sosa
Iris Sosa; Boys Scout of America Western Mass Council.; 413-594-9196

Julio Torres/MassFairHousing
Does Greenleaf contact Dig safe directly, or do residents have to?

Ana Gerena, Girls Inc. of the Valley
Ana Gerena, Girls Inc. of the Valley, Special Projects and Volunteerism Manager,; My position includes community outreach/partnerships please reach out if you would like to learn more about Girls Inc. or for possible collaboration.

Isaiah Delmoral, CRV YouthBuild
Isaiah Delmoral - Director of CRV YouthBuild. Serving youth and young adults ages 16-24 in Springfield, Holyoke & Chicopee, MA. Our YB center is located at 4 Birnie Avenue, Springfield, MA. Call us at 413-455-2132 or come in for an open house, Fridays at 2PM.

Liz Plouffe
Liz Plouffe, LICSW, Community Social Worker for the City of Easthampton., work cell 413-278-1285

Sarah Greenleaf Holyoke tree planting phone number: 413-626-1473
Julio, yes, we contact DIGSAFE before planting to make sure we stay clear of underground utilities. We take care of all the aspects of the tree planting process; the only thing the resident/homeowner needs to do is agree to water the tree weekly for two years. Thanks!
If anyone is interested in offering Free Tree Planting literature/ outreach materials at their community organization OR if you want to schedule a site visit to talk about getting your free tree, please email me at
Alicia and I have to go to a site visit. Thank you for having us! And thank you to everyone for the inspiring work do. GO HOLYOKE!!

Yamaris Rivera
Liz is the person who presented about planting zones?

Joanne Gilman
Joanne Gilman from MSPCC/Eliot CHS ...413-532-9446. We have In Home Therapy (IHT), TT+S partners, Therepeutic Mentors (TM program), and Outpatient services. We serve children 0-22 yo and their families. IHT offers services several times a week for 1 or more hours per visit, according the the needs of the family, especially for children with severe behavioral needs. Please call Sierra or go on line to submit a referral. We are also looking to hire those in the TT+S positions, a supervisor for IHT, and IHT clinicians. We have almost immediate openings for services, and we have several bilingual staff. Please call us for any questions.

Sandy Ward
Sandy Ward, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass, We are preparing our 2022 Price Comparison report; hope to release it be next week, with a sortable table of price data from funeral homes in the 4 counties of W. MA.

Danielle Hayes (Pa'lante)
I'm sorry to have to sign off early. Looking forward to seeing folks next month and learning more about your work. Quick Update from Pa'lante Transformative Justice-- We are now a community-based organization, OUTSIDE of Holyoke Public Schools. We are providing after school programming in our new space at 208 Race Street 5 days a week for Holyoke youth ages 14-19 and paid youth leadership opportunities. Feel free to reach out if you want to collaborate

Juan Martinez-Munoz

Sarah Biette (they/she) inquiries:
Thank you all!

Liz Plouffe
I also have to run to a call in the community but we are having an International Overdose Awareness Day event here in Easthampton on Monday 8/29 from 4-7pm. We tried not to overlap with Holyoke and Northampton and the events happening on the actual day (8/31) so I will send out our flyer via e-mail. Please reach out if any questions or if you would like to collaborate for an individual or family in Easthampton! Thanks everyone. Have a great day.

Jaime Santiago
Preferred Behavioral Health
Preferred Behavioral Health 125 Liberty St. Suite 202 Springfield, MA 01103 office 413-310-3681/ Fax 413-310-3669

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano
Nayroby Rosa at OneHolyoke CDC, 413-409-2004

Ruth Ayala
Ruth Ayala , 4135751719 VOC.

Kimberly Maende
Kimberly Maende - 413Cares & Springfield Healthy Homes Project Coordinator at the Public Health Institute of Western MA. Phone: 413.794.3042. Email:
We are available to present at your regularly staffed meeting or with your organization! Just let me know. We also have readily available 413Cares informational material.I encourage all the organizations here to claim your program on! If you need assistance on how to do so please contact me at
Please share and listen to our lead prevention podcastsSpotify:

Kate Murdock
Kate Murdock, CPCS (public defender's office), 100 Front Street, 4th floor, Holyoke 413-471-3392
Fees and fines class action lawsuit for drug lab scandal overturned convictions - info session Sept 8, 3:30 pm at my office. Attorney Luke Ryan will answer any questions folks have about how to access the money they are owed under the class action settlement.

Yvonne Lomax
Ed- I have to jump off for a 2pm Interview- See everyone next month

Karen Legace
1-83-END-H8-NOW(1-833-634-8669) The “End Hate Now” hotline is dedicated for reporting hate-based incidents or potentialcriminal activity. Massachusetts residents and visitors are encouraged to call the hotline to reportconcerning or troubling incidents of hate, potential hate crimes, or concerns regardingindividuals believed to be espousing the hate-filled views or actions we learn of far too often inthe wake of mass shootings and/or acts of hate-based violent extremism. Callers are encouragedto leave their contact information but may remain anonymous. At this time, the hotline isavailable in English, Spanish, Cantonese and French. Hate crimes are illegal acts committed based on a victim’s perceived or actual race, color,religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

HFH - James Maloney
James Maloney, Peer Resource Specialist Hope for Holyokejmaloney@gandaracenter.org413-561-1020

Marissa Chiapperino
Marissa Chiapperino-Holyoke Medical Center, Registered Dietitian, Free Diabetes

Doris SSA Intern {Springfield)
Audio isn't working, but this is my first month interning as a SSA for YAD with Krista Gale. I have nothing to report
thank you

Elizabeth Veillette
Elizabeth Veillette, CHD Shelter - Employment Specialist/Navigator., 413.266.9840

Lisa Wray Schechterle

Ana Gerena, Girls Inc. of the Valley
Ana Gerena, Girls Inc. of the Valley, Special Projects and Volunteerism Manager,; My position includes community outreach/partnerships please reach out if you would like to learn more about Girls Inc. or for possible collaboration. Program Facilitators and Youth Social Worker Position are also open:

Chelsee Escobar
Thank you! If anyone would like to be added to the mailing list for our calendar/events please reach out to my program supervisor Christina Dillon at:

Edward Caisse
Back to School Event: Volunteer Registration:

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, September 8th, 2022 (ZOOM).
Zoom Registration Link:

Close Meeting 2:15pm
Contact Information:
Edward Caisse
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
(413) 858-0225
Friend Request us on Facebook @ Shsni Holyoke

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