top of page

January 2021

Ed Caisse

January 14 2021

Virtual Networking Meeting hosted via Zoom

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: January 14, 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

Ed welcomed everyone to meeting and asked that everyone mute their volume and introduces themselves and what agency they are from in the chat.

He explained they are trying to mobilize six neighborhoods in Holyoke that have levels of criminal and/or negative activity in them. Trying to reach youth and engage them in positive activities, while getting to know parents. One goal would be to have parents come to monthly meetings. He stated later in the meeting he would be asking agencies to look at neighborhoods and consider volunteering 1-2 hours a month, as they are considered stakeholders. If interested in getting involved in a neighborhood, they will be able to fill out the link in the chat, which will be a direct registration.

Quan Brewington: Caregivers Homes 1:05pm - 1:20pm

The model to Caregivers Homes is an alternative to full-time models of care that rely on facilities or PCAs. Pre-covid they would do environmental assessment. Presently it is telephonic and done remotely to make sure everything is safe in the home. Structured Family Caregiving offers guidance, financial assistance and overall support at every step along the way providing care for a loved one. Anyone committed to living with a care recipient is eligible. They are a group of experienced care managers to reduce health related costs. A goal is reviewed every month. Caregiver logs in daily to give updates on the family. They have a HIPPA secured program where families can reach out.

Qualifying person receiving care minimum of 16 years or older. Must have one physical symptom to qualify for program. Caregiver has to live in home and be over 18 years of age and pass a CORI. Benefit is two weeks of vacation per year. Serve individuals that have MassHealth standards. She was formally a caregiver for 3 years and had the luxury of working with families.

Quan tried to play a video about Jackie and Shirley but there was technical difficulties with the volume. Quan gave her contact info to make referral at (508)320-0736. or

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

Rondey Allen: Crosspoint Clinical
Outpatient mental health agency. Will defer to Ron Thompson for update.

Yoni Glogower: City of Holyoke
Works for the city of Holyoke as Director of Conservation and Sustainability. He is working with the Office of Planning and Economic Development along with DPW to create an urban forest equity plan for the city of Holyoke. Focused on downtown, South Holyoke and the Churchill neighborhoods. A street tree inventory will be starting next week. Scott Tower Survey links: English Version:
Spanish Version:

Yessenia Cruz: Adcare Hospital
Detox services to people that are struggling with substance abuse and alcohol. Provide transportation to and from detox. West Springfield location is the closest. Monthly meeting, friends and families on 1/27 for those that are struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Ed shared email earlier in the week. 508-713-1710

Will Weche: Behavoral Health Network (BHN)
417 Liberty Street in Springfield. Outpatient services and recovery services for those struggling with
Behavioral health, substance use or mental health disorders. 413-426 1094

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps
Business and Community Liaison for Job Corps. Youth 16-24 with industry credentials. Enrolling virtually for students and program and hopefully returning next week. From Chat: Walter Rice BCL-WBL Westover Job Corps Center 413-593-4005

Shannon Sarkisian: Holyoke Community College (HCC)
Adults returning to school along with High School Students, Agency presentations. Couple different updates: Traditional spring semester starting on 1/25 and flex dates: 2/16 and 3/29. Any seniors over the age of 60 can take classes for $50. A couple of new credit/noncredit bearing programs on cannabis. Shannon Sarkisian, Community Outreach & Admissions Counselor for Holyoke Community College.

Sean Garvey: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD)
HCSD Deputy and Ward 2 coordinator.

Sarah Lucia: Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
To educate as many people of the healthy incentive programs. HIP gives Snap participants extra money to get free fruit and vegetables. Looking to start video campaign for HIP and get costumers to give testemonials. Scheduling virtual outreach training sessions for service providers.

Sara Roper: ROCA
Roca is an organization that works with young adults, men and women that have found themselves caught up in the various systems. Many young men getting caught up in the criminal justice system and some young moms that are at risk for losing children in DV situations involved in DCF. Always taking referrals in Holyoke and Springfield Office many slots available.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library/Funeral consumer alliance
Library is closed but curbside pickup if you request books. Funeral Consumer Alliance of Western Ma. Helpful and compassionate listeners for those that need connections to necessary resources.
From Chat: Grant opportunity: Support for Social Justice Efforts Nationwide -- Solidaire, a community of donor organizers who mobilize quickly to get critical resources to the frontlines of social justice movements throughout the U.S. Grant opportunity: Program Supports Substance Abuse Recovery -- Department of Health and Human Services
The Building Communities of Recovery program seeks to mobilize resources within, and outside of, the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery support from substance abuse and addiction.

Ruby DeFelice: Womanshelter Companeras
Outreach and Development at Womanshelter. Services are still open and available. Will provide digital resources for victims of Domestic Violence. Ruby DeFelice-Womanshelter Comoaneras-Outreach and Development. To request digital resources detailing Womanshelter offered services or to request a specific domestic violence resource email me at

Ron Thompson: Crosspoint Clinical Services
Office in West Springfield. Continue to provide faith based and traditional mental health counseling mostly online. Running a marriage preparation course on Saturday and full program starting the following weekend. Faith based health and wellness program. Ongoing class, ‘Purpose Posse’ and ‘Wellness revelation’, fully online. Mind body and spirit in 2021.

State Representative: Pat Duffy
New legislative session has just started and will come back and report new legislation that they had just filed that would be of interest to this group. Hired Juan Anderson Burgos as her aide and he is in attendance. Really happy to support and join in on these neighborhood initiatives.

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
Community police officer for the city.

Juan Anderson Burgos: State Rep Duffy’s Office
Works as an aid for State Representative Duffy. Born and raised in Holyoke and is happy to attend meeting to listen and grab information and be effective, proactive and successful. Please reach out at any time.

Jill Cunningham: Odyssey House
Program of viability, which is a service that focusses on adults with mental health disabilities.

Jessica Cintron: Valley Opportunity Council (VOC)
Works with the DTA office. Have slots available for career and job development in CNA, CDL, EMT, Phlebotomy and cosmetology. She will update a flyer for Ed to send out.

Jennifer Kinsman: United Way of Pioneer Valley
Opening a food pantry in downtown Chicopee. Partnership with nonprofit in Holyoke and partner to provide food for families. Merging with program, On Board which adds diversity to board of local nonprofits. If anyone is looking for volunteers go to their website to sign up.

Jen Hansen: Westover Job Corps.
Reiterate that they are taking application for at risk youth. Happy to talk with students and parents.

Jeffrey Hayden: HCC
Vice President of business and community services. Posted in chat a list of free training programs that they offer at HCC. They have an accelerated career English program, pharmacy tech that just started. Hoping to hear back on 3 to 4 grant opportunities. Other colledge info at

James Maloney: Hope for Holyoke
Peer resource specialist at Hope for Holyoke. Encouraged people to follow them and virtual groups on Facebook. Currently they are at a capacity of 10 with 2 staff. Event in February around the 19th

Nayroby Rosa Soriano: One Holyoke CDC
Director of Community Engagement. Thanked everyone for their support for the community dinner in the Flats, as they served 300 families. She will be sending pictures out in the mail. Busy working on COVID 19 grant and getting information out to the community and will be distributing PPE. Will be sharing an order form with Ed to send out. Goal is to continue to provide as many resources on the grant. Helping to stop the spread of pandemic through the grant. March event and kicking off cleanup campaign in April. They have many supplies and locations for community clean ups. Anyone interested in getting involved with OneHolyoke in any of our efforts feel free to email me at

Michael Kyles: Children’s Study Home (CSH)
Currently partnering with the HCSD. Fathers in Trust program for those 18-75. It is a 35 hour course in 5 modules that allow men to develop skills and relationships that increase positive outcomes in each family. Program supports men where they are with new families; “men talking to men to support each other”. Michael Kyles, Program Manager for Father's In Trust Program(FIT). email: Tel:413:265-1831

Megan Gross: Umass Amherst
Director bilingual language development lab. She is a Speech language Pathologist and faculty member at UMASS Amherst. She has been working with Nayroby and Holyoke Public Schools. Working on a grant to work with Spanish speaking families that has a child on the autism spectrum to study questions on language choices and language cognitive and social development. I forgot to mention that one other area I am working on is sharing information with youth about speech-language pathology and audiology so they can learn more about these professions and what they need to do to pursue them. Our department has graduate students and clinical faculty who can give presentations to youth about our fields at health professions or STEM career events. Feel free to reach out if this would be of interest to your agency:

Maryann Linnehan: Western MA elder care
Community Action Supervisor. Provide information and resources to elders and people with disabilities in Holyoke, Chicopee, South Hadley, Ware, Ludlow and Belchertown area. Updated online referral form Working hard to get PPE out to our elders as well and if you know anyone that needs visit their website to help them out. Thanked everyone for all the information and they share with staff.

Marisol Guevara: Springfield College
Start thinking about professional development needs. Established good partnerships with agencies and they can participate in different programs at Springfield College and participate on bachelor/master level while possibly getting tuition assistance. Same opportunity for scholarships with BHN and Gandara. They are working with the HR departments to offer opportunities and can get a bachelor degree for under $25000 with scholarship in accelerated programs. From Chat: Springfield College Regional Online and Continuing Education is accepting applications for summer and fall. Bachelor's and Master. Interested in getting your bachelor's and master's degree on a flexible schedule or fully online at Springfield College please contact Marisol Guevara at 4132717692 or by email

Kyra Rodriguez: Homes Logic
Grew up in Holyoke. Unstable connection when she was talking. please send me info! Thank you

Kelly Avard: Northampton District Court
Works to connect their caseloads to treatment providers in the community.

James Biscoe: Cleanslate
Area manager for Cleanslate. They are an Outpatient MAT for those with substance use disorder primarily with suboxone and vivitrol. Offices in Holyoke, Springfield and West Springfield. From Chat: If anyone is interested in a collaboration or just want a contact for referrals to CleanSlate please feel free to contact me at

Daney Reyes: Community for Public Counsel Services
She is an intern with Community for Public Counsel Services. Working with Youth Advocacy Division to provide legal representation for youth the find themselves in the Criminal Justice system.

Idalis Salgado: Americore/Masshire
Masshire Holyoke are hiring youth 16-21 for hybrid online job readiness programs. Hiring for youth at westfield high. Americore is looking to give time to agencies to help community.

Helena Dixon: VOC
They offer English as a 2nd language, morning and night. All classes are remote along with HISET preparation. Accepting referral year long. Recruiting for the citizenship class in the spring time; no date yet. Will send a flyer later today. Recruiting youth for out of school program 16-24.

Germaris Pinero: YWCA
Counselor for the Young Parents Support Program. Work with teenage parents and connecting them with different resources in community. Currently accepting referrals and can contact Kelly Woods at From Chat: Hi my name is Germaris Pinero. Im a Counselor for the Young Parent Support Program for the YWCA. we are a supportive services agency working with teen age parents offering parenting support as well as connecting them with the different resources available for them in the community. we are currently accepting referrals you can contact Kelly Wood at

Erika Hensel: Tapestry
Overdose engagement coordinator. Will be doing outreach and engagement in the community. Goal is to get Narcan in the hands of everyone while reducing overdoses. Targeting public or private business for Narcan Training.

Diana Guzman: YWCA
YW offering services virtually. Other programs like the shelter are in person and they are looking to hire a Speech/Child Support specialist that is bilingual. Position has been open for some time and please refer someone that you think is interested.

Deputy Ernst Jean Louis: HCSD
Working at the Holyoke Police Community Center. No updates at this time.

David McCoy: HSNI
Praying that they can get back out in community in 2021 and asked for suggestions to forward to Eddie.

Dimasco Santiago: Holyoke Tapestry
Saturday, they will be having their community syringe pick up around 9:45 until 12pm. Collaborated with RLC on High St. for bimonthly testing. Also planning Narcan presentations for them.

Cynthia Espinosa: City of Holyoke
Planning and Economic Development department. Testing sites will be open on Monday, 1/18/21 even though it is a holiday per the board of health. HCC and War memorial are the two sites. Will be sending a survey to expand the community field park. Pandemic EBT has been refilled for families that have children in school. Saturday, Farmers Market will be hosting vendors that accept SNAP and HIP.

Chassidy Crowl Miller: River Valley Counselling Center (RVCC)
Director of Holyoke Clinic. CBAHI services out of their Chicopee location. Partnership with STCC and have clinician on campus. Open for referral of all ages and types. Wait list is for children with private insurance. They are in 13 different school districts. All referral go through their central intake office (413) 504-1234.

John McCarthy: USCIS
Community relations officer for citizenship and immigration services. Represent the coastal New England states from Maine to Connecticut. All of their field offices will now have temperature monitors in their offices on tripods. If you have a reading over 100.4 you will be asked to leave office and make a new appointment to discuss their business. The new civics test has a date of December 1, 2020 to apply to become naturalized they will be taking the 2008 version. The new test will be administered to those that applied after 12/1/20. He can be contacted at boston.communityrelations@USCIS.DHS.GOV

Cara Henderson: United States Attorney’s Office
Offering a “Keeping kids safe online training” for adults that work with youth.

Amy Karengekis: MA Attorney General Office
She is the Chief of the Western Ma office at 441 Main St in Springfield. AG Office put a Pamphlet out on eviction and knowing your rights. Ed sent out digital flyer to the group in English and Spanish. In summary evictions in Massachusetts have to be court ordered. Utilize hotline number on pamphlet. It also talks about applying for financial aid under RAFT. ERMA helps households that are behind on their mortgage or at risk due to COVID 19. Contact with questions: (617)7278400

Amanda Hitchborn: RVCC
Program Supervisor for the ATRA. Substance abuse program for anyone 12-24 along with parents and caregivers. Everything is virtual and helps with accepting new referrals.

Allison Scott: Dial Self/Americore
Program partners with schools, community centers, youth residential programs to host full time Americore Members to support youth development and community engagement. Application for 10 month term for Americore is open. Would like to partner with agencies that work with youth development. March they will be hosting a youth forum with elected officials. Grant Funding Opportunity: The MA Service Alliance is offering $4,000 grants to support volunteer programming needs. COVID-19 Resiliency Grants are awarded to organizations proposing initiatives that either 1.) engage volunteers in a community service project that addresses a community need that has arisen due to COVID-19, or 2.) Conducts a capacity building initiative to enhance volunteer programming during this time of COVID-19.

Adlyn Colon: HCC/PAFEC
Free HISET preparation classes in English and Spanish. Offer ESOL classes day and night. Recruiting for March classes. They have some training programs that she will post in the chat.

Margie Gilberti: Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Area Director of DCF. She has been in Holyoke for 1 year. They service 14 cities and towns. Presently have over 1100 open families. Saturday, they honored Latina/Latino foster parents on 3 Kings Day.

Ed asked Walter to talk about their virtual basketball experience. Walter talked about working with Ed on the virtual basketball experience. Based on the COVID 19 pandemic, they created a programmatic league for youth 7 weeks long via zoom. Activities are 45 minutes and will be allowed to work with mentors. Program kicks off on 1/29/21.

Ed talked about a poll that he put on the screen. He explained the goal of HSNI in 2011 was to pilot a program to engage the families to make the neighborhood’s better, both in terms of quality of life and crime issues in specific neighborhoods. When we first started working in the neigborhoods, we found that there was a lot of distrust with the community towards various agencies.

In 2012 during a neighborhood survey, we found that 65% of the families in South Holyoke reported their children had never attended an after school program, see comparison report from 2012 and 2013 surveys at

The Networking Meeting is about developing relationships with folks from various agencies with an end goal of getting youth and families connected to needed resources. There is also a hope through the relationships, we can work on projects that are just too comprehensive for one agency to tackle on their own.

Ed talked about the relationship that he has developed with Walter and asked that agencies continue to attend the networking meeting and to consider bringing other agencies that may not already be attending the meetings. Our hope is learn about every resource agency that could potentially assist youth and families to get to better places.

Ed explained that community activities such as basketball leagues and family fun nights are an opportunity for many of the agencies to develop relationships with the youth and families. Through the relationships that are built trust is formed. Ed directed people to a link in the chat that agencies could fill out to possibly volunteer their time to a particular neighborhood in Holyoke. Through the link, you can be added to a distribution list for a specific neighborhood in Holyoke; possibly to volunteer at a neighborhood event or be part of a neighborhood leadership team.

Overall, Ed gave a passionate message about the work that we could accomplish together moving towards a better Holyoke.

Neighborhood Areas:
Ward 1: Kelly School area
Ward 2: Morgan School area
Ward 3: Peck School area
Ward 4: Lawrence School area
Ward 5: Donahue School area
Ward 6: Sullivan School area

Please consider talking a look at the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative’s new website at

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

bottom of page