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August 2021

Ed Caisse

August 12 2021

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: August 12, 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

Michelle Harty, Program Director of the Holyoke MAT clinic. 1:05pm - 1:20pm
Contact: 413-532-0389
Methadone clinic located at 235 Maple St. serving downtown Holyoke opened in March. Open Monday – Friday 5:30 am to 1:30 pm and Saturdays 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Dosing hours are 5:45 am to 12:00 pm Monday – Friday and 7:00 am to 10:00 am on weekends. Only taking walk-in admissions. This means that someone who has decided they are ready for Methadone can show up at the clinic at 6:00 am Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and expect to have a complete intake assessment done on the same day. Patients can also expect to meet with a doctor and a clinician and potentially receive their first dose that same day. Patients should note that this process takes several hours. The clinic utilizes methadone, clinical groups, and therapy to treat patients with opioid dependency. Since opening downtown, the clinic has formed several strong partnerships within the community, such as with Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke Medical Center, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Tapestry, and Highway to Hope for Holyoke.

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

Abbey Mahoney: Career Pathways Grant at HCC – Senior Special Programs Coordinator
Career Pathways grant offers a free CDA plus program, which is the Child Development certificate for early childhood educators. The program is a 16 credit 10-month certificate at HCC and is fully funded through the grant.Students must be employed in the field of early childhood education at an EEC license center-based program. Students who are not employed should find work within first 3 months of starting the program. New cohort starting in September. Stand alone courses for early childhood educators are also offered. CDA program is also offered completely in Spanish, the first ever certificate program to do so at HCC. Any early childhood educators who are also Spanish speaking and are interested in earning their certificate can reach out to Derek Estrella, Community Outreach Counselor for the Spanish CDA at HCC:

Ami Jackson: Springfield Youth Advocacy Division – Staff Defense Investigator
Juvenile public defender’s office serving Hampden County, Hampshire County, Franklin County, and Berkshire County for juvenile criminal defendants. No update.

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department – Ward 6 Coordinator for Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
No update.

Brenda Evans: CCHER/SPHHS at UMass Amherst – Community Research Liason
Hampden County Resource Network – Co-convener
No update.

Caitlin Goodbrake: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department – Intern
(413) 858-0220
Forensic psychology student from Bay Path University completing internship for Ed Caisse. No update.

Cheryl Livengood: Holyoke Public Library
Open to public. Computers and all other services are available.

Denise Kelly-Lachat: Hampden County District Attorney’s Office – Diversion Specialist
Now doing diversion in Holyoke District Court. No update.

Deputy Ernst Jean-Louis: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department / Holyoke Police Community Center
No Updates.

Trooper Deshawn Brown: MA State Police – State Trooper and Community Outreach
Contact: 857-262-7040
MA State Police is partnering with the Springfield Police Department and Walmart to host a community resource fair on Saturday, August 14th from 11:00am – 3:00pm at 1105 Boston Rd. Event is open to all organizations/agencies in Hampden County. Participating organizations/agencies should plan on bringing their own tables/chairs/tents. The resource fair is also having a free car seat checkpoint, where certified techs will be on hand to check car seats and replace them if necessary. Reach out if interested.

Diosdado Lopez: Fallon Health Nava Care
Mic not working

Duane Hardin
New to Holyoke community. Interested in learning more about the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative network and how to be a part of it. Specializes in community outreach, providing affordable housing, and working with LGBTQ youth, homeless populations, and recently released inmates reintegrating back into society. Excited to be a part of bringing back downtown and would like to assist in any way.

Brandon Dumis/Erin Godfrey: Odyssey House Clubhouse
Contact: or
413 538 4377
Encouraging agencies with applicants who have a mental health disability in the community to have them look into Odyssey House. Program focuses on work activities, educational development, and educational opportunities for people who have a mental health diagnosis in the community. Offering tours during operating hours, which are 8:00am – 4:00pm Monday through Friday. Located at 474 Appleton St.

Edgar Robles: Holyoke Public Schools – District Wide Attendance Officer and Coordinator
The school year begins for grades 1st – 12th on August 23rd and for pre-k and Kindergarten on August 30th. Masks are being mandated.

Eric White: Westover Job Corps Cent Eric White – Outreach and Admissions Counselor
Residential school helping youth learn trades and earn their high school diplomas. Youth can live on-site and earn their independence. If anyone knows any kids who are struggling in school or wanting to learn a trade, feel free to reach out.

Erika Hensel: Tapestry Holyoke - Overdose Engagement Coordinator
Free Narcan Trainings and Free Naloxboxes supplied with Narcan. Overdose Awareness Day at Veterans Park Aug 31st from 5:30pm-7:30pm
Teaming up with Hope for Holyoke and Holyoke Medical Center to light the city purple for Overdose Awareness Day at Veterans Park Aug 31st from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Handing out purple lightbulbs and trying to get people to display them and spread awareness. There will be open tabling events as well. Continuing to offer free narcan training for any organizations who are interested. Also continuing to run free, monthly, Holyoke-wide narcan training via Zoom. Naloxboxes supplied with Narcan are still available to businesses and organizations in Holyoke. Trying to get more Naloxboxes installed outside in the event of an outdoor overdose. Reach out if interested.

Flor Diaz: Valley Opportunity Council/WIC – Community Coordinator
Chicopee WIC office opening on September 28th. They are going to take some in-person appointments, but are starting slowly. All other services will be over-the-phone. Sunday, October 24th they are hosting a kids’ fashion show for the community at the Chicopee Castle of Knights from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. Bring any size diapers for admission, which will all be donated to the Holyoke diaper pantry. Other entertainment will be at the event and tables are available for interested agencies.

Freddie Kemp: Westover Job Corps Center – Admissions Counselor
Available to help out with any outreach efforts in the community. Contact if interested.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke
Unable to speak

Jay Breines: Holyoke Health Center – CEO
Stressing the importance of agencies working together to get everyone in Holyoke vaccinated against COVID-19, our biggest public health issue. Focusing on outreach to get to those who are hesitant to get the vaccine. Only way to put the pandemic behind us is through vaccinations. Keeping kids in school this year is all about keeping them vaccinated and safe. They set up a vaccine clinic at Holyoke High School and only vaccinated about 25 kids or so, indicating the lack of commitment to resolving the covid issue. Utilizing partnerships with agencies to set up access to the vaccine for their clients. More information will be forwarded out to HSNI network. They will be working on this as a top priority for next couple of months. New Delta variant and other variants present a frightening threat and they are seeking collaboration and support from other agencies.

Jen Hansen: Westover Job Corps Center
Currently hiring for quite a few positions. In need of residential staff, teachers, cooks, health staff, and more. Anyone who would like to work with their students can feel free to reach out.

Jennifer Gonzalez Morales: Holyoke Public Schools - Manager of Homeless Services and Enrollment
Still enrolling students for the new school year. School starts Monday, August 23rd grades 1st through 12th and Monday, August 30th for Pre-k and kindergarten. Pre-k classes available mornings, afternoons, and full days. Parents can enroll at or call 413-534-2000 option 1.

Jessie Berliner: Mental Health Association GRIT program
GRIT is a residential recovery program for those who are in the process of recovering from substance use and have dual-diagnoses.

Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department – Community Police Officer
Contact: 413-650-0546
No updates.

Justine Sabbs: Holyoke Housing Authority
Large-scale efforts in South Holyoke for affordable housing units. Phase 1 of the project was funded.
They will be hosting an informal community celebration for phase 1 of the affordable housing effort on August 19th at 12:30pm on the corner of Hamilton and Southeast St. Letting community members know that they are going to see a lot of growth in that area within the coming months. Hoping to start up first time homebuyer workshops again in the fall.

Karen Legace: US Attorney’s Office
The Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative has been running a youth basketball league for youth in Holyoke this summer. Before each Friday night elementary school youth basketball game, they brought a speaker series called “You can be Anything you Want to be” to provide positive work role models for the youth of Holyoke. Guest speakers included firefighters from Holyoke Fire Department, a state trooper from MA State Police, a chef from the Log Cabin, and a nurse practitioner and nutritionist from Holyoke Medical Center. Westover Job Corps Center had their students bake 300 cookies for the youth and their families. It was great and the kids loved it.

Kaydance Scotto: Dial-Self Americorp
Program is about to start their next 10-month service term. Members are placed at various schools to be mentors and supports for young folks. A lot of their folks are interested in becoming community workers, social workers, educators. Looking for anyone available to lead a workshop (in the winter) for a group of AmeriCorps members (ages 18-24) who work with youth in schools and community resource about how to engage parents and families. Reach out if interested. Workshops are 9am-11am on Fridays.

Laura Soderbaum: Holyoke Housing Authority
English and Spanish classes for first-time homebuyers are coming up in the fall. Looking for ideas about where to host this class for about 20 to 25 minutes that is affordable.

Lucy Friedman-Bell: Safe Routes to School – Outreach Coordinator
A program from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation that works to support safe walking and biking amongst elementary and middle school students. They are in the early stages of planning a walk to school event on Oct. 6th for all the schools in Holyoke. More details to follow.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library
Doors are open 8:30 – 4:00. Hotspots to lend out to families who cannot afford internet to use for educational purposes, job searching, or to connect with other online services. Help Now is an online tutoring/after-school program where students can get assistance in Spanish and English in all subjects. Job Now is another online resource that helps people search for jobs by connecting them to live career coaches. These coaches help people prepare for interviews, prepare resumes, and search for different jobs in the area. Vet Now is an online vet services help center that assists veterans gain access to their benefits. All of their services can be found on their website. Holyoke Public Library has a job opportunity for custodian/maintenance position. Please have potential candidate send resume and letter of interest (cover letter) to

Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department
Contact: (413) 534-2254
Booking free smoke and carbon monoxide detector installations for September. The fire department will come to your residence and install as many smoke alarms as you need. Car seat installation program is still ongoing, Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Currently installing around 4 car seats a day. Certain requirements must be met in order to receive one for free. Call if interested.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

Melissa Garcia: Gandara Center CBHI/ CSA
413-846-0445 ext. 6063
Open for referrals and information for families who are in need of services for their children or need to get connected to community services. Currently hiring for positions in home therapy, home behavioral clinicians, and intensive care coordination staff. Reach out if interested.

Miguel Rivera: Rewarding Insurance Agency
Contact: 413-317-0043
Specialize in life insurance, medicare advantage and critical illness. Hiring insurance agents who are provided leads, training, and help with the licensing process.

Naroby Rosa-Soriano: OneHolyoke CDC - Community Engagement Director
Continuing to get the word out about vaccinations. Hosting a free covid freedom walk or roll 5k going down Canal St. There will be a vaccine clinic set up at the event as well as lots of activities. There will be a scavenger hunt at finish line done in collaboration with the Holyoke Public Library. Cleanup campaign continuing with three upcoming cleanups. August 14th Wayfinders is hosting a cleanup by the library from 10:00 am to 12:00pm. Everyone is welcome. August 15th a group will be cleaning up Pulaski Park. August 28th Holyoke Housing Authority is hosting a cleanup going down Canal St. There is also a pop up vaccine clinic August 21st at the Holyoke mall.Link to register for our Covid-Freesom Walk or Roll 5K:

Nichelle Brooks: Holyoke DCF – Area Clinical Manager
Fully moved into new address at 200 Front St. in Holyoke. Building is closed to public, but social workers are in the field.

Pat Duffy: State Rep for 5th Hampden District
Offering support to the agencies in Holyoke.

Megan Lemay: Alzheimer's Association - Regional Manager
Helpline: 800-272-3900
We provide free programs and services to people with all types of dementia and caregivers. They also run a 24/7 help line. There is a Walk to End Alzheimer's on September 26th at Holyoke Community College. Register at

Ron Thompson: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Provide faith-based and traditional mental health services to individuals, children, couples, and families. Educational workshops are also offered on various topics and ongoing health and wellness programs. Each month their faith-based fitness program ‘Purpose Posse’ welcomes new members who want to focus on mind, body, and spirit. In the middle of September they offer a special online program just for women called the ‘Wellness Revelation’. The same program will be run in early October for couples and it’s all about finding balance in all aspects of your life. Their educational workshops being held in the fall will focus on marriage preparation. Please see their website for more info about their programs and services.

Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass.
Visit their website to find out more about how to deal with the funeral industry, resolve problems, or save money. No updates.

Sergio Vicente: Masshire Holyoke – Operations Coordinator and Youth Counselor
Promoting a week long, state-wide virtual job fair starting August 23rd. Both jobseekers and employers participation is welcome. At least 6,000 jobseekers are interested in attending. See link for more info:

Stephany Garcia: Holyoke Public School (Donahue school) - Family Access and Engagement Coordinator
Asking community members to donate cleaning supplies and face masks to help keep their students and staff safe this school year.

Stephanie Moore: Holyoke Rows – Program Director
Program runs the community boathouse at Jone’s Ferry. It is a great time to get on the river. Still offering family memberships to get families out on the river. They also offer drop-in classes on Mondays and Wednesdays to teach people how to row. Preparing for their middle school and high school free after school programs to start in the first full week of September. Currently working on organizing transportation for kids to partake in the program. Always looking to recruit new kids.

Yoni Glogower: City of Holyoke
Unable to speak

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps Center – Admissions Manager
Still virtually enrolling young people. Virtual orientations and interviews are also being conducted. Offering to complete any presentations for any organizations. Hiring for one full-time recruiting position and some other positions. Please feel free to reach out if interested.

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, September 9, 2021 (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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