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April 2021

Ed Caisse

April 8 2021

Virtual Networking Meeting hosted via Zoom.

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: April 8, 2021
Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Zoom Meeting

Mission Statement: The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership between local, state & federal law enforcement; city & state government; civic & human service organizations; faith based organizations; the business community; education providers; property managers; and residents coming together with a goal to create safe, healthy & economically viable neighborhoods through information sharing, identifying at-risk youth, referrals and community efforts in specific Holyoke neighborhoods.

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

Rafael Rodriguez: Healing Communities Study (HCS) 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Rafael Rodriguez is the Holyoke Coalition Coordinator for the Healing Community Study. National research study being conducted among 4 states; Mass, New York, Kentucky and Ohio. Purpose of study is for community to identify their needs. Onus is put on the community. Built a tremendous coalition of folks to reduce opioid related deaths by 40%. It is a three prong process increasing Naloxone to communities, safer proscribing from providers and increasing retention to MAT (Medically Assisted Treatment). He comes as someone with lived experience, addicted to opiates and was homeless. Been working in this field for five years offering a unique perspective of his lived experience.

Rafael shared his screen to show the history of HCS. January 1st was the beginning of study with the start of OTP downtown. Study was only supposed to be for 1 year but just got extended for six months, end of June 2022. Two parts of study with Springfield being the second part of study. Holyoke is included in first part. Tried to stare stigma in the face with their communications campaign.

Rafael talked about MAT and how it was instrumental in finding his place in life. Provided an opportunity to have some insight and is self-determined. Utilizing bus campaigns for advertising and getting people to the right resources in the community through partnerships. They also put a mall ad out around Naloxone (narcan). Rafael addressed the stigma of drug use and that we all have someone within our personal lives that have struggled with drug use. In the process of reviewing new bus ads and speaking to population that they are trying to reach the most. Subcommittee is reviewing.

Virtual Event, “Together We Can” heal our communities on May 12th. Ask all providers like Judge Hadley from HDC, Hope for Holyoke, HHC and BHN to speak to the interventions of the community coalition. Want agencies to gain some knowledge of resources that are in community. Will translate recording and will chose a date to broadcast to community. Working on installing Naloxboxes on public property. Working with city council to plan out where they can be located. Used as a tool similar to a defibrillator. Basically, trying to provide as much Narcan to the community. Making it well known that it is out there for everyone in case of emergencies. Standing order with pharmacies in Massachusetts to access.

Rafael discussed the resource guide that Eddie was instrumental in helping develop. Showed the final version and stated that they will be sent to print soon. They will make available to any agency that wants them for clients.

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

Adlyn Colon: Holyoke Community College
Offer High School preparation classes, HISET and ESOL. Recruiting a Spanish professor along with students for the new cycle for May classes.
Adlyn Colon - Adult Education at PAFEC,, 413-552-2927. HiSET and ESOL classes.

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of Central and Western Mass
Bring youth programming to the City of Holyoke; work with young people from K to age 20. Interested in offering outdoor reservation to support youth programming. Looking at vocational programs for older youth

Judge Bill Hadley: Holyoke District Court Justice
Working close on the HEART (Holyoke Early Access and Recovery Treatment) initiative with Rafael. Anyone coming to court can get connected to a Recovery Coach and clinician. Trying to get the word out and give some trust to the program, UMass students facilitating it. Creating more opportunities for diversion, particularly with those struggling with substance use disorders. Looking to get folks diverted into community supervision, working with the Sheriff’s Department, UMASS and many community agencies.

Pat Duffy: State Representative
Busy Times, reach out to Juan Anderson Burgos if you are looking to get in touch with her office. House budget debate coming up, looking to support all of us in that. 413-529-4307.

Chassidy Crowell Miller: River Valley Counselling Center
Clinical director for RVCC. Accepting referrals short wait for children. Accepting Masshealth for Adults. CBHI services out of Chicopee currently accepting referrals for IHT and therapeutic mentors. ACRA still taking referrals, addresses substance use for 18 to 25. Started community partnership with Holyoke Boys and Girls Club and will be supplying services at the Boys and Girls Club as well. RVCC Central Intake for new referrals for all programs 413-540-1234. RVCC services Holyoke and all surrounding towns with both in person or telehealth options.

Cheryl Livengood: Holyoke Public Library
Reference Librarian doing curbside pickup. Many on-line resources available through their website. Up and coming event for an online program for container gardening on 4/17. Limited space gardening, this would be container gardening. Have small kits available for those that call reference desk, which have seeds, soils and pots to start a little garden.

Cindy Colangione: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County
Ed and her have got things off the ground and have a wait list for their Holyoke initiative. Have made some matches and have some pending. If anyone is interested in being a big, her contact information is in the chat. Cindy Colangione Big Brothers Big Sisters

Demasco Santiago: Tapestry
Current events 4/17/21 will have community syringe pickup. Will be doing outreach as well along with picking up discarded syringes. Putting to use the healing communities wrap around services with Holyoke Health Center. They have been great in assisting folks with primary care and wrap around services. Open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Tapestry can train on Narcan for anyone that walks through their doors and have supplies and Narcan for folks that come in their doors.

Deputy Ernst Jean Louis: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Work out of Holyoke Police Community Center, nothing to pass on today.

Erika Hensel: Tapestry
Overdose engagement coordinator, working with Mass Heal Community. Peer distribution of Narcan. Offer free Narcan and trainings to the community and organizations, information in the chat. Free Narcan and Narcan Trainings, Erika Hensel Tapestry Health- (413) 316-4636 or call the office at (413) 315-3732

Freddie Kemp: Westover Job Corps
Outreach and Admission Counselor at Westover Job Corps. Mainly works out of Franklin County with youth 16-24 to offer them opportunities around educational and vocational opportunities. Anyone looking to partner in the Franklin County area, his information is in the chat. Freddie Kemp OA, Westover JC. 413-505-6657

Gina Anselmo: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Coordinates youth advisory board with Tony Simmons. A group of 45 High School youth that volunteer and collaborate to identify some of the issues that face youth today in schools/communities. Work on projects to identify issues such as; health and social interaction, safety and economic disparities, education and the internet and inclusion. Has a student on today that is working with inclusion Tigist. Have presentations on social media for parents and kids. DA and Sheriff and addiction task force has been able to start peer support groups every Wednesday at 6pm.
Good Afternoon. Gina Anselmo. Hampden District Attorney’s Office.

Giselle Viscarrondo: Caring Heart Nursing Service
Provide gap services and VNA. Anyone 22 and over and lives in subsidy they will service them. 4135358455 PCA services

James Biscoe: Cleanslate
Area manager for Cleanslate. Offices around the area in Holyoke, West Springfield and Springfield and offer Suboxone and Vivitrol treatment for those with substance abuse disorder, nothing new to update. or my cell phone 413-575-6461.

Jen Hanson: Westover Job Corps
Started returning their students and shifted to blended learning with 80 students on campus and will be bringing the last 2 groups on center by end of May. Really excited to have the students back, looking to start virtual enrollment to bring in more students.

Jill Brevik: Lighthouse Holyoke
Development Director and excited join this group. Lighthouse is alternative education program for students, a full day of school for grades 7 – 12. Over 80% of their students receive financial assistance. Student Art show on 5/22 in collaboration with Holyoke Farmers Market from 10am-12pm on Race Street.

Joanne O’Toole: Homework House
Volunteer coordinator at Homework House, currently running summer program at our Lady of Guadalupe, literacy based for grades 2-5 grades. Middle school program at St Paul’s on Appleton St. has math and social emotional programming. Always looking for kids, not currently looking for volunteers based on COVID restrictions. Homework House Summer Program registration information is available on our website. or email Jessica Booth
We are also having our virtual adult spelling bee on April 29th! Please let me know if you would like team registration or sponsorship info. There are also prizes for costumes and team names!

John Mccarthy: US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Represent 5 coastal states from Maine to Connecticut. New Venezuelan (TPS) protective status. Contact him he would be happy to help with anyone that has any connection with Venezuelan population. 4/15 stakeholders meeting for Boston and Lawrence field officers, contact John if you need information about the meeting. His object is to provide Information to immigration groups that need immigration benefits.

Juliet Ochoa: RFK Children’s Action Corp
Detention diversion advocacy program. Continue to see referrals from DCF, Family Resource Center and the DA’s Office, nothing to report.

Karen Blanchard: Michael J Dias Executive Director
Run 3 sober homes out of Springfield. Thanked Tapestry for their partnership and training for her staff on Narcan. New to group looking forward to working with everyone.

Karen Brown: Paula Friere Charter School
Shout out to Rafael on his excellent presentation. Interventionist with the school and have utilized resources from meeting. Nothing to report but thanked everyone for joining. Has come to the networking meeting and has used some of the resources from some of the agencies. Karen Brown Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, Chicopee MA

Kaydance: Dial Self Americore
Recruiting for their next 10 month full time community service program. Members support youth development and community engagement. Receive stipend, educational award and ongoing professional development. Have sites at Holyoke High School, Lighthouse, En Lace de Familia and Opportunity Academy. DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Flyer: have positions at HHS, MassHire, Opportunity Academy, LightHouse, Enlace, and more!AmeriCorps members support Youth Development and Community Engagement for 10-months full-time, and receive professional development training, a $16k stipend and a $6k education award.

Linda Manning: Greater Springfield Senior Services
Options counselor at Greater Springfield Senior Service sister agency of Western MA Elder Care. Offer high quality and affordable network of social and medical supports for elder population and older adults with disabilities, if you are working with anyone from the 12 cities or towns in the greater Springfield area, please send them our way.

Lizzy Ortiz: City of Springfield Office of Housing
Youth and Young Adult Homeless Program Manager. HUD provided in 2020 certain amount of dollars for homeless adults 18-24 and under can access a hotline that are homeless to connect them with services. Gandara runs program Brighter Futures shelter where 6 young adults can live. HUD 4/12-5/24, every youth in Hampden County will receive a stipend that are homeless through MA Coalition to end Homelessness will offer more resources. Please reach out for youth and young adults that need help to get connected to resources. CHD and Gandara run Hotline to get connected. Coordinated Re-Entry meetings every other week to offer wrap around services for those in need of services. Youth Housing Development Project. Lizzy Ortiz, The City of Springfield, Office of Housing, Youth & Young Adult homeless program manager, 413-750-2102
Youth & Young Adult homeless Hotline, 413-316-4979

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library
3 new online resources we have for the community. MCAS practice, comprehensive supplemental study program to practice test. Gives idea for math and language arts, for 3rd grade to 8th grade. Brain Fuse is on on-line program that connects people with experts that love to teach. Online tutoring and homework help for all students in English/Spanish. JOB NOW offers life help in job hunting, connects users with a career coach. VET NOW helps for benefits that a veteran will be eligible for. Have a WIFI hot spot lending program for those that do not have a connection to the internet, can borrow a hot spot device from the library. Please share with cliental. They can travel with a reliable internet access; her information is in the chat. Hello everyone. This is Maria from the Holyoke Public Library.In fulfilling the Library’s mission to provide access to information and educational resources, the Holyoke Public Library has added 3 new library services Hotspots to go, Live Tutors online, MCAS Practice. Visit our webpage for more details.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership
Represent Western MA, manager of community engagement. Support programs with capacity building that are providing mentoring or youth programs. Provide professional development, advocate for state funding specifically for mentoring programs, information is in the chat if anyone wants to connect. Melany Mendoza | Manager of Community Engagement Western Mass Mass Mentoring.
oin Hampden County Mentoring Movementand Mass Mentoring Partnership for a virtual training onEMPOWERING YOUTH - ADULT RELATIONSHIPSTuesday, May 49:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.This interactive training is designed to build knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enhance the capacity of adults to connect and support the development of empowering youth-adult relationships. Building on the work of the Search Institute, this training will prepare adults to develop relationships that powerfully and positively shape young people’s identities and help them develop thriving mindsets. The training will also help adults learn how to create opportunities for young people to share their opinions, thoughts, and voice in programming.

Michael Romano: Valley Opportunity Council
Works as an advisor, located in Chicopee. Have students from all over Hampden County and offer HISET prep to ESOL classes. Have citizen prep exam class and out of school youth, 17-23. Always welcoming students.
Adlyn Colon - Adult Education at PAFEC,, 413-552-2927. HiSET and ESOL classes.Mike RomanoAdult Education AdvisorValley Opportunity Council35 Mt. Carmel Ave., 3rd Fl.Chicopee, MA 01013

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: One Holyoke CDC
Kicking off their cleanup campaign, flyer in the chat. Google link for those interested in hosting clean up, is the link in the chat, so agencies can click on a week and register to host a clean-up, she can get folks supplies. Hosting a vaccine clinic on 4/13 in their Flats community building, in the chat in partnership with BHN. If not eligible they will give dates when you will be eligible, can get one of the 400 doses per month coming to Holyoke. If you are not eligible right now, they will give you a date when you will be eligible. Will offer open pantry on Saturdays with Margaret’s Pantry, once per month. Still promoting the vaccine and giving out PPE’s, located at Key foods supermarket. The have face masks and hand sanitizer. To host a cleanup and receive supplies please use this link. Date and time of your choice. Open with google docs
Nayroby Rosa-Soriano, OneHolyoke CDC 413-409-2004 and email is

Nichelle Brooks: Department of Children and Families
Acting area clinical manager for Holyoke DCF Office. One of her roles is to oversee clinical practice of entire office; another is to make sure they are connected to resources and providers in community. Finally moving to 4 Front St in Holyoke the week of April 26th.

Nicole Coakley: Springfield College
Assistant Director for Center for Service and Leadership. Always looking for ways and ideas to partner with community organizations. Students looking for volunteer work. Seniors are leaving and doing donation drive of food and furniture and looking for organization to partner with them in May. Good Neighbor project where students partner with older adults to keep them connected, busy and engaged with peers. Nicole Coakley, Assistant Director for Center for Services and Leadership at Springfield College (413)342-8009

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
208 Race St. Community Center, no updates.

Renata Janco: Gandara Center
Offer services to adults and children throughout the state. Renata works with in home therapy program in Holyoke, under the CBHI Division, right now reasonable wait list 2-4 weeks.

Rhonda Soto: Paulo Friere Social Justice Charter School
She is the Dean of school climate and culture. New executive director this year, Gil Traverso. Working with Walter Rice on creating and building a mock trial court room. Many courses around criminal law, around the court room. Creating a radio station with board members Darryl Moss and Andrew Keaton from WTCC in Springfield, creating a new radio station at Paulo. Developing a news van for kids to go out to community, multi-journalism. Many new things aligning with their social justice vision, urban planning and empowering youth. Developing a career center and pathway to college with a civic training center to collaborate with agencies like the fire department, correctional facility jobs and type of civic jobs. They have over 100 applicants for September. Thanked South End Community Center in Springfield for hosting their at risk students.

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint Clinical Services
Executive director. An agency that specializes in Christian Faith Based out-patient mental health counseling, also do wellness coaching and exciting events. “Purpose posse”, online virtual fitness community headed up by Wellness Coach Jennifer Allen. She does classes, nutritional coaching, goal setting, all kinds of resources available for a reasonable subscription cost, for those looking to get in shape at home during COVID. The way we pursue our craft, so to speak, we try to lean on faith and science. When people are in a healing process, sometimes you don’t want choose from one or the other, you almost wish they could come together. Our staff are very professional, have 20 clinicians across the state, everyone is state licensed. We are inviting a speaker, to the area, Jenifer Consent, on sex therapy who is nationally renowned author, “The art of Marriage”. Friday, June 25th, will have a CEU training for those that counsel people on sexuality. Saturday, June 26th, they will have a marriage enrichment event. Space for couples to sit in virtually. We are also hiring a Human Resources Generalist!

Shannon Blyven: Valley Bike Share
Talk about access pass program. Can get unlimited annual pass for qualified individuals unlimited hour long rides on Valley Bike. Still have a lot of funds for program. If you have any clients that have transportation issues or need exercise or whatever they need it for. Place file in the chat they can go to the website, download a couple of forms, can scan back or place in the mail. Asked agencies to put the sign up in their areas.
I have to head out, thank you everyone! I wanted to make sure you all had a chance to look at our Access Pass program which is free for 2021 for qualified people that need transportation, exercise or just fun riding! :)

Sally English: Viability Inc.
Regional director of Hampden County Club Houses programs of Viability Inc. Oversee their three Hampden County Clubhouses: Odyssey (Holyoke), Lighthouse (Springfield) and Forum House (Westfield). Programs are for adults with mental illness focus on non-clinical psych/social rehabilitation. Offering daily lunches at all of their sites, snack café, job club, working on getting folks back to work. Dual recovering anonymous programs, supporting folks with addiction. All the work at the club houses is done side by side with staff and members. Ready to start gardening projects and looking to partner with other agencies. Looking for employers, to support their transitional employment, if employers have issues with members they come in a fix the issues. Sally English, Viability Inc. Hampden County clubhouses, programs for adults with mental illness. We are open to in-person and remote services and accepting new referrals. or 413-461-3701 direct line (text and call)

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library
Many folks know her from the Mini Golf at the Library, not sure when they are going to be doing the golf due to COVID. Volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts. Volunteer that can answer questions and provide resources for people that are grieving and needs around funeral arrangements. Have comparative price survey with 85 funeral homes in the four counties in Western MA, here to help. Put information in chat: Sandy Ward (she, her): Funeral Consumer Alliance of Western Mass,,, 413-376-4747

Sarah Kapinos: Louis and Clark Pharmacy
Community liaison and deliver within a 40 mile radius from Springfield. Serve independent and assisted living communities along with assisting caregivers and delivering medication to home. Specialize in medication management, multi-dose packaging. If you are a care giver that could benefit from medication delivery and managing a loved one’s medication, reach out to her. Sarah Kapinos – Community Liaison – Louis & Clark Pharmacy, Your Local Pharmacy for Western Mass413-206-1172 SKapinos@MediBubble.comWe service Independent and Assisting Living Communities, Group Homes and Individuals living in the Community and offer Free Delivery within a 40 min radius of SpfldWe Specialize in Medication Management with MediBubble or Vial

Sean Hudkins: Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch
Headquartered out of Long Island, NY also have sites in Arkansas and Tennessee, which primarily focus on residential and transitional housing for guys and girls. Locally, here in Huntington we are located on 97 beautiful acres; we support the other locations by providing a place for them to come, as well as opening up to the community through retreat opportunities. This summer, we will be having camps for faith based organization for 8-18 years old with trained counselors this July. We typically can have 125 per session even with restrictions. They have many opportunities to do outdoor activities.

Terri Lombardo: HCS Headstart
Full day headstart classrooms open in Holyoke, Chicopee and Springfield. Continuing to work on opening plan and looking to have vaccination site for teachers and staff. Will resume pre-k classroom next fall. They are accepting applications for in person reservations.

Tony Simmons: District Attorney’s Office
Offered up any of their attorneys to help with agencies doing mock trials, DA’s Office does mock trials as well. Youth advisory board and membership has been virtual and encouraged kids in Holyoke school system to get involved, have not stopped since COVID. Huge advantage for youth being part of their advisory board, get to see a lot that goes on in the criminal justice and a help if they are planning on going to college.

Vernon Percy: Baypath University
Faculty in psychology department and was referred to meeting from Diane Hall at Baypath. Interested in developing community partnerships. Teaches sports based youth development class in spring and an effective youth development effective mentoring in the fall at the college. Worked at FP middle school along with SECC, great experiences. Looking to expand, if anyone interested in having students work with their populations, information in the chat. Vernon Percy Assistant Professor Psychology Department Bay Path University Youth Development PartneringCommu

William Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Ward 6 coordinator, nothing new to report. Bill Courchesne Hampden County Sheriff's Dept HSNI Ward 6 coordinator 858-0015

Yesenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital
Adcare is Alcohol and Drug Care. Inpatient and outpatient services for those seeking services. Closest office in West Springfield, they are doing everything virtual. They offer transportation to detox in Worcester and Rhode Island. Alcohol awareness month for anyone that is in recovery, this is a perfect opportunity to examine alcohol use to see if it is negatively impacting your life or other people’s lives, to bring awareness to that. Hi everyone, Yesenia Cruz, Adcare Hospital-Western MA Community Service Rep,, 508-713-1710

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps
Outreach and Admission Manager at Westover Job Corps. 81 young people on center and are still excepting virtual enrollment and completing virtual orientations and interviews. We would love to do any presentations to partners or community service that is needed. Please reach out to her, Walter, Freddy or Eloise. Happy to be involved and wanting do anything they can to let people know about this free program.

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps
Business community Liaison. Open house on 4/21/21 from 10-12pm. Instructors will do live presentations and discussions on the trades. Food insecurity drive. Great career opportunities at Westover Job Corps, if you know anyone interested in working with young people, send them to us.
Greetings! Walter Rice Westover Job Corps Center BCL-WBL 413-593-4005

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
He sent out information on the Back to School Event scheduled on Saturday, August 21st 11am-3pm. Looking to see many volunteers from agencies at the event and to mark your calendars. Talked about resource guides and that they include 413CARES and United Way 211 as a source to get folks connected to resources. They distribute 2000 resource guides in the backpacks and urged agencies to include their information by 4/30/21. Please consider reaching out to agencies that you feel offer resources to the Holyoke Community, please invite them to our next Networking Meeting, which is scheduled for May 13th at 1:00pm. Ed thanked everyone for the work they do for the youth and families in the community.

From Chat Notes:

Hello, Kelly Curran, Human Resource Manager for the Holyoke Public Schools

Good afternoon, I hope you all are well. I am Jim Geraghty, Advertising Representative at Holyoke Mall. Please review what the shopping center has to offer in attached file. Contact Info -

Rebecca Lisi, Holyoke City Councilor

Hola! Nikita Perez- Family and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Holyoke Public Schools (based at Morgan) :)

Eloise Adegbola Admissions Counselor for Westover Job Corps, 413-593-4084 We are currently taking applications for individuals 16-24 years of age interested in a free vocational training. We offer a plethora of services, give us a call.

I am Tigist from the Inclusion subcomitte in the DA's youth advisory board, we have created a series of podcasts talking about ways that our schools, and our communities could be more inclusive, and what we have experienced. I have to leave early to go to work, but I enjoyed this and thank you1Racism: discrimination: and religious inclusivity: 3KfYY_TT-zXEQSexism: WfQ&utm_source=copy-linkWe are currently working on our final podcast to come out which will be covering intersectionality. We are also working on an instructional massage situation on pamphlet targeted towards teachers and how they can be more inclusive. Look out for that!

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, February 11th (ZOOM)

Close Meeting 2:30pm

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

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