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July 2022

Ed Caisse

July 14 2022

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: July 14, 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

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America 1:05pm – 1:20pm
My name is Iris Sosa from the Boy Scouts of America with the Massachusetts council. I going to be talking about a little bit, what is the program, how we have the structure of the program here and how maybe we can help us. So what is the boy Scouts of America? Since 1910, the scouting program has instilled in youth, the values found in the scout oath and law. Scouting has more for the future leaders of this country by combining educational activity and lifelong values and fun. That's one of the most important for us.
So the mission of the scout, is prepare the youth to make ethical and moral choices over the lifetime by instilling them the values of the scout oath and law. And, with teaching them to be physically strong, to be, loyal friendly. It has a lot of that. We have in our mission,
Now the program is by age and different activities. So we actually have like five programs. So we have the Cub Scout that is the little ones. Cub scouts is for boys and girls from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade. We have Scout BSA that is open for young men and your women from grade six through 12, we had the venturing in the Sea Scout group, both our co-ed program from 14 to 28. And we have scouting program that is more career oriented, from age 10, all the way to 20.
So the Cub Scout program is also, like I said, from kindergarten to fifth grade. So we have different ranks. So we have activity for each grade group. Sometimes we combine groups. Sometimes we have it, say by all depends the unit. And basically they learn, we introduce them to help the community through service projects. We also introduce them to outdoor fun and activities, like hiking, camping, fishing different ways to do it. We also do activities like science stem related, and they have some award that are stem related. So it's more like introduction as a little bit of everything.
Then we have the Scouts BSA that allows boys and girls who explore and are interested to serve the community and discover their talent, their work through ranks. But also they work toward many badges here. You can see a picture of some of the many badges there, just a little bit of them. We have over 135 different merit badges. They can work on and explore different, opportunities like, healthcare professional, bakery and arts. There's a lot of them working on learning and exploring. And also they work through Eagle Scout. That is the highest rank in scouting through Eagle Scout, they learn leadership. They learn how to organize a project, how to follow the project, they organize to help the community. So you see great opportunity for young people to start just building that connection with the community, with leadership.
So Venture has four different ranks. All of them help them do two skills that help them to make decisions, working, communication, and organization. Because they are older, they have the opportunity to create actually the program they want to do. And with the help of the leaders, they are the ones running the programs. So they learn how to be a leader in communication. Sea Scout is a little more oriented to boating skills. And usually they earn some certification to during the program. And like I mentioned, scoring, we have some different careers they can explore, like for example, any organization or group that, want to have a post, they can teach him. And mentor for those young people, adults who learn about the career to learn how to, what they need to follow, what training they need, and maybe they explore, help them to make a good choices as they get older.
How the program works? Well, this is more as a traditional program is operated with a charter organization. So we partner with some charter organization. They can be like a religious, a club, a civic association, educational association; actually, any organization that wants to partner with the scouts can be a charter organization. Scouting can be an awesome addition to the program. We can help them provide trainings, provide like programs that can help what they wanted. How about unit work? The units are running by volunteers and, anybody can be a volunteer that want to help and want to teach kids to do better. And to have more opportunity later in life, every volunteer has to do protection training with the scouts. We provide the training, it's an online training and we have some like safety for the youth. We have the leadership program to be sure the kids are safe in the program. And also the volunteers have different opportunity to grow even as an adult because we provide training for the adult in all the mentors and outdoor trainings for the adult volunteers. And we also have the support from our council in everything that we can help them to, to progress as a unit.
Sometimes people ask, well, how, what is the commitment? How does this work? So actually it's depends how the unit wants to run it. Like I said, he's running for volunteers. So as a volunteer, as a group, they decide they want to meet twice a month or weekly or how it works better for them. So basically how the volunteer wants to run it. They can do activities like hiking, camping. Like I mentioned before fishing, there's a lot opportunity, a lot of activity that kids can do. And as a family, they can do it too. There's a registration costs for the Scouts, but also we have a system for not many people know that we have a system to help the scout through the registration. If a scout wants to go camping during summer camp, we have something that we call campership. So all kids can apply. The kid can apply and can go to camp with those competent. So we have a lot of opportunity for kids to be in the program. We don't want any kid to be left behind because they don't have the resources to be in the program. We help them to find the resources.
So overall, I know I talk fast, especially when I get nervous. So Scouting can be, family, fun, friendly and it's for a lifetime. Adventure is a place where a kid learned and experienced things that helped them have a better future. And like I mentioned before, also the adults, because as a volunteer leader, sometimes you learn new things during those trainings and you get better by yourself too. I can speak for myself. I started as a mom and became a leader. And now I’m here talking with all of you, and that is thanks to scouting, I know my limits or my comfort zone. So I want to share two little videos here with you, some experience from other people too. (showed video clips.) Posted links in chat room.
So like similar to the video, I can identify myself with the program with videos because, my husband was in the military. So at the beginning, we moved from place to place, we came from Puerto Rico. So when we moved to Western Mass, we didn't have like any friends and family here. And I started scouting with my oldest son and now I have great friends and I’m leading my group. Well, oh, the pack that my kids are part of, I love it. Have a little bit of everything. So scouting is not just for a group of people, scouting is for everybody, who wants to enjoy the program. My kids are in the autism spectrum and before they didn’t want to do anything outdoor, anything that was over, you know, stimulated or sensory. And now for two years in the row, they'd been participating in summary cabin, do all the activities. Even these times, we went to the BB gun range and my little one to enjoy it. He did it without any problems. So I really believe in the program and I hope we can partner with some other organizations in Holyoke and bring the program to Holyoke. I think it can be a great opportunity for kids in Holyoke. Not every kid likes sports, so maybe I think that's another way they can be out of the street and have something else to do and look forward in the future for it. So I hope you enjoy the representation. If anybody has any questions, please put it in the chat. And I will answer and I put my contact information also in the chat. If anybody wants to just connect later, we are more than welcome to have a meeting and explain a little more details about the program and how can help and punish it with us. So thank you

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Thank you so much, Iris. You did an outstanding job. Hey, I just want to encourage agency representatives. If you focus on a very specific neighborhood, really consider reaching out to Iris. Iris is very passionate and we know that many of the youth in several neighborhoods in Holyoke could really benefit from being part of a scouting program. So if we can get at least like one agency leader to partner with Iris in a specific neighborhood, then we could recruit a couple parents from the school in that neighborhood and we can really get a scouting pack going in different neighborhoods. So I'm just asking you, if anything you heard from Iris kind of interests you, please consider reaching out to her, so we can get more scouting groups in Holyoke. Iris, thank you so much. And I appreciate your passion for trying to reach the youth in Holyoke.
As I mentioned earlier, we're going to start in the beginning of the alphabet. We're going to go around if you don't have anything to report, you can just say your name and your agency and that you have nothing to report. This is a time for each agency to share for a minute or two about agency resources or any upcoming activities or events

Randy Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Hey everybody. Thank you for your presentation, Iris. I definitely had some fond memories. I was a boy scout, seventh, eighth, ninth grade. You not only get out of the city and the streets you get into the woods and that's in the water and now in nature. And it's a great thing.
I'm the executive director of CrossPoint Clinical Services and we specialize in Christian faith based counseling, but our staff are all very professional, licensed, independently, licensed counselors who are very able to work from a secular, traditional perspective. And, currently we accept most insurance and we have no wait lists for individuals, couples and family counseling. And we have a fantastic crew of, addiction, counselors, educational psychologist, social workers, magnet, family therapists, and etcetera. So in addition to that, we have a health and fitness program. So our tagline is redeeming a mind, body and spirit through exceptional clinical care wellness services. And so we have a health and wellness program with two trainers who offer a free webinar called beginning your fitness journey twice a month. That happens on the second Tuesday from 1230 to 1:30pm, the next one's going to be August 9th and the fourth Saturday from 1130 to 1230. Next one's going to be on July 23rd. You just need to go to our events section under our website and sign up and that's all. So I hope those will be helpful resources for you and really happy to be able to be here and serve the community alongside Ed and the safe neighborhood initiative. Thank you everybody.

Abby Jermaine: Western Mass Moms Program
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Abby from the Western Mass Moms Program. Thank you so much for this opportunity and Iris that was a great presentation, very informative. And thank you for the work that you're doing.
So the Western Mass Moms Program is an opportunity for mothers and other caregivers to address their stress, anxiety, and depression. Our services include an eight-week stress management course, but in addition to that, we also have some great services to help folks, meet their individual personal goals, educational goals, and employment goals. We also connect to services and resources out into the community as needed.  I love these meetings. So I could hear from all the great agencies, we've been able to make some great connections and collaborations, which I hope to continue on with. So we can make sure that nobody falls through the cracks.
I also wanted to just briefly thank those that were able to attend our big pow-wow meeting yesterday. That definitely meant a lot to us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for, for attending. But I wanted to add something that wasn't kind of mentioned yesterday during that pow-wow meeting.
So our program is really based on referrals that we receive. Just a quick announcement is that since we officially launched in April, we've received 116 referrals, from community agencies like yours. So I just wanted to thank you all for that.
We are continuing to take referrals. So if you know, any mothers or other caregivers of children under the age of 18, we'd be happy to provide more information, answer any questions and hopefully get folks enrolled in our program. I'm usually accompanied by one colleagues, Heather, who's not able to be here right now. So I'm just going to take her minute. Just to add that we are part of a research study funded by the U S department of health and human services and the social security administration. So because we're part of a research study, when folks enroll with us, there's a 50/50 chance that they're going to get into the mom's services.
If they're not randomly assigned to the mom's services, there'll be assigned to what we call the community referrals group. And those folks are referred to outside agencies within the community that will be able to help them. So they're still walking away with something. But because it's a research study and many of you have been, maybe a part of a research study, read about them or you know that you need to have some kind of control group to be able to compare. So we want to know that the mom’s partnership works. So we're really excited to be part of this research study. So for anybody that wants more information, I will put my, contact into the chat. So please don't ever hesitate to reach out, I'm available for further collaboration, for sure. So thanks Eddie, and have a good rest of the meeting.
Adiar Medina: Holyoke Pediatrics
Nothing to report.

Adlyn Colon; Picknelly Adult Education Center/HCC
Good afternoon, everybody. I'm glad to be here. I'm Adlyn Colon; I worked for the Adult Education Program for Holyoke Community College. Our school is located on a 206 Maple St. right here, downtown Holyoke. We offer free high set classes or GED for any student that wants to complete the high school credentials. And we also offer English as a second language, free software and outdoors. We not only offer them the high set or the high school equivalency, after that we assist them moving on and maybe transfer to college or to a job placement. I have other coworkers here; I know they're going to talk more about those other programs and thank you for having me. I'm going to put my information in the chat.

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of America
Good afternoon. Art Lobdell, also with the Boy Scouts of America, can't believe what a wonderful job Iris did. Thank you so much Iris. Also wanted to point out, we do have, some resources that perhaps could be useful to your agencies. We have right now, four different story walks. Those are mounted boards and wire frames, that those can be put out for any constituency at all. They can borrow them from us or we can perhaps also send some personnel along with them. So if you're interested in working with youth and story walk, as I said, we have four different titles. They do skew to younger age children, from kindergarten to maybe a fourth grade. But, perhaps it's just a resource you all might be able to use if you're having an outdoor event.

Bianca Frederick: RFK Community Alliance
Hi, I'm Bianca. I'm from RFK Community Alliance. I am a youth mentor and at this time we don't have any updates.

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff's Dept.
Hey, everybody Bill Courchesne from the Hampden County Sheriff's Department. I'm the Ward 6 coordinator for the Safe Neighborhood Initiative, nothing new to report at this time. But as always, if you're doing thinking, planning and hoping to do something in Ward 6, reach out to me. If I can help you all find somebody that can, but I will definitely give you everything. I can.

Brianna Hernandez: Impact Center in Springfield
Hi everyone. My name is Briana Hernandez. I work with the Impact Center in Springfield. We work with young adults’ ages 16 to 26; we work with a wide variety of things, in the categories of education and employment and peer support, mental health and substance use. I'm personally the recovery specialist here at the impact center. And right now we're doing a Christmas in July, for the young adults and we have a calendar. I put my information in the chat already, but I can put it again. If anyone wants to receive that calendar, I can connect you to my supervisor and you can see any events that we're doing for young adults. And we also have Instagram and Facebook. So that's also another way to check on kind of what we're doing and any updates about us. That's all I have to add.

Carlos Vicente: Holyoke Public Library
I am going to present to you from the Holyoke Public Library. On behalf of my director, what programs we're offering and just started just the first of this month. It's a summer reading program. So for anyone, who's a child, teen, or adult, we have three separate programs you would come in, somebody's reading blogs and you'll get some prices based on how many you submit in terms of the computer lab, which I run on my computer coordinator over here. We have our free computer classes for people to just come to register, adult classes, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So if you are looking for specific topics, we hold them. Every two months, we're going to be cycling through with different topics. And if you need more, one-on-one specific times, we have office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so you can schedule with one of the community coordinators. In August, we will be starting up an escape room program over at the library as well.    Based on teaching people, how to kind of figure out, misinformation online and kind of get through some of that and how they can protect yourselves. And that's what we got going on. Thank you.

Cheryl Livingood: Holyoke Public Library
Hi everyone. I’m just going to say ditto to what Carlos said and, please feel free to contact me. I'm one of the reference librarians. And if you have any questions about what's going on at the library, you can certainly talk to a staff member or to me. I will also put my email address in the chat. Thank you.

Daniel Torres: Mission Pioneer Valley
God bless everyone.  Great to be with you. I'm here representing, Fishers of Men, New England and Mission Pioneer Valley.    We are looking for organizations that want to do presentations to the faith-based, programs and churches, so that, we can all learn about your services.   So feel free to reach out to me with your information so that we can get the faith community more involved with this project. Thank you.

Denise Kelly-Lachat: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Hello, everyone. Denise Kelly Latchat from the Hampden County District Attorney's Office. I'm the diversion coordinator for Holyoke Juvenile and Holyoke District Court. And I don't really have anything to report at this time. Thank you.
Look at the video to see if this is the correct Ashley

Devonne and Ashley: Hospital-Based Intervention Program
We are a part of a developing hospital-based intervention program. And at this point we have nothing to report.

Dominika LaValley: New Horizons Shelter in Holyoke
Hi, I'm Dominika LaValley and I'm the director of New Horizons Shelter in Holyoke. It's an emergency shelter for families and children.    And this is my first meeting with you all. So I'm just happy to learn about resources that are out here.

Ellen Brodahurst: Hamden Courts and Franklin Courts
I'm here for the same reason as Dominika, I'm a social work vendor with Hampden Courts and Franklin Courts, but I'm here just because it's the best source for what's going on in the valley to help families and individuals.

Erica Vasquez: Holyoke Pediatrics
I'm one of the new medical home care coordinators at Holyoke Pediatrics and I'm training with Adair.

Iliana Carrion: City of Holyoke Office of Planning and Economic Development
Good afternoon, I'm Iliana. I worked for the City Planning and Economic Development Office. I don't have anything to report, but I put my email in the chat if anyone wants to reach out for any questions. Thank you.

Jamie Santiago: Preferred Behavioral Health
Hi, my name is Jamie Santiago from Preferred Behavioral Health. We are a mental health agency in Springfield. I'll put our information in the chat. I don't have anything to report at the moment.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke Peer Recovery Support Center
Hello everyone. My name is James Maloney. I'm a peer resource specialist at hope for Peer Recovery Support Center. There are a couple of things that are happening in the next couple of months that we wanted to highlight Wednesday, August 31st is overdose awareness day. We're working closely with Damascus and Pedro of Tapestry to put on our annual overdose awareness vigil. And we'd like to extend an invitation to everyone in our community to come together and take part in raising awareness.
This Wednesday is our community meeting at Hopes for Holyoke, where we will be developing our plans for the event. If you're interested in supporting the event, taking part in it or attending, please let us know if you'd like to join our community meeting. You're more than welcome. September is recovery month and we will be gearing up for all the recovery events all over the place. 
That said, Hope for Holyoke will be hosting its annual recovery day celebration. Once again at Veterans Park, the exact date and time have yet to be decided. But our plan is to do a march from a Heritage Park in front of the police station up to the Veterans Park area. So if you're interested, if you or your agency would like to take part in either the overdose awareness vigil or our recovery day event, please feel free to contact us at 413-561-1020.  You can ask for a director, Debbie Flynn or myself, and you can also email me. Thank you.

Jeffrey Hayden: Holyoke Community College
Hi, good afternoon Eddie and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I'll just say, four quick things, free training programs, jump-starts new behavioral health technician program, ESOL programs, especially accelerated career English and, culinary and, nurse aid all in, contextualized, ESOL approaches. And then we have fee for service summer camps. I'm going to put that all in, in the chat, uh, and, send that off to you and a special hello to Adalynn and Vanessa. It's nice to see my colleagues here. Thanks.

Jen Fernandes: United Way Thrive Program
Hello everybody.  Just a few updates, just want to remind everyone that, I'm a financial coach with the Thrive program. It's our financial wellness program where the United Way of Pioneer Valley, it's free and open to anybody in the community. So if anyone is looking to get help with their financial goals and work towards a better financial wellbeing,   Thrive is here. It's a great program. Like I said, it's free. 
We also do a lot of presentations, and going forward, we're going to be doing those more in a class kind of style, or we're going to be focusing on one specific area, at a time like budgeting, then savings and credit. So if anyone wants to contact me I put my information in the chat, definitely let me know. The other piece, I wanted to let people know is what our service center. We have a service center here in Springfield at 1441 Main Street and the TD bank building. It's been open since February. It's a great center for people to come and get, referrals or help with resources in the community. We also have an amazing food pantry. So people can come in on Wednesdays nine to one, and we just expanded those hours from Tuesdays from 2:30 to 4:30. The other piece, is United way is very much looking for volunteers, especially with the pantries. If you go to our website, there's a link that you can click on to volunteer. So people can just spread the word.    If you're interested, please click on that. And, we can always use the help and the last piece.
Ed, you had sent this flyer out and I'll put it in the chat, but we are doing Power of the Purse it's through, the woman's leadership council and we are looking for items to donate, that could be toiletries, can be comfort stuff, stationary and gadgets, first aid, sewing kits. This is all for empowering woman. I have here that all donated items are needed by August 4th. And to please drop off the items between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM at Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass at 301 Kelly Way and Holyoke Mass. So again, we need volunteers needed for sorting and assembling all of this stuff from August 5th to August 10th. And then again, I gave you the address, which is the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Mass, or just 301 Kelly Way in Holyoke. So if anybody is interested in that I can also put that information in the chat and, I think that's it.

Judge William Hadley: Holyoke District Court
Hi everybody, just real quickly.  We've been working for the last several years on trying to, get better plugged into the community here because the Holyoke District Court, where I'm the first justice, I think we've done a pretty good job on, particularly around the issue of substance use disorders, trying to just make sure we know the resources who we can call.
We have recovery coaches from Gandara now every day in our courtroom, and they’re they talked to hundreds of people over the last month and they get people immediately into recovery. They get transportation from, Hope for a Holyoke if they need residential care. And it's, I think a great thing that a first appearance in court, people getting walked over to their methadone clinic or the health center getting driven to residential treatment.   
A lot of that came about because we started a community advisory committee. I'm hoping in the next,    couple of months to kind of resurrect that it kind of died out a little bit in COVID. And I'd like to expand to invite folks who can be willing to give us information and ideas, suggestions help on dealing with other issues like mental health, housing, deficiencies employment in particular, just so that the court is ready. And when people ask for help and want it, we can get it immediately and get again, be a real community court. So that's just something to look for in the next couple of months.
I just want to plug, I guess I'll make a plug for the Boy Scouts. I was a boy scout myself, as well. My mother, I'm in my sixties, my mother still mentions now that her great disappointment, I never made it to Eagle Scout, but maybe there's a remedial program I can get involved in, but it's a great program. I love scouting myself, but that's about it. Thank you.

Julia Popkin: Attorney at Community Legal Aid in Springfield Mass
Hi everyone. I'm Julia Popkin. I am a staff attorney at Community Legal Aid in Springfield.    We are the civil legal Services provider for central and Western Massachusetts our Hampden County office is downtown at Monarch place in Springfield.   
I don't have anything particularly new except to say that we've gone back to live screenings. So if someone is calling for assistance from our organization, the number is the same, but instead of leaving a message, you'll call during certain hours of each day,    they're posted on our website, which is  and the person will be placed in a call queue, and then an intake screener will talk to them. And our offices are again open to the public Monday through Friday from nine to five. And, people can also walk in any time during those hours to ask for assistance and as always, they can also apply online. Thank you, Sophie, for putting the info in the chat.    I think that's about it. Okay.

Julio Torres: Mass Fair Housing Center
Hi, my name is Julio Torres with the Mass. Fair Housing Center. We work with cases of discrimination, lead poisoning, and so forth. Nothing to report at this time. Thank you for having me.

Kate Murdock: Committee for Public Counsel Services
Kate Murdock I am with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, that CPCs the public defender's office. I've been meeting with a bunch of you lately, regarding what kind of services you have so that we can try to accompany people after court or send people by, figuring out drop hours and sort of arrangements. I'd love to have more kind of warm hands, pass offs for people. So to the extent that that's, something that you do, please reach out otherwise, I'll try to keep reaching out to you, so that we can make those connections for people who are facing criminal charges and for home, community, services like, you know, everything from drug treatment to, getting a license to, you know, all of the things that you all provide can be so helpful for them for their lives and their criminal cases. Thanks.

Kimberly Maende: Public Health Institute of Western Mass
This is Kimberly Maende day from the public health Institute of Western Mass. I work with 413Cares. 413Cares is an online resource database. I am encouraging everyone here to please claim your program on 413Cares. So you can manage, verify your programs listing. Outside of that, Springfield Healthy Homes is another project that I work with. And for Springfield Healthy Homes, we have a series of podcasts we've created that we hope people listen to and sort of promote. The podcast is available on Spotify and YouTube. I will put that in the chat and if you're interested in a presentation on 413Cares the online community resource database and how to use it, please get in contact with me. I put my info in the chat and I will be putting the podcast information in the chat. Thank you so much, Ed.

Kiki Thorne: Roca Western Mass
Good afternoon. My name is Kiki I'm from Roca Western Mass. I work in Holyoke and Springfield. I'm a core program coordinator. We serve 17 to 24 year old men and women that have been, at risk or have some sort of criminal involvement, or it could be at risk of eventually down the road having criminal involvement, we kind of are a wraparound service.
We work with them on behavior change. That's kind of our, our main focus is helping them think differently to feel differently and do differently. And, we also help with a lot of other things like their mental health. We do, license permits, we help with education. We help with employment. We have onsite employment, which can actually help them to get the skills so that when they go out into the community, they can keep and sustain employment.
We work on a lot of different things. We're pretty much a one-stop shop. If you need it, I can kind of do it for you. I can figure it out. I try to help them around a lot of government services. We do have a court mandated program right now that is new, that we work with, D.A. Gulluni, and they're mandated to Roca and that's pretty new, like in the last year or two. And yeah, we pretty much do anything. If you guys have any questions, I put my information in the, in the chat, feel free to reach out to me. If you have any referrals that you know, our guys or young moms that you think might be eligible for our program and might be interested in it, please reach out and I can kind of, you know, give you a tour. I can tell you a little bit more about it. Anything you need. Thank you.

Laura Banks: Recruiter at River Valley Counseling Center
Hello everyone. Hi. How are you? It’s so good to see all of you today. I am Laura Banks. I'm the recruiter at River Valley Counseling Center. I placed a link of jobs that we have available in the chat. It's an amazing place to work. We have tons of good benefits for your low cost care at Holyoke Medical Center. Anything you can imagine. So we'll be in touch and this is Lady, she's going to be the adolescent sexuality educator. And together we provide sexuality education to young people in Western Mass, between the ages of 12 and 19. So, please be in touch. I put our email and information in the chat.

Liz Plouffe: Independent Social Worker
Hi everyone. I am Liz Plouff. I am an independently licensed social worker in the community. I know many of you from my previous role at Baystate; I just left the emergency department after a couple of years over there. I am in a brand new role with the city of Easthampton as the community social worker. I'm hoping to connect with agencies in Holyoke and neighboring communities for our residents. I'm going to be working closely with police and fire and the council on aging and other agencies that exist here in Easthampton. So I will put my information in the chat as well. This is week one on the job, so, hopefully I will be talking with all of you moving forward. Thanks.

Lucy Friedman-Bell: Safe Routes to School
Hi everyone. I'm Lucy from Safe Routes to School. We are, working with Lawrence School on a walking school bus, for the fall, to support students and families in getting to school safely and on time every day. So if anyone would like to be involved with that support that, please let me know. We're also the safe routes to school team is expanding and we're hiring for new safe routes to school outreach coordinators. So if you or someone that you know, likes working with students, if you're passionate about safe walking and biking, public health transportation, please, shoot me an email, or let me know, I'll put my email on the chat. And I think that's all. Thank you.

Maria Chambers: Behavioral Health Network
Hi everyone. My name is Maria Chambers; I'm a senior program manager at the Behavioral Health Network. I don't have any updates, but I did put my information in the chat. So if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Lt. Maria Pelcher: Holyoke Fire Department
Hello, everybody. All the Maria's together again. Hi, I am a lieutenant at the Holyoke Fire Department, if you need a fire safety home or business inspection tour, the department, any fire safety presentation, car seat installations, or if you know a family that needs a car seat, let me know a fire extinguisher training one-on-one or if you need a fire truck to visit your program, or simply just to invite you, invite us to attend your activities. I am your contact. I added my name and information in the chat. Also, we do have a free smoke alarm smoke and carbon monoxide alarm for citizens in a free Knox books program installation for seniors.

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Hi, I'm Mara Chiapperino, registered dietician in community navigation at Holyoke Medical Center. And I'm just going to report today that we continue to do our monthly free community meal, which is distributed, as a drive-through system in front of the hospital on the last Thursday of every month at 3:45. And we are in the process of gathering supplies to contribute to the backpack program that's coming up in August and, we do officially have a new director of community benefits who isn't here today, but her name is Lisa Wray, and, she'll be on the meeting in the future to also provide updates. Thank you.

Megan Gross: Bilingual Language Development Lab at UMass Amherst
Good afternoon everyone. My name is Megan Gross and I'm from the bilingual language development lab at UMass Amherst. And I have three quick updates.
The first is that Nayroby from One Holyoke and I are continuing to collaborate on our program, supporting families, raising bilingual children, and we have our next family support group meeting coming up on Saturday, July 30th, in person at the flats community building or on zoom. And I'll put that flyer in the chat. If you'd like to share with any families who are interested, this group is for Spanish speaking, caregivers of children who have disabilities or other types of special needs.
The second update is that our lab is running a study on zoom for children, age’s four to six, who speaks Spanish and English. They can be developing typically or be on the autism spectrum or have a language disorder. And it's about three sessions, fun activities for kids to do during the summer. And their families do receive a gift card for each session they participate in. I'll put that in the chat as well. And then the final update is that I'm working with a colleague in the department of communication disorders at UMass to offer hearing and language screenings in both English and Spanish. So if your agency would be interested in having our grad students come in under supervision to offer screenings to children involved in your agencies were happy to talk more about that and how we could set that up. You can email me. Thanks.

Professor Miguel Arce: Springfield College
Miguel Arce Springfield College, no updates, but once again, a Mr. Caisse, I want to applaud your efforts. And today it became so clear about how successful you are in linking people. And then two examples I will provide as evidence that you are being successful is Judge Hadley's enumeration of a number of different services that he's using as a direct result of your bringing us all together. And the second point of evidence that I would provide you is that, the public defender, Kate Murdoch had mentioned also a long list of individuals said she's connected with, so I just, for my own self, just want to applaud the fact that you're able to put, get 60 people together and have such a meaningful impact. I just tip my hat to you. Thank you.

Milagros Martinez: Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School
Thank you, Ed. I have a couple of updates. I actually, there are four. the first one is, about our enrollment. We're still enrolling our students. I represent Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School we are the only charter school in New England. I mean the only social justice charter school. And also the second update tours. We want to tour students that want to work. Parents want to tour the community so you can, you can see our facilities and what we're doing. We, you can see, you have an idea of what, opportunities we have for our students and for the community to come and join us. And somehow partner with us.
Third update would be, back to school event. We're going to be holding on August 25th. This back to school will event will be from 12 to 4pm and we will have new comers in the first two hours, 12 to 2pn, 2 to 4pm. We will have students enrolled in the program who we're hoping to have a cookout with the parents. And at the meantime, we'll be, working with the students and working with the contract with the Chrome books schedules and, backpacks and everything that we have for our students or knowing the, the staff, the locks and everything, every facility in school.
And the fourth update will be on a sports clinic. We're holding where we will be holding us sport's clinic. And this is going to be on July 30th. This is a basketball and volleyball sports clinic for students from 7th to 12th grade. And we're having a lot, we're having local high school and college coaches instructing the clinic, and that will be from 12:30 to 4:30pm. So any further information that you might need for any of these events, you can contact me. I posted my information on the chat and I will gladly give you more information. Thank you.

John McCarthy: USCIS
I have a number of, updates. First, there will be an instructor training, for instructors of naturalization courses, to become citizens of the United States. That's going to be held on August 4th at the Lowell National Historic Park in conjunction with the Middlesex Community College.
I've put three entries in the chat. One entry is my contact information, one entry is the URL to connect to how you register for the training at the Lowell National Historical Park and, that's online.
The second thing I'd like to mention is the citizenship grant that was announced by U S C I S. And the amounts, available for various grants are $20 million that was announced at the end of, June. And you can see in the chat that I've put the connection to, the grant information, on, in the chat.
And, the other things I'd like to mention is there have been a recent announcement of the extension of Venezuelan TPS. And you can find that on our website, U S C I, if you need information about it, or you can contact me, um, there was also an upcoming, uh, TPS, (temporary protected status) presentation that is going to be put on at the Pawtucket, Rhode Island Public Library, it is going to be a virtual presentation it's being put on, on July 22nd, from 1:00 to 3:00pm. And what you need to do to register for that is to go to the Pawtucket, Rhode Island Public Library website, go to the events calendar, look for the date on the 22nd of July and at 1:00 to 3:00pm, you'll see the TPS offering and instructions how to register. And that's all I have. Thank you very much.

Nayroby Rosa Soriano: OneHolyoke
Hi everybody. Good afternoon. Nayroby Rosa from One Holyoke. I'm the director of community engagement resident services. OneHolyoke is busy, but our main thing right now is our cleanups. We are, trying to host our, our normal fourth Saturday of the month cleanups, but we're looking for organizations that would like to, host their own. We can provide all the supplies, so please help us get, Holyoke streets cleaned up.
We continue to collaborate with Megan's team at UMass with our parents support group, um, doing events here at the flats community building our previous event was an event on trash and recycling, which we had, the mayor here and other city officials to talk about, where our recycles go and how things are going here in, Western Mass. So, if you'd like to see that footage, it is live on our Facebook page. And we are also just hosted last night, our volunteer recognition event, recognizing all the volunteers that have helped One Holyoke throughout the year 2021 and our community champion, both volunteer and sponsors. So check out our Facebook page. We continue to work in the community. We have received an extension of our grant and we've, renewed our lease at Key Food Supermarket, which I always offer it to all the organizations that are interested in doing any tabling in Key Food Supermarket. You can reach out to me. Holyoke Hospital has been their Holyoke Health Center. We allow them to come and, we have the space available rented through December. So if any organization would like to do any outreach there, feel free to contact me. And I will put my information in the chat. Thanks, Ed.

Rafael Santos: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
My name is Rafael and I am part of the Hampton County Sheriff's Department. I recently have taken on a new position here at the department, as a high risk offender for transitioning back into the community. I'm really excited about that. And since as early as yesterday, I went out to the community and I met with Lucy supporting the new program that they're developing for the walking school bus. I'm excited about that, and I'm hoping to be able to reconnect with the community as a whole, particularly the Ward 4 section of the city of Holyoke, but the whole city as a whole, all the different agencies that are available. So we can help some of these individuals that are released in back to the local communities, reconnect with services. And obviously based on what I'm seeing, I will have seen from the past, there was several agencies out there that I can would love to connect with and have more conversations about these men, especially Roca, because, we work together with them hand in hand with the transition and, you know, mental health services and recovery programs would be very awesome for me to connect with all of you. Mr. Caisse does have my contact information. I will also provide it to you also, and then we'll go from there. Thank you so much.

Rob Crawford: Springfield Dept. of Health and Human Services
Good afternoon, everyone Rob Crawford Springfield Dept. of Health and Human Services. I work in a substance use prevention for youth, and I'm really, really excited to be here. Just want to tell everyone to give themselves a pat on the back for the great work you're doing. Everything sounds great. For me, I don't have any updates on behalf of my position, but I am in a partnership with the FDA and the FDA is looking for youth inspectors ages 16 to 20. So if you work with youth, my email is my name, but I also put contact info in the chat. Please get in contact with me because they're looking for youth to conduct, tobacco inspections on, stores. So if you know, any youth, again, ages 16 to 20 who want to work, I can send the information over for them to apply and, they would be doing field youth, tobacco inspections. So get in contact with me for more information. Thanks for everyone.

Vanessa Martinez: Holyoke Community College
Hi everybody. It's been a while since I attended these meetings; it's been hard to get representation. So, as Jeff mentioned, my fulltime job is that Holyoke Community College, but I also am an executive team member of the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, and our organization, takes a five pronged approach to community capacity building and grassroots advocacy work.
We do training consultant work, advocacy research and direct services. And the work that we're doing really focuses on health equity, racial justice, and cultural humility. I'm the research and advocacy arm, I do most of that work, so if you have need for training and consulting, feel free to reach out to me as well, especially on issues around cultural humility or anti-racism work.
If you are also interested and need support on research and advocacy, feel free to also reach out. I would love to talk a little bit more and, and hopefully I'll connect with Ed about sort of sharing a little bit more about our organization. We are women of color led and volunteer. So that means that the leaders of the organization have full-time jobs elsewhere. So some of us are social workers, and some of us are educators.
So I would love to talk a little bit. Oh, yay. Yes. Megan just mentioned we are actually working; we probably are working with a number of you. We're working with over 30 organizations right now in terms of training on cultural humility and anti-racism repairing relationships, micro aggressions. And we are also doing some great, grant collaborations on, or with around girls of color and social, emotional learning.
So we have some great things happening and I'm, I'm hoping that we get a chance to, or I am planning on attending these meetings more frequently, because I'm on sabbatical next semester. So my goal is to also reach out to many of you, over the next few months to see how we can, be more strategic and work, work smarter, not harder, & work together. And so if you have advocacy work or research or consulting or training that feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to get in touch as soon as possible. Okay. And I am definitely signing up for a story walk for sure. And Megan, I'll be in touch too, about the bilingual. I have some questions about that too, because I'm, I'm trying to raise my daughter bilingual and she is of the age group. So I'll probably be in touch about that too. Alright. I took up too much time. I will see you guys later. Bye Ed.

Patrick Love: Lighthouse Holyoke
I folks, I'm here representing Catherine. I'm not Catherine. I'm Patrick Love on the development director at Lighthouse Personalized Education for Teens in Holyoke. As far as our, updates, the biggest thing we were granted accreditation, this spring. So that was a lot of work on the part of everybody to get that done. We expanded from 50 to 65 students in the spring, and we're continuing to expand our partnership with Holyoke Public Schools, where, students who are not succeeding there have Lighthouse as an option for them.
And the last thing is, we'll be onboarding a new program director this August that we're pretty excited about it, which will help with our capacity, but that's it from Lighthouse for now.

Rosa Tobin: Mass Fair Housing Center
Hi everybody. Just like Ed said, my name's Rosa Tobin, I'm with the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center. I do communications as well as education and outreach. And I just want to mention that I do trainings with organizations, so with teams or their participants on, how to identify fair housing discrimination and also just the basics of your fair housing rights. So if that's something that's interesting to you, please reach out to me. I'll enter my information in the chat. Thank you.

Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass
Thanks Ed. I put some information in the chat. I'm a volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts, and available to speak to groups to educate about your options and rights for final arrangements. We're not connected with the federal industry were independent. Over the last year, I've worked monthly meetings with the Boston board of registration as they updated a consumer fact sheet. And I put in the chat that they've, the updated version is now up on their website and we've linked from our website and I put the information there in the chat trying to improve the information's available for consumers, about your choices. Thank you.

Sarah Lynn: MSPCC Prevention
Hi everyone. Sarah Lynn here from MSPCC Prevention. We have the healthy families program, which is for first-time parents, 23 and under whether prenatal or postpartum up to age one can be the baby. We also hold the contract for parents as teachers now, which can help out parents 26 and under, and they can have multiple children under the age of five. And that really helps a lot with school readiness skills. And we do have immediate openings in both, and I will put our easy online referral link in the chat box. Thank you.

Stephanie Marshall: MHA Best Life
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Stephanie Marshall. I'm a recovery coach over here at, MHA best life and have nothing to report, but also if anybody's looking for a female recovery coach or recovery coach in general, contact me, I put my information in the chat and that's it. Thank you.

Steven Faye: Holyoke Mayor’s Office
I'm Steven Faye. I worked for the Holyoke Mayor and Mayor Garcia is grateful to Eddie and everyone present today for all your service to the community. And I too was a Boy Scout 60 years ago in Berkeley California. And I wish I had paid attention during the knot tying instruction because it's handicapped me all my life. Thank you.

Yamaris Rivera: Holyoke Public Schools (Lawrence)
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Yamaris Rivera. I'm a family assets assistant and case manager coordinator here at the Lawrence School. And today I'm supporting the walking school, because the team and I really encourage you to be, become a volunteer, to really support our students and family here at school. Thank you.

Yesenia Cruz: Ad Care Hospital
Hi everyone, I'm Yesenia Cruz. I'm a community service representative for Ad Care Hospital. I don't have any updates but I just want to say, if any of you guys work with folks who are struggling with addiction or substance use, please reach out to me so we can connect. We offer detox services, outpatient services, and all kinds of services for folks who are struggling. And so I'd like to just connect with anyone who's out there working in the community with people. And I dropped my information in the chat box if anyone needs it. Thank you and nice to see you all.

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps.
Good afternoon, everyone. What a great day to apply to Westover Job Corps. My name is Yvonne Lomax and I'm the outreach and admissions manager here at the Westover Job Corps. We are so excited to announce that in-person tours are back and open. So if you have any young people, any counselors, any partners who would love to see Westover Job Corps, tour the facility, look at our trades, our academics, the dorms, residential culture recreation. We would love to schedule tours and I will put my information again in the chat I did earlier, but I'll put it back in there. We are also looking for in-person young people from 16 to 24 years of age. They can be 25 and older if they have a documented disability. And we also have several openings for anyone who would be interested in working in the field with young people from 16 to 24. Thank you guys, and have a great day.

Zenaida Smiley: ROCA Young Moms of Western Mass Program
Hi, happy Thursday, everybody. I am Zenaida Smiley; I work for Roca Young Moms, Western Mass Program. I put my information on there. We target girls that are between the ages of 16 and 24. We actually have had one 13 year old, but we also had a 14 year old. They can be just young women, doesn't have to be necessarily young moms. We deal with DCF; we deal with trauma, lots of trauma. And Kiki said it like perfectly, we do CBT. We do a lot of cognitive behavioral, trying to change their way of thinking and their impulsivity. But I wanted to let you guys know that we have lots of openings for positions. We have lots and lots of positions. We have like a roamer position, youth worker, please go on, and please apply. We have a grant with Baystate that helps people, you know, young youth that get shot and stuff like that. We help support them, young moms with domestic violence. So yeah, we're collaborating with a couple of things, a couple of agencies, and like Kiki said that each program would through the court system. That's more for the young, for the young men, but for the young models, we definitely team up with Baystate and deal with women that have been hurt with domestic violence. But I wanted to throw that I'm trying to talk fast, cause I know it's a little late, so happy Thursday, everybody. Bye.
Thank you Zenaida.

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Ok I just have a couple of things. I put a link in the chat; we're getting ready for the back to school event. It's going to be on August 20th from 11:00am to 3:00pm. I'm going to send out a poster today, so you guys have it on PDF. I only put it on our Facebook page so far, but inside the chat is a volunteer registration. We're going to need about 300 volunteers for the back to school event. So if you're interested in volunteering, we're only opening up the volunteer registration to agencies.
So I'm asking you to send that link around to your agencies, but we don't want to send it out to the greater community. We're not looking for community residents to volunteer. We really want this to be team building with all the different agencies working together to put this event on for the community.
And I too want to, repeat the words of Professor Arce. You guys really make this meeting. So you guys showing up every month, sharing your resources really makes this meeting. So I too want to thank each of you. The other thing I wanted to mention about the back to school events, we're actually going to be packing the backpacks on Friday the 29th. There's not going to be a volunteer registration for that. I did also put my email in the chat if you're interested in helping us.
And, Jen, I was thinking about you, if you're still there, Fernandez, as you talked about filling up those purses with supplies, we're going to be filling up 2,500 backpacks. So, I know we're going to be doing that before you guys, Jen. So you might come down and see our, our factory work as we assemble 2,500 backpacks.
And even though I put the time down from nine to two, I really believe that if we get 50 volunteers, we'll get the job done in three hours, which is really amazing to see 2,500 backpacks with 20 something different items in the backpacks, get put together that quick. So if you want to see some factory work and progress and be part of it, just send me an email.
We are going to be looking for about 50 volunteers to be able to get those backpacks assembled in three hours. So if you're interested, that's all I have. I just want to say, thanks again to each of you, as I send those flyers out. I just ask you to share them with the folks that you service in Holyoke. The back to school event really is for a Holyoke youth. There's a little over 5,000 youth in the Holyoke Public Schools. If we can get about 2,500 of them to show up at the back to school event that would be great. So we are going to only market the event to the Holyoke youth and families.
I'm asking you not to send the flyer out to Chicopee or Springfield, try to keep it within Holyoke. And that's why we're trying to be strategic in terms of how we market it. We are about to put some banners up in Holyoke and we'll get some posters up in each of the neighborhoods. We'll put it on our social media, but we really want to just focus on Holyoke Youth.
I just want to reiterate again, thank you so much for all the work that you do. And as, Iris was presenting, I really hope that you guys can see the possibilities of reaching out to Iris and maybe you or another representative from your agency. Particularly if you guys are servicing a specific neighborhood in Holyoke, it would be great to see three or four boy Boy Scout chapters pop up in some of these different neighborhoods. There are not enough activities for youth, even though we have the boys club, we have the YMCA, and we need more capacity. So having these little pop-up Boy Scout groups and Cub Scout groups in the different neighborhoods, this could really benefit and get some young people, exposed, some, some positive things to help them get on the right road.
So I'm asking you to really consider partnering with Iris on that, and Iris, if you need any help from me to send information out again, just let me know. And to tonight, I know you said that you guys are looking for some staff. If you can just send me an email that I can blast out. I love when I see community residents respond to some of the emails that get sent out and then find out that they're actually working for one of the agencies. So that's really cool to me. So, you guys have a great day and hopefully you guys will be with us at the back to school event on August 20th, take care, have a good week.

We want to pack up the backpacks on July 29th. This is a big day, you know, the three hours that it takes to pack up. And then for us, it takes us about two hours to clean up that whole warehouse. I'll send all the information to you in an email. If you're interested in backing it up with us, if you wanted to come and stay for an hour, believe me just the hour that you put in could be helpful to us. So I'm just asking you to consider sending me an email. I'll send all the information to you, but we are going to pack them up at 728 Main Street. That's the Holyoke Public School Central Supply, right on Main Street on the second floor. But as you send me an email, I'll put that information in an email back to you. Consider joining us for an hour, two or even three hours. Thank you so much.

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, August 11th, 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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