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February 2022

Ed Caisse

February 10, 2022

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: February 10, 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 & Introduction 1:00pm - 1:05pm

Yvonne Lomax and Walter Rice from Westover Job Corps 1:05pm - 1:20pm
Today's introduction will be the BCL and Work Based Learning Coordinator Mr. Walter Rice, as well as the OA manager myself Miss Yvonne Lomax. Westover Job Corps we're going to talk a little bit about virtual enrollment that we are still currently doing, we're also virtually enrolling students in CPP placement, we're also working on our business engagement and then we're going to also answer any questions comments or answers at the end.

So, Westover Job Corp Center offerings: We offer our high set program, we offer our high school diploma program, we also offer driver's education, permit and license, industry certified credentials, pathways to advance training, college, military and entry level career and America corps program. Virtual enrollment we are currently enrolling our young people still virtually. Virtual CPP, we currently have 35 students beginning the program remotely and this is an 8-week program. Once they start their virtual enrollment, they will be expected to arrive on campus after those 8-weeks. Our vocations; we are currently enrolling for all of our 13 vocations and Mr. Rice is going to put a link in the chat that gives you a listing of all of those 13 available trades.

We are also working on work base learning and project based learning programs, along with of course placing our young people in meaningful careers. Business Engagement; Westover job course center is looking to expand its current business engagement efforts, we are looking to have additional project collaborations, community outreach and business engagement partnerships. At this time Walter is going to let us look at a student success story from Westover Job Corps Program.

Yvonne directed folks to place questions in the chat. Also happy to announce that they are bringing all of the young people into the resident component and opening up that resource of housing for young people. Her information is in the chat for anyone that is looking for presentations or information about Westover Job Corps.

Question: If a young person engaged in Job Corps, but didn’t complete, are they able to reengage if the left the program? Yvonne explained that they are able to reapply after a year. There are some situations, such as COVID that they may allow certain youth back sooner, it is case by case to possibly allow them back early.

Question: How does Westover get the word out to the youth and young adults? Yvonne explained they have used bus advertisements; they are on MassHire sites for academics and trades, on their calendars. Go out publicly, door knocks, low income housing, partner with the YMCA and different agencies and present and do orientations and information sessions. Have a 1-800 line that folks can call into, where a recruiter can reach out to them to see if Job Corps is a good fit for them. Young people are assigned to a specific recruiter. Jim Garehty explained that he would like to connect with her; he explained that he does advertisement at the mall, could offer her space at the mall to engage youth.
Question: What ages do you serve? Yvonne explained they serve 16 to 24, if they have a documented disability, can be over the 24 age limit.
Yvonne Lomax- Westover JCC- Outreach and Admissions Manager-

Agency Overview and Updates 1:20pm - 2:25pm
Alethea Melanson: Western Mass CORE @ Holyoke Community College
Alethea is a senior staff assistant with Western Mass CROE, which is an initiative housed at Holyoke Community College. We help create and maintain academic pathways for incarcerated and formally incarcerated folks that are interested in education. We work closely with Susanne over at the Sheriff's Department and her staff. Were actually working on a number of things, we're a fairly new program, so we have a lot going on including bringing tutors from Peter Green into the facility. We're working on a technology pilot that will help hopefully bring like individual devices in for these students to use and things like that. We're kind of in the building phase of our program, where we're still scaffolding services and things like that.
Alethea MelansonSenior Staff Assistant Western Mass CORE at

Abby Germain: Western Massachusetts Moms Partnership
I'm here with the new Western Mass Mom's Partnership, my role includes educating the community about the services we're prepared to offer for mothers and other caregivers who are experiencing mild to moderate depressive symptoms.

Our services included in 8 weeks stress management course to help learn skills to manage stress and also improve the lives of our participants. We also are prepared to offer employment services to help participants gain and maintain employment and finally we will be referring participants out to local agencies such as yours within the community, when additional resources might be needed. So there's a lot more to what we're doing and I'd love to connect with everyone here personally, so that we can discuss what your program does and what my program does and how we might want to partner up. There's some eligibility requirements and a process for referrals, we are accepting referrals now, so we'll put some more information about that in the chat and also I just want to add that we are looking for community events or agencies that have foot traffic, where we might be able to come there and set up a table handouts and flyers and just recruit for the mom's program. If anybody might be interested in that if you have you know a space that would allow for that let me know I would love to connect with you and finally I am here with my colleague Heather Salerno, who will share a little bit more on it when it is her turn thank you so much.
Western Mass MOMS is looking for community events and agencies that have foot traffic where we would come set up a table, hand out flyers, give away some fun marketing swag, along with information to recruit for the new MOMS program. We would like to go out and do that as soon as possible. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, please let me know! Abbie Germain~ 413-561-7413
Western Mass MOMS Eligibility: Identify as a woman or non-binary, be 18 or over, must live in Holyoke and Springfield or surrounding communities, a mother or primary caregiver to a child or children under 18, struggling with mild to moderate depressive symptoms. If you know anyone who might be interested reach out. My colleague, Heather put a flyer in the chat, too Abbie Germain~ 413-561-7413

Adlyn Colon: Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center: Holyoke Community College
I work for HCC adult learning program, located in PFEC, 206 Maple Street, downtown Holyoke. We offer high set preparation classes and partnership with Community Education Project. We offer them in Spanish also; we are the only agency around that is offering those classes in Spanish. We offer evening and day sessions. We offer ESOL and the program is for those 16 and older.
Adlyn Colon - Adult Education at HCC.

Adrienne Nunez: Community Education Project
Community Engagement specialist at Community Education Project. We offer a Spanish Hi-set course as well a variety of ESOL classes all of our classes at the community education project are remote although we are headquartered in Holyoke. We offer free classes and free chrome books to our students, so please keep that in mind. We are always looking for new students, we have rolling admissions, so if you come across any folks looking for these services, please send them our way at any time. We're also looking for volunteers in particular bilingual Spanish/English volunteers to serve as teaching assistants to serve in our classes. And I will put my contact info in the chat.
Adrienne NúñezCommunity Engagement Specialist Community Education Project (CEP) c:"> Adrienne NúñezCommunity Engagement SpecialistCommunity Education Project (CEP)c: 413-522-6522www.cepholyoke.orgWe offer ESOL and Spanish HiSET prep. All remote. Chromebooks available for our students. We are looking for new students! We have rolling admissions, so please send any prospective students our way.(413) 349-9876enroll@cepholyoke.orgWe are also looking for bilingual Spanish/English Volunteers to serve as Teaching Assistants in our

Eileen Crosby: Holyoke Public Library
I work for the American Historical Collection at the Holyoke Public Library and Alex is a grant staff member the Grant is going to let us design a set of online bilingual tours of Holyoke and the project called City of Stories.

The idea is that the city’s history is made up of stories and we want to give more people an opportunity to be the tellers of those stories and tellers of the city's history. The ideas is that the tours will have a combination of stops, featuring the old city and some of the historic architecture with stops that highlight recent history, especially sites that are relevant to the story of Puerto Rican Diasper in Holyoke. For instance we will put Valley Arena on there, but we want to put Valley Arena Park and how it has been important to the neighborhood in South Holyoke. We have sites in South Holyoke, the Flats and downtown area identified. This is different than the tours of Nueva Esperanza is doing, but we are collaborating with them, because there is some overlap and the collaboration has turned out to be a lot of fun.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the coming weeks will get an invitation to come to a workshop that we're having in April that's going to be led by a Community Historian Diana Pasera, whose worked with the Pioneer Valley Workers Council and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, specifically on helping communities tell their own histories and so with that I going to turn it over to Alex Santiago who handles a lot of our outreach.
Eileen Crosby, History Room, Holyoke Public Library. Project Director Ciudad de Historias

Alex Santiago: Holyoke Public Library
Project coordinator for Ciudad de Historias. A little bit about myself, I am a recent graduate from HCC with a Latin X studies associates’ degree. I am currently pursuing my ethic and gender students at Westfield University. I am looking to meet with people who are willing to share their experiences about living and/or working in Holyoke. We're interested in stories that give us a sense of that person's connection to Holyoke. We want more people to share what Holyoke really means to them. What places or events in Holyoke have meaning to them and we will be collecting brief stories or antidotes for whomever is interested, we could do full oral histories. Lastly I want to invite and encourage people to speak to me if they want more information about the project, if you or anyone you know might be interested; I will have my contact information in the chat.
Alex Santiago - Ciudad de Historias Project Coordinator - if interested in learning more about the project, or in volunteering, please email me at

Aliza Ansell: Valley Opportunity Council
I’m known as Zizi, I'm at Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee, I’m the youth adviser here. Our program serves youth 16 to 24 years old and the program runs concurrently with our hiset prep classes sort of wrap-around services, it’s all funded through Reola. The services we offer are 1 of 1 tutoring in all academic subjects. We looked to place students in work placement for up to 20 hours a week, we pay for students hiset testing, we provide bus passes and I do a weekly enrichment class for job readiness and life skills. I do resumes and cover letters and mock interviews for youth. We you utilize career assessments and work on Mass CIS, so we basically just offer a wrap-around, we think of it as like a big blanket that we put around our youth to keep them engage and keep them in our program. We have online during the day face to face during the day and then we have online evening classes so if you have youth 16 to 24 that you want to refer that would be great and we just had somebody test a minute ago, who knocked it out of the ballpark. It's great; the kids are actually coming in really strong academically. We offer a lot of support just to get them sort of back on track again and then testing.
Aliza (Zizi) Ansell VOC Youth Advisor 978-505-3922

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Ward 6 Coordinator for HSNI – nothing to report
Bill Courchesne HCSD HSNI Ward 6 Neighborhood Watch Coordinator 413-858-0015
Chastity Crowell Miller: River Valley Counseling Center
Site director for River Valley Counseling Center in the Holyoke clinic. We are now up to 5 clinics in Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield, Easthampton and Springfield. In addition to our outpatient clinical services we do have CVHI services that include therapeutic mentor, as well as IHT established IHBS, which is more intensive programs we are also in 13 different school districts offering school based services including; Holyoke public Schools, Chicopee Schools and some Springfield School. Students can get referred from the school based services that really knocks down the barriers to having parents bring clients treatment as well. We have our psychiatry services.

We did receive a grant and we're in the process of launching CCVHC services, which will be kind of wraparound services for adults, includes case management that is the very early stages, so we're not really taking referrals for that yet, but I suspect when Eileen is ready, she will have the opportunity to speak about that as well. Like most mental health agencies, we are currently on a wait list, although we find our wait list is moving fast, especially if they are open to telehealth services, we can kind of get them going a little bit quicker, but we are seeing people in person at all 5 of our clinics, but there is a little bit of a wait for that.
We also have our programs SOAR which is out of Peck middle school, which is a therapeutic mentoring program as well we have our ACRA program, which is geared towards adults between the ages of 18 to 24 with substance use that is a specific treatment modality. We are also on the STCC campus and Baypath University campuses, so students at those schools can also get expedited care right on the campus as well and in those schools and a shorter wait.
Chloe Soto: Nueva Esperanza
Project manager at Nueva Esperanza. Currently we are doing a call to art; we got a grant to put some mural work over on a business on Main Street called La Pescadoria, which is a restaurant, so we have a call to artist. We are also doing walking tours for Corazon project on Main Street, which Cynthia Espinosa will talk in more depth on. I am looking for artist, so if anyone knows anyone that does any kind of art, there is no restriction, as long as you have a tie to Holyoke, we want to see what you got, we are trying to beautify the downtown neighborhood.
Chloe Soto/ Programs Manager

Christina Dillon: Impact Center: Gandara
Program supervisor at the Impact Center in Springfield. Two of the major updates are that they are looking for two roles: Peer Mentor, preferably a male, they are an all-girl team and are looking for male staff. Also have a community outreach worker, will post the link those roles in the chat. February 23rd between 1pm and 4pm offering FREE haircuts for any young adults, both male and female, by appointment only, please send her an email.
Christina Dillon - Program Supervisor - Impact Center Springfield -
Cynthia Espinosa: Nueva Esperanza
Executive director of Nueva Esperanza, they are taking the lead on the Corazon / Heart of Holyoke Walking Tours. We do have a grant in partnership with library. Looking for folks to get trained on giving the tour, there is a stipend for giving the tours. Placed the Google form in the chat.

Planning a day festival Noche de San Juan. It’s a celebration of a Baptism of one of the Saints, it’s historical a celebration that happens in Puerto Rico, we will have water activities, looking for folks to have tables, artists, performers and sponsors. The event will be held at Bonin Field in South Holyoke. About Noche de San Juan: What is Noche de San Juan? Puerto Ricans all over the world celebrate la Noche de San Juan – an eve of a feast for Saint John, the Baptist's birth. Unlike other festivities around the world, in Puerto Rico, this celebration -which occurs two days before the summer solstice- marks a holiday spent at the beach. The tradition goes that at the stroke of midnight, people take at least three backward plunges – though some do seven or 12 dives, to rid life of all negativities. In Holyoke, we host a Festival with water activities for all ages to do a similar feel of the tradition. to sponsor, have a table or if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Cynthia Espinosa Marrero, Executive Director at Nueva Esperanza at or 413-437-7666 Corazon/Heart of Holyoke Walking Tours- Volunteer(stipend available) to give the tour or register to attend one to learn more about arts, history and culture on Main Street! To volunteer:

Denise Kelly-Lachat: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Diversion Coordinator, Nothing to report.
Denise Kelly-Lachat, Hampden District Attorney's Office, Holyoke Juvenile Court,

Trooper Deshawn Brown: Mass State Police
B Troop Community Outreach from the State Police.
Trooper DeShawn Brown, Massachusetts State Police, Community Police Liaison for Western MA., 857-262-7040

Elizabeth Lenart: Dean Campus Holyoke Public Schools
Currently have 8th grade visits at Dean Tech. She is the college / career counselor at Dean. Does community outreach and creating community partnerships for Dean. They are doing some exciting things at Dean and will be moving to a true vocational schedule next year. One week of academics and the following week co-ops and job opportunities. Actively looking to create partnerships for co-ops for their students.
Elizabeth Lenart, College, Career & Partnerships at Dean Tech

Yajaira Marquez: CFCE / Head Start
Just want to share two programs; Saturdays at the Chicopee Library, started last week until March 5th, Chris from Learn in Motion, Date with Dad Program for fathers, grandfather, male figure, if no male figure in the kid’s life a mom can come, it’s from 1pm to 2pm. CFCE also does virtual play groups for kids.
Yajaira Marquez - CFCE/ Head Start Date with Dad program- Saturdays at the Chicopee Library 1-2pm. Virtual Playgroups on Friday. Please feel free to email me for more information Thank you

Ellery Pool: CISA (Community Involved and Agriculture
CISA here to tell anyone interested in HIP (Healthy Incentive Program) $40 to $80 extra per month in SNAP benefits to buy fruits and vegetables. Also here on behalf of the Holyoke Farmer’s Market is still running for the winter in the War Memorial Building on 310 Appleton Street, three days left on February 19, March 5th and March 19th, from 10am to 2pm, where you can use HIP benefits, great place to get fresh local produce.
Ellery Pool, Service Member at CISA,, 508-498-9057

Erika Hensel: Tapestry Holyoke
If you are interested in a Naloxbox in Holyoke, can email or call her. Tapestry offers free narcan training in person or virtually.
Erika Hensel- Free Narcan Training or Naloxboxes! Please email

Heather Salerno: Western Mass Mom’s Partnership Program
Business developer for Western Mass Mom’s Partnership Program. Currently being funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services and Social Security Administration. Study participants have the opportunity to be part of a project that can lead to a nationwide change for mothers and other care givers across the county; this is very much a community initiative. We are interested in partnering with community agencies, schools, providers and programs like yours. We are looking to offer to as many people as possible, currently excepting referrals. If you think of the folks you serve, moms that are stressed out can benefit from mental health or employment services. Interested in speaking to agencies about your program and to tell you about ours. We are looking for community Hub spaces to host our groups in your space. If you have space and would like to partner with us, we could like to hear from you.

Henry Gottardi: Westover Job Corps
Career Transistions Manager at Westover Job Corps. One thing they struggle with is students that leave the program prior to graduating. Looking to get connected to resources to get them in the hands of the students who have not received their high school diploma or need a diploma, would really like to get connected to those services, please reach out to him.
Henry GottardiCareer Transition Specialist Manager Westover Job Corps Center103 Johnson Road Chicopee, MA 01022CELL: 413. 799. 1361OFFICE: 413. 593. 4008FAX: 413. 593. 4096Gottardi.Henry@jobcorps.orgThank you for this great meeting! I have a meeting I have to go to. Everyone have a great day!!

Hilda Rivera: Shine Program Gandara
Help 18 to 24 year olds who have no children get housing and stay housed. They have changed things and have a 24-hour seven days a week phone line. They do an assessment, will be placed on a waiting list, Hilda can assist them in navigating the system, get connected to food vouchers or bus passes or whatever help they may need.
I apologize to everyone I'm having internet issues I'm HIlda Rivera I'm a coordinated entry navigator at the Gandara "SHINE Program" I work with homeless young adults 18-24 with no children phone number to call 413-316-4979 to do an if anyone have any questions

Hillary Harnet: US Attorney’s Office in Boston
Office currently has a housing discrimination law suit against the Chicopee Housing Authority. Alleging a pattern of discrimination against tenants who are black, Latino and have disabilities. They are continuing to learn about additional folks who are affected in that case. If anyone has clients or folks who would be interested in speaking to them about that her contact information is below:
Hillary Harnett - US Attorney's Office, Civil Rights Unit.

Iris Sosa: Boys Scouts of Western Mass
Always looking for organizations that want to partner with them, to offer program to kids. Have Cub Scout age from kindergarten to fifth grade and Boy Scout age from fifth grade and up to 18 years old, also have explorer groups.

Jim Geraghty: Holyoke Mall
The mall is the center of Holyoke, the busiest mall in the area. They have a lot of assets to be able to help everyone. We will hold a job fair on May 5th, working on putting the flyer together in the next week, he is here for Holyoke., Holyoke Mall, 617-840-2998

Jazmin Serrano: PPOC
Nothing to report.

Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola: Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)
Local coordinator for the department of youth services currently oversees Hampden County and Worcester County. Recently under the co-chairship with Honorable Judge Arose Nielsen and Patrick Sparks, summited and hopefully to get approved our 2022 work plan for Hampden County, many are Holyoke centered. Have a great committee, if you want to be part of the work, send her an email. Some of things in the work plan include; create restorative justice mediation sub-committee and identify and create a vision of restorative justice work in Holyoke in partnership with the Holyoke juvenile court. Would like to continue to help Holyoke Public School diversion pilot effort to maximize student attendance, pro social indicators to help the number of DCF and court involved youth families in Holyoke. Looking to brainstorm different potential programming for average length of stay for dually involved youth, youth that are concurrently at the time of admission have are DCF involved. Continue to partner with the Executive Office of the Trial Court on the Hampden County Child Welfare Mapping Project, which was recently renamed Upstream. Continue to partner with Mass Mentoring Partnership, which is a capacity building agency to further identify and implement the work plan vision for the Transformative Credible Messenger Mentoring Program to connect credible messengers behind the wall (adult mentors) even people in the community to young people that have dealt with similar things.
Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola (She/They), Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, Local Coordinator - One of the other current statewide focuses of JDAI is working to disrupt and eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. If you are involved in or aware of any efforts targeting the school-to-prison pipeline, we ask that you please fill this out so that we can become better aware of the various efforts that exist already to address this challenge. Additionally, please feel free to share this survey with anyone else you may know who is involved in this work. We greatly appreciate your input and support!

Jessie Berliner: Mental Health Association GRIT Program
Residential dual diagnosis residential recovery program. Geared toward the LGBTQ community, one of the only LGBTQ community recovery residential programs in the state of Massachusetts. If you anyone has suggestions for housing; specifically transitional or sober housing that also caters to LGBTQ, please let them know.
Jessie Berliner, Care Coordinator with MHA's GRIT program for dual diagnosis residential recovery. We are always looking for resources regarding transitional and sober housing for the LGBTQ community. 413-233-5354

John McCarthy: USCIS
USCIS and all of the government agencies have been asked to focus in on the presidential order 14-0-12 and that order is restoring faith in our legal immigration systems and strengthening integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans. Along those lines, they have asked us to follow themes and this month’s theme is the Lunar New Year and Black History Month. Looking to outreach to any communities that may be interested in naturalization or any Black immigrants whom may have interest in citizenship. If anyone is interested they can make contact with John, so he can accommodate them.
USCIS Community Relations out of the Boston Office Contact information or (617)565-9430 John McCarthy

Juan Anderson-Burgos: Legislative Aide to State Representative Patricia Duffy
Office handles a lot, just mentioning a few of the things they do. Help address concerns of food insecurity, housing issues, COVID related issues, his great take away has been very successful with people who have had employment issues, and he is the master at employment and resolving those issues for their constituents. Placed the officer number in the chat, if you know anyone having issues, nothing small or too big for them to handle, they are here to help our community.
Juan Anderson-Burgos (Legislative Aide to Representative Patricia Duffy. Ph: 413-529-4307 Address: 164 Race St suite 105, Holyoke, MA Email:

Kashawn Sanders: Follow My Steps Mentoring Program
Youth mentoring nonprofit, centers around talking to high school aged youth and exposing them to different career paths. What we do is a unique take, because we want our youth to be in front of people that look like them and are actually doing what they are aiming to do. It results in them having a glimpse into their future that is why we call it Follow My Steps; we also call it Financial Literacy, Professional Development and Community Engagement. Placed contact information in the chat, see a lot of potential collaboration, will reach out to a few of us if not all of us.
Kashawn Sanders- President of Follow My Steps Foundation. Follow My Steps is planning a 5k run. Please let us know if you'd like to get involved.

Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
No updates to report.
Community Police Officer Josh Colon Holyoke Police Dept. 413-650-0546

Kate Murdock: Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS)
Attorney in charge of the new Holyoke Office for CPCS, which is opening on Monday on Front Street, on the 4th floor of the same building as the DTA. DTA is on the first floor, we are on the 4th. Have request if anyone has knowledge of attorney’s interested in working in their office, don’t need criminal experience, looking for Spanish speakers, people from the community, job posting closes on Monday, if anyone knows anyone please refer to Kate. Also interested in community partnerships, taking notes, plans on following up with many of you.
Kate Murdock, Attorney in Charge of the NEW Holyoke office of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS). Holyoke clients used to be represented by our Springfield office but we are opening an office Monday on the 4th floor of the same building as the DTA on Front Street., 413-471-3392

Kathy Anderson: Holyoke Medical Center
Oversees the community work and oversees the assessment of the health needs of the community and putting plans in place or programs, initiatives in place that will combat those challenges. We are in the middle of the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) we have a survey that is about to come out and is Ed is on my committee and is willing to share the survey with all you; there is an incentive to fill out the survey. It gives us a lot of good health information; we publish all of the information Holyoke Medical Center website. People use the CHNA information to apply for grants. It has a lot of demographics and data. We have community dinners twice a month, one time in the community, once at the hospital the last Thursday of the month here at the hospital, we serve 120 meals, no questions asked, people tell us they want 10, we put them in their car and wish them well. We just did a dinner last night at Loraine’s Soup Kitchen in Chicopee, next month March 8th will be at Head Start. We pick a community based organization where people can’t walk or drive to the hospital where it’s close for them. Those are the types of things we do around food security.
Kathy Anderson, Community Benefits Holyoke Medical Center

Kimberly Maende: 413 Cares / Springfield Healthy Homes (Public Health Institute of Western Mass)
Project coordinator, for 413 Cares and Springfield Healthy Homes. We are trying to promote vaccine hesitancy, will be leaving PDF’s in the chat. Encouraging folks to sign up for our newsletters; we have a newsletter for 413 Cares, Springfield Health Homes and the Public Health Institute of Western Mass. For Springfield Healthy Homes, we created a podcast launched by our Community Health Worker Carlos Reyes from Square One; I will post that in the chat. Also please like and share our page on Springfield Healthy Homes.
Kimberly Maende - 413Cares & Springfield Healthy Homes Project Coordinator at the Public Health Institute of Western MAPhone: 413.794.3042Email: kmaende@publichealthwm.orgPublic Health Institute of Western MA: Healthy Homes: Please share and listen to our lead prevention podcasts

Mandy Goulet: Hope for Holyoke (Gandara)
Peer Outreach Coordinator and Recovery Coach at Hope for Holyoke. We are really excited to welcome Attorney General Maura Healey tomorrow to our recovery center. Our Highway to Hope Program is really thriving. Our Hopey Awards are coming up on February 25th we are going to have a Hybrid, in person and virtual. Next month is gambling awareness month. You can check out our special activities coming up, we are on Facebook and now on Instagram and Twitter, it is Hope4 in Holyoke.
Mandy Goulet, Peer Outreach Coordinator/Recovery Coach, Hope for Holyoke Recovery Center

Lt. Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department
Nothing new to report, if you need anything from the fire department, contact information in the chat.
Maria Pelchar Fire Dept 534-2254

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Registered dietician in community navigation at the Holyoke Medical Center and an active member of Let’s Move Hampden County 5210, we partner with Kathy on the community dinners. We also work with nurse navigators and community health workers to address our social determinants of health in the primary care offices here at Holyoke Medical Center. We do home visits and community outreach for our Mass health ACO patients. She also teaches a FREE diabetes class every month that is currently virtually. We have a presence at the Holyoke Farmers Market to assist users with the health incentives program along with Ellery and members of the 5210 program. 413-535-4732

Nasir Islam: ROCA
Outreach coordinator for ROCA in both Holyoke and Springfield. Many young people in America end up in jail, we believe it’s expensive and ineffective and can destroy lives, so ROCA focuses on high risk young men 17 to 24 year old who are now ready, willing and able to participate in any program that will help them in changing their lives. Primarily, we focus on youth that have prior arrests and justice system involvement, actively involved in gangs and in the streets. Youth that dropped out of school, no employment history on track future of long-term incarceration. ROCA also has an intervention model, relentless outreach group, and knock on doors, engage and re-engaged people, we never give up. We have a stage programming; our programming is tailored to meet young men where they are at cognitively and behaviorally. We have a transformational relationship and engage institution. We also have performance based management; we rigorously track data and continually evaluate our strategies and outcomes. Pretty much the overall of ROCA is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young men and young women transform their lives. We are located in Holyoke, Springfield, Chelsea, Boston, Lynn and Baltimore.
Nasir Islam'ROCA' (413) 310-5497

Nayroby Rosa: OneHolyoke
Director of Community Engagement and Resident Services. OneHolyoke continues with its vaccines efforts. We continue to have a rented space at Key Foods Supermarket in South Holyoke, which I am always available to share that space with any of your organizations that would like to be there to do some outreach. If you would like that, please send me an email, my information is in the chat. We continue to offer a parent support group for children with special needs, especially parents raising bi-lingual children with special needs. Our next class will be on February 26th, the flyer is also in the chat, they will be talking about how to talk to your child with special needs about sexuality. Please share information with parents that you know, we will also have a raffle and giving out movie tickets for participation. We are collaborating with Kelly School on monthly family events. I am at Kelly School now; we are holding a vaccine clinic today with Holyoke Health Center and getting some kids vaccinated. There will be another vaccine clinic here on March 3rd and we will be having our own vaccine clinic at our Flats Community building on February 25th, which I will share also in the chat. Two other things from other hats that I wear. I am also a board member at Homework House, we are selling raffle tickets for four VIP passes for a Celtics game, really great seats, including a limo service to and from if you win the raffle, reach out to her. It’s for a great cause the Homework House’s tutoring program. I’m sure Sandy is on here, but we will be doing the Mini Golf at the Library, Sandy will probably get into more about that. OneHolyoke will be hosting the Human Foosball game outside, if your organization is looking to get a team together and play some Human Foosball outdoors that will be fun in April.
Nayroby Rosa, Director of Community Engagement and Resident Services for OneHolyoke CDC, 413-409-2004 or email Feel free to reach out to me. I have another meeting to plan for.

Joanne Gillman: MSPCC / Elliot CHS
Supervisor, we offer in-home therapy, along with the TT&S, which is the bachelors level support person and therapeutic mentors and outpatient services. The main difference between outpatient services and in-home therapy is the intensity of our services, we offer services several days a week for several hours at a time for children with severe behavioral needs, our phone number is 532-9446 and we can work with a family up to two years. We look forward to having referrals and we also have the TT&S and Therapeutic Mentoring Services.

Rob Crawford: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
Handles a grant that specifically deals with youth substance and misuse prevention. Glad to hear of all the efforts everybody is putting in to make our communities a better place. Looking to work collaboratively with any organization or coalition groups that deals with any adolescent substance use / misuse that is going to be grades 6th – 8th ages 10 through 15. If you have any information or programs that would need support on behalf of the department, we are a local health department that has resources and connections to help any efforts that you may have. We are looking to communicate with any other municipalities have that be Chicopee or Holyoke, because the grant covers three cities; Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke. If you have information or want to work together, my information is in the chat.
Rob CrawfordSPG Dept. of Health and Human Services Youth Substance Youth Substance Prevention SPG

Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Executive Director of CrossPoint Clinical Services, we are an agency that specializes in Christian Faith Based Counselling, but we also do a lot of other things. We serve anybody; we have a very professional licensed staff that operates in a very client centered way, easily able to put aside personal orientations of course for the sake of meeting the needs of our clients. Our mission more broadly, our tagline is Redeeming Mind, Body and Spirit through Exceptional Clinical Care and Wellness Services. We really believe that human beings were integrated beings; we have all those sides to us, so we really try to provide services to address all of the above within the scope of practice of course. With that, we have a wellness department that does a number kind of health and fitness programs, has a subscription based program that people can have on going coaching / personal training classes. We also do physco educational classes, coming up soon, I have an Anger Management Class that I facilitate that I call Respect 101, I am a NA / MA certified Anger Management Specialist, this would satisfy court related needs, I accept insurances that will be coming up starting Monday, March 7th. We also have a Pre-Marital Class starting in April. I will link our website and events pages, so you can register for anything you are interested in.
Rondey Allen, Executive Director of CrossPoint Clinical Services, 413-732-7677,

Rosa Tobin: Mass Fair Housing Center
Works with Mass Fair Housing Center with Communications Associate, has an education in outreach, no new updates. If you have clients believe they have faced housing discrimination, please direct them to put in an intake with Mass Fair Housing, we provide free legal services for people that have experienced housing discrimination. Additionally, I am available to do workshops and trainings with either your teams or clients around fair housing and housing rights. Feel free to reach out to me; I will re-draw my information in the channel. I want to continue to build those collaborations and communications with you.
Hi All, my name is Rosa Tobin - Communications/Education and Outreach for Mass Fair Housing Center. My number is Phone: (413) 233-4620 and my email is Our website is: Please contact me if you’d like to discuss trainings/workshops for your teams and/or clients on fair housing rights.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library / Funeral Consumer’s Alliance
Wearing two hats, working on the mini golf and games at the library with the foosball outside and the golf inside on Saturday, April 9th. We are actively seeking sponsors right now within the next four weeks will be a good time to line up sponsors to support this library fundraiser. This is a very family friendly event. Next month when it’s closer to the event, she will announce volunteer sign up, if you want to help that day, that’s fun too.

The second group I work with is the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance of Western Mass. I have been the volunteer web master for the years. Spent the last three or four months remaking the website, we launched it a few days ago, same address, put the address in the chat, it now has a good search engine and reorganized information. If you know of people looking to seek information about their rights and options in Massachusetts about death care, making choices or have questions weather for burial, cremation, donation of bodies, there is a lot of valuable information there feely available to all.
Sandy Ward: 2 announcements from the orgs for which I volunteer: 1) Improved website, with search engine, at for info about death-care options and rights. 2) Holyoke Public Library seeking sponsors now for the Mini Golf & Games event Saturday April 9, 2022. You can reach me at

Sarah Greenleaf: Greening the Gateway Cities Tree Planting Program
Program is a state run and funded by the office of energy and environmental affairs. We work in Gateway cities with the goal of expanding the urban tree canopy. Gateway cities are areas throughout Massachusetts that are lower income and have higher diversity and these are typically environmental justice communities that have lower tree canopies. We are looking to plan free trees in the public and private areas to promote the many benefits of trees, but also mainly the energy and cost efficient and cost savings, so providing shade in your homes, businesses, black top, will help cool down local temperatures, help address the urban heat island effect and will actually save people on their utility bills. We have been planting in Holyoke since 2014 and are looking for new places to plant, it’s in the downtown area, not the entire city, unfortunately, but can attach a map in the chat. Within this downtown planting zone, if you have a business or are a resident, you don’t have to own your home. If you are interested in this free tree planting program, certainly be in touch, even if your program has a facility located in the tree planting zone, would be happy to plant you a tree. If you’re interested in an educational component involving people at your facility, we operate and an employment program and we higher seasonal tree planting laborers, you do not need a high school diploma, you need to be 18 or older and we will begin hiring in mid-March.
To learn more about the Greening the Gateway Cities tree planting program, please visit If you live within the planting zone, or have a business or facility there, please let me know if you would like to have one or more free trees planted. Sarah Greenleaf 857-331-4075

Sarah Lynn: MSPCC
Intake and outreach for MSPCC Holyoke. Our Parents of Teachers program is going to be up and running, what this program is going to do will add to our catchment areas. Right now we have Westfield, Chicopee and Holyoke, but we will be expanding to other towns. This also ups our ages, we will be taking moms up to 26 and under and their child can be up to age 5. We are also taking referall for our health families program for moms 23 and under or pregnant or have a baby one year or younger.
MSPCC Holyoke programs- Healthy families and parents as teachers

Sergio Vicente: MassHire Holyoke Career Center
Have three updates he wants to share. Having youth employment opportunities through a grant fund through the Mass Housing Financing Agency, has flyers he will share in the chat. Have a early career exploration program they want to push to the middle school work in the next coming months. What to reach them early, have them thinking abou their careers and light bulb moments before they enter high school age, so when they do come of age and work in the summer program around 14 or 15 they will already have something in mind. Last update is the more heartfelt one for him, as this will be his last week in this role and working with the MassHire Career Center and his last day will be tomorrow. It was a pleasure working with everybody has done a lot of collaborate work with the youth that we serve. So it is hearfelt, it’s not a goodbye, because he knows our paths will cross eventually until he is settled into a new role. Thanked everyone for their support throughout the years.

Sephanie Moore: Holyoke Rows
Director of Holyoke Rows, runs community boat house at Jones Ferry, Spring is almost here, so we will put high schoolers on the water next month in March, middle schoolers in April, they are free programs open to any kids from any school. DRC is actively recruiting more agencies to apply for the summer nights granting program, they have about three times as much money as past years. We will be doing day and evening hiking programs for kids and are welcoming agencies to partner with them. If you are interested in bringing kids to her program this summer, she will know more March 1st when the RFP comes out, appplications are due April 1st. Her information is in the chat, reach out to her.
Dcr’s summer nights program. If you want to partner and get your kids on the water, please contact me. Stephanie Stephanie moore, director of holyoke rows.

Tameka Torres: Holyoke Medical Center
Communication coordinator. Works with a lot of the patients that have been seen in the emergency room, follow-up with them connect them with resources depending on their situation or needs, try to find them what is appropriate for them.

Tiara Rodriguez: Western Mass Educational Opportunity Center
Educational Advisors for the Western Mass Educational Opportunity Center, provide free services, help clients fill out their FASA’s or anything related to college. They are providing in person and remote assistance to our clients. Currently doing in person at Westfield University, STCC, Holyoke Community College at the financial aid offices. They also work at Dean Tech High School and Holyoke High School. There are three on the team and looking to help other agencies that have clients that are looking to go to college and need help with the financial aisstance or anything to do with college.
Tiara RodriguezEducational Advisor413-319-8091Trodriguez@massedco.orgWMASS Educational Opportunity Center

Tyler Drubych: River Valley Counselling Center
Clinical Supervisor for the WISE Program, work with students that go to Peck or Veritas Middle School, from the ages of 8 to 13, provide Phyco Educatonal Groups, as well as check-ins either remote or in the school. The only update is that we are currently looking for a bilingual casemanager full-time to join our team to help support the kids that they serve.
Tyler Drubych, clinical supervisor of WISE through RVCC, 413 505 4801

Victor Nunez-Ortiz: Department of Veterans Affairs
Wars a few hats, main hat is Adminisstrative Officer – Geriatrics & Extended Care Minority Veterans Program. Also the representative for Center for Minority Veterans Program. Here to let you know that there is a program within the VA that ensures that all veterans receive equal services regardless of their race, origin, religion or gender. We serve veterans in the specific minority groups; Pacific Islanders, Asain American, African American, Hipanic, Latino, Native America; including American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaan. Our goal here at the medical center is to outreach and increase local awareness of minority veteran and related issues and develop strategies for the increase of participation of the existing VA benefits program. This is of course for all eligible veterans. We do this by promoting, the use of VA benefits, doing outreach to networks, such as these. We do a lot of targeted outreach to minority veterans, through the use of our community networks, such as this. I am very easily accessable, if you know of any veterans that could benefit from enrolling in VA healthcare or eldery residents veterans that may need assistance in enrolling in extended care programs that the VA offers, phone number and email is in the chat box.
Victor A. Nunez-OrtizAdministrative Officer – Geriatrics & Extended CareMinority Veterans Program CoordinatorHispanic Employment Program Co-ChairVA Central Western Massachusetts HCSEdward P. Boland VAMC421 N. Main St.Leeds, MA 01053Email: Victor.Nunez-Ortiz@va.govPhone: (413) 584-4040 voicemail xtn 6452

Yessenia Cruz: Adcare
Community Service Representative for Adcare Hospital. Adcare stands for Alcohol and Drug Care, so we offer substance use services to folks struggling with addiction. We have two detox facilities and an outpatient office that service that Western Mass region. Currently the outpatient office is only doing virtual services, we did start hybrid right before the holiday and then COVID took over, so we transitioned back to simply virtual services. Anyone in the community can use it, which is the nice part about it. Our detox facilities are in Worcester and Rhode Island and we provide transportation to and from. I personally work out in the community with providers and people seeking services, anyone that wants to connect at any time, I am happy to give you more informaiton or present to your agency or kind of be that point of contact for our facililty and your agency. So reach out to me if you like, I dropped all of my information in the chat.
Hi everyone, Yesenia Cruz, Adcare Hospital Community Service Representative,, 508-713-1710 I have to jump off of this just a tad bit early so I'll leave my info here in the chat. We offer substance use services to folks in need. We have two detox facilities and an outpatient office that service the western ma region. Outpatient can be done virtually and inpatient offers transportation. Happy to connect with anyone who would like more information or looking to make a referral. Substance use affects everyone, not just within our place of employment, but also in everyday life. -Yesenia Cruz, 508-713-1710,

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps
Still currently virtually enrolling, as noted in the presentation. Also working on our Workforce Council and Business Engagement and would like to congratulate and thank Kathy Anderson as our next Workforce President. Really moving and grooving with our community, excited for the All-Star Game and all the work with the Holyoke Safe Neighbohrood Initiative and our Shoot Hoops C3 Citywide Program in Springfield.
Walter Rice Westover Job Corps Center 413-593-4005

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of Western Mass
Still trying to take route in the Holyoke community. Trying to establish with some new partners, we want to consentrate at first working with our youngest age, which folks would call our Cub Scouts, kiderngarten to fifth grade. We are looking for very hyper local groups that would be interested in being a charter partner, we have a couple of meetings coming up, hopefully we will have some things to report out in the near future. Please reach out to Art if you are interested in working with them to establish Cup Scouting in Holyoke.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership
Mass Mentoring Partnership is a statewide organization to support programs with technical assistance, funding, training, we have a number of trainings coming up, we had a training today on Culturally Responses Practices, we have one coming up on White Savorism, we have one coming on to support LGBTQ plus youth, will put her informaiton in the chat if you want to register for any trainings.
If you are a youth serving organization, here is an opportunity to network Melany Mendoza Mass Mentoring Partnership

Dan Cortez: Chelsea Police Department
Community Engagement Specialist for the Chelsea Police Department, I can’t tell you how impressed I am with this group and excited that this group is potentially going to be part of the Hub situation table in the near future. I coordinate the Chelsea Hub, it’s a modle out of Canada. The Hub takes of individuals like you that work with other individuals and familes that may be highly at risk, you mobilize team that work on an intervewntion to try to get people out of risk. Again, looking forward to conversing with everyone in the near future.

Ed Caisse: Hamdpen County Sheriff’s Department
We have been working on planning the Holyoke Hub for about a year an a half. Hoping that many of your agencies would participate in the Holyoke Hub, especially the agnecis that have specific resources to assist folks to get to better places.

Thanked all of the agencies that are working with the HSNI Basketball League. We are getting ready to kick off the All-Star Game at the Basketball Hall of Fame (BHOF). We feel that allowing the youth to play at the BHOF will be very meaningful and memorable for them.

If any of you are aware of other agencies in the community that have resources for youth and family and those agencies are not currently attending our networking meeting, please consider inviting those agencies to our next meeting on Thursday, 3/10 at 1:00pm.

Please mark your calendar for our next large Back to School Event that will be held on Saturday, August 20th at McNally Field in Holyoke.

Chat Only:
Patrick Love, Development Director, LightHouse Personalized Education for Teens,

AMI R. JACKSONYouth Advocacy- CPCSJuvenile Criminal Defense Investigator Western Mass413-750-1640101 State Street, Springfield, MA

Meghan Lauer, AmeriCorps Legal Advocate at the Mass Fair Housing Center,

Shellie Daries Department of Children and Families, Foster MA

Brianna Owen: Rise Above
Hello!I'm so excited to share that this spring we will be sending out another round of College Care Packages for youth in foster care continuing education (vocational or traditional)! We'll make as many as we have sign-ups for, so please help us spread the word to your youth. Below is messaging you're welcome to copy and paste for youth. While we call them "College" care packages, they are available for any youth still involved with DCF and who have finished high school (diploma or equivalent) and are continuing their education in ANY way (2 or 4-year degree program or vocational program). You can also use the link below to sign a youth up to receive a package Care Packages Rise Above Foundation wants to send YOU a care package! We know it hasn't been easy to get where you are, and we are incredibly proud of you! We want to celebrate your accomplishments by sending you a special package full of snacks, college essentials, and other fun stuff!
Rise Above is a nonprofit organization that provides enriching experiences and activities for youth experiencing foster care. In just the last couple of years, we've served 8,000 youth here in Massachusetts. Check us out at Above will not share your mailing address with anyone. Please also know that we will respect your privacy and ensure that the package does not identify you as someone who is/was in foster care. Packages will arrive in mid-April!Sound good? Follow this link to sign-up by 3/25 to receive a care package: If you have questions, shoot us an email:, or give us a call: 855-246-8850.

Laura Soderbaum: Holyoke Housing Authority
Hello Everyone, my name is Laura Soderbaum, work at Holyoke Housing Authority. I can hear everyone but unfortunately you won’t be able to hear me. We have lots going on; we will be having a FTB's class in both Spanish & English coming up this spring. I will make sure I email the flyer to everyone.

Old Business / New Business
Next meeting is Thursday, March 10th 2022 on Zoom
We will be doing a presention (Pre-Mobilization Meeting) during the next Networking Meeting on 3/10.

Close Meeting 2:30pm

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

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