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December 2020

Ed Caisse

December 10 2020

Virtual Networking Meeting hosted via Zoom.

Meeting Notes
Date: December 10, 2020
Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Place: Zoom Conference Call
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

Ed welcomed everyone and reminded agencies to put their name in the chat along with putting themselves on mute unless they are talking.

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke Peer Recovery Support Center 1:05pm - 1:20pm

James reminded everyone that they are located at 100 Suffolk St. They are open Monday-Friday with limited hours on a ten person capacity. Helping people get in recovery and maintain. Connect with peer support and coaches. Kevin is their Virtual Outreach Coordinator. Prior to Covid 19 they would do trips to various s places like Hyannis for fishing trips. What they are trying to do is find connections and support. Inverted triangle model: Peer at top, staff and agency. Members put everything together and we’re there to support.

Kevin LeBeau talked about the way Covid-19 has changed that dynamic of their program. We are creating an online meeting and offering members to use computers to take home and keep connected. They have strict safety guidelines. They are doing live Facebook and Zoom meetings. Facebook page is a great avenue for support. Membership is always available. Once a member for 3 months they can become peer, employees or staff members. Like and share our page with others. Recovery is possible.

James stated that they have a continued to presence in the Holyoke Medical Center 7 days a week. Peer recovery coaches are working with Holyoke District Court and Hampden County Sheriff’s Department on their new HEART Program. Highway to Hope is a new program that will provide transportation to treatment. It is collaboration with many agencies in the area. They can communicate in English and Spanish.

Hope for Holyoke is where the “Impossible becomes Possible”.

From chat: Thank you everyone! Hope for Holyoke Recovery Support Center Facebook Page! also wanted to add that Outfit I'm wearing was part of one of the Activities we did recently. Ugly Sweater Contest! Thank you everyone! Here is our information! Phone: 413-561-1020Check us out on the Hope for Holyoke Recovery Support Center Facebook Page! James Maloney

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

Adlyn Colon: HCC

Their offices are closed but they continue to work remotely. They offer HISET/ESOL HISET/ESOL classes. Adlyn Colon-, 413-552-2927

Allison Scott: DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps

Partners with schools and agencies to provide meaningful opportunities for an experience working with youth. Serve 35hrs a week on site: HHS, Upward bound, Mass Hire Holyoke and Gandara.

From chat: The DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program seeks host sites for AmeriCorps Members to serve during the 2021-2022 service term/school year. AmeriCorps Members receive weekly training and perform services to inspire self-efficacy, learning-engagement, and job-readiness in young people for 35 hours a week from Sept. through June. They serve is settings such as classrooms, community centers, and youth residential programs. They bring fresh energy to support the mission of the site. Send me an email for more info:

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: Director OneHolyoke CDC

They were awarded a new grant directly towards informing community on COVID 19 issues to Latino members in the city of Holyoke. They have many no contact events coming up in the next couple of months. Major thing that they are working on is the 1 Holyoke Community Dinner 5th annual. They do have a lot of sponsors but are still looking for silver and bronze sponsorships. Event will be 12/16 to serve 300 families box of a food to give out from 5-8 at Kelly School drive thru event. 413-409-2004

From chat: For those interested in helping we still need: Potatoes, Corn and bottles of oil. If anyone can help donate anything they can be brought to Holyoke Senior Center from 8:30a-1:30pm Mon-Fri

Neal Boyd: MassSupport Network Western Massachusetts

781 805-5514

Yesenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital

Community Service Representative- 508-713-1710-

Amanda Hichborn: RVCC

Clinical supervisor for ACRA program. Adolescent 12-24 that meet criteria for substance abuse disorder. Evidence based program and adolescents and emerging adults. From chat: Amanda Hichborn, River Valley Counseling Center, ACRA program supervisor, 413-540-1137,

Ana Sanchez: HCC

Accelerate English classes (ACE). Ana is trying to recruit people from Hampden County to attend classes. (413) 218-9197. Learn English in 12 weeks.

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of America

Deferring to Greg Williams. They are connected with a few dozen of youth in Holyoke but travel outside of the city. None of them are connected with a unit in the City. The Boy Scouts are looking to connect with an agency that might be interested in partnering with them to form a group of scouts within their own organization. From k-20years old. They have a 1400 camp property about ½ hour from Holyoke.

From chat: Providing Scouting programs for boys and girls kindergarten through 20 years of age to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetime through character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness experiences

Amani Harris: Community Engagement for Holyoke

Tapestry Health in Holyoke has hired Harm Reduction Specialist Ericka Hensel who will be providing Overdose Education and Narcan Distribution and working with peers to do secondary distribution to focus population in Holyoke. This HCS intervention will allow Tapestry Health Inc. to increase outreach to high risk populations and their social networks including family, friends, faith-based organizations, and community organizations in Holyoke.
Holyoke Medical Center has hired Ryan Papargiris as the Recovery Support Coordinator for the Addiction Consult Service. This HCS intervention will create a process and clinical service to assess and treat individuals who are medically admitted using MOUD. The Recovery Support Coordinator will also ensure comprehensive discharge planning is in place and enhance connection with community providers in Holyoke to maintain MOUD for those started inpatient.
First Justice William Hadley with Th​e Holyoke District Court has been working with an amazing team of UMass Amherst interns and community stakeholders to roll out the Holyoke Early Access to Recovery & Treatment (HEART) program. This HCS intervention will offer criminal justice-involved individuals who are involved with the Holyoke District Court the opportunity to voluntarily access treatment for opioid use disorder by connecting those individuals with substance use clinicians and recovery coaches.
Hope for Holyoke’s peers have chosen the name and logo, Highway to Hope, for their HCS Peer Transportation intervention. The goal of this program is to increase access and retention to MOUD for most vulnerable patients by creating warm hand off and connection to next steps in continuum of care by having peer recovery coach to talk about next steps and getting patients in Holyoke to services.
Reduce overdose Opioid by 40 percent. They are working with organizations to implement practices that include education. Tapestry has hired new harm reduction specialist in January. Holyoke District Court working on demand treatment with Judge Hadley. Holyoke Medical Center implementing addiction counseling service for folks that come in to hospital and will be staying in patient.

Cathy Morgado: Hope Worldwide

Providing many volunteers for South Holyoke in partnership with Nueva Esparanza and Ed Caisse. They have received brand new toy donations. Normally do a Christmas party. Next week having Christmas store to come shop at El Mercado: Tue/Thursday 10am-1pm, evening 5-8pm. There are many popular toys to be offered to the community. Open to the community and will have safety guidelines to enter store. Make reservation through Nueva Esparanza. Phone number on flyer.

Cindy Colangione: Big Brothers Big Sisters

They are trying to connect mentors with Holyoke Kids. She is available to talk about program to give potential mentors more information. They are in need for more boys between the ages of 7-14 from a home where they don’t have contact with bio father., 781-4730

Claudia Lora: A Better Life Homecare

They are a local homecare agency that offers at home nursing and PCA to anyone over the age of 21 with a medical condition. They are hiring PCA and CNA. They are donating 150 packages with Friends of the Homeless. Part of the We Care initiative. Packages to different residents of low income families and are looking for more partners. Facilitate groups for Spanish speaking caregivers on grant. Offer virtual YOGA classes.

From chat: Helllo guys, Claudia Lora from A Better Life Homecare. We are currently looking to hire PCA's and CNA's for the Holyoke and Chicopee Area. Please keep in mind that i also co-facilitate a Spanish Speaking Caregivers support group. We are providing free of charge yoga classes and additional support for our Spanish Speaking Caregivers.

Dallas Clark: Mass Help Line

12/17 Western Ma conversation. Invite everyone to attend to Info in chat.

From chat: Our hope is to connect and build relationships with providers across different sectors from the Western MA region to:process experiences and challenges we as providers have faced due to the sustained stress brought on by COVID-19,engage in conversations to share creative strategies to address these challenges in our work, andshare resources and best practices to continue our work while facing challenges and barriers exacerbated by the pandemic. In this interactive, equity-focused conversation, we will work together to process the impacts of COVID-19—particularly on communities of color, and learn from one another through facilitated discussions in small and large groups. Through this conversation and Helpline data-driven discussions, we hope to build connections with providers to enhance our understanding of the needs of the different communities in the Western MA region and to better serve these populations. Please join us in this important conversation and register for free here.

Diana Rodriguez: We Care Holyoke

Open House next week to come tour their facility.

From chat: VCare Holyoke Adult Day Health - Open House December 14 - 18, 2020 by appt. Please call 413.650.0358 to reserve a time slot.

Disosdado Lopez-Martinez: Fallon Health

Work with 65 and older involved in Mass health.

From chat: NaviCare Program 413-275-5243

Giralys Ramirez: Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA

Financial Assistance for Girl Scouts k-12. They have a lot of good activities coming up.

From chat: Girl Scouts is bringing Christmas to the homeless, donations can be sent to either the Holyoke office or Worcester office. We are taking hats, gloves, warmers, socks, chapstick, hand sanitizer, lotion, deodorants, blankets. Anyone who would like to help please fell free to contact me. Also, I need info on whomever I can speak to about having a recruitment event at any park in Holyoke that has a field, or big enough space to hold at least 30 girls at 6 feet apart for a hour. If anyone knows who I can speak to or maybe have a space Girl Scouts can use It would be greatly appreciated. My contact info is THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!!!! Happy Holidays!

Ruth Tirado: Community Education Project

From chat: (CEP) welcomes you!The Community Education Project (CEP) prides itself in hosting adult learners from all walks of life for nearly 30 years! While you may be reading this as an English language learner (ESOL), or you may be here to learn more about how our Native (Spanish) Language Literacy program, we want you to believe in the powerful changes education can bring us.Based in the heart of South Holyoke, CEP hopes to recruit folks Monday and Friday student orientations are able to offer information a mix of basic, intermediate, and advanced english class lectures. We will beginning our Native language literacy classes in January and provide digital literacy remote work designed for adult learners.We also provide academic and career advice for students seeking further information on our educational or career training. For nore information contactRuth TiradoEducational and Career advisorRTIRADO@CEPHOLYOKE.ORGINFO@CEPHOLYOKE.ORG

James Biscoe: Cleanslate

Outpatient medication assisted treatment. They have offices all over the state. They are still open and taking appointments along with virtual.

From Chat: Good afternoon everyone. I am James Biscoe, Area Manager for CleanSlate. We provide medication assisted treatment for individuals suffering from substance use disorder. My email is

James Clifford: Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch

They have their retreat center out of Huntington at Norwich Lake for the last ten years. They have talked with Eddie and his contacts to start a transitional living program out in that site as well. They are a residential nonprofit based out of Long Island, NY. Other sites are Arkansas, Tennessee and Massachusetts. They offer transitional living programs for males 18-25 coming out of jail or no support when they turn 18. Focus on vocational//workforce training and some connections with employers for their long term. Overall, very excited to get to know everyone connected with initiative.

Jean Altis: Gandara

They offer Therapeutic mentoring services to youth under the age of 21. Currently working remotely based on COVID restrictions. They have short wait list but are hiring and are taking referrals.

Jen Sordi: HCSD Assistant Superintendent

Oversee all the re-entry and transitional services. She has worked with Ed Caisse for a long time and frequently talked about how robust this group is. She is excited to be a port of it and learn about the many resources and activities happening in Holyoke.

Jocelyn Sullivan: MSPCC

Clinical intern from survivor services through MSPCC. Treat kids from the ages of 3-21 for trauma related symptoms and behaviors.

Laura Soderbaum: Holyoke Housing Authority

Justine is still on maternity leave and is under her name. Working with Kate’s kitchen and providence ministries to stock their food.

Karen Brown: Paulo Friere Charter School

They are in the process of putting together a parenting workshop/resources program.

Kathy Anderson: Holyoke Medical Center

Partner with many of you on this call and we are resurrecting their community dinner. Next Thursday (12/17), drive up that will be served cold that people can heat up when they go home. They served 75 first time and 100 the last time. Next month, January 21st and 28th will start twice a month. Christmas we have adopted about 40 families which are about 122 kids at the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club. They are buying those toys, books, art/crafts, boots, mittens, and gift cards for food. Doing a hat and mitten drive in January. They will provide transportation for the community dinner.

From chat: Holyoke Medical Center has a community dinner next Thursday, December17th, where people can do curbside pickup or curbside walkup between the hours of 3:45 and 4:30 for a hot meal to heat at home, at the front entrance of the hospital. In January we will host the dinner two times a month. January12th and 28th same time. Kathy

Kirsten Lewis: Resource Navigator

They are struggling to find volunteers in Holyoke/Springfield, Chicopee, West Springfield to transport food to those in need from food pantries. Please contact her to volunteer.

Magnus Monroe: Irene E & George A Davis Foundation

The foundations mission is to provide educational opportunities in Hampden County. Focus on promoting on early childhood literacy. They are focused on developing more diverse teacher workforce and creating more pathways for high school students to college and career readiness.

Pat Duffy: State Representative Elect

From chat: Hello from the State Rep’s office I have to head out to another meeting. Always amazing to hear the incredible community work being done in our great city!

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library

They are not open to public but staff are serving the public with curbside services. Many of the programs that they have can benefit the clienteles that I have been hearing have needs. You can have access to their resources on Visit the site and call if you have questions. Recently, she had two calls for people looking for coats and mittens. She asked if anyone can pass on information to get callers connected to resources.

Ruby Defelice: Womanshelter Companeras

From chat: I have to leave a bit early today, but I wanted to say hi my name is Ruby DeFelice from the Womanshelter Companeras outreach office. I have no specific updates. As always Womanshelters essential domestic violence services are open and available. Our outreach efforts have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. However, we are able to provide digital resources- brochures, pamphlets, dv 101 trainings, introductions to Womanshelter services.. and things of that nature. If you would like more information or would like to request digital resources please email me at and I will get them to you. Thank you!

Marisol Guervara: Springfield College

Marisol stated that she is representing recruitment for the adult learner. Focus for 2021 is to go back for a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. It will provide more options for moving up the latter in your professional paths. These programs are fully online or hybrid. No testing all project based. Earn a degree in as little as sixteen months.

From chat: Goal for 2021! Looking for a Bachelor's or a Master's degree that is affordable, convenient, and relevant to the field of serving others? Springfield College is accepting applications for January, May, and September. Programs are fully online and/or hybrid (courses on weekends and evening) and are project-base (no testing or exams). Please contact Marisol Guevara at (413) 271-7692 or by email: Check out our website:

McKenzie Umrysz: Healthy Families Program

Support first time parents under the age of 21 in Chicopee, Holyoke and Westfield. Have offices in Springfield and Hampshire County area. Help with parenting support and connecting with other resources. Only operate virtually. They are accepting referrals Spanish and English. They are always looking to make connections with people.

From chat: McKenzie Umrysz, Healthy Families program, Intake and Outreach Coordinator; Parenting support for first time parents under the age of 21; Feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas on collaboration opportunities. Email:, 781-482-4324

Meghan Lemay: Alzheimer’s Association

They run a 24/7 help line for those who have any questions related to Alzheimer’s or Dementia. On 12/16 have a virtual education program called “Healthy living for your brain and body”. On 12/17, they will be offering a program entitled “Know the ten early warning signs”. Free to everyone in the public.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships across Massachusetts. MMP serves more than 370 mentoring and youth development programs statewide supporting more than 50,000 youth in mentoring relationships. We assess programmatic needs and organizational capacity, as well as provide customized strategies that empower youth, families and communities.

Our program network includes schools, religious organizations, community non-profits, and workplaces serving youth 5 to 18-years-old. These institutions utilize a variety of program structures including one-to-one mentoring, group mentoring and e-mentoring.

She is focused in the Holyoke/Springfield area. 413.218.6595

Michael Romano: VOC

Online classes in English for speaker of other languages and adult basic education up to college prep. Offer citizen prep course but has been postponed to the spring. Please feel free to connect people with VOC.

From Chat: Valley Opportunity Council Adult Ed classes in ESOL, HiSet Prep, Basic Literacy, Citizenship Exam Prep: contact Mike Romano, 413-612-0206

Michelle Daries: DCF

They are always in need for foster care and adoption volunteers. Have a representative in each area office across the state. They have information sessions every Monday and Thursday to go over their program on a virtual platform.

Melissa Daniels: HCC

They have information sessions for the different programs under workforce development every Friday at 12:30 via zoom. In addition, they will provide information session once a month for those looking for scholarships. Looking to help underprivileged students navigate process. Meeting ID: 884 4549 5859Password: HCC

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department

Assigned to community policing out of 208 Race Street, no updates to report at this time.

Omar Mejia: Safe Route to School

Safe Routes to School coordinator, looking to start revitalizing the Holyoke safe routes task force. Looking to focus on Morgan and Sullivan School in identifying allies to work with them, reach out to Omar.

Quan Brewington: Caregiver Homes

Working remotely and accepting referrals. She reminded that caregiver homes provide support to those 60 and over living at home with the consumer. Caregiver has to be 16 years and older with Masshealth. Please send referrals and thanked members of the group for their assistance.

Rebecca Lisi: City Councilor at Large

Remind everyone if there are any neighborhood issues that need attention you can reach out to her or the Ward councilor.

Ron Thompson: CrossPoint Clinical Services

Continue to provide faith based mental health counseling, mostly online. In January, they will start a marriage preparation program, “Saving your marriage before it starts.” Free online session for that class on 16th with full class starting the following week. Also, “purpose posse health and wellness program” in January. It focuses on mind, body and spirit. Spread the word to anyone that are grieving or helping someone else. They have a wealth of online services on their website.

Roshaun White:

Looking to get connected to employment

Sam Sharpe: HCSD

His objective and goals is to address the safety concerns for at risk youth or families in the neighborhoods in Holyoke. He is the Ward 1 coordinator in the Flats and working under Ed directly. Has gained some contacts from the meeting and will be reaching out. He is looking forward to working with everyone.

Deputy Garvey: HCSD

He works out of Holyoke Community Police Center with Deputy Gonzalez and Josh Colon. They are out in the community.

Sean Hudkins: Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch

He and his wife are the new site directors at Norwich Lake. They are looking forward to utilizing they experience that they have in the other three arms of the organization. They are very grateful to being part of this meeting and happy to be involved. He offered site as resource for retreats and camps.

Shannon Bliven: Valley Bike Share

They have an equity program which offers an annual pass for free to Valley Bike Share to any individual that receives state or government benefits. All forms are on their website. This year bikes are staying out all winter. Great form of transportation for those that don’t have many options.

From chat: Hi Everyone, I am Shannon from ValleyBike Share. I wanted to share information about our Access Equity Plan Program. It is a free annual membership with anyone that is on any State or Government Benefits. It is right on our Website and we even have a cash option which is explained on the website also (413)883-3680

Kei’Shairra Jackson: AmeriCorps @ Gandara

From Chat: Kei'Shairra Jackson- AmeriCorps member servicing at the Gandara Impact Center

Shirley Rodriguez: Public Health Institute of Western MA

413 Cares is an online community resource for residents and organization alike. They can search for those resources in the community and possibly promotes your program. Event in January, “Hording Disorder” and concerns associated.

Terri Lombardo: HCS Headstart

We currently have 4 sites open for in-person learning - -3 in Springfield one in Holyoke with three full day classrooms. Things are going pretty well considering, but one thing that is challenging for parents is that if their child has even just a runny nose, we need to follow state guidelines and send them home which is difficult as they are working.

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps

Engage 16-24 year old youth the opportunity for a career pathway. They are currently partnering with United Way for a Coat Drive. Walter deferred to Yvonne Lomax, Outreach admissions manage. She reminded everyone around virtual enrollment for young people. Also, if an applicant has a documented disability they will accept 25 and older. They have a recruiter position open reach out to her at westoverjobcore/hr department.

Ed Caisse: HCSD

Amani talked about the Healing Community Study. Goal is to reduce of opioid overdose deaths in Holyoke by 40%. It is important to get this information to people that need it the most. If a Healing Communities email is sent out, typically on Wednesdays, please forward them to your contacts to blast out to folks in Holyoke. We are trying to get some traction on the HCS Facebook page to direct people to the page to provide resources and support for families. Thanked Shirley Rodriguez from 413 Cares. He is trying to get all the agencies listed on 413 Cares and to claim their programs. Agencies can update agency leaders regarding the platform of 413Cares. Ed talked about the many vehicles that we have available to us like 413Cares and United Way 211. Ed finished the meeting talking about his appreciation for those that come out monthly and continuing to develop closer relationship, which makes it easier to partner on big projects.

Old Business / New Business

Next Meeting is Thursday, January 14th at 1:00pm Holyoke Public Library

Close Meeting 2:30pm

Contact Information:

Edward Caisse

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

(413) 858-0225

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