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June 2022

Ed Caisse

June 9 2022

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: June 9, 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

Daniel Torres and Jaime Santiago: Mission Pioneer Valley 1:05pm - 1:20pm
Daniel Torres Mission Pioneer Valley:
I am here to talk about Mission Pioneer Valley. Mission pioneer valley came into existence in about 2000 2001 when the evangelist Luis Palau came to the Springfield area to do some evangelism with churches and it was a vehicle that was created to unify the church. It gives a chance for the churches to come together and to have a successful campaign, evangelistic religious campaign.

Since then pastors in the region have been meeting the last Thursday of the month and they meet for lunch and prayer. For those people that are not so comfortable with prayer they like the lunch part and some people don’t like the lunch part, but they love the prayer. Either way we kind of draw them in somehow. It’s been very interesting because it’s been an organization that’s been in existence for over twenty years but there’s no real organization. There’s no real leadership per se. No titles, no nothing it’s just a coming together of people that want to come together and share. It’s interesting that our biggest growth before 2019 we could get maybe eight people in a room. Since COVID and as of late we have been able to draw at least fifty pastors and lay leaders or community leaders of faith based organizations to come together to pray and to support one another and this is an awesome thing because from what they tell me these types of things don’t happen just by accident or they don’t happen that often.

It’s awesome that pastors from Agawam, East Longmeadow, from Holyoke, from Springfield, Chicopee are coming together and the diversity in this group is really awesome. We have some Russian, Ukrainian, African pastors. We have Black American churches. We have a good number of Spanish churches. It’s a really diverse group and it’s really beautiful. We have been coming together and a couple months ago I approached the Mayor of the city of Holyoke, Mayor Joshua Garcia and I asked him if we could come to Holyoke and do a national day of prayer at the Holyoke City Hall steps cause the national day of prayer is conducted the first Thursday of May every year at city hall steps and at that meeting where we made the request the mayor asked the faith community to become more involved in being a solution to Holyoke’s issues. We are here to start to implement that start to bring that to reality. Our interest is through Mission Pioneer Valley to reach out to as many Holyoke pastors and to bring them to this networking meeting, make them part of this networking meeting, to create alliances with more community folks cause we value what you do in the community. We value what you do in Holyoke but there’s also a value we can bring to the table and I think that if we collaborate, if we learn about what each church can probably bring to the table. The solution for a family or a child and as we learn what services each one of you guys can bring I think it’ll be a beautiful collaboration. I will let Jamie speak a little more into this.

Jaime Santiago Mission Pioneer Valley:
The goal of this would be to again as Danny was talking about is to bring all of these pastors to this table as an additional resource. Right now many of us who are provider’s within the mental health field, we know how often times how overwhelmed or we are being overrun at this point with all the need that is going on and there are hundreds of churches in these local cities between Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield that have all these other resources that they are currently doing. Some of them have food pantries. Some of them have clothing pantries. Some of them offer substance abuse groups. Some of them offer grief and loss groups, and they are not often times utilized because there’s this divide that has been there for years between church and providers.

The church is separate from the providers. We have been trying to overcome that gap by understanding that many people who are faith believing can partake in church resources and those who are not can also partake in those resources as well. Those resources are available to everyone in the community, but often times they are ignored or often not even understood that they exist within a community. We want to bring those resources to the table, so that all providers can utilize those resources, but then also the churches can be educated on what mental health is and what the recovery of a person is and they can also learn how to appropriately use all these other resources that are there outside the church. No longer does a person come to a church with a need they can connect that person to a provider that doing that need, but also if a provider has a need that they need clothing they need food they need help with rental assistance those financial problems they can go to a church or they know of a church organization that is busy providing those resources already and we can connect the two. Again it’s focusing on the love of the person, the assistance of the person. Making sure that person has what they need, so they can thrive that’s what the goal of this is, to bring all these providers, all these churches together as one huge body working for the betterment of the community that there in.

Ed Caisse Hampden County Sheriff’s Department:
Jamie I like what you said about the resources and I know that we had talked prior to the meeting, you mentioned that agencies might be looking to put on a group or something and that they may be able to utilize one of the churches that they didn’t even know that resource was available to them. So I just thank you guys for the work that you are doing and partnering with us to really try and get more people in our community connected to the resources that they need and certainly knowing about what those resources are.

Jamie Santiago Mission Pioneer Valley:
If anybody’s interested in helping us to further bring supportive educative services to the churches and we are looking forward to creating a series of workshops for churches on what is mental health, what is substance abuse recovery, what is domestic violence, all of these things that the churches can get educated not only on the topic at hand, but also how providers address the topic, how are they utilizing the resources to address that topic, how can they meet the communities need, and then also we are looking for providers that are also looking to present their services to churches, how they can collaborate with the churches, and for also churches to present to the providers eventually of what resources they are currently offering within the church and how we as providers can utilize those resources as well so if anybody’s interested please let us know we will put our email in the chat. You can email me or Eddie, Eddie will forward those emails, or you could email Daniel Torres as well.

Daniel Torres Mission Pioneer Valley:
We don’t want to over promise, but we are serious about loving Holyoke and having the churches step up. We are really going to be challenging pastors to step up and some of them may know you, but I am assuming that most churches probably don’t know you guys as providers or had a chance to meet you. I think we want to use this vehicle to introduce them to you and we might be approaching you to say hey can we borrow a room if you have the technology so that we could probably gather another five or six pastors at once and introduce them to you guys in a group setting, so we may be reaching out to you guys to assist us with that in Holyoke. I just want to say that my history with Holyoke goes back to the seventies and eighties. I was a DYS worker during the time that Judge Perez was in Holyoke and then I ran a group home for the Gandara Center and then I switched careers totally.

Agency Overview and Updates 1:20pm - 2:15pm

Zeno Temple: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
I have nothing to report today.

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps
What a great day to apply to Westover Job Corps. We are very excited that we are now taking live in person young people. We are starting our tours back; we have one scheduled for June 29th. If anyone is interested in applicants or partners that would like to come through and tour Westover Job Core and get more of an idea of what this awesome program offers our youth and as well as employment. We have about two pages of vacancies open in every department for anyone who is actually looking for employment. We are offering orientations to any organization that may need more information. We are also offering community service opportunities for anyone who is need. We work very closely with Ed Caisse and several other agencies and we are willing to present information and complete and help in our community.

Yesenia Cruz: Ad Care Hospital
My name is Yesenia Cruz and I work for Ad Care Hospital. We offer inpatient and outpatient substance abuse services to all folks in need. We do provide transportation to and from our detox facilities, which are in Worcester and Rhode Island and our outpatient offices can either do telehealth or in person services. I just ask that if anyone of you guys here works with folks who have an SUD disorder or anything along those lines that you reach out to me, so we can connect a little more and I can tell you a little more about our program and sort of how I can be a resource to you.

Tony Simmons : Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Community in the Safety and Outreach Unit. I have nothing to report at this time.

Thomas Ellis: CHD
My name is Tom Ellis, I work for CHD. I work in a program called temporary shelter and prevention. We specialize in working with run away and run away risk youth and also homeless and unstable house youths from fourteen to eighteen. It’s a voluntary program the youth and their guardian have to agree to. What we offer depending on their situation is mediation at the home to increase wellbeing and ease tension at the home. We also offer temporary emergency shelter for up to twenty one days, while a case worker works with them to get them set and living independently. Our goal is actually to re-unify them with the family and create aftercare plans to help them work together in harmony. Overall, it’s a program we just started marketing for again and I am going to put my information in the chat with my contact information and a little brief description of the program. We are really looking to get some clients in here statically it’s a very important program going on in Massachusetts for us. We are serving Hampden County and surrounding areas as well.

Stephanie Marshall:MHA Best Life
My name is Stephanie Marshall, I am a Recovery Coach at MHA Best Life and I have no updates.

Sofia Trifone: Nueva Esperanza
My names Sofia and I work at Nueva Esperanza, which is a nonprofit arts organization here in Holyoke. We do have a couple events coming up I want to mention. We do have a festival for Noche De San Juan, which is going to be held at Bonin Field on June 25th and we are looking for volunteers, so I’ll put that link in the chat if you know anyone who might want to help us out. We also do have a partnership with neighbor to neighbor, so we will be having five large murals installed in downtown Holyoke in these next coming weeks if you guys wanted to check that out. As well, we do food distribution at Nueva every Friday from twelve to two if anyone wanted to stop by for that.

Sarah Lynn: MSPCC
Sarah Lynn from MSPCC prevention we have the healthy families program and parents as teachers programs. These programs are for moms and dads and their young children up to age five. We have immediate openings in both and now we have bilingual parent educators and home visitors and I will put our easy online referral in the link.

Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance
I am a volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts and we are available to give free talks about ways to save money and choices about what’s possible and not possible in Massachusetts and different death care options. We have a good group of people who do presentations, answer our emails, answer our voice mails, and we are ready to help.

Rowan Rosario: Nuestra Raices
Rowan here I am a representative of the board at Nuestra Raices and I am the chair for service members this session and I just wanted to share that we will be having an event June 18th from twelve to four. It’s a business exposition for local entrepreneurs, community business owners. There will be opportunity to view all of the farmers that we have and some other figures in the community. We are looking for volunteers to help assist with that day as well, so I will drop my email in the chat if anybody’s interested in getting more information about either of those things.

Rondey Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services
I am the Executive Director of CrossPoint Clinical Services. We provide outpatient mental health services. We have a great very diverse staff; all licensed including four or five bilingual staff members. Currently we hired a lot of new therapists over the past few months I think about seven so we have immediate openings if you know people who are looking for outpatient mental health services. When I stop driving I will put my contact information and website information in the chat.

Robin Sinaho Holyoke Public Library:
I am Robin Sinaho and I am the Teen Librarian at Holyoke Public Library. I started in February and right now we have been working on our summer reading program and we have lots of great events and programs planed for kids and teens and adults. Our kickoff party is on July 1st. There are some children events leading up to that ice cream truck arriving at noon. And we will be handing out coupons for anyone who registers to get a free ice cream at the ice cream truck. All of our information on summer reading programs will be up on our websites shortly so you can check Facebook of the Holyoke Public Library website. That’s what we have been working on we are really excited. We have a petting zoo coming, we have a cupcake decorating class, and we have a henna artist. We are looking forward to a really exciting summer here at the library. If anyone would like flyers to disseminate at their programs you could email me, my emails in the link and we’d be happy to do a cruise around Holyoke and deliver some flyers.

Rafael Irizarry-Fields: Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS)
My names Rafael I am with the CPCS which as of February we have a new public defender office in Holyoke, and I just very quickly new office hoping to reach out and really establish some stronger really Holyoke based connections to this new office so I might be in touch with a lot of you over the coming months.

Jessica Gilmore: Hampden Superior Court Probation
Jessica Gilmore I am a Probation Officer over in Hampden Superior Court and I don’t have anything to share at this time.

Nicole Rodriguez: Picknelly Adult Learning Center
My name is Nicole Rodriguez and I am from the Adult Learning Center where we are currently supporting adults in classes of all ages and backgrounds to get their High School GED, so if anybody knows and adult who is interested in going back to school and get their high school GED please reach out to me, I’ll put my information in the chat.

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke
Nayroby Rosa here from One Holyoke. As you know One Holyoke has been doing a lot of work with vaccine clinics and we are continuing our vaccine efforts out in Key Food Supermarket. We also have a table there that we have open to the community so if you have any organizations that would like to sit at our table at Key Food during business hours feel free to reach out to me I’ll put my email and phone number in the chat. To share some of your information and what you got going on in the community. I am also here with Iohan Vega who is from Holyoke Media, I don’t know if he has an update but if it comes up to his name we were in a meeting and then clean up. We are continuing our efforts with our cleanup campaign; we are cleaning the fourth Saturday of every month. The next cleanup is June 25th at the Flats Community Building and we hope that clean up to be a city wide clean up. We have been meeting with the Mayor and his team. We are going to kick it off with an event on June 22nd talking about trash and recycling here at the Community Building. I’ll share a flyer with that, but check out our website or our Facebook page for the event. We would really like to have more clean ups hosted throughout the summer, we have all the supplies. People can organize themselves with their own organization, pick a street they want to clean up, well get them the supplies, and we’ll get the trash picked up so pretty easy things to do. Please continue to reach out if anybody would like to host a vaccine clinic in their organization or would like to pretty much collaborate in any way, shape or form.

Nasir: ROCA:
My name is Nasir I am from ROCA in Western Mass. I am currently stationed here in the city of Holyoke. We don’t have any updates however you know ROCA serves the highest risk youth in our community ages seventeen to twenty four and these youths pretty much who have prior arrests in the justice system, actively involved in the streets or gangs, they either dropped out of school, don’t have a high school diploma, no prior history of employment, they are getting ready to land in prison. All we are looking for in Holyoke are referrals, so if you know any young men from ages seventeen to twenty four who needs help, who needs mentors, needs some assistance that we can provide them with our services and I can give you guys any more details as far as our services go. I left my information in the chat but if you guys need it again just let me know.

Mishie Serrano: Community Education Project:
My name is Mishie Serrano and I am here on behalf of the Community Education Project I am their new community engagement specialist. The community education project is a nonprofit organization based in Holyoke that caters to adult literacy and adult early language education programs. We are here for all things education, so if anybody would like to collaborate in terms of providing programs to the community we are also apart of junto’s which means we are part of five other non-profits in the community as well. We are a pretty well established in that aspect of resources, so we are able to pull from a lot of different organizations. If you have any interest in volunteer services, we also specialize in those and translation services, so please feel free to contact me whether you need volunteers or if you also just need them in terms of want but also on a consistent basis. We are able to provide internships for them too, so if anybody has any volunteers or anybody who wants to take their GED classes, High SET classes, or just learn English overall to feel more independent and empower them please send them my way.

Milagros Martinez- Schettini: Paulo Frieri Social Justice Charter School
I am Milagros and I work at Paulo Frieri Social Justice Charter School. For those who are new this is the only social justice charter school in Western New England and we are serving grades nine to twelve. We serve the community of Holyoke, South Hadley, Springfield, West Springfield, and Chicopee. Right now we are still in open enrollment and we are honestly looking for a partnerships and opportunities for our youth our students. If you feel like we can somehow connect, I just put my name and my contact information in the chat, so if you feel like you or your agency could provide some type of opportunities for our students for internships or whatever other opportunity for them to grow and have new experiences we are open to that.

Miguel Arce: Springfield College
Three points real quickly. Ed I just want to acknowledge the great work that you are doing. This is really important to get us all connected. The second point is I work for Springfield college, and in the past after the meeting people have approached afterword’s talking about continuing their education, though they have not resulted in any positive outcomes there has been discussion, so I am giving an opportunity for anyone who wants to chat about either furthering their education or continuing their education I am not representing any organization per se by just to push the idea that undergraduate formal education and graduate education is really critical, so I am here to support you in any way I can.

Michelle Daries: Department of Children and Families
I am a foster care and adoption recruiter for the department, just letting everybody know there’s a lot of kids unfortunately coming into the foster care system, and we are looking to raise awareness and educated the general public about the needs of our kids especially in Holyoke. We are out at many events and hopefully I have been learning a lot today about other opportunities that are available, so I am excited about that. We have information sessions that are virtual on Monday nights at 5:30pm also Tuesday mornings at 10am. I put my email in the chat if anybody has any questions or would like to partner with me to raise awareness let me know.

Marisol Guevarra: Springfield College
I just want to echo what my colleague Miguel Arce has said, basically I want to add to that. The fact that we have grants to many of the agencies some of them represented here anywhere between five to ten thousand dollars towards degrees at Springfield College. Some of them are fully online, some of them are hybrid, some are traditionally done and I am encouraging like Miguel mentioned people going back to school and meeting their professional goals. We are actually promoting an event, an Open House that will happen if you are seeking a bachelor’s degree fully online or hybrid that will take place next Saturday, the 18th from10am to 1pm. It will be for the original online team and education department our first face to face open house. I did put the flyer innovation in the chat, so that those of you can just click on it and see the information. My contact information is there as well. Some of the agencies that qualify for money, which is important, it’s five thousand to ten thousand dollars towards their degree; agencies like CHD, BHN, Westover Job Corps, New North Citizen Council, Latino Council, City of Springfield, Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee Public Schools, City of Chicopee, Valley of Opportunity Council, YMCA’s, Community Action Partnership agencies, Head Start, Service Net, Square One, so if you work for any of these organizations, you qualify for this money toward any of these degrees whether its undergrad, graduate, or even doctoral programs. So please contact me if you have been thinking about going to school.

Maria Flores-Lopez: Salvation Army
I work for the Salvation Army and I have nothing to report at the moment.

Maria Chambers: Behavioral Health Network
My name is Maria Chambers and I am a Senior Program Manager at the Behavioral Health Network and I just wanted to let you know about our upcoming program and recruitment fair. It’s happening Wednesday June 15th from 1pm to 6pm on the Greene at Gurdon Bill Park in Springfield. We are going to have many different representatives from our different departments in outpatient, crisis, and our addiction and recovery programs that can provide information and share resources. We will have some BHN recruiters on site as well as we are currently looking for registered nurses, clinicians, supervisors, admin staff, and direct care specialists. In addition there will be a table for our social justice department where people can learn more about BHN’s commitment to social justice. We will have our vaccine clinic available as well for anyone who wants to get vaccinated or boosted. At 2pm we will have a live narcan demonstration. We are going to have music, refreshments, and a raffle. I will share the information in the chat and I hope to see you there.

Lucy Friedman-Bell: Safe Roads to School
I am Lucy and I am from Safe Roads to School. I just wanted to update everyone on the walking school bus at Lawrence School. We are running a walking school bus with two different routes to support students and families getting to school safely every morning. We will be running it through the end of school this year and then also looking to start it back up next year in the fall. If anyone is interested in being involved, supporting, or donating please reach out to me and let me know we’d love to have your support.

Liandro Gonzalez: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
I have nothing to report at this time.

Laura Banks: River Valley Counseling Center
I teach sexual health education to young people, so certainly if any of you know of a place where young people might need sexual health education I’d love to provide that. In addition I have started to work on recruitment at River Valley Counseling Center where we have tons of opportunities. Some of you work for high schools and we have some positions that are available for high school graduates, so I’d love to hear from you. We also have bachelors level positions around case management and stuff like that, front desk positions, and then lots and lots of clinician positions. We have a huge and growing waitlist for people seeking therapy and we have tons of bonuses up to like a five thousand dollar sign on bonus and then ten thousand dollars for retention. We have a lot of opportunities here. I am going to put the link to our job opportunities and then if you want to talk about sex-ed I’ll put my email in the chat as well.

Krystyna Boisjolie: RFK Community Alliance
I oversee community based health services for RFK Community Alliance and I am here with Bianca Fredricks who is a mentor for RFK Community Alliance. She works directly with kids in our D-DAP program, which is our detention diversion program that we have in Hampden Country and the mentoring program is an extension of that for kids who graduate from that program. I just have a couple updates; one is that we just got a grant to extend some additional services for our C-sec mentoring program. Essentially what that is, is we have sexual abuse survivors who have been victims themselves in the past and they now provide services to youth that are also potentially suspicion of being sexually exploited or they have been sexually exploited. It’s mentoring in the community; it’s a lot of outreach, lots of communication, all kinds of different physio educational groups, so it’s really exciting that we are going to be able to add some additional services for that. The other thing I wanted to mention was that we have a career fair next week it’s on Thursday and we are going to be at Heritage State Park in Holyoke and that’s going to be from 1pm-3pm and our rain date is on Friday. I know there are other agencies that are going to be part of that as well but RFK Community Alliance will be there. That’s all I have in terms of updates.

Kimberly Maende: Public Health Institute of Western Mass
My name is Kimberly Maende I am from the Public Health Institute of Western Mass. I am the 413 Cares Project Coordinator. I see a lot of organizations here and I am pushing to claim your program for 413 Cares. If you need assistance on how to do so please get in contact with me. If you want a presentation on 413 Cares for your organization, please get in contact with me. I put my information in the chat for signing up for our newsletter. I have a series of lead prevention podcasts that’s kind of another project I have been working on feel free to listen, follow that podcast.

Kaydance Scotto: Dial Self Youth and Community Service
My name is Kaydence Scotto I am the AmeriCorps Program Coordinator with Dial Self Youth and Community Services. We have a few positions open for the upcoming ten month program for the upcoming school year. Our AmeriCorps members support youth at a specific school or a community organization and they also participate in a weekly learning community and a team service project. Some of the site positions that we have if you know anybody who is interested is at Holyoke High School, Opportunity Academy, Upward Bound in Springfield, so it’s really a great opportunity for anybody who wants to spend a year mentoring young people gaining some skills and building community and also getting an educational award to pay student loans or college expenses. I’ll drop this info in the chat feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Kate Murdock: Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS)
Kate Murdock here I am the attorney in charge at CPCS, which is the Committee for Public Counsel Services otherwise known as the Public Defender’s Office. I am here to sort of listen to what kind of resources are available my clients are your clients or if they’re not they should be your clients. Very interested in paring up wherever we can be helpful and work together on everyone’s behalf.

Kashawn Sanders: Follow My Steps Foundation
Quick update for us we are a youth mentoring organization that’s now in Holyoke, Springfield, and hopefully eventually Chicopee as well come next school year. We pair youth with their desired mentors as far as career paths go to make sure it’s a proper fit and alignment. A big announcement for us is the 5K coming up so I see a lot of organizations here, so if anyone that wants more information about it, it will be at Western New England in August we can connect. I’ll put my information in the chat so we can talk more about it.

Kaitlyn DeBlois: Clean Slate
I am Kaitlyn DeBlois and I am the Community Lesion for Clean Slate. We do medication assisted treatment for those with substance abuse disorder, we use suboxone and vivitrol. We also have some in house counseling with LDACS and care coordination. We don’t have anything new to report any updates but if you would like to partner and work together please reach out to me.

Julia Popkin: Community Legal Aid
My name is Julia Popkin I am a staff attorney at Community Legal Aid at the Springfield Office. For those of you who don’t know Community Legal Aid or CLA is the civil legal aid program for all of Central and Western Massachusetts. We have five main offices, there’s one in Springfield, Worcester, Northampton, Pittsfield, and Fitchburg. We serve all of Hampden County and we primarily serve people below 125% of the federal poverty level and elders, people who are 60 and over. We specialize in housing, so eviction defense, access to affordable housing programs, fair housing. Family law for domestic violence survivors, so help with divorce, visitation, custody, and child support. We have an education law unit which I am in, where we mostly help children with special education needs and disabilities services in school. Help kids with discipline issues like suspension and expulsion. We have an elder law unit for people 60 and over and we help them with their most pressing civil and legal needs. We also have benefits and employment unit to help people get a steady income and an immigration unit. We like to do community outreach and engagement so if you have anything you would like us to speak at or a group of community members you would like us to speak to we are always open to those opportunities. Our main update is that our brick and mortar offices are now open five days a week to the public. People can walk into our downtown Springfield office, fill out an intake, or they can apply for assistance online or over the phone. I will put the information for how to do that in the chat.

Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department:
Officer Josh Colon Holyoke Police Department working out of 208 Race Street, at the moment we have nothing to report.

Joanne Gilman: MSPCC
I am from MSPCC Elliot CHS we do in home therapy, outpatient work, TTNS therapeutic mentoring. Our phone number is (413) 532-9446 and the main distinction between in home therapy and outpatient is the intensity of services, we give services serval days a week for several hours for children with severe behavioral needs for up to two years. We have a short waitlist now and we are hiring IHT clinicians and an IHT supervisor. We work exclusively in person unless the families have need for doing virtual work. No further updates at this time.

Jessie Berliner: Mental Health Association (MHA)
My name is Jessie Berliner and I work for MHA Mental Health Association and I work for our Grit Yale Street program. We are a residential recovery program for those with concurring disorders and we work specifically with LGBTQ+ community and we are always looking for resources in regards to low income housing. Any outpatient therapy clinics that are open and accepting patients and anything like that.

Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola: Department of Youth Services
I am Jenyka; I am the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative local coordinator for the Department of Youth Services. JDAI for those who do not know is a philosophy of DYS focusing on alternatives to detention and diversion opportunities for youth. We have a lot going on right now in Hampden County. For those who attend our monthly meetings, we will be taking a break over the summer and just focusing on a few of our smaller initiatives. We will reconvene in September with our monthly meetings at our normal time on the fourth Tuesday. We will be meeting to work with some restorative justice practitioners to apply for grant opportunities to expand restorative practices in Hampden County, particularly in support of the courts. We also have an exciting project that we are partnering with Mass Mentoring Partners on for a credible messenger mentoring. I invited my colleague Beth here to talk to you all more about that. We just convened a community action team. You may have herd from me if I had reached out to you to be a part of that, and we are going to start having some focus groups that she’ll talk to you all about if you would like to be a part of those. Defiantly a lot more happening but once Beth can talk shell explain more about that and how you can get involved.

Beth Fraster: Mass Mentoring Partnership
I am Beth Fraster she/hers from Mass Mentoring Partnership as Jenyka was saying we are doing a community informed landscape analysis and trying to get folks involved with credible messengers, Krystyna is was really great to hear that you are already doing it. This is for young people involved in the juvenile court system and we are really looking to get a lot of people involved in the conversation. Community Action team is really helping us to develop questions. We are looking for focus groups, individual meetings with folks. We want folks who identify as credible messengers; people who have lived experience that they think could help people in the criminal justice system. We want young people who have been or are in the criminal justice system, family/ care givers of people who have been or are in the criminal justice system, you if you work with people that have been or are involved in the criminal justice system. If you think you are any of those people and would like to be part of this conversation with us that would be great. After we collect all this data we will be bringing in people who have done the credible messenger model, who share and we are going to have a huge community event in person to talk about it. The data we are collecting is going to be feedback to the community, so please take this survey and we’ll call you to get you involved. It is a collective action here, so we really need your voices involved. If you have any questions you can call me and I’ll put that out there too. Look at the survey, answer it and that’s how I’ll get your name and number.

Jen Fernandes: THRIVE Program
I am Jen Fernandes and I am a financial coach with the THRIVE Program, which is our financial literacy program with the United Way of Pioneer Valley. It’s a one stop financial success center. It’s free and open to anyone in the community, so definitely something for people wanting to get some financial assistance, definitely a great program. I also just want to announce Ed you had sent out this flyer I am going to be having a THRIVE open house on June 27th from 6pm-8pm at the Picknelly Building, 206 Maple Street in Holyoke.
Thrive is pretty much out there a lot of people already know about it, but we want to spread the world all the more about this great program, so we would love people to come by, people that already know about the program and people that don’t. If you could please spread the word, Ed I might have you do another blast of the flyers before the event that would be great I put it in the chat. Also I don’t want people to forget that we have our brand new service center at our main location at 1441 Main Street in the TD bank building. We have a food pantry in there and also people can come in and get information on different resources in the community. Its open Wednesdays from 9am-1pm. Starting mid-June we are going to expand it also into Tuesdays, so people can come in and get food from the pantry. We have been hosting tabling events there as well some people on here have been a part of that as well. Our next big tabling event will be June 29th so other organizations can come into the service center and have a table there to provide their information to the people that come into the center, I will keep people posted about that.

James Geraghty: Holyoke Mall
I am Jim Geragthy from the Holyoke Mall. You all know the mall is a place where everyone meets, so I can help everyone of you. People talk about what they are involved in the mall is one space in the Holyoke area where everybody comes. Any kind of messaging you want to do let me know, talk to me, call me, we’ll have a conversation I’ll put whatever I can in front of you. We just had a job fair, it was a pretty good success for many people that came and the venders that showed up. I try to take the space in the mall and do as much as I can with it. We are starting on June 28th our Tikes Tuesday event. Every Tuesday from June 28th to August 23rd. This event attracts so many families I am talking hundreds of people in the mall for an hour and a half on Tuesday mornings throughout the summer and we try to have as many vendors as we can their to entertain the kids and each Tuesday we have something special. Get in touch with me I’ll put my information in the chat and we can talk about the assets in the mall the advertising opportunities just to be in front of people.

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America Western Massachusetts
My name is Iris Sosa and I am the Outreach Specialist for the Boy Scouts of America Western Massachusetts Council. We are always looking for an organization that will do partnerships with us and will do programs with us. We serve kids from kindergarten to twenty one and we have four different types of programs and right now we are working hard in having units active in Holyoke. Hopefully we will start having meetings soon. If anybody knows any families any kids interested in scouting, the outdoors, things like that let me know.

Ileana Carrion: City of Holyoke Economic Development Office
I am Ileana and I work for City of Holyoke Economic Development Office. The only updates I have is this week is Explore Holyoke Restaurant Week if you haven’t heard, so if you go to our Explore Holyoke website you’ll see all the information on that. I put it in the chat as well as my contact information. As Lucy mentioned we have the walking school bus going on this week and next week and we are looking for volunteers for that. Please participate in Explore Holyoke Restaurant week.

Greg Graustien: Recovery Connection Center
Greg Graustien from Recovery Connection Center at 281 Cottage Street. We are an MAT medicated assisted treatment model, small model. We can take clients in immediacy, so we can get them in today or within twenty four hours to be seen for suboxone, sublicate, or vivitrol, so we can treat for alcohol as well. We take all insurances, we even take state insurances, and we even take military insurance also to cover. Our intention is to get treatment immediately to people. When they visit they also always receive counseling on their visit. If you have someone in need to try and fight this epidemic and I’m happy to pair with and work with corrections department people here online or just people that you know that need help just contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Chris Cato: Eagle Eye Institute
My name is Chris Cato and I am the Board President of Eagle Eye Institute. Many of you have met Cass Pasterelle, who was our senior program director. Cass has experienced a medical emergency and can no longer complete her duties, so I am stepping in. Cass has done an excellent job of reaching out to the Greater Holyoke Community, with Eagle Eyes offer of an immersive program in the forest for young people eight and up and recognizing that with the pandemic we have been indoors for a long time. Time in nature, time outdoors is an effective response to the multitude of challenges that young people face. My contact information is here please reach out to Eagle Eye if you have a youth group or staff team that would like to spend a day in the forest as part of healing and education training of the healing power of nature.

Ashley Jediny: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
I am the program coordinator for our Post Overdoes Outreach Team. I also coordinate the Hampden County Addiction Taskforce with the District Attorney’s Office. I just wanted to share with everyone that the Massachusetts organization for Addiction Recovery we will be having their Western Mass Policy Forum on June 22nd and I can share the flyer with information and if anyone else would like to connect please feel free to reach out my information is in the chat.

Ami Jackson: Youth Advocacy Division
My name is Ami Jackson and I am the Youth Advocacy Divisions one and only staff investigator. We are a division within the committee for public council services. Our office is located in Springfield Massachusetts. We cover the entire western region. We are a public defender office for youth that are charged with criminal accusations ages twelve to seventeen three hundred sixty four days. Our work is similar to that of the Holyoke Office with Kate Murdock. We have a new attorney in charge of the office her name is Terry Cuzell and hopefully she’ll be able to join us in a future meeting. My information is in the chat and I’ll repost it and other than that we have nothing new to report.

Abbie Germain: Western Mass Mom’s
Western Mass Moms is a special and unique opportunity for mothers and other caregivers to address their stress and depression. Our services include an eight week stress management course for the mothers and we do provide childcare while the moms are in their class. There a big study being conducted around us called the next gen project, so we are actively enrolling right now we have the opportunity to enroll a thousand moms in the next two years. I just wanted to announce that we are looking for a Spanish speaking clinician. If anyone knows a bilingual clinician that would be interested in teaching just one class a week we are looking to be able to add Spanish services immediately, so definitely let me know. We have a flyer and a referral form I have been circulating that and Ed was nice to circulate that for me again today but I am happy to reach out. I am happy to come visit you at your different locations, present our program to your staff anyway that we can get the word out. If you know any moms or other caregivers that are getting stressed out by daily life and parenting remember the western mass moms, my name is Abbie and my information’s in the chat and let me know if you have any questions.

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
I just have a couple things I want to report out on. If you haven’t read our notes from the March meeting where we talked about the Holyoke Hub, please consider going to our website. I actually put the link inside the chat, so you can read those notes and have a better understanding, a more detailed overview of what the Holyoke Hub is all about.

I want to quickly give a short overview of what the Hub is. We meet every Tuesday and anyone who is working with individuals that might be in a acutely elevated risk situation and really need to get connected to wrap around services it doesn’t matter if it’s a youth, an individual, or a family, but if anybody comes across somebody that’s really in a bad place and likely if they don’t get connected to resources immediately something bad is going to happen. Maybe and overdoes, maybe an incarceration, maybe some sort of violent incident, we want those situations to be brought to the Holyoke Hub. The way the Holyoke Hub works is when an agency brings a situation to the table, if the group feels like it is an acutely elevated risk situation and we wrap around the situation. There will be a filter four meeting where several service providers that have resources to assist with specific risk factors, meet and put together a plan to engage. It’s important for us to bring more and more agencies to actually be part of the Holyoke Hub, especially agencies that actually have resources that can help people get out of those acutely elevated risk situations, such as mental health, substance use, agencies like that being at the table is very important. Don’t just think because there is a mental health agency or two already at the table that there wouldn’t be a need for your agency. Even if you’re an agency that feels like, well we have long waiting lists, I’m not sure that we could be able to put a lot of time into working on new cases or anything like that you might be able to join a filter four and actually share some of your insight or your professional experience or expertise that might be able to help a filter four team stabilize a person. The goal is to help a person actually get connected to resources and get them on the right roads to success. If you don’t know too much about the Holyoke Hub or if you haven’t heard about it, I put my contact information in the chat, I put the link to our website in the chat, so you can review the March notes and get a little more detailed information into what the Holyoke Hub actually is. I’ll say this, we have been engaged since the first week of May, so we have been meeting for exactly a month. We have had seven situations come to the table and there has really been some good collaborative work being done on some of those particular situations that have been brought to the table. We have seen people become stabilized because of the agencies that have really been working in collaboration.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was our back to school event. It’s scheduled for August 20th. Right now we are just doing registration for volunteers through the event area leaders. We have about fifteen different areas and we wanted to give the area leaders the chance to recruit their own volunteers for their area feeling like it might be a good team building day for them. If you know anybody that’s on our planning team or one of the leaders in those areas, please get signed up soon because we do want to open up the volunteer registration to the rest of our agency partners like all of you that are on this call. It takes about 300 volunteers to actually drive the back to school event, so we will be opening that up soon to you agencies. If you can mark your calendars and start to look out for some of the information that we will forward out to you guys. The last thing I want to say about the back to school event is that we are going to be giving away 2500 backpacks, if we have 2500 school aged kids from Holyoke to show up. Right now we are in the middle of trying to collect those seventeen to eighteen different items that will be going in the backpacks, so if you want to partner on that please send me an email. We have been getting a couple of the agencies committing to 2500 rulers or 2500 glue sticks, so if there’s anything your agency wants to do in terms of partnering in the back to school event, believe me it’s a big to do it costs a lot of money about $22,000 to put on the event. We did send out a sponsor packet, as we are still hoping to get more funding coming in to carry out the event. If you have never seen what the event looks like I can show you a video, I can actually send it out again today, which I’ll do after the meeting. Take a peek at the video, it’s about three minutes long but it’ll kind of give you an idea of the capacity of the event, even though we try to add something to the event every year. Whether it’s a new give away, or a new activity at the event, we try to make it better than the year before, so this year is not going to be any exception. Even though we have been successful in the last ten years to be able to improve upon it every year, our goal is to improve upon it again. In fact, Nayroby is going to be running the haircut tent, last year we had four barbers, I’m not sure how many heads they cut but this year we want to have eight barbers, so we are trying to recruit some barbers to be able to cut hair that day, I send out the video link, take a peek at it.

One more thing, I want to mention is that tonight we are kicking off our basketball leagues; we have over three hundred kids enrolled in our basketball leagues. We have over (100) 3rd and 4th graders; we have about (90) 5th and 6th, about (60) 7th and 8th grades, and about (60) high school aged. Friday night is our big night, we’ll have about 190 kids every Friday, so if your agency wants to come out on a Friday night just set up a table and have an opportunity to engage with the families at the basketball games, I think you’ll get a lot of action. If you like to pass out information at different venues, this could potentially be a good venue for you to be connected to a lot of folks that are growing up in some of the tough neighborhoods in Holyoke and actually families that really do need to get connected. Consider you’re all welcome to join us any time, certainly if I was going to bring tables for you I would need to know in advance, but agencies are welcome to bring a table and set up on Friday nights. Your welcome to do that any Friday night because for us getting the families connected to those resources that we want to get them connected to your going to make our job even easier. Thank you guys so much for all you do and thank you for coming back every month, our next meeting is Thursday, July 14th. If you know of an agency or if you are connected to an agency that’s not at the table, please consider inviting them to it, because all of us really want to get more agencies to the table, so we can know exactly what resources are out there, so when we come across a youth or a family member that really needs to get connected to services we’ll know exactly where to send them.

Chat Notes:

Kaitlyn DeBlois
Kaitlyn DeBlois, Community Relations Liaison with Clean Slate

Sandy Ward
Sandy Ward, volunteer with Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass, 413-376-4747

Tony Simmons
Tony Simmons - Hampden District Attorney's Office

Sophia Trifone
Sophia Trifone, Nueva Esperanza staff member- Project Assistant
Volunteer Registration about Noche de San Juan Event

Michelle Daries
Hi all Shellie Daries, Foster Care Recruiter for the Department of Children and Families. FOSTER MA for more information explore or email me at

Abbie~ Western Mass MOMS
Abbie Germain~ Western Mass MOMS 413-561-7413
Abbie Germain~ Western Mass MOMS 413-561-7413
Western Mass MOMS is an opportunity for mothers and other caregivers to address their stress and/or depression. Call me today for more information! 413-561-7413 ~Abbie

Nasir "ROCA Western Mass"
Nasir Islam, Program Manager Roca Holyoke (413) 310-5497

Jaime Santiago
Jaime Santiago Preferred Behavioral Health 125 Liberty St suite 202 Springfield ma 01103

Ami ( She/Her) Jackson, Investigator- YAD
Ami Jackson, MPAStaff InvestigatorCommittee for Public Counsel ServicesYouth Advocacy Division- Springfield413-750-1640 Cell:413-276-5399
Ami Jackson, MPAStaff InvestigatorCommittee for Public Counsel ServicesYouth Advocacy Division- Springfield101 State Street, 2nd Flr413-750-1640 Cell:413-276-5399

Daniel Torres
Daniel Torres I have been joined by my wife Mily Torres she is a Chaplain with New England Intl Chaplaincy and I am her on behalf of Mission Pioneer Valley

Liandro Gonzalez
Liandro Gonzalez Hampden County Sheriffs/Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative ward 1

Jessie Berliner
Jessie Berliner, MHA GRIT Yale, 413-233-5354

Joanne Gilman
Joanne Gilman, MSPCC, Eliot CHS, Holyoke office 413-532-9446. We provide In Home Therapy, TT+S, Outpatient Services, Therapeutic Mentoring, and Survivor Services. Call our main number to request services.
I am Joanne Gilman, MSPCC and Eliot CHS, Community Health Services. 413-532-9446.
MSPCC offers In Home Therapy, Outpatient Services, TT+S, Therapeutic Mentoring, Survivor Services. Call 413-532-9446.

Cynthia Santiago
Cynthia Santiago-Community Liaison for Caregiver Homes. We are a Statewide AFC program through MassHealth. We provide support services for Caregivers providing care for a loved one/friend/roommate/etc. that they live with. Our program is a 24 hour program, and the Consumer needs to be on MassHealth. Please see our website: for more information -or- call me at (413) 272-9175 /

Ruth Ayala
Hi, I am Ruth a RSC From VOC at Holyoke and Chicopee.
VOC has a shelter at Holyoke for DV (Domestic Violence's).
VOC has Housing application at 516 Chicopee St. Chicopee MA 01013.

Ileana Carrion
My apologies I am a bit late. Hello everyone! Ileana here from Planning & Economic Development.
Ileana Carrion,, City of Holyoke Office of Planning and Economic Development. Please participate in Explore Holyoke Restaurant Week!

Stephanie Marshall (she/her)
My name is Stephanie Marshall I am recovery coach at MHA in Springfield , MA.

Jen Fernandes
I am having a THRIVE open house on June 27th from 6-8 p.m.. to spread the word all the more about THRIVE. Ed sent out a flyer, but I can send it again. It's a great way to learn about THRIVE and all the program has to offer. It will be at the Picknelly Building on 206 Maple Street in Holyoke. Thanks, Jen Fernandes, financial coach.
We also have two pantries through the United Way. One is the Chicopee Cupboard on Center Street. It's open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-1 and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. Our new food pantry is at our service center at our main location on 1441 Main Street in Springfield. It's open on Wednesdays from 9-1. Mid June we will be expanding our days to Tuesdays as well.

Beth Fraster Mass Mentoring |she,hers
Please take a moment and check out our sign up:
If you are interested and/or can help us reach out to folks for our Credible Messenger Focus Groups and Individual Conversations - please take a moment and complete this super short interest survey
Credible Messenger Interest Form

Zeno Temple
Zeno Temple Community Safety and Outreach SpecialistHampden District Attorney's OfficeSpringfield, MA 01103Tel: 413-505-5103Fax: 413-788-4363zeno.temple@MassMail.State.MA.US

Yesenia Cruz
Yesenia Cruz- Adcare Hospital CSR-, 508-713-1710, please reach out if you work with anyone struggling with substance use/alcoholism. I’d love to connect!
Sarah Lynn health families and parents as teacher

Rowan Rosario
For anyone interested in volunteering with Nuestras Raíces, feel free to email me at!

Marisol-Springfield College
Marisol Guevara Neal-Springfield College
Springfield College degrees for adult learners that are fully online or hybrid with courses on the weekends and evenings. Employees of CHD, BHN, VOC, YMCA, Head Start, Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke Public Schools, New North Citizen Council, City of Springfield qualify for $5000=$10000 towards any degree at Springfield College. More information please contact Marisol at 4137483624 or by email
Nayroby Rosa-Soriano and number is 413-409-2004

Thomas Ellis
Thomas Ellis “Temporary shelter and prevention program” we offer services to runaway/at risk runaway youth and homeless/at risk homeless youth age 14-18. Please give me an email at if you feel this may be of service to a youth you know. We offer in-home mediation and emergency shelter to qualifying youth. We can also get these youth and other young adults connected to housing and resources to help them during homelessness and unstable housing. Thank you

Iris Sosa
Iris Sosa, outreach Boys Scout of America, 413-594-9196,
I forgot to mention that we have an outdoor program open for all the families this Saturday in our Scout reservation. If you are interested this is the website.

Kimberly Maende
Kimberly Maende - 413Cares Project Coordinator at the Public Health Institute of Western MAPhone: 413.794.3042Email: kmaende@publichealthwm.org413Cares newsletter:
Visit or contact me at to schedule a presentation with your organization or if you would like 413Cares informational material (i.e. tip cards, bookmarks, magnets, stickers)
Please share and listen to our lead prevention podcasts

Mishie Serrano- CEP Holyoke
Hi there, My name is Mishie Serrano. I am here on behalf of The Community Education Project. My contact info is, 413 - 296- 1113. Looking forward to connect with you all!

Brianna Hernandez
Brianna Hernandez- Recovery Support Specialist
Program: Impact Center- 41 Taylor St. Springfield MA 01103

Laura Banks, RVCC
That’s for the sexual health classes and new positions at RVCC!

Rondey Allen
Rondey Allen CrossPoint Clinical Services. 413-732-7677 Anyone interested in becoming a new client can complete the patient referral form on this page
CrossPoint also offers a FREE introduction to fitness webinar twice monthly

Edward Caisse
Ed Caisse, Hamden County Sheriff's Department.,

Kaydance Scotto
Hi everyone! My name is Kaydance Scotto, I am the AmeriCorps Program Coordinator with DIAL/SELF Youth & Community Services. kscotto@dialself.orgWe have a few positions open for the 10-month program for next school year. AmeriCorps members support youth in a specific school or community org. They participate in a weekly learning community and team service project. Site positions include Holyoke High, Opportunity Academy, Upward Bound Springfield, and more!Great opportunity for anyone who wants to spend a year mentoring youth, gaining skills, building community, and earning an education award.

Kate Murdock
Kate Murdock, Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), 100 Front Street, 4th floor, Holyoke, MA 413-471-332,
oops - 413 471 3392

Kashawn Sanders
Kashawn J. SandersPresident and CEO Follow My Steps Foundation INCCell: 617-297-8031E: W:

Julia Popkin, Community Legal Aid
Information about how to apply for legal assistance with Community Legal Aid:
Can also walk into one of our offices 9-5, Monday-Friday.

Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola
Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola, JDAI Local Coordinator - MA DYS,

James Geraghty
James Geraghty, Holyoke Mall - 617-840-2998 - Thank you!

Chris Cato Eagle Eye he/him/his
Chris Cato - Eagle Eye Institute We offer immersive programs at our 220-acre forest site in the Berkshires as well as place-based programs that connect youth to nature in their communities. Our programs engage a small groups of 12-15 youth and 2 staff with an intentional model that includes experiential learning, games and teambuilding, self-reflection, and stewardship. We engage nature as a catalyst for awareness, relationships, leadership development, and transformation.

Ashley Jediny
Ashley Jediny- Hampden County Sheriff's Department- Program Coordinator, Hampden County Addiction Taskforce (HCAT)- 413-278-5561

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, July 14th, 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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