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July 2023

Ed Caisse

July 13 2023

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: July 13, 2023
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

Professor Miguel Arce: Springfield College 1:05pm - 1:20pm
My name is Miguel Arce, and I work with Springfield College. Every year Springfield College honors one of its professors with something called the Distinguished Humanics Professor Award. And this year for the 2023-24, I was selected. Each distinguished professor of humanics has the ability to undertake whatever project they want to. I have decided to as best within my abilities to try to do something that I felt was meaningful. So I’m going to switch into reading mode here, and as I said I’m going to read because I don’t have notes prior to this meeting I didn’t realize I was going to do this.

So here I’m going to read to you; “The Springfield College Humanics Project for 2023-2024 is a call for action. The premises of this community organizing a conference effort is around children and families welfare and the racial bias inequity realities of Springfield metropolitan’s statistical area, which includes Holyoke, Springfield’s Hispanic community. Springfield, Massachusetts, has the largest segregation in the country for white Hispanic segregation. Not only in 2010 but also in 2019 had the highest concentration in the whole United States for segregation for Hispanics, Whites.

This effort that I’m pitching you today provides an opportunity learn local dynamics and also understand the needs and gaps that exist in our community. The effort can conceivably direct resources to key areas that have an impact. The organizing conference has the potential to help local providers with a ray of services to the children and families by:
Looking at service delivery.
Responding to the needs and gaps.
Helping with accountability and effectiveness.
Finally, the community organizing a conference conveys a message of local community to the various levels of government, which have the discernments that are going to rise. So essentially, the idea is for me for the next four to five months to run around and talk to as many people as I can about the issues of racial disparities that exist in our community. Especially, as it relates to children and families and more specifically in the Hispanic population. And why did I pick that? I have already said that Hispanics, Latinos, Puerto Ricans, whatever label you want to give are the most segregated community in the Springfield area than any place else in the United States. And it’s not this wild old crazy man that’s saying it; it’s rather that this has been documented by the Population Center of the University of Michigan for the last thirty years. I could not find the statistics as it relates to 2020, but according to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, little is going to change in the next couple of years. So the whole idea is to organize people to create a dialogue about the disparities that exist.
Right now, the goal believe it or not is to try to get five to six hundred people to meet around this issue. Now, that’s a very ambitious goal because the Western New England University social work conference that ran for over twenty years only had at the maximum two-hundred and fifty people attend. So you can see this is incredibly ambitious, but I’m going to work hard because I think that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with in a direct fashion.

If I’m going to get five to six hundred people, how much is it going to cost? I have estimated that it’s going to be about fifty thousand dollars. Now, Springfield College doesn’t have that kind of money, so I have been running around talking with different foundations and corporate funders with a possibility of them supporting this. In addition I think some of the resources can be derived by creating continuing education units for participants if they’re willing to pay for it. In addition I’m looking to try and create exhibitor tables as well as space on our brochure for our exhibitors. What do I want to tell you? I guess I want to tell you that I’ve done a lot of internal reaching in to our college and starting in the fall I suspect my agenda will be very busy just meeting with students and stuff.

In addition, I’ve already met with the governor’s office. I met with Lamar Cook, who’s the recently appointed person, regional person. And I’ve sent the governor a request for her to participate in the conference, which you might want to put in your calendar, I haven’t sent out notices yet. I’ve only had the appointment for about a month and a half, but I’m working real hard and you will get a notice if you’re interested. I’ll ask Mr. Caisse if he’d be kind enough to do one of his blasts or several blasts as time gets closer. In addition, I’ve met with the governor’s Latin Empowerment Council. I’ve met with a bunch of people and had the pleasure of trying to get them to understand that the issues are so important in Springfield metropolitan statistical area, which includes Holyoke. I have to tell you that the preponderance of the representatives comes from the eastern part of the state. I’ve also started meeting with the regional offices of the various offices of the executive office of human services and I will continue to do that. I think I’ll continue to ramble a little bit longer, Mr. Caisse.

I’ve began to speak with local elected officials, I’ve asked Senator Gomez and Representative Gonzalez to be honorary guest hosts of the event. I hope to speak with the governor, I haven’t spoken with her but I hope that she will become the key note speaker. Right now, I‘ve accumulated a mailing list of over 6,500 people. But that’s going to be very expensive because mailings are very expensive compared to an email. So I will do one mailing out then after that, I going to do one hard core old fashioned mailing and after that I’m going to move to emails. The space for the event will be Springfield College.

So you say, “Miguel, what is your theoretical premise?” And so, in my efforts to talk about racial bias and inequity, I’ve developed a list of over forty articles, which I will be willing to share with the people if they’re interested. I’m also looking for different research agencies that will be able to help in terms of formative and summative evaluation. I’ve spoken with the Western Mass Policy Institute, the Gustone Institute, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, and the National Research Center for Hispanics. All have expressed little or no interest so I’m going to continue to search.

What else do I want to tell you? So the ideas that I’ve already shared with you is that we’ve got a big problem, right? And why do I say that we have a big problem is wherever you have segregation you’ve got a big problem, right? People who are set aside are not receiving the same services as majority communities that have more resources than the areas where people have been set aside, red lined as it were in terms of their ability to receive appropriate services. So the need is great, that’s what draws me to get into the way you see Mr. Caisse being really incredibly invested in doing the work he does, is the kind of energy I want to bring into this particular effort. I think we will only be successful is if a partnership model is developed, where everyone is willing to listen and contribute any way they can. So, big community organizing, all of it coming together on a one day event, March 13th and snow date of March 14th, in a conference. What is the purpose of the conference? Basically to promote leadership and community capacity building around the issues of segregation for Latinos children and families, and specifically I am thinking about child welfare, the children are most venerable. When we talk about this conference we really are focusing on children. This effort co-creates with other people in building on the strengths of each other.
So, anyone that is interested, we are trying to do is create an inter-disciplinary team of academicians, organizational people, elected officials, community based organizations, all of them who have some internest in this inequity that exits in our system for Puerto Rican families; in Latinos in general. I have to say, even thought we know that the Latinos are principly is this area are comprised of Puerto Ricans, I don’t want to preclude other people, because there is a growing number of Mexicans and Dominicans and other Central American country people, who are moving into the area and becoming more entrenched in the area. So, when we say Puerto Rican, we are talking about the general Latino community. Understanding that the peponderance of Latinos are Puerto Rican in this area.

The second thing is that the idea is to bring some educational benefits to the attendees, so everyone is going to bring their own areas of expertise. Gees, I will certainely asked Mr. Caisse if he would be involved to lead a workshop in one of these areas probably around youth, structured recreational programming, and the stuff that this network does.

Essentially, I don’t want to focus in on the problems, but rather the solutions. We know the problems, they are pervasive, their dreadfult, their urgent, we know all of the adjectives that go in front of the problems, so I am more looking at solutions. Solutions at three levels; at the family level, in terms of talking about larger issues like youth homelessness or difficult environments and the final kind of solution the conference will look for is to take on some really, really big things like; for instance, eliminating discrimination, reducing extreme poverty, those kind of issues.

So, who will be the perticipants? It will be people from the community, college people, families that are both consumers or providers of these services. Anyone that is interested in the event will be invited. Like I said, we have over 6,500 individuals that will receive a one time mailing, if they don’t respond to that one mailing, I don’t know what we will. That is basically it, I appreciate you giving me time to speak and maybe in the future, if you would allow me to, I would love to come back, be more prepared and have some handouts and be ready to provide a more thorough description of what we are doing.

Agency Overview and Updates 1:25pm - 2:25pm
Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Ms. Lomax from Westover Job Corps / Outreach and Admissions manager here. I want everyone to know that we are continuing to accept applications for residential students, so young people that are looking for housing, we have that available. We also have non-res status for young people that are graduating from high school this year and can’t afford college or that’s not in their plan they can come and receive a trade, live at home and commute back and forth, work in the evening and take advantage of our non-res program.

I also want to mention our three new trades that are coming in the fall, which is Heavy Equipment and Heavy Equipment Machinery, and also our Mercedes Benz program is going to be attached to our auto program, coming up in August. Our tours are every Wednesday, at 10am by confirmation, so feel free to reach out, my information is in the chat or call me or email me to confirm for a tour. If you would like a presentation for your company or any youth youi may know as well as any other services, community services or volunteer. Ed, we are gearing up for our Back to School to get ready for that.

Yajaira Marquez: HCS Head Start / CFCE
Hi everyone, I’m Yajaira, I work with the Holyoke / Chicopee Family Program CFCE and Head Start is the lead agency. I am just going to talk about three playgroups that we have going on. We are starting a new Baby and Me, for ages 0-2, it’s going to be at Enlace de Familia, which I am pretty sure that everyone knows the location, every Monday from 10am to 11am, Maritza will be doing that group. We also have another on Tuesday, that one is located at the Picknelly Center, at 206 Maple Street, 2nd Floor where the Head Start classroom is, that group is from 0-5. The last one is every Monday, at Chicopee, Westover that is 30 Griffen Road, 0-5, 9:30am to 11am. If anyone is interested you can send me an email or I can send you a flyer in case you have families who want a play group.

Tori Halloran: Safe Routes to School
Hi, my name is Tori Halloran, I’m with the Safe Routes to School Team, just wanted to do a shout out for our Safe Street Smart Tips High School Video Contest. If you know any high school students that are interested in safe transportation or creating a video this is a cool opportunity to compete with some high schools across the state. The topic that we are going to be focusing on for this year’s contest will be The New Vunerable Users Log, which went into effect in April, 2023. I will send some details in the chat, other wise we are prepping for the school year, thank you.

Therese Ross: Rick’s Place
Thanks Ed, I am the executive director at Rick’s Place in Wilbraham. We provide free grief support to youth ages 5 to 18 and their care givers. We also train educators and youth support personnel, practitioners on the impact of grief on youth. We have programs in Wilbrahm and in the fall we will be staring in Agawam. If you have any questions, my email is in the chat, thank you all very much for being here.

Thais Rivera:
Hi everybody, I’m Thais, I work for a cannabis company in the area, now for human resources. I have a lot of conections in the community. I am currently listening to see what kind of resources I can share with my team, because we recently, unfortunately just shot down productions in Massachusetts, I have a lot of people that will be looking to join the workforce, not sure if in the same industry, but if anyone has resoruces that they would like to send out to me, I would be happy to share that.

Shakira Guzman: Western Mass Planned Parenthood
Hi everyone, I’m Shakira, I’m the new outreach specialist for Western Mass at Planned Parenthood. We currently don’t have any updates, but I will let you guys know if anything comes up for the next meeting.

Shelly Daries: Department of Children and Families
Hi everyone, Shelly Daries from the Department of Children and Families, I’m a recruiter for foster care and adoption with the Holyoke area office. Currently there are 10,000 children that are in foster care across the state of Massachusetts. We are looking to provide information to people, if you ever thought about doing foster care or know anyone that may be interested, my name and contact information in the chat. We also have information sessions every Monday at 5:30pm, every Thursday morning at 10am and once per month we do a Spanish information session as well. Thanks for having me today and I hope everybody’s well.

Ruth Ayala: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi, good afternoon, my name is Ruth Ayala,Ruth I am the resident service coordinator for VOC (Valley Opportunity Council) in Chicopee and also Holyoke. Ruth showed a copy of an application, she stated that she can email it. The application was for the MPVP voucher for homeless families, for a lottery that is taking place. People from the shelters that are in two bedroom apartments can apply, the program is only for the homeless that are in shelters. The lottery date is going to be August 21st, you can call to the office to request a copy of the application, (413) 594-3271, that’s all I have.

Rosalyn Rodriguez: YWCA
Hi, this is Rosalyn Rodriguez, I am the program director at the YMCA, Holyoke Young Parenting Program, I don’t have any updates at this time.

Robert Crawford: Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
Good afternoon everyone, Robert Crawford here from the Springfield Department of Health and Human Service Substance Use Prevention Program Coordinator, operating through Mass Call 3, glad to be here. In terms of things coming from my program Associated Partners, we have Implicit Bias training being hosted on behalf of the Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition, the Springfield Stop Access Coalition, the African Dispera Mental Health Association and our Deparment of Health and Office of Racial Equity. If your not familiar with Implicit Bias traning, it is something that is extremely significant for the new modern approaches through diversity, equity and inclusion. We are going to be hosting a training at Springfield College on July 26th, I am going to drop a link if you would like to register, it will have more information on exactly what that entails, thank you.

Renee Hedges: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi everbody, I am Renee Hedges, I am the billing and enrollement manager for the Valley Opportunity Council. I just want to say that we are gearing up for fall enrollment, even though I know it is only July, but we will have a very large drop off come September, so if you know any families that are looking for quality early education and care, we will have a lot of openings. We not only have center base care, but we also have 115 home providers as well. We also still do have some summer opening for school aged children, so if you know anyone that is desperate and looking for that, I can drop my information in the chat box. I wanted to say that we are always looking for employees, we have, not just in early ed, but throughout the agency, community action, so there are all kinds of different opportunities, so if you know people looking for positions, we have lots on Indeed. People from all different backgrounds are excepted. We are gearing up for fall enrollment, so if you know anyone interested, please send them our way.

Molly Jane Thoms: Community Legal Aid
Hi there, I’m Molly Jane Thoms, I am a staff attorney at Community Legal Aid in our Springfield Office, I am in the education unit. We are pretty much business as usual. This summer, it’s very quiet for our unit because most of our clients are out on summer vacation, but some have ESY and other extended year programs. Our intake for our unit is open, so if you know any youth who are stuggling to access their education, even in the summer months, we will still open up a new case for that. Other than that, pretty much the same old, same old at CLA.

Diana Biagioli: Federation for Children with Special Needs
Hi, my name is Diana Biagioli, I am new to this forum, thank you for letting me to come. I work for the Fereration for Children with Special Needs, I think many of you are probably aware. We provide free information, referrals to families, we are a parent center for families and professionals working with children with disabilities. I am wearing a second hat, because we work with MRC (Massachusetts Rehab Commission) on a new program, I put the link in the chat already, it’s called Next Gen Careers, it’s for young people 18-30 with disabilities that are looking for employment, it gives a lot of robust support; benefits counselor, employement counselor, peer mentor, family engagement support, and so forth. So I have also put my email in the chat and if you want one day we can come and present. I can maybe bring my cohort from MRC and we can present a little deeper into this program. Thank you so much.

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Hi everybody, Marissa Chiapperino, registered dieatition at Holyoke Medical Center and instructor at Holyoke Community College. Right now, we are continuing our farmer’s market at the hospital on Wednesday’s from 11:00 to 2:00. We are changing the hours til 2:00, because it kind of dies down. And there we are offering a lot of healthy incentives program education, people that have their sanp DBT card can take advantage of the free money for fruits and vegtables. In August we will be resuming our three part diabeties class series that we will be hosting at the YMCA from 5:30 to 7:00 on three Wednesdays, I will include the flyer in the chat. Holyoke Community College on August 4th will be offering a workshop for nutrition and Alheirmer’s management and prevention, that will be down at the Culinary Arts Center, where we had our Networking Meeting. There will be a lecture and some samples, it won’t be an elaborarte spread like we had. We do encourage you to register or pass it along to anyone that you work with that may be at high risk for Alzheimers or already managing it.

Lt. Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department
Maria Pelchar, Holyoke Fire Department, we do have a car seat check up event coming up July 30th from 9am to 1pm at Gary Rome, 150 Whitings Farm Road, in collaboration with Baystate. We will have free replacement car seats, this is open to everybody, you don’t have to be a Holyoke resident. We do ask that people register, I will send you a flyer Ed, so you can share with the group. We will have free car seats, people come with old car seats that are expired or too small or too big or doesn’t fit the car, there will be a few technicians there on July 30th.

Madeline Martinez: Way Finders
Hello, my names is Madeline Martinez, I work for Way Finders. I do the employment supported services. At the moment I don’t have an update, thank you.

Liv Anna Homestead: Public Health Institute
Hi everyone, Liv Anna Homestead with the Public Health Institute. I manage our 413Cares on-line community resource database. I don’t really have any specific updates other than for anyone that wants to learn more about 413Cares and how to use it as a tool in your work to connect to more resoruces, feel free to reach out. If your interested in partnerships or trying to pull together resources on a specific topic, we have also developed some interested partnerships, we work together to create different types of resource pages. My contact is in the chat and you can reach out. I also want to give a shout out to Ed for doing a testimonial video that we will be putting out, I actually think it went out on our Facebook page the other day, we will be putting it out in our communications as well. Thanks for sharing your story of how you use 413Cares in the Valley, we really appreciate it.

Laura Jansen: Baystate Family Advocacy Center
Hi everybody, I am Laura Jansen from the Baystate Family Advocacy Center, I am the focal project specialists and behavioral health clinician here. We provide services for victims of trauma and crime, ages 0 to 24 and also C-Sect Services and homicide bereavement services throughout the lifespan, which includes theapy and case management. Right now our therapy waitlist is kind of backlogged and is closed for now, would like people to check back in a month. We do still have drop in activities and groups open for parents, children and homicide bereavement survivors. I have a monthly calendar that I can also add to the chat. You can email me if you want to receive future calendars. I just have to acknowledge that this is my firest meeting and I was a former student of Professor Arce, my life came in a full circle today.

Mike Pratt: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Hi everbody, I am Mike Pratt, I work with Ed Caisse at the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. I am a care coordinator here and the only update I have is that me and Ed have been pretting busy working on the Back to School Event where we will give away 2,500 backpacks.

Juan Anderson-Burgos: Legislative Aid for Representative Pat Duffy
Hi everybody, sorry I have been missing for a bit, I have been extremely busy. My name is Juan Anderson-Burgos, I am the Legislative Aid for Representative Duffy. What I am known for and will probably always be known for is the King of unemployment. If you have issues with unemployment, I get them resolved pretty quickly. I have built a strong relationship with the people that work in that department, especially during the pandemic when it was hard to get that money for families and children, I dug deep in there. I also built relationships with the RMV director, so if you have issues with ID’s, your license, whatever it may be, I am able to help you there as well. I want you to also know that you can reach out to our office with anything that you need, if we don’t handle it in our office, I can get you to the resoruces that you need to handle all of your cases. Thank you and have a great day everyone, thank you for being here.

John McCarthy: USCIS
Hi, I’m John McCarthy, I am the Community Relations Officer for the USCIS, citizenship and immigration services. My function is to provide information on immigration to people that may want information on how to file for benefits, benefits are available. If anyone has any interest in obtaining an imformaiton session, please get in touch with me, I will give you my email address, I am not on the computer today, so I am going to give it to you over the phone. It is, thank you very much.

Linda Manning: Easter Seals of Massachusetts
Hi everyone, I’m Linda Manning from the Easter Seals of Massachusetts, we provide services to children and adults with disabilities, to provide them with an equal opportunity. Some of our services in Wester Mass are; Pre Employment Training Services for High School Youth, Job Development for Adults, Assisted Technology, we also run a Youth Leadership Network. On a separate note, I wear another hat, after hours, I run social pizza and game nights, as well as support groups for adults on the Autisim Spectrum or for their parents and caregivers, so if you are interested in supporting anyone that may benefit from that, please feel free to reach out, my Easter Seals contact is in the chat, you can reach out with that email, thanks.

Jennifer Yekel: MSPCC
Hi, everyone, I’m Jennifer Yekel with MSPCC / Elliott and the Survivors Services Program, as a vocal clinician. We accept clients that have been impacted by crimes related to abuse and neglect that result in traumatic experiences and PTSD symtoms. We have a very small wait list for the Holyoke Office, it’s acutally less than five currently, so please send in referalls. We offer case management, individual counselling, DBT Groups, caregiver groups and victim compensation, we are in-person, in-home and virtual. We are going to be working on an in-person support group in Holyoke, we are working on the development of that, but it looks like it’s going to be for littles, probably less than ten, I will give you updates on that later on.

Jac Essing: DIAL/SELP America Corps
Hi everyone, I’m Jac, I am with the DIAL/SELf America Corps program. We are still recruiting for the upcoming program year, which starts in late August. So if you know anyone that is looking for professional and personal developments and a chance to serve their community, they should get in contact with me. We have opportunities to serve full-time over the course of ten months at local schools and non-profits, including at Community Music School, Greenfield and Easthampton High School, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School and a few in Amherst as well. Members receive a living stipend of $17,800, $6,900 educational award and free health care as well. I will put all this information in the chat with the application link, as well as my email, thanks so much for being here.

Hayley Nelson: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi everyone, Hayley Nelson, from the Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee, I am representing the Adult Education Department. I already put the link in the chat, we will be enrolling for our fall classes, we have GED classes, different levels of it and ESOL classes as well. We will also be looking for out of school youth, so people who didn’t finish high school in our WIOLA Program, there will deffinately be spots open in that program as well. Also in the chat, I just put in there the link that you can send to anybody and will come to me and they fill out the inquiry form. We are also highering for an educational advisor and you can email me directly if you know someone interested and you want to know more information about it, I didn’t want to clog up the chat with all that. Thank you everybody.

Gloria Penagos: HCC Culinary Arts Institute
In additional to all of the free trainings that everybody knows about, we during the summer focus on ESOL, so English for Speakers of Another Language. We are also getting ready to start a new program that is ESOL for Culinary Arts, which will be during the day 9am to 3pm. We are already running the evening program. It will be from July 11th to August 11th, just one month. If the community that you work with is looking for a certification for being a line cook, please contact us by going to the website, which has all of the information. Thank you so much.

Faith Sarisley: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a great summer, my name is Faith Sarisley and I’m from CrossPoint Clinical Services marketing team. I left my contact information in the chat, as well as our website link to some events coming up. CrossPoint will continue to provide Faith Based and Traditional Mental Health Counseling from our three Massachusetts offices, closest being in West Springfield. I would like to quickly highlight a few workshops that we have coming up in the next month that are all taking place at the Pioneer Valley Church of Christ in Chicopee, as well as virtually over Zoom if you are a little bit further away. The first one is next Thursday, July 20th, it’s the second of our three free luncheon events of 2023. This workshop is called Love Your City: Why this is so important for your ministry. Our wonderful speaker is Ed Caisse himself and this free event will go from 11:30am to 1:15 that day. Early next month, we are also excited to have a very special speaker for two unique events with us Dr. Consin, she is an award winning author, researcher, lecturer and certified family and sex therapist, she has two events, the first of which is August 2nd called Supporting Couples through Betrayal and Addiction, for counselors, therapists, pastors, lay leaders and people like that. This full day training event will provide CEU’s and will be available in person and on-line, lunch will be there for those in person. The second event and the last one I am going to talk about is August 3rd called Redeemed Sexuality: A Guide to Sexuality for Christians. This workshop is for everyone, has specialty rates for students and couples and include dinner for those in person. If any of those sounded good to you guys, you can learn more and sign up on our website in the event sections, which I listed in the chat as well. Thank you guys for your time, hope you all stay cool.

Elizabeth Veilette: Center for Human Development
Hi everyone, I am the employment specialist navigator for CHD’s Diversion Shelter Housing Program. I work primarily with individuals 16 and up who live in family shelters and are looking for training an/or employment, I rely heavely on the content and the information that I get from this group so thank you all. I do not have any new updates for my program however, thank you all.

Elizabeth Barron: Center for Human Development
Hi, I’m Elizabeth Barron, I work for the Center for Human Development, I am the regional program director in the South. I oversee two outpatient clinics, the information is in the chat. We offer recovery coaching, case management, phyciatry, MAT and individual and group therpy. Right now we have been awarded SAMSA grant for five years, specifically targeting folks who are experiencing housing insecurities, so if they want a lease and don’t have one, up to and including folks living in the streets, must be at risk for substance use, or actively using, so we have extended case management for them, nurse case management, we try to get them into services and housing. We don’t have actual housing, but we partner with folks who have it, including property managers, se we are working on relationships with property managers and try to get folks housing while supporting them in mental health to keep them housed.

Dorothy Prieto: Headstart
Hi Ed, hello everybody. I am Dorothy Prieto with headstart and early learing program. I am the ERSEA coordinator, which in translated terms is the enrollment coordinator. I basically supervise the intake and outreach liaisons for Franklin, Hampshire and Western Hampden County. We do work closely with HCS, so right now both of us are accepting applications for the fall, we are going to have opening and we just need to get those applications coming in, so we can get the classes filed. Everybody is still having staffing isuses, we are working on that by raising salaries. There are a bunch of positions up right now, some of our lead teachers are going to be making close to $30 per hour. So if you know anyone with the certification have them hit up the websites for Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield or for Headstart and Early Learning Programs. My information is in the chat, I placed by work cell phone and email, so please contact me if I can help you with any information.

Denise Kelly-Lachat: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Denise Kelly-Lachat, I’m from DA Gulluni’s Office and I am the diversion specialist in the Holyoke District Court and Holyoke Juvenile Court. I don’t have any update at this moment, thanks Ed.

Ashley Jediny: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Hi everyone, Ashley Jediny, I am the program coordinator for our post overdose outreach team. I don’t have any updates at this time.

Kaitlyn DeBloise: Cleanslate
Hi everyone. I’m with Cleanslate, the community relations liaison. We do outpatient substance use treatment in Holyoke, Springfield, West Springfield, and and all over the rest of Massachusetts. So if you have any questions or are in need of substance use services please reach out to me.

Jonathan Alicea:
Jonathan Alicea, CEO President of Latino Clinitian Center. We have two locations. We have about seventy-five employees, clinitians, we have different departments in the mental health field; prescribers, CBHI, IHD. If you are familiar with the CBHI program we have mentors. We are currently hiring if you know anyone that is interested on becoming a clinician. We are very competitive when it comes to paying for the services that our clinitians are doing in our community. Vey competitive. We have two locations, one in 121 State Street in Springfield. The other one is 125 Liberty Street in Springfield as well.

Ed Caisse:
I just have two things that I want to mention. The Back To School Event is going to be August 19th. I do want to say this, we have only opened up the registration for the area leaders, so they can try to recruit their own volenteers for their own areas. So after Friday we’re probably going to open it up, probably not until Monday, we’re going to open it up to the wider community. When I say the wider community I mean you guys. We’re going to open it up to all of the agency representatives. We really like all of the volenteers that work at the event to be all from the different agencies that we work with as part of the networking meeting. So we won’t send it out wide and I ask you guys not to send it out wide. Send it out to your agency representatives, but we don’t want to send it out to the greater community. We just want it to be part of our networking community and have volenteers from the different agencies. It’s good team building and it’s just a great day, but just at the same time we want to serve the community we don’t want the community to come out and volunteer for us we want to serve them on this day.

Secondly, I want to talk about presenting at the meetings. So right now we have someone scheduled for August and October, but we have openings for September, November, December, we don’t have anybody booked for January of ’24. So if anyone is interested in doing that fifteen minute presentation in the beginning just snap me an email and we can secure a month for your agency to actually present. That’s about it. The other thing I think is worthly of mentioning is we’re winding down on our basketball season. We actually had three-hundred youth in our basketball league this year in the Summer League. I’m just soo thankful for all the different volenteers and a lot of them come from the different agencies that are on here and I’m just so thankful. I thought this year was a really good year, we’re actually wrapping up on July 28th is going to be our championship. So I just wanted to throw that out there. We’re working with UMass. I don’t know if we can fit the 7th and 8th and high school up at UMass because of college rules. So if we can’t do UMass we were hoping to do our championship up at UMass this year so we’re still working on it. But I’ll probably send something out to the agency representatives, certainly if we do it local, if we do it outdoors at James Jackson Court we’ll probably have a special night. I’ll send an email out if you guys are interested in coming to watch our championship games you’ll be welcome to do that. But that’s all I have I just want to say thank you to each of you for all the work that you individually do. Particularly, I’m really thankful for all of your agencies that have resources that can help youth and families get to better places. We’ve been able to get many individuals and families connected to resources, particularly with the Holyoke Hub. And it’s your agencies we’re getting them connected to so I just truly from the bottom of my heart want to say thank you so much for all of the work you do and being available. So have a great week and hopefully we’ll see you guys next month and thanks for joining us today.


Dorothy Prieto
Dorothy Prieto ERSEA (Enrollment) Coodinator HSELP

Linda Manning/Easterseals
Linda Manning, Easterseals Massachusetts Pre-Employment Training Coordinator. email or phone 508-471-1575

Faith Sarisley
Faith Sarisley

CrossPoint Clinical Services, Inc.

Thais Rivera
Thais Rivera-Hughes

HR Compliance and Community Coordinator

Yajaira Marquez
Yajaira Marquez, HCS Head Start/CFCE,

Yvonne Lomax
Yvonne Lomax-OA Manager Westover JCC-

Kaitlyn DeBlois
Kaitlyn DeBlois, Community Relations Liaison with CleanSlate

Melissa Santiago- BHHL
Melissa Santiago Behavioral Health Helpline

Jennifer Yekel
Jennifer Yekel MSPCC/Eliot survivor services clinician

Ashley Jediny
Ashley Jediny, Hampden County Sheriff's Office, Program Coordinator Post Overdose Outreach,

Miguel Arce
Miguel Arce, Springfield College

Therese Ross Rick's Place Grief Support
Therese Ross, Rick’s Place Grief Support, Executive Director,

Laura Jansen, Baystate FAC
Laura Jansen,

VOCA Project Specialist

Behavioral Health Clinician

Baystate Family Advocacy Center

Telephone: 413-794-8823

Rosalyn Rodriguez
Rosalyn Rodriguez

Dorothy Prieto
Dorothy Prieto ERSEA (Enrollment) Coodinator HSELP 4138342564

Sheryl L Maldonado
Sheryl Maldonado VISTA member in Way Finders as Resident engagement Leader training VISTA. My work phone 413 386 6898

Elizabeth Barron
Elizabeth Barron Program Director CHD Outpatient clinic Holyoke. 413-420-1825

Elizabeth Veillette
Elizabeth Veillette, Employment Specialist navigator, CHD's Diversion Shelter and Housing Division


Juan Anderson-Burgos (Rep. Duffy)
Juan Anderson-Burgos Legislative Aide to State Representative Patricia Duffy 164 Race St., Suite 105 Holyoke 01040

Rosalyn Rodriguez
Rosalyn Rodriguez - Holyoke Young Parent Program / Program Director - YWCA - 413-536-4080

Robert Crawford
Rob Crawford

Substance Prevention Program Coordinator

Springfield DHHS - MassCALL3

adair medina
Adair Medina Holyoke Pediatric Associates

Madeline Martinez
Madeline Martinez ESS Manager Way finders 413-233-1737

Tori H. (she/her) | MA Safe Routes to School
Tori Halloran, Western MA Outreach Coordinator with Safe Routes to School

Marissa Chiapperino
Marissa Chiapperino, Registered Dietitian, Holyoke Medical Center and instructor at HCC

Diana Biagioli
Diana Biagioli, Family Coordinator for NextGen Careers at the Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) are the Parent Center in Massachusetts for Special Education Information and Referrals and other programs related to Special Education,

Shakira Guzman
Shakira Guzman with Planned Parenthood - Community Outreach Specialist for Western MA


happy to be here!

Shellie Daries
Shellie Daries, Foster Care Recruiter Department of Children and Families or (413)452-3247

Liv Anna Homstead
Liv Anna Homstead, Public Health Institute of W MA and 413Cares.

Gloria Penagos
Gloria Penagos -

Denise kelly-lachat
Denise Kelly-Lachat, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni's Office, Diversion Specialist,

Thais Rivera
are there any grants you can utilize?

Hayley Nelson
Hayley Nelson - Valley Opportunity Council in Chicopee, Adult Ed program. Fall ESOL or GED class inquiries: We are also HIRING for an Education Advisor, please email me for more info on that!

Sheryl L Maldonado
I will like to know more about this program

Miguel Arce
Miguel Arce,

Diana Biagioli
Wanted to introduce everyone to a program run by our partner, MRC (Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission). It is NextGen Careers for Young People with Disabilities ages 18-30 to help them gain and retain employment. Here is the link:

Diana Biagioli
And here is a link to our website where we provide free resources, an information/referral line and more programs.

Melissa Santiago- BHHL
I have to jump but thank yo everyone . have an amazing weekend and Thank you for everything that you do .

Tori H. (she/her) | MA Safe Routes to School
More information about the Safe Streets Smart Trips (SSST) High School Video Contest (an initiative within the Massachusetts Strategic Highway Safety Plan to promote safe driving behaviors):

Please contact me with any questions:

Shakira Guzman
I also have to go but thank you all for your resources! I hope to have some myself for the next time we meet! Have a great day 😁

Robert Crawford
Implicit Bias Training:

Ruth Ayala
Ruth Ayala RSC From VOC call for application for the Lottery for MRVP voucher for Homeless family at 413-594-3271.

Renee Hedges

Elizabeth Barron
Elizabeth Barron

Outpatient Clinics offering: Recovery Coaching, Case Management, Individual Therapy, Group therapy, and Psychiatry

Walk In Hours Monday through Friday 10 am - 12 pm

Folks' will either get an appointment or be registered and scheduled for services.

We have immediate openings for therapy, case management, and no wait list for psychiatry services.

5 Replies
Marissa Chiapperino
Here are the details for the Holyoke hospital farmers market. there is transportation available as well

Diana Biagioli
Did anyone get John’s email? I only got part of it.

Edward Caisse

Diana Biagioli
Thank you Ed!

Jac Essing DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program (she/they)
DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps is still recruiting for our upcoming 23-24 program term. Members serve full time at local nonprofits and schools over the course of 10 months to support young people in reaching their goals and building their self-efficacy. We have opportunities at Community Music School of Springfield, Easthampton High School, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School, and a few sites in Amherst, too. Members receive a $17,800 living stipend, $6,890 education award, and free healthcare. People can apply at this link: or email me at: for more info

Yvonne Lomax
Jumping Off I have another meeting- Have a wonderful weekend.

Diana Biagioli
Thank you everyone for sharing all this information. I have to go to another meeting now. Looking forward to joining again in the future!

erica vasquez
Hi, I don't have a mic or camera no new updates


Dorothy Prieto
Sorry have to hop off. Thanks everyone.

Linda Manning/Easterseals
Thank you Ed!

Jac Essing DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program (she/they)
Thanks y'all! Glad to be here with you all and the work you do for the youth and the community. Stay cool!

Ruth Ayala
Thank you Ed!

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is special meeting on Friday, August 10th on 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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