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December 2021

Ed Caisse

December 9, 2021

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: December 9, 2021
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.

1) Welcome & Introduction 1:00pm - 1:05pm

2) Cynthia Espinosa and Ellery Pool: City of Holyoke Planning Dept. 1:05pm - 1:20pm
The Planning Department works closely with the Department of Public Health and the State for a Mass in Motion program. This program looks at how the city of Holyoke can make active living and healthy eating accessible for residents through policies, programs, and environmental changes. A big part of that is partnerships with different agencies to share what is happening at the state level that can benefit others, such as HIP. HIP stands for Healthy Incentives Program. HIP exists within SNAP which is the federal program that gives people money to buy food (food stamps). An EBT card is given to individuals and they can use it at grocery stores to buy their food. Benefits roll over from one month to the next, meaning if an individual does not use all of their benefits for one month it will still be available the following month when more benefits are added. Benefits are determined based on income and expenses. HIP is a program in Massachusetts that gives individuals free extra SNAP money for fruits and vegetables. Benefits for HIP are determined based on household size. HIP can only be used at certain locations such as farm stands and farmers markets and benefits can only be used for produce since the incentive is to increase people’s consumption of fruits and vegetables. HIP benefits do not roll over like SNAP benefits do. Since HIP benefits are determined by the number of people in a SNAP household; 1-2-person households receive $40 each month in HIP benefits, 3-5 persons households receive $60 each month in HIP benefits, and 6 or more persons households receive $80 each month in HIP benefits. HIP benefits renew on the first of every month, which is not the same as SNAP benefits which renew throughout the month. There is no extra paperwork required for HIP, if an individual has SNAP, they automatically have HIP as well. Customers must have a SNAP balance above $0.00 to use in order to use their HIP. HIP acts as an instant rebate. HIP is not well communicated to those who have it so some individuals may not know they have HIP until they use it unknowingly. or help locate HIP vendors. Barriers to HIP include restricted accessibility to HIP vendor locations, unclear understanding of HIP, and uncertainty pertaining to the usefulness of HIP. The Planning Department looks forward to advocating for HIP more on the state level to make it more accessible.

3) Agency Overview and Updates 1:20pm - 2:25pm

Abby Jermain: Western Massachusetts Moms Partnership
Educating the community about the services that they offer to mothers and other female caregivers experiencing moderate to mild depressive symptoms. Stress management course for 8 weeks. Employment services. Referring participants to local agencies within the community when additional resources are needed.

Abby Mahoney: Holyoke Community College
Career pathway grant: supports early childhood educators. Earn free childhood development certificate starts January 24th. Information is in chat and email flyer will be sent out soon.

Adlyn Colon: Holyoke Community College
Adult education free hiset prep classes during the day and night. Only program in the area that offers the HISET in Spanish. Free trainings and certifications for the work community.

Adrienne Nunez: Community engagement specialist at Community Education Project (CEP)
Offer ESOL and adult basic education classes and specialize in serving the Spanish speaking community. Always looking for student, volunteers and tutors.

Aliza Ansell: Valley Opportuntiy Council
ESOL and abe classes day and night along with online and face-to-face classes. She is the youth coordinator working with 16-24 year olds. They pay for students’ HISET, provide tutoring, help with work placement, and are currently recruiting.

Rodney Allen: Crosspoint Clinical
Rondey deferred to Ron Thompson.

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.
Ward 6 Coordinator for HSNI – nothing to report 413-858-0015

Carmen Nieves: Alianza DV Services
Currently working on honoring and addressing the sexual assault and interpersonal violence that is occurring between youth within the city of Holyoke and the Holyoke Public School systems. Will be reaching out.

Christina Dillon: Program Supervisor for Impact Center in Springfield
Drop in center for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 and offer support with their one-on-one peer mentor program, have a community outreach worker, and have two recovery support specialists. Offer programs for housing, job readiness, mental health education, and also have a full shower, bath, washer and dryer, and kitchen on site for the young adults.

Dallas Clark: Recovery coach
Western Massachusetts helpline coordinator

Sacha Garcia-Mallioux: Sullivan School
Principal at the k-8 school in Holyoke. Looking to service students not only in education but also in the social-emotional realm. Currently partner with performance project and Baypath University. Currently looking for para-professionals to service students.

Dan Iozzi: Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.
Second half of public safety re-entry meetings was yesterday with service providers. Brought 7 guys down to meet with partnering agencies about the support offered to transition home. Next meeting will be in March, 2022, anyone interested in joining please reach out.

Debby Gonzalez: Director of Hope for Holyoke
Fully open with peer lead groups and peer support for recovery. Highway to Hope program provides transportation by recovery coach to any treatment level in the state of Massachusetts and also help to connect individuals to a bed and treatment as well as gambling prevention support.

Ernst Jean-Louis: Deputy in Holyoke Police Community Center
Everything running well at the moment.

Emily Garcia: Case manager
Funded by Department of Public Health. Program is completely free for youth ages 8 to 13 who attend Veritas or Peck middle schools. Goal is to connect with the students and their families to provide positive and healthy community support. Host family events and hold different groups to get students and families engaged in the community.

Eric White: Westover Job Coprs: admissions counselor
Accepting new students and helping them get training, high school education, and giving them a place to live.

Hannah Laprade: Girls Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts
Working on planning out recruitment efforts in winter and spring in Holyoke. 584-2602 x3604

Heather Salerno: Western Massachusetts Moms Program
Business director and very much a community initiative and hope to be partnered with other agencies, schools and healthcare providers to receive referrals into the Moms program. Referrals are being accepted in early 2022.

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America
Looking for agencies to partner with to bring more services to Holyoke. January 8th event at BGC

Jeff Hayden: Holyoke Community College
Seems to be a lot of good ideas and synergy. Looking forward to opportunities to partnering with new people

Jessie Berliner: GRIT
Dual diagnosis program for those recovering from substance abuse

Jesus Aguirre: Veterans Inc.
Assist Veterans that are homeless and transition into permanent housing

Joanne Gilman: MSPCC
In home therapy and outpatient services. No current openings for in home therapy. Looking for therapeutic mentors.

Jonathan Douglas: Gandara Impact Center
Looks forward to collaborating in the future

Jose Lugo: River Valley Counseling Center
Chicopee - part of Roca and Enlace de Familia along with treatment in schools.

Det. Emiterio: Holyoke Police Department
Works with Deputy Jean Louis and Gonzalez. Taking a pro-active approach to the opioid epidemic. Respond to overdoses with an outreach approach and effort and connect people with different services. Help community members who have family members dealing with substance use disorder. Have clinicians who respond to live medical calls.

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
Nothing to report.

Kaydence Scotto: Americore Coordinator
Partner with schools and community centers to host full time americore members to support youth development. Run in traditional afterschool program. Recruiting in next few months.

Kermit Dunkelberg: Holyoke Community College
Assistant VP workforce development at HCC. Free job training programs at HCC. ESOL Nurse aid training and community health worker training starting in January (1-year certificate training) and provide direct financial support and academic support. New project for paraprofessional training with DTA works involves internship with Springfield Public Schools. Partnering with BMC and they will pay people to attend training in 4 months. Manufacturing training in the city of Holyoke coming soon.

Leslie Lamarche: Holyoke Community College
Assistant project coordinator at HCC.

Lewis Brooks: Holyoke Community College
Assistant project coordinator at HCC. Project Train would be 5 days a week for 40 hrs beginning in January. Assist with job readiness, career development and essential skills training.

Deputy Gonzalez: Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.
Working at Holyoke police community center. Ward 1 coordinator.

Luby O’Connor: HCFA
Bilingual coordinator for HCFA. Advocate for fair and accessible healthcare and offer a helpline.

Lucy Friedman Bell: Safe Routes to School
Safe routes to school coordinator.

Madeline Medina: Springfield Family Resource Center
Free programs around Nurturing Fathers, grandparent support groups, and youth anger management. 12/23 winter solstice- food and toys giveaway. Virtual ESL classes. Food pantry every Thursday 11-3.

Lt. Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Dept.
Arrange visit tour or training contact her at 534 2254. Free carbon monoxide installation. New nox box instillation along with car seat exchange program.

Maria Troppe: Holyoke Community College
Evening HISET adult program and transition college careers.

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Registered dietician to educate to reduce risk of re-admission. Monday at 5pm on Zoom go to Holyoke Medical Center Facebook page to find link – healthy holiday eating. Active participants with Let’s Move Hampden County and wellness domain. Farmers market coaches that are ready to educate anyone on a successful purchase (HIP). 5210 members take turns to bridge gap.

Megan Gross: UMASS Amherst
Working on a project with Nairobi called Supporting Families Raising Violent Children. Meeting mostly on Zoom meeting on 12/13 at 5pm on Zoom around dyslexia – guest speaker who can speak in Spanish will be attending. Shifting meetings to Saturdays to January 29th - bingo.;

Chief Sean Mcbride: Holyoke district Court
Thanked everyone for their updates and happy holidays.

Michelle Daries: Department of Children and Families
Recruiter for foster and adoptive families. Always looking to increase foster homes within Holyoke area. or go on to

Miguel Arce: Professor Springfield College
Department of Social Work

Nathalie Viucencio: WayFinders
Posted information in the chat pertaining to housing discrimination.

Nayroby Rosa- Soriano: One Holyoke
Currently making boxes for community dinner Wednesday, December 15 at Kelly School. Giving 500 boxes to the first 500 families and looking for volunteers.
Click here to volunteer:

Melany Mendoza: Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership
State-wide organization that works to support mentoring programs. Provide training. Professional development programs available.

Mo McGuinness: Holyoke Community College
Assistant Coordinator for non-credit training programs. Wonderful time to get free training in multiple areas.

Nicolas Duenas: Attorney General’s Office
Outreach coordinator. Inviting to attend public webinar.

Ramona Rivera: WayFinders
Give services to families that need housing. Cannot give legal advice but can explain what your rights are.

Richard Winning: BHN Crisis
Coresponse supervisor in Holyoke. Provide emergency services along with the police department in responding to psychiatric emergencies as they occur as opposed to after. Provide follow-ups in community after those events happen.

Ron Thompson: Crosspoint Clinical Services
Provide faith based and traditional mental health counseling to individuals, couples and families. Offer educational workshops and health and wellness programs. Moving into 2022 – Purpose Posse is an ongoing fitness program that helps individuals focus on mind, body and spirit ($20 a month) participants receive live and recorded meditations and group activities. Wellness Revelation – beginning in February, based on bestselling book, 90 minute online classes once a week for 9 weeks, group focuses on fitness and nutrition, does bible study together, encourages one another, and track progress as a group.

Jonathan Alicea:
Currently hiring counselors. Provide catholic services. Looking for partnerships.

Sacha Ramirez: RFK
Legacy program. Therapeutic mentoring service and survivor led. Service youth in Western Massachusetts from ages 12-24 who have been sexually exploited or at risk of being exploited.

Sandy Ward: Friends of Holyoke Public Library
Saturday, April 9th – bringing back mini golf and games inside and outside the library.

Stephanie Moore: Holyoke Rows
Community rowing, kayaking and boating program City Park. Expanding river access. Middle and High school program starts in March. Looking for coaches.

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps
Currently enrolling students ages 16-24 into programs. Currently working with Ward 2 on event on December 16th as well as HSNI basketball league.

Will Puello: Holyoke Ward 2 City Counselor
Trying to identify areas in which he can help and build upon the great work that everyone is doing.

Judge Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court
Trying to collaborate with as much local, community based agencies to try to get better outcomes for people who come to the court. Recovery coaches present every day from 9-1. Trying to connect people with job readiness and training. Invited representatives to be present for record concealment hearings.

Yesenia Cruz: AdCare Hospital Community Services
Inpatient services for individuals seeking detox and outpatient services for individuals looking for therapy; provide transportation to and from detox., 508-713-1710

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps
Outreach and admissions coordinator. Several open positions for youth and adults.

Zoe Sloate: Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
Provide business assistance to local farms and growers and local food businesses. Offer services – can connect to consultants, connect to grant opportunity and helping businesses become authorized to accept SNAP and HIP.

Old Business / New Business
• Next Meeting is Thursday, January 13th, 2021 (ZOOM).

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

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