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June 2024

Ed Caisse

June 13 2024

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: June 13, 2024
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 and Introduction 1:00pm -1:05pm

Alyssa Golden: Community Legal Aid 1:05pm - 1:20pm
Hi, My name's Alyssa Golden. I'm the senior supervising attorney of the criminal records and reentry unit at Community Legal Aid. I imagine that a lot of you are probably at least a little bit familiar with CLA. We’re the Free Civil Legal Services Organization serving Worcester County, and then, all the way west to the New York border. We provide legal representation and legal assistance in a range of civil legal issues, mostly for low income folks.
We have a large housing unit handling eviction cases, a family law unit working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, a benefits unit helping people with appeals of denials of public benefits, and then lots of other units but you get the get the picture. We're a Free Civil Legal Services Organization, so I'm going to talk a little bit about what the criminal records and reentry unit does, the types of legal assistance we offer, and some of the common things that maybe you all are hearing about or have experienced that it might be worth it to reach out to us to see whether there's legal assistance available.
We handle kind of a broad range of the civil consequences of the criminal court system. We represent a lot of folks in CORI sealing and expungement matters. CORI, just being your Massachusetts criminal record. CORI does not include anything out of state, and we can't represent somebody in trying to seal or expunge or deal with an out of State record. Some of those cases are court based where there are hearings in front of judges and a judge has discretion to allow the sealing or expungement of a certain record. For a lot of people at some point they become time eligible to see what's on their record, kind of regardless of whether it's a conviction or a non conviction. What we'll do is we'll assess people's CORI’s, let them know what their options are, and then provide representation in whichever processes are involved for them to kind of seal or expunge whatever it's possible to deal with on their record.
The difference between sealing and expungement, being sealing is the thing that's actually available to most people and it just reduces who can ever access the records. Sealed records will continue to be visible to certain entities, so that would be law enforcement agencies, the courts, DCF, and the Department of Early Education and Care. They are responsible for doing sort of final background check decision making on early education and care providers. So daycare providers for licensing purposes and for anyone who wants to work in an early education setting and anyone who wants to work at a camp for kids. Those employers that are being hired to work with young kids, those background checks are being done by the EEC and they get sealed records.
Most other employers do not ever get access to sealed records so that's really the highest level of access. Sealing is an incredibly useful tool for most people and oftentimes people become eligible at some point. People are probably generally familiar with the three and seven year rule. With misdemeanor convictions, you have to wait three years to seal, and that the clock starts either at the date that of the disposition of the case. So when someone pled guilty or was found guilty, or the date of their release from incarceration if they were sentenced to serve time as a result of the case. Whichever comes later, that's when the clock starts and with felonies, it's seven years from that date.
All convictions have to be time eligible or you can't seal any of your convictions. It's all or nothing when we're talking about convictions. With non convictions, so that would be a QUAFF if it's successfully dismissed. Something that's dismissed or NOEL process, you can either wait those periods of time the same, or you can file a petition with the court that handled the criminal case and ask the judge to use their discretion and allow the person to seal for any number of reasons why something that didn't even end in a conviction can pose problems for people, and those problems tend to come up in the employment realm. Because anytime someone is trying to get a job or has a job working with a population of people that's considered particularly vulnerable, so again we're talking young kids, school-aged kids, adults with disabilities, elders, folks working in the medical field sort of more generally.
Most of those employers are going to get this higher level of CORI access that would include non convictions that haven't been sealed yet, so sealing non convictions as soon as possible is also again very useful for a lot of people. In the employment world, depending on what it is they're wanting to do, what their career goals are, if someone's going back to school to get into the medical field, sealing as soon as possible is going to become very important.
Expungement is the destruction of the record. Again, that's much more rarely available. The times where expungement is an option for people that probably a lot of us are most familiar with would be if somebody has convictions on their record that were vacated and dismissed with prejudice because of the drug lab fraud. Those matters are expungible. People have the right to ask that the court destroy records of those matters because of the fraud that was perpetrated on the court.
Offenses that are no longer criminal offenses in Massachusetts, so that would include a lot of marijuana related offenses, possession of a hypodermic needle, knowingly being in the presence of heroin which used to be a crime and a few other things. Those whether they ended in convictions or not, even if they did not end in convictions, people have the right to ask that those records be destroyed because you wouldn't be charged with a crime today. For simple possession of marijuana, or for having a hypodermic needle on your person. As we're assessing people's CORI’s for options, we are also always looking for expungement options. Again, those do require court petitions and often require going to the court and having a hearing in front of a judge.
So we will work with people on kind of whatever range of CORI sealing and expungement things they've got going on. But then we also help people with the employment and housing related barriers that come up because of records. So unfortunately, sometimes what we see is that someone will seek legal assistance from our office for a public or subsidized housing related denial, or a mobile voucher denial because of a criminal record, and unfortunately their record was already eligible to be sealed but they didn't know it yet. We can't unring that bell. We're going to have to address their CORI in the appeal process for housing, but we can also then represent the person and getting their record sealed.
So obviously, gold standard is we help somebody get out in front of any of those barriers by helping them seal as soon as they are eligible, but a lot of people don't know if they're eligible. Also it's not always the thing that's on somebody's radar, or the thing that they can prioritize at any given moment in time. We will sort of work on those cases when someone comes in with another a housing denial or an employment denial.
Public, subsidized, and voucher program denials because of CORI are very common. We know that people are on these waitlists for a very long time and then when they get to the top of the wait list they might get a letter saying, ‘you've been found ineligible,’ or ‘you were unsuitable’, or ‘you have been denied,’ or whatever the language may be. It's not language that kind of instills I think a lot of hope in people, for overcoming that hurdle. I think often people don't actually appeal because it's so discouraging.
One takeaway today is if you or anyone you know, or anyone you are working with receives one of these denial letters appeal. In a lot of these cases, these are winnable appeals. People have the right to appeal and have the right to a process in order to essentially make the argument that their criminal record shouldn't be used against them in the process of securing affordable housing.
I would say seventy to seventy-five percent of people that we represent in housing denials have criminal records that are directly related to active substance use, or alcohol use disorder, and or mental health related disabilities that were, maybe not diagnosed at the time. Or we're not being sort of adequately treated at the time and that led to interactions with the criminal court system. Where substance use disorder, alcohol use disorder, mental health related disabilities are involved, oftentimes people qualify for what's called a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is just a request for a change to a policy or a procedure so that someone doesn't lose out on a housing opportunity because of something disability related.
When we're talking about substance use disorder, if a person has a history of substance use issues and they are not actively using, they qualify as a person with a disability for fair housing law purposes. Oftentimes, what we find is that we are able to provide some sort of verification letter from the person's provider. Whether that's a counselor, whether that's a medical provider, somebody in their life who can speak to the disability and the engagement in treatment. Then, we're able to overcome these hurdles because people shouldn't be locked out of housing because of something disability related. We have really high success rates with those cases, and people have pretty strong protections, and so we always encourage people if they feel up to it at all, appeal, appeal, appeal. You are welcome to send folks our way for assistance with those.
Then, we also help people with employment denials because of criminal records. Some employment denials, there's unfortunately not very much to be done. Some employers, they go through the the process properly and someone gets denied employment because of something on their record that arguably could be employment related. An employer could make a connection between the person's record and the offense and find that they're not suitable for the position, but Massachusetts has banned the box which disallows most employers from asking about criminal records on initial written applications. So we will look into ban the box violations, there are some employment situations where trying to overcome a denial of something that has teeth, as I would say, like there's a legal hook that we can look at and those often involve employment, and where a person is trying to work with vulnerable populations, because there are these State agencies that are involved in those decisions, and because there are state agencies involved. People have the right to some amount of process to try to address the issue and overcome it.
I can give a couple of common examples. We end up representing a lot of folks who tried to get a job in early childhood education and care. Maybe the employer offered them the position, and then the EEC ran the person's background check, and then issued a letter saying, ‘You are unsuitable for this position, but you have so many days to submit a bunch of information, and we will review it and review our decision.’ So when that happens, if we get involved , what we're doing is helping people gather the police reports. Helping people figure out how to make sure that the context that's really important to share is being shared in their candidate statement. Are there other people who could write letters of support? So we're sort of working with people to pull all of that together.
One thing that is very common is that people have criminal records that are directly related to experiences of domestic violence. So multiple times we have worked with people who were denied employment in the early childhood education and care world because they had criminal records that were a result of someone who was abusive with them, calling the police, taking out charges sort of as a form of control, as a form of punishment against the person who they were engaging in abusive behavior towards.
The other way that domestic violence ends up playing a big role in this, is that people are also being denied jobs in the early education field or being terminated from jobs that they already had for a long time in the early childhood education field because of findings of neglect or abuse by DCF no matter how old they are. So that is also a huge issue. It's a huge discrimination issue too, because what we know is that the criminal court system and DCF have a disproportionate impact on individuals and families and communities of color. And so where people are being locked out of employment due to records that come about as a result of systems who are disproportionately impacting certain communities.
Then we also run into concerns about discrimination issues, and that's true in the housing context as well. If housing providers have very broad bans on criminal records, like “we don't accept anybody to live here who has a felony conviction.” Then we're likely going to run into discrimination issues there too, because of this disproportionate impact of the criminal court system on people of color that then will be passed down to a disproportionate number of applicants of color being locked out of housing opportunities. The Federal Government has issued strong guidance on this for federally funded housing providers about how they have to engage in individualized assessments. There shouldn't be these broad blanket bans, so that people have the opportunity to have this individualized assessment based on their own circumstances and not just based on a piece of paper.
We do sort of work not only on the individual representation level, but then also trying to look at these sort of broader systemic issue patterns that we're seeing and trying to help figure out how do we address it on a larger level so it's not always individual after individual having to fight so hard to get a housing opportunity or a job opportunity.
The other thing that we do among other sort of random things, I tell everybody, if you're working with someone and they are having trouble not about an active criminal case because we can't do any criminal defense at our organization, but if you're working with someone and in their criminal record is posing a problem, and it's not necessarily about housing, it's not necessarily about employment, but it's something to do with their criminal record, you're still welcome to reach out to me to see whether that would be an appropriate referral right or an appropriate reason to apply for legal assistance. We try to be as flexible as we can be about what legal issues we look into because we know that we're not seeing all of the civil barriers, all of the civil consequences that people are facing after incarceration, or after involvement with the criminal court system.
The last thing I'll mention, is if somebody is trying to reduce their classification level or terminate their duty to register with SORB, they have the right to counsel in any SORB proceeding. So if there's going to be a hearing in front of the board, people have the right to counsel. But if somebody wants to try to reclassify downwards or terminate their duty to register, they have to file these motions with SORB. They have to make sure they're time eligible, that it's advisable for them to try at that time, and they have to get the motions out the door. So that's a barrier for people, too. We were hearing feedback from community partners, particularly folks working on house populations.This is a huge barrier for people to try to address their SORB issues.
We have also since started, helping people just with the initial motions. We'll run people's CORI’s, let them figure out with SORB, are they time eligible. Based on their record, does it make sense to try to do this right now? We will help them draft those motions. We get them out the door to SORB and then we're done because if there's going to be a hearing, people have the right to counsel. We can also provide this sort of assistance with this one beginning part that helps people get that process going. I'm happy to answer any questions that people have, if there are any.

Agency Overview and Updates:

Abbie Jermaine: Western Mass MOMS
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Abbie, and I represent the Western Mass MOMS Partnership Program. I'm here today to make a couple of announcements. For those of you who are unaware of Western Mass MOMS, we are a research program who provide an opportunity for mothers to address the stress of daily life and parenting. We had just over two years to enroll as many moms as we could. Our enrollment actually ends on June 30th of this month. We have about eight-hundred and sixty moms enrolled right now. We are enrolling every day and right up till the end. So, if you know any moms that might be interested in joining our program our services include an eight week class that meets once a week for an hour and a half.

During our Program folks have the option of meeting in-person or on zoom. Participants have the pleasure of choosing English speaking or Spanish speaking during our program meetings. Our in-person classes are located in Holyoke and Springfield. As of right now this program is free to join. We pay our participants as they move through the program. These payments are made through gift card incentives. With that being said, if you know anyone who may be interest, I put my information in the chat.
Although, when I join the meeting next month. Recruitment for the MOMS program would have come to an end I'll still be here as a member of the community. As a quick reminder, enrollment closes June 30th, but our actual services will end at the end of September. Anyone who enrolls now will be able to receive services until the end of September.
So again, it's for any mom, grandmother, foster mom, or adoptive mom who cares for a child under 18, and I'm happy to connect and tell you more about it, if you don't already know many of you have connected with me, have invited me to your events, have come to our events, and I just wanna thank you all for your community partnership. We are so excited to be towards the end of our data collection process.With that being said, this has been a wonderful two and a half years. Thank you all this meeting is really important.
Andrea Kennedy: Real Estate Agent for Y.B. Realty
My name is Andrea Kennedy. I'm a real estate agent with YB. Realty. I was curious to know if evictions could be expunged or sealed, but Alyssa explains that unfortunately they cannot. There are people working on legislation about that issue because that's another issue for people involved in things like domestic abuse.
Anyways, I am also here to talk about the Kiwanians. I'm Vice President of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Holyoke. Just wanted to give a shout out that we exist.We resurrected the club last year, and we serve Holyoke, as well as Chicopee, Gramby, and South Hadley.
Angela Kelly: Careforth
Hi, everyone! I am with Careforth. We are adult foster care, which is a free MassHealth benefit for those who are caring for a loved one at home. Unfortunately, it cannot be a spouse or a legal guardian, but if you have someone caring for a loved one at home who needs twenty-four-hour care. We come in with a care team that consists of a nurse and a care manager, and they help guide that caregiver through that world. Thank you for having me.
With over six hundred different care plans. We can ensure they've got one that fits them correctly, and we have thousands of curated resources for them that we have put together. If they want to learn more about the disease they're working with, or the progression of, an illness. We can help them with that as well. We do cover the entire state.
All we need is the care recipients name and date of birth. We will also need the caregivers name, phone number, and their language preference. After this is complete Careforth can go from there. My information is in the chat if anyone is interested. Thank you.
Angelique Rodriguez: Holyoke Community College
My name is Angelique Rodriguez and I work at Holyoke Community College as an admissions counselor, community outreach, and admissions counselor. So my job is to work, recruit, enroll, and assist any of our adult learners and non-traditional college students. People who may have financial insecurity, housing insecurity, maybe caretakers, etc.
We are currently continuing to work with the Mass Reconnect Program so if anyone has heard about that, that's a great state program that's helping fund the education for a lot of adults coming to community colleges. We are also enrolling for the summer session, with some classes starting on July 8th. My information will be in the chat if anyone is interested. I am also willing to visit your centers, workplaces, or whatever it may be, to connect. Thank you. Again, July 8th summer sessions close so please attempt to enroll or connect beforehand.
Arnoldo Garcia: WeCare 365 AFC
Hello. My name is Arnoldo Garcia and I work at WeCare 365. Our team's mission is to change the lives of families one at a time by recognizing their diversity and supporting them with professional staff. Our envision is to be serving the members and caregivers of Hampden Massachusetts, and the whole State of Massachusetts. So our service works with MassHealth and we give a statement of free tax. This Monday, June 17th, we gonna have free haircuts taking place in Prestige Barber Shop, 2560, Main Street in Springfield, Massachusetts. This free haircut will be provided for the first thirty caregivers and fellow members.
For upcoming announcements, we are working on a health fair. This health fair is gonna be set up in Holyoke, Massachusetts. More information will be provided around July. Our goal is to provide caregivers and family members with financial relief from the comfort of their home. I appreciate the time, and it's been a pleasure with you guys. Thank you.
Art Lobdell: Holyoke Rotary Club
I'm the president of the Rotary Club of Holyoke, Granby, and South Hadley. Our motto is, Service above self and we specialize in volunteer work to support the city of Holyoke. To get started I wanted to share an announcement. Next Tuesday is our installation dinner and awards dinner. We will be handing out recognitions for folks who have made contributions to the community. This event will be held at Fame on Tuesday, the 18th at five o’clock. Tickets will be twenty-five dollars each and are now available for purchase. It's a great Holyoke location, and the Rotarians have certainly done a lot of work for the city.
You still have an opportunity to stop by and visit one of our newest projects. We have the plaza for The Flags For Heroes at the Holyoke Public Library. Those flags will remain flying until July 8th. If folks are interested, on July the 8th, they can help us disassemble these flags until next year. If you do choose to visit and or help you’ll find Ed's flag flying in amongst all the other heroes that are there.
July the 16th we will have a luncheon for our scholarship recipients. We will be passing out eight thousand dollars in scholarship aid to Holyoke students. Again, folks are welcome to join us. Our meetings are held at the Holyoke Public Library on the third Tuesday of each month at noon.
Kate’s Kichen is an ongoing project of ours that we support. Kate’s Kitchen helps assist us by making sandwiches a few times a month.We are seeking out a morning crew around the hours of eight fifteen AM until nine o’clock AM.
We also support the Miracle League by sending out mentors to work with students that need special help with all things, and having their Baseball League.
Unfortunately, this year we are not able to conduct our summer concert series. The trouble is that during Covid, the stage was vandalized. Since this vandalization occurred the state is not looking to replace it. that stage is gone forever, according to the state.
We were able to conduct the summer concert series last year but we took a financial loss on the event. We're not able to have sustained loss in running the series. We are looking for different solutions to try and return our concert series next year in 2025. Anyone's interested, or has any ideas about that please feel free to reach out.
At the end of the year, we'll have the taste of Holyoke. Again, Last year in December it was a tremendous event to help us raise funds for supporting all those other projects that we've talked about. It's a great social night as well as a great night to show off all of the eateries that are in the city. If folks are willing to assist with that we can use the help. Thank you.

Brenda Evans: UMass Amherst
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Brenda Evans.I'm from Umass Amherst. School of Public Health and Health Sciences Center for Community Health Equity research. I am also Co. Convene the Hampden County Resource network with Ed Caisse, and I don't have any announcements. Thank you.

Caitlin Moran: River Valley Counseling Center
Good afternoon, my name is Caitlin Moran I am the Adolescent Sexual Health Program Manager for River Valley Counseling Center. We have great counseling services, and I in particular am hoping to connect with anyone who works with youth. Wanting to work with youth can range from school, and out of school, to teaching comprehensive, inclusive, sexual health, and relationship health education. We also have what we call the voices curriculum which is about helping students find their voices and engage in community advocacy.

Carl Borden: Western MA Scouting America
In Holyoke we have HubPack 235 meetings every other Thursday.They're drawing from Springdale and South Holyoke neighborhoods, but they meet in the downtown neighborhood. This information leaves us with twelve more neighborhoods that we could have kids and scouting with. we're looking for help with that.
Our troop for girls is meeting every other Thursday. Also, They both meet up at Mount Tom Lodge, across the street from the library. If anyone's interested in high adventure youth programming for fourteen to twenty year olds, our South Hadley C. Scout Ship 303 is always looking for young boys and young girls to join that program, to do high adventure on the high seas of the Connecticut River.
Cassie Giardina: Rise Above Foundation
Hello, everybody my name is Cassie. I am from Rise Above Foundation Community Outreach Manager But I don't have any specific events or special projects coming up, In general Rise Above supports youth and foster care by funding any extra curricular or enrichment activity all it takes is a five minute request by a youth and foster care. This includes a five minute request from their social worker, a foster parent, and or any caring adult in their life. We also support youth and young adults that are still engaged with DCF as they transition to their first independent living situation. We also provide care packages for youth who decide to continuing their education even after high school.

Charlene Rivera: Holyoke Pediatrics
My name is Charlene Rivera. I’m one of the Medical Home Care Coordinators here at Holyoke Pediatrics, and I have no new updates.

David Robinson: Recovery Center
My name is David Robinson. I'm the Assistant Director here at Recovery Center. I have no updates at this present moment.

Dorothy Prieto: Head Start and Early Learning
Dorothy Prieto, I'm with Head Start and Early Learning Programs and we service the areas of Franklin, Hampshire, and Western Hampden Counties. There's a small waitlist in Western Hampden County. As of right now we currently have openings for our Head Start At Home Programs in Franklin and Hampshire.
We are currently accepting applications for the fall program for our center based locations, these center based locationall counties. If you have any questions or you need a referral which will place your participant on a priority scale please feel free to reach out, and if you know an expected parent or children under the age of 3 send them my way. All of my information will be provided in the chat.
Even if you want a presentation done for your participants or for your staff, we can do that as well, just to see how we can work together. So just give me a call or email is usually the best way. But again, I'll put it all in the chat, and I hope you all have a good day.

Elisa Olivo: Patent Shop Program
Hi, My name is Elisa Olivo. I’m working in Patent Shop Program, I am the Team Leader. Last week we finished the first season and now we are registering people for the next season that begins in September. Kids between eighteen and thirty-six months can be in our program, our program is home based twice a week.
Free educational books, toys, interactive learning and playing, all at the cost of nothing. So, if you know about someone who has a baby. Let us know, Thank you.
Ellen Broadhurst: Private Social Worker
Good afternoon. I'm Ellen Broadhurst and I am a Private Social Worker. I do not have any updates or announcements to share I'm just here selfishly soaking up all this great information to help my clients. Thank you.

Gabriella Santiago: Rewarding Insurance Agency
Hi! I'm Gabriella and I work with Rewarding Insurance. I do not have any updates for you guys as of right now but I did want to mention that Rewarding Insurance has been collaborating and partnering up with more agencies such as, the YMCA.
Western Mass ElderCare is assisting our team with provided information that can help in the community. This helpful information includes anything that has to do with life insurance all the way up to medicaid A and B health insurance. For example; CCA fallen.
Rewarding Insurance Agency is working to help a lot of elders in the community wherever it’s needed. Reward Insurance Agency is very hands-on and doesn’t stop their support and assistance, even if these individuals are having troubles with their health insurance. Elders may stress because they understand the importance of health insurance and how life insurance impacts lives. Stress can arise from many things, such as Mass Health, paying for medications, or doing anything like that. Rewarding Insurance Agency steps in to alleviate some of these stresses.
We're collaborating with other agencies, as mentioned, YMCA Individuals may reach out seeking assistance with things such as improving health circumstances. If individuals are seeking information about our programs, they can feel free to talk to Julie along with many other Co-workers who help in these areas of assistance for individuals. Reward Insurance Agency wants to navigate you to the fitting area of your needs.
We also do presentations in case other agencies in the area with the elderly population need assistance or are willing to assist us. We're also open to giving presentations and being a part of anything going on in the area. That'd be all. Thank you for having me.
Georgie Brown: OneHolyoke Of CDC
Hi! I'm Georgie. I work for OneHolyoke of CDC. With Nayroby.We're right in the middle of our Keep It Clean Cleanup Campaigns. Our next cleanup is gonna be Saturday, the 22nd of July. Our next cleanup is led by one of our Mass Hire students. Our next cleanup will start at ten in the morning, the location is 43 North Canal Street. Volunteers are always welcome to help out and clean up. I can send some flyers and information in the chat for that.
Secondly, we got our summer financial wellness series. This event will be taught by Liberty Bank and will be held on the fourth Thursday of every month, June through September.I can send the flyer for them as well.
Finally, we do a mobile food bank which volunteers will be needed. This event will take place at 70 North Bridge Street on every second and forth Friday. I'll put my email and some of those flyers in the chat.

Gloria Penagos: Holyoke Communty College
During the summer ACC and the Culinary Art Institute will have two Co-Hosts, two Trainees, and one for ESOL. One is starting July 9th, and the other one will happen on July 10th. ESOL Culinary will be during the day and the regular one will be on July 10th, at night.
If you or anyone you know is interested in obtaining a job, we provide trainings to assist with that. Information can be found in our website, I will also have my information provided in the chat for anyone interested. Just so everyone is aware, the new co-host will happen until September.
Heather MacInnes: Boy Scouts of America
Hi! I'm Heather Mcinnes. I'm with the Western Mass Boy Scouts Of American Council, I work with Carl and Iris. My job is to work with the kids in Holyoke for the packing troupe. Our program also provides the exploring programs which are career oriented bases. This explorer program has a few units currently open with ages ranging from 10 years old to 20. Our program, right now, is making an attempt to partner with other foundations and organizations to start with kids of all ages. The reason we’d love to work with other programs, foundations, and organizations is to help them with careers. Why? Well, we understand that some kids aren’t sure where to start, they don’t know if age is a problem, and others would just like some training in order to be prepped for that next step.
Currently, we have Aviation in Westfield but our goal is to partner up with as many organizations as possible so we can help bring more programs, awareness, and support to Holyoke. One of our main outreach focuses has been career drawn. Since a lot more of the youth are unaware of what the world has to offer, they aren’t properly equipt. That’s where we’d like to partner up and set up to make a change in the community. It all starts with the youth.
I work with the Junior Achievement in Springfield to teach the kids about business, and entrepreneurship. This can be a stepping stone to educate the youth on how they can run a market in business. We're also attempting to bring this program to Holyoke. I will put my information in the chat and I will be at the Holyoke Pride Event with a booth for exploring and for the scouting in Holyoke.
Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America
My name is Iris Sosa, and as Heather said, I work for the Boy Scouts of America, Western Massachusetts Council. We also have an opportunity to work in Springfield in the school during the summer, bringing the Explorer Program. We're seeking people willing to help and join us from July 8th to August 8th I will add the flyer to the chat. Thank you, I will provide my info in the chat for anyone interested.

James Geraghty: Holyoke Mall
Hello, everyone. I'm James Geraghty with the Holyoke Mall. Everybody knows the mall It's the melting pot of Holyoke. I'll reach out to you, Alyssa, and try to help the State. I’d like to let them know what I can do for you, them within the Holyoke Mall, and the community.
On another note, I have two big events coming up. The first event announcement will be, the return of Job Fair. We've been doing these Job Fair Events for the past three years and every time the turnout is amazing. Individuals constantly come in and tell me it's been a success and how grateful they are for the next one. Job Fair’s main focus is on job opportunities in other aspects of the community other than the Holyoke Mall. These job opportunites will include places such as banks, hospitals, basically anyone who is willing to get in touch with the whole community of Holyoke. The Job Fair will be happening on Wednesday, September 18th, 2024, at One O’clock PM until Four O’clock PM. Our mission is to be as helpful as possible to you and the community. We’d love to collaborate with the State, and attempt at getting as many people in the community employed.
The Holyoke Mall will be participating in Tax Tuesday it's about an hour long. This event will take place July 9th until August 20th every Tuesday. The time of event will be at Eleven o’clock AM to Twelve o’clock PM. The kids love this event and once again, it’s always a wonderful turnout. We have different things, different kind of people come in for from different organizations, and it gives the kids some time to enjoy themselves. I'll put both flyers on the chat, but, you know, just reach out to me. I appreciate you, the Holyoke Mall appreciates you. Thank you.
James Maloney: Hope for help
Good afternoon, my name is James Maloney. I'm the Assistant Director of Hope For Help Peer Recovery Support Center. This upcoming month we have a lot of activities for our members to participate in, especially these next few upcoming weeks. These events are currently still being put together but if I mention something that catches your attention please reach out through a phone call and we can get you connected. We're gearing up for our Overdose Awareness Virgil in August. We are also preparing for our Recovery Day Event in September. We will be partaking in the Light Up The City Purple again on August 31st. Thank you, that’s all the announcements I have for everyone today.

Jennifer Yekel: MSPCC/ Elliott
Hi, everyone! I'm Jennifer Yekel from The Survivor Services Program and MSPCC/Elliott as a Vocal Clinician in the Holyoke Office. Our program partakes in individual counseling, group therapy, case management victims, compensation, assistance for any survivors of trauma, Crime, abuse, neglect, etc., and the ages range from 3 to 21.Our services give trauma-related presentations to the community, and also support the caregivers that are involved with the participant as well. We are accepting new clients as of right now. We barely any waitlist for Holyoke so we can get people in very quickly and assigned very fast. Thank you.

Jessica Marquez: Family Justice Advocates Office
Hello, my name is Jessica Marquez. I work with the Family Justice Advocates office and we are Division Of The Public Defenders Office. Our job is to represent children and parents during their care and protection cases. I don't have any updated news, but I'd like to thank everybody for sharing their resources for my clients.

Lorraine Ceaser: Valley Opportunity Council
My name is Lorraine Caesar and I’m the Program Coordinator for Valley Opportunity Council Of Adult Education Program. We offer GED classes, high set CDL Classes for ESOL students, and
ESOL classes citizenship in a youth program. We don't have any announcements right now, but all throughout the year please feel free to send referrals. If you know any students, or any people that are interested in any of our programs.
Madeline Martinez: Way Finders
Hi, I'm Madeline Martinez. I work at Way Finders and I am the Employment Supporter Services Manager. Here we do employment and training services for our population, homeless population, or anybody who qualifies for the program. We also provide Section 8, and the RAFT Program to our population as well. Whoever needs help paying their rent, if they're behind on light, gas, and things of that matter we have those programs here too. In the program I specifically work in, we provide various serives for the youth. The youth programs have services that range from age sixteen to twenty-four, and we have someone that does Intake, Resume, and Grab A Letter. We do whatever it takes to help individuals obtain a job and attempt to minimize any barriers in front of them. If you guys are interested, I left my name, number, and email in the chat. Thank you.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library
Hello, my name is Maria Pagan. I'm the Public Library Director here in Holyoke. There are so many things happening this summer that I’d like to share with everyone. I'll let Robin our Youth Service Librarian tell you about it. One of the things that I want to remind everyone about is that we're working with Together For Families to encourage parents to pledge their will to be involved and engage in the health, welfare, and education of their children. We want to see students in and out of school succeed along with the school in general. Thank you, Ed Caisse for being one of our partners.

Marie-Ange Delimon: Tech Foundry
I am Marie-Ange Delimon and I am with Tech Foundry. I would like to share quick things about our two main programs. We offer a Tech Hub Program for adults and it's located at Holyoke Community College in the Pigalle Center. We offer digital literacy to anyone in the area but also the entirety of Western Mass. Individuals will learn what a computer is, and work on upgrading their technical skills for any kind of job that may utilize technology. This training are free to the community.
They just have to apply in person or on our website but we also offer an IT support training program which is also free. In that support training program, It's eighteen weeks. It's for people who want to have a career in it.
This training is absolutely wonderful. I am a graduate of this training. It's pretty much changed my life. We welcome people of eighteen and up who have a high school diploma, high set, or Ged, and we really take them there, build up the skills to help them make it in the community.
For some people who come from $0 a year to getting a job at fifty, forty, from thirt-five to actually $60,000 a year on their 1st entry level job. We really change lives like that by changing one person at a time and their entire family. We currently enrolling for our IT support training program. And this and Walmart is closing on July 15th. So if anyone is interested, I put my information in the chat, my phone number and my email.
You can just contact me. We can do info sessions for your groups if you would like to. So you can just contact me like that. And anybody who trains from our tech hub can also prepare to qualify from this site for this, it training it support training program. So I encourage you to connect with me, and thank you for all this great information that you shared about today.
Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Hi, everybody! Marissa Chiapperino, Registered Dietician in Community Navigation at Holyoke Medical Center. Right now, we are running our Free Diabetes Class Series. We're wrapping up at the Holyoke YMCA this coming Wednesday, but we're restarting the series. July 10th at Holyoke Senior Center. It is a no questions asked three part series with a nurse, dietician, and pharmacist. I did attach the flyer very early on, but I'll do it again, because I also want to share the Holyoke Farmer’s Market flyers.
I don't see anybody on here from the Chamber, but I'll speak for them. This week the Holyoke Farmers Market launched for the season in two locations. One at Veterans Park on Tuesdays from 11:00AM to 2:00PM, and the second one in the front entrance of Holyoke Medical Center on Wednesdays, from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. We are a SNAP and HIP vendor approved market in both locations, and this year we have some great sponsorships which have allowed us to offer some incentives for people shopping at the market on a regular basis. So you'll get a little punch card, and if you shop at one or both markets ten times you'll get $10 cash to put back into the market. So if you have any questions about that I'm happy to answer. Thank you.
Maryann Linnehan Western Mass ElderCare
Good afternoon, everyone. It's good to see you all. It's been a while since I've been to this meeting. Meetings are crazy. I'm from Western Mass ElderCare in Holyoke and we are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.
We'll be doing some fun things. More news to come about that. we are also hiring case managers and a few other ancillary jobs. If anyone has any clients who are looking for jobs, or if anyone is in need of a job? We cover the seven catchment areas such as; Holyoke, Chicopee, South Hadley, Belchertown, Granby, Ludlow, and where and we help elders to be able to stay in their homes. So we provide them with any and all services they need. This includes personal care, home making, and also mental health services, etc.
Right now, we have a respite grant. We've had a two year grant that has allowed us to provide money to caregivers to have respite. The problem is that care givers,you know, they leave their loved ones with strangers. So what we're doing is trying to help them think outside the box for areas of respite
Use family members or neighbors, or friends, or whatever people that are are able to work with and know their loved one. It's a pretty significant grant if anyone is looking, or has a grandparent who's caring for their grandchild, and they want to go to camp or do something fun over the summer.
That would provide respite to the grandparents, so it would definitely fit into the the boundaries of our grant.You name it, we can probably do it. So if you have anyone who is caring for a loved one and this particular grant doesn't have to be in the seven catchment areas. It could be anywhere. Please reach out to me my name and email is in the chat and I actually took a few of your names, so I may be reaching out to you as well. Thank you, have a good afternoon everyone.
Ruth Appiah Kubi: UMass Amherst
My name is Ruth Appiah Kubi. This is my first time coming here, and I appreciate the support. I am from UMass Amherst. I'm a Doctoral Researcher, and I'm currently part of a study where we are trying to get a sense of the transportation experiences of black pregnant women. We are looking for women who identify as black, African American, are eighteen years or older, between twenty to thirty-six weeks pregnant, reciting Western Mass that includes Holyoke, and have already established prenatal care and do not have a high risk pregnancy diagnosis.
What we do is to interview them to get a sense of their transportation experiences. If they were using like white shirt like Uber and Lift. Are there barriers that they face? If they were using the public transportation, are there barriers that they face with regards to assessing and utilizing prenatal care, and for each time the women spend with us we compensate them for $75.00.
So if you know any pregnant woman who will be willing to share her experiences with regards to transportation during prenatal care, I did pull the flyer in my contact info in the chat box. Please feel free to reach out to me and I will follow up. Thank you once again for having me.
Sean McBride: Hampden Superior Probation
Good afternoon everybody, I have nothing to report. Ed, I just want to thank you for your leadership and it's so nice to see so many new faces and also some partners that we've worked with for a long period of time. So thank you very much.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Parnership
Hello, everyone my name is Melanie Mendoza. I am the Manager of Community Engagement for Mass Mentoring Partnership. Mass Mentoring Partnership is a statewide organization. We provide different kinds of services, support for mentoring, development organizations, schools, you name it. Anyone who is serving youth and building relationships.
I am going to be sharing our website so you could look more into what we do. One particular event that we have coming up that I want to highlight is in the work we're doing with black and brown girls. We are having an event on Saturday, July 20th from 10:00AM to 4:00PM, in Stoughton YMCA and this is called a ‘Joy Fest.’ This event Joy Fest Summit will be used to empower black and brown women, girls, and fems through wellness, self confidence, and community building. This Joy Fest is for any self identified women, girls or and fems ages twelve and older in mentoring relationships.
We're hoping that this program brings groups of girls together, and open programs statewide. We're gonna have like care packages and a lot of like music. It’s a great day for celebration. I am putting some information right now in the chat, but please feel free to contact me. I'm also going to add my email address momentarily, so you can reach out to me if you have other questions.
In addition to this special event, We have some trainings that are on how to support black and brown girls through mentoring during the same week. Unfortunately, these training is already packed. We have some new sections coming, and my intention is to bring these trainings also to the Western Mass area so that we can have more of these events happening here. So thank you.
Miguel Arce: Springfield College
Hi Ed, thank you for doing this. Your involvement, your leadership is critical in the dissemination of information, so thank you very much. Also, I wanted to acknowledge the format that you use, which is guest speakers, which was in today, it was very successful and people took full advantage of this forum today. So thank you.

Millie Ruiz: Way Finders
Good afternoon everybody, I'm also new to this group. I work with Way Finders, I'm a Housing Mobility Outreach Specialist. We collaborate with MassHire for participants that have section eight vouchers. We help them through trainings. There's different trainings that MassHire offers, so we work with them. We also have something coming up on Saturday which I wanted to bring up. It's a Family Fun Day. It's a free admission. They're gonna have food, there's gonna be family games, bounce houses, live DJ, that's going to be June 15th from 11:00AM to 3:00PM. It's going to be behind the Way Finders Housing Center on 210 Elm Street in Holyoke. So you are all welcome. Thank you.

Nia Johnson: Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Hello, everyone! My name is Nia Johnson from the Massachusetts Attorney General's office. Thank you so much, I'm so happy to be here. I just want to present about two initiatives coming out of the Attorney General’s Office at this time. One is a reproductive justice unit fireside chat between our Attorney General; Attorney General David Campbell and Laura Ross. Who are reproductive justice and she's from Western Mass, currently residing in Georgia. That's on Tuesday, June 18th from 5:30PM to 8:00PM at Western New England School of Law. That information was sent out and I'll also be putting that in the chat.
Another initiative is our first ever Youth Council, which I'll be chairing. This council is for youth in the State from the ages forteen to nineteen. More information can be found on our website. I'll be putting the flyer in the chat and also dropping the link for this council. The chat and application closes on Sunday, June 16th at 11:59PM. Please reach out if you have any questions, I'll be working really hard.
Rafael Santos: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Rafael Santos, and I am here at the Hampton County Sheriff's Office. I work as a transition counselor and my duties, more than anything is to try to identify by meeting with the individuals here. What are their immediate needs are going to be when they go back out to the community.
So what we do is we do the best we can to connect them with the agencies that are out there like yours that provide different services, and periodically we bring agencies into the compound to share their information with the population who's getting ready to release. Which is very helpful for us, because at least it gives us the opportunity to know that these individuals are connected with agencies that may be able to assist them in whatever area, whether education, employment, mental health services, MassHealth, all those great things that your agencies provide. So that's my primary responsibility.
In addition to that, I work with Mr. Caisse supporting the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative and the basketball league. We have a nice event coming up this Saturday and it's all about community building. So when we have opportunities to go out there and support the efforts that are being done to build the community, we come together to do that very same event. It's always a pleasure being part of this meeting. I know that I don't jump on it as often as I should, but it's a pleasure to be here.
I get to see so many different people. In fact, today I spoke to Miss Martinez from Way Finders, and we were talking about her services that Way Finders provides to the housing program, and there was a couple of other individuals that came to our meeting last Wednesday, which is awesome to have a presence. So continue doing the great work, we're here to support you. I believe I put my email address in the chat a little while ago. So if anybody believes that there is something that I can offer to this program please reach out, thank you.

Robin Siniaho: Holyoke Public Library
Hi, it's Robin Siniaho, and I'm the team librarian at the Holyoke Public Library. We have a lot of things going on at the library.The first things are along with Holyoke pride. We have two pride events a week from today. On Thursday we're having a drag story hour.The story hour starts at 4:30PM, and there'll be a craft before that at 3:00PM, later that night we have a virtual author talk with Mercury stardust talking about her book, Safe and Sound, a renter friendly guide to home repair.
After that, on the 27th we have our kickoff party for our summer reading program. It's on June 27th It's from noon to 3:00PM. We're gonna have an ice cream truck here, a balloon guy doing some magic, we'll have yard games, there'll be lots of activities for the whole family, and we'll be registering kids, teens and adults for our summer reading program. Thank you.
Roger Hauck: UMass Amherst
Hello everyone, my name is Roger, I'm a Research Assistant from UMass Amherst. I'm here representing two labs in the psychology department being the Fam Lab and the Vital Lab. We do paid research opportunities with the families here in Western Mass. Specifically, looking for families with eight children, ages four to six years old and then also families with teens. For teeens we are particularly looking for Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic families. Our studies primarily focus on stress and are usually about two hours long.
We have a Center in Springfield where families can come to and for some studies. We can also go into families homes if that's more convenient for them. We're always looking for opportunities to recruit teens and also for like community based events where we can table. We also have some services. We can provide such as peer mentoring. We've done that in schools or we have workshops that we can give to youth about mental health and healthy relationships. I'll have my email in the chat and also put some flyers for our study, so feel free to reach out.
Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts
I'm Sandy Ward, Volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts. We're not connected with the funeral industry, but we help you deal with choices. You might need to make and talk about your rights. Including even do it yourself, home death care. I've put two entries in the chat, a general one about our contact information and then more recently I just posted that on Thursday, June 27th, I will be at the Senior Center here in Holyoke, doing two different sessions. They're just open to the public, answering questions and talking about our recent price survey.
We got prices from over ninety-four percent of this funeral homes in the four counties of Western Massachusetts, and that's on our website. You don't have to come to the session for that, but you're welcome to come in and ask questions in person 10:00AM and 2:00PM on that Thursday. I'll be upstairs in the in the art room and you don't have to sign up ahead of time. It's free, come on by, thank you.
Sara Landaverde: YWCA
Good afternoon. Everyone, Sara LandaVerde from the YWCA. Western mass. No new updates. This is my 1st time here. The YWCA, specificly my program; we work with domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in regards to one on one counseling support groups. We also do tabling events and as the agency as a whole we do for adult counseling, we also do children counseling for ages 3 to 17 we have a program that does groups in middle schools and high schools as well. We also, have supervised visitation and coordinated entry for housing search as well. Thank you.

Shauna Dandy: Alzheimer’s Association
I am from the Alzheimer's association. This is also my 1st meeting. thank you so much for having me the Alzheimers Association offers care, support, and resources to anyone that is facing Alzheimer's and not just Alzheimer's. But all forms of dementia as well. Our local chapter covers Massachusetts and New Hampshire in our office is in Newton. But I'm actually local to the Western mass area. Myself and a couple of my colleagues live locally in Western Massachusetts.
My job specifically is to oversee the Walk to End Alzheimer's, and that is at Holyoke Community College. This year, it's on Sunday, October 20th so anyone is welcome to walk. It's not just a disease that impacts older people, it actually affects all kinds of people from different demographics and different ages.
We have sponsorship opportunities available for companies to get involved. We also offer the opportunity to walk as a team or as an individual. It's actually free to walk, we don't have a registration fee and we do not have a fundraising minimum. So anyone is welcome to it sounds like a lot of you are actually very involved with the youth of the area, and we'd love to get more youth involved in participating in the walk event.
We also have volunteer opportunities, but the reason the walk is so important is because it does raise the funds that basically allow the Alzheimer's Association to provide that care, support, and resources to families at no cost to them. So we have a 24/7 helpline. We do one on one family care consultations. They're all free services that we offer. So June is actually Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month.
I believe some information went out to this group already about some of the virtual programs we're offering. But we're always happy to do an education program or presentation to your group or to do a tabling event. So my information is in the chat. But thank you so much for having me.
Tammi Benson: United Way of Pioneer Valley
Tammy Benson, United Way of Pioneer Valley. Like many of your organizations, we are also multi faceted. We do have food pantries in Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke. The biggest news is that we expanded the hours in Springfield. The other ones are 2:30PM to 5:30PM, but we just open to Springfield from 1:30PM to 5:30PM. That's that's a good thing. And it allows more people to get in sooner, like if they have to go to work or something, and also alleviate some of that crazy rush that we had right at 2 30 some of the other programs we offer is financial wellness programs. We host a suicide prevention hotline, which is called “call to talk.” You may have heard of that.
We manage that, it's called EFSP. I don't know if you're familiar with the acronym. It is the Emergency Food Shelter Program, and what we do is we manage the monies that come into Hampden County, and we have go through phases, and we are like the information is dictated to us right now. We also host a volunteer connect portal for other nonprofit agency and needed volunteers.
So not everybody has all the resources to look for all the volunteers that you need. Some of you may actually feel those pains. So we have a portal that is free for other nonprofits to use. where you just kind of register and people who wanna volunteer. They just come to the United Way site.
They say, I wanna volunteer when they open up the portal they can volunteer for the Red Cross, or for whoever's looking for volunteers, including United Way, and we also horse an onboard series, which is where we try to match potential board members to other local nonprofits. And as always, thank you.
Michael Pratt: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Hi, everybody! I work at the Sheriff's Office with Eddie and Rafael, and also with the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative. I'm happy to be here staying busy with Ed and Rafael, so thanks for having me.

Victoria Accorsi: United Way of Pinoneer Valley
Hi, everyone. It's also my first meeting today as well so I just wanna say thank you for the opportunity to be here, I really appreciate it. I do community outreach here at the United Way. Tammi really said a lot of the things that we do. The only thing that I'm going to add is that we've recently created a one sheeter with times, locations, hours of all of the food pantries in Springfield; the meal sites, mobile food banks, and the brown bag locations. I'm goning to drop my information in the chat. Thank you so much.

William Hadley: Holyoke District Court
Hi, Ed, thank you very much. I want to thank you and everybody else for all the great work you're doing. The only thing I want to make sure people in the community are aware of, I think I've talked about this a few months ago, but we applied for a grant and we got a federal grant to expand what we were doing to try to make sure that anyone who has a case, whether it's a civil matter, a commitment hearing, or criminal case in the Holyoke District Court gets access in and I mean immediate access to treatment.
We used to have a part time recovery coach from Gandara in the courtroom. Now we have a full time coach and we also have what we call a Recovery Care Coordinator and I introduce them everyday, and we've got many people taking advantage of this. I'm trying to make sure people are aware of this so they can think about that even before they come to court, so when they get to court right from the first day these folks can walk a person down, introduce some of the people of local clinics for medication assisted treatment, they could get on the phone, get them a bed at residential treatment facility.
They will get them a coach, and everyone here, I think probably knows what peer recovery coaches can do to help people. We also expanded what they're doing because they're helping with homelessness. They're helping people to get to their appointments, a job, etc. We've expanded this and replicated it in the Chicopee District Court.
Finally, we're working with UMass School Public Health has set up a system to monitor outcomes. Hopefully, if this works the way I hope it will to show the other courts in Massachusetts that this is the way to go to basically put the medical part of this issue at the front end of the criminal justice process. So if you know anybody, you have a client who has come into the Holyoke District Court, just please make them aware that these resources are here on demand. We're getting people into treatment by the end of the day that they are here in court. So just wanted to let everyone know that. Thank you very much for the time.
Edward Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
I just put a flyer inside the chat Chief Pratt has also been a great partner to the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Holyoke Safe neighborhood initiative. Supporting all the work that we do and he actually is going to be retiring in July, and he also is going to be the Guest Chef on Tuesday, June 18, th down at Lug Nuts Café, which is in Markcott Ford.
So if you go down to MarCotte Ford parking lot. Just to the left of their showroom. They have a little restaurant in there and $2 for every lunch sold on that day will get donated to the Holyoke Safe neighborhood Initiative to help us with the work that we do in the community. So if you're having lunch that day, and you want to support the efforts that we're doing, and you want to go down and congratulate Chief Pratt on his retirement. Please stop by Lug Nuts Café.
If you are interested in joining us on the event this Saturday, June 15th, click on that link in the chat. We'll make sure you have a table, the event will be Saturday.
The next thing is, we're gearing up for the back to school event. So I don't know if all of you have been around when we run the back to school event. But it's gonna be August 24th, I'll probably send out another, save to date reminder. We're not to the point to do the marketing yet. We're still trying to raise the funding that we need for the event. And we don't want to create the flyers without having all of the sponsorships in.
We usually do a supply drive and we've been quietly trying to collect all the supplies that we need for the back to school event. So I may send out a an email like, here's an example Marissa, the Holyoke Medical Center had donated 12,000 pencils for the event. The Holyoke Medical Center donated those pencils for the events. What we've been quietly doing is asking people if they can donate 2,500 of one particular item. We have Collins pipe holding a collection of pens. So we're looking for 25,000 pens. We put ten pens and ten pencils in every backpack. So we try to collect 2,500 of every item because we want to make sure that all the kids that get a backpack all get the same supplies in their bag. So if you do see an email on some supplies, we still need to collect. Just consider supporting the event in whatever way you can.
So I just wanted to throw that out there as well. That's all I have today. It's 2:24. I just do wanna say thank you to all of you for the work that you do. You know, particularly when we look at the Holyoke Hub, the work we're doing on the Hub and trying to get youth and families connected to resources to help them get to better places. And these are a lot of people that are really struggling, not just the ones we may know within our work, but people that are actually getting referred to the Holyoke Hub, either through acutely elevated risk situations that they're facing or because the Holyoke Public Schools is just having a hard time getting them to move forward.
I just want to say thank you to all of you for the work you do day in and day out trying to build our communities. So thank you, and have a great rest of the week. Have a great weekend. Hopefully. We see some of you on Saturday.

Shannon Burke
Holyoke Pediatrics Medical Home Care Coordinator

Carl Borden
Western Massachusetts Council, Scouting America - Membership Director for all four western counties of Massachusetts 413-594-9196 x 7003

Robin Siniaho
Teen Librarian Holyoke Public Librar

Miguel Arce
Springfield College, Social Work

Georgie Brown
OneHolyoke CDC

Brenda Evans
Good afternoon! Brenda D Evans, UMass Amherst SPHHS/ CCHER & HCRN.

Elisa Olivo

Sara Landaverde
YWCA of Western MA

Maria Pagan
Hello. This is Maria from the Holyoke Public Library.

Melishia Santiago
Good afternoon everyone, Melishia Santiago, STCC

Charlene Rivera
Holyoke Pediatrics Care Coordinator

Elisa Olivo
Parent child program Elisa olivo

Millie Ruiz
Wayfinders - Outreach Mobility Specialist

Arnaldo Garcia Jr
Outreach Marketing for WeCare 365 AFC

Dorothy Prieto
Enrollment Coordinator
Head Start & early Learning Programs
Cell 413-834-2564
Office 413-387-1234
Email me for a referral form or to set up a presentation for your staff/participants
Current openings in Head Start at Home program. Accepting apps for Fall center based programs.
Apply online (

Iris Sosa
outreach for Boys scout of America western mass council,, 413-594-9196 x 7030, 787-512-1375

Nia Johnson, Attorney Generals Office
Hi everyone! Nia Johnson, Western Mass Community Engagement Coordinator in the Office of Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell., #413-867-1619

Keishla Archeval
Digital Equity Coordinator, under the Community Building & Engagement Department with Way Finders., 413-507-1082

Shauna Dandy
Manager of the Pioneer Valley Walk to End Alzheimer's with the Alzheimer's Association, 617.393.2095 -

Abbie Germain
Western Mass MOMS 413-561-7413

Angela Kelly
Careforth - Adult Foster Care - a free benefit from MassHealth for caring for someone at home. We are state wide as well as in CT and RI. (619)606-6771 We care for the caregiver at home! Daily tax-free stipend and a care team to help navigate the world of caregiving.

James Maloney
Good afternoon everyone,
Assistant Director, Program Supervisor
Hope for Holyoke I 100 Suffolk Street I Holyoke, MA, 01040
Office:(413) 561-1020
Fax: 1-413-532-0306
Direct Line: (413) 315-5798
Ext: 5160

Robin Siniaho
Holyoke Public

Jennifer Yekel
MSPCC/Eliot in the survivor services program.

Jessica Marquez

Gloria Penagos
Outreach Specialist - - Holyoke Community College

Ruth Appiah Kubi
A doctoral researcher at UMASS Amherst

Madeline Martinez
Employment Support Service Manager at Wayfinders 413-233--1737

Arnaldo Garcia Jr
WeCare 365 AFC (508) 825-4871 e-mail:

Gabriela Santiago
Rewarding Insurance Agency -413-359-2741/413-359-2771

Jessica Marquez
LCSW Family Justice Advocates office (a department under the public defenders that represents children and parents in Care and Protection cases. 413-707-2070

David Robinson
VALOR Recovery Center
383 Worthington St, Springfield
Assistant Director

Angelique Rodriguez
Community Outreach & Admissions Counselor at Holyoke Community College. I meet with adult learners, non-traditional students, and agencies who serve them to support these students as they enroll in college. Please feel free to reach out to me at or 413.552.2243

Robin Siniaho
Is there a waiting list or how fast can someone get assistance?

Andrea Kennedy
Hello Alyssa! What about evictions? Can they be sealed? Or expunged?

Alyssa Golden
There is no waitlist, once someone applies, they generally hear from an attorney within 3-4 business days

Melany Mendoza Mass Mentoring Parnership
To the presenter: Do you partner with

Alyssa Golden
Unfortunately, eviction records can't be sealed or expunged, but I know people are working to push legislation about that issue!

Sheryl L Maldonado
AmeriCorps VISTA member Working at Way Finders as Residents Engagement Training VISTA. 413-386-6898. Working in Holyoke and Springfield 210 Elm St Holyoke and 1780 Main St Springfield.

Alyssa Golden
We don't officially partner with them, but we are often involved in the same events/meetings/etc.

Alyssa Golden
Here is my contact information: Alyssa Golden, Community Legal Aid CORI/Reentry Unit- 413-582-1377

Melishia Santiago
I have to go to another meeting. No updates from STCC. See you soon!

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
413-561-7413 We work with mothers and caregivers in Hoyoke and beyond. Please reach out and we can connect. I am happy to send you my flyer if you email me!

James Geraghty
Holyoke Mall - Advertising and Promotion. Get Hired Job Fair Event - Wednesday, September 18, 2024 - 1 PM to 5 PM. If interested in being a vendor at the event reach out - 617-840-2998,

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
As mentioned- the last day to enroll in Western Mass MOMS is June 30, 2024. Therefore, we are prepared to enroll folks immediately upon contacting us. 413-561-7413 CALL OR TEXT TODAY
Welcome Arnaldo!

Shannon Burke
Hi Arnaldo- welcome to the group

Caitlin Moran
Adolescent Sexual Health Program Manager at River Valley Counseling Center.

Marie-Ange Delimon
Tech Foundry’s Community Impact Manager, 413 276 0609 ext 103/

Cassie Giardina (she/hers) Rise Above Foundation
Community Outreach Manager at Rise Above Foundation- Rise Above supports youth in foster care by funding extracurricular activities, supporting young adults still involved with foster care transition into their first independent living situations, and providing young adults in foster care that are continuing their education with care packages!

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Welcome David!

Marissa Chiapperino
Registered Dietitian at Holyoke Medical Center. We offer free diabetes management classes. You do not have to have diabetes. The next 3-part series is being hosted at the Holyoke Senior center in July. I will attach the flyer here.

Dorothy Prieto
Enrollment Coordinator
Head Start & early Learning Programs
Cell 413-834-2564
Office 413-387-1234
Email me for a referral form or to set up a presentation for your staff/participants
Current openings in Head Start at Home program. Accepting apps for Fall center based programs.
Apply online (

Sandy Ward
volunteer, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass.

We advocate for consumer rights, provide Price Comparison Chart (funeral home prices) and encourage planning ahead. We answer questions from the public via email and a 24/7 voice-mail service (413-376-4747). No charge for our services.

Shannon Burke
I have to jump off for another meeting. Thanks for your time.

James Geraghty
Holyoke Mall Job Fair September 18, 2024 1 Pm to 5 PM

Georgie Brown
OneHolyoke CDC

Maryann Linnehan WMEC

James Geraghty
Tykes Tuesday July 9 through August 20th!

Heather MacInnes

Alyssa Golden
Thank you! We're happy to participate in any "CORI-friendly" job fair events!

Juan Anderson-Burgos (Rep. Duffy)
Hello Everyone! Juan Anderson-Burgos from Representative Duffy's office. I need to prepare for my next meeting. We have no updates but if you know anyone in Holyoke or Chicopee Ward 3 who are having issues with unemployment please send them our way.

Rafael Santos

Sheryl/WF/Resident Engagement
Open Door To know more what CBE do, come here

Dorothy Prieto
Thanks everyone I have to hop off a little early.

James Geraghty
FYI - Tykes Tuesday 2024 at Holyoke Mall - Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council!

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Welcome, Marie-Ange!! Tech Foundry is great!

Cassie Giardina (she/hers) Rise Above Foundation
Ed thank you as always for making this happen, and for everyone for sharing. I appreciate all of the work you are doing! I am off to another 2pm meeting. Be well!

Alyssa Golden
Thank you everyone, feel free to be in touch! Have a great afternoon.

Heather MacInnes
The Cub Scouts Pack 235 and Scouts BSA Girls Troop 5235 in Holyoke is looking for community service opportunities. They need to complete community service hours for their advancement and would like to volunteer their time to help out in the community. You can contact me at Heather MacInnes CubMaster/Scoutmaster for Cub Scout Pack 235 and Scout BSA Troop 5235

James Maloney
Overdose Awareness Vigil - August 31st
We're planning to send out some emails if your interested in joining the planning committee.
We also house...
Highway to Hope Detox Transportation Service
Gambling Ambassador Program
Assistant Director, Program Supervisor
Hope for Holyoke I 100 Suffolk Street I Holyoke, MA, 01040
(413) 561-1020
Fax: 1-413-532-0306
Direct Line: (413) 315-5798
Ext: 5160

Sheryl/WF/Resident Engagement
I need to go Thank you Ed, I put the flyers I was going to share Thanks everyone Bye

Madeline Martinez
I have another meeting to go too. I hope you all have a great afternoon.

Ruth Appiah Kubi
Thanks everyone! I have to leave for another meeting. I am recruiting Black/African American women for a study to understand their transportation experiences during prenatal care. Contact me on 774701003 if you are interested. Compensation is $225.

Brenda Evans
Nice to reconnect! I have to jump off for another meeting. Take care!

Sandy Ward
On Wednesday, June 26, I’ll be at the Holyoke Senior Center, (2 sessions: 10am; 2pm) to answer questions about funeral prices, how to save $, consumer rights and options re funerals & death care in MA. Free - open to all. Funeral Consumers Alliance of W. MA

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Welcome, Ruth!!

Marissa Chiapperino

Paula Santos-Young
Thank You Ed, for this amazing partnership within all of these amazing community leaders.. I have to get on a training now at 2:00 I look forward to the next meeting and collaborating with many of the community leaders

Edward Caisse
Agency Table:

Melany Mendoza Mass Mentoring Parnership
Manager of Community Engagement Mass Mentoring Partnership. On Saturday, July 20, from 10am-4pm, join Mass Mentoring Partnership at the Stoughton YMCA (445 Central St., Stoughton MA) for this FREE celebration of Black & brown Joy for our Mentoring Black and brown Girls & Femmes JoyFest Summit where we empower Black and brown women, girls, and femmes through wellness, self confidence and community building.

Art Lobdell
Holyoke Rotary
Are there any Juneteenth Celebrations in Holyoke? I have a flag if needed depending on timing

Melany Mendoza
Mass Mentoring Parnership

Sara Landaverde
the YWCA of Western MA. Email:
Work Cell: 413-319-2366

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Go Wayfinders!!

Nia Johnson, Attorney Generals Office

Caitlin Moran
wow what great events!!!!

Roger Hauck
Research Assistant UMass Amherst Psychology Department.

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Welcome Sara!
Welcome Shauna!

Shauna Dandy
Pioneer Valley Walk to End Alzheimer's - Sunday, October 20th at Holyoke Community College

Tammi Benson
United Way of Pioneer Valley. We: have food pantries in Springfield
(expanded hours in Springfield), Chicopee, and Holyoke; offer financial wellness
programs, host suicide prevention hotline ~ Call2Talk; manage the EFSP
(Emergency Food & Shelter Program) in Hampden County; host the VolunteerConnect portal for other non-profit agencies in need of volunteers; host an OnBoard series - we work to match potential board members to local non-profits. I can be reached at or 413-693-0200.

Abbie~Western Mass MOMS
Victoria, welcome!

Victoria Accorsi- UWPV
Community Outreach Associate at United Way Pioneer Valley. 413-

Andrea Kennedy
Thank you Ed for inviting Kiwanis of Greater Holyoke to this networking group. As Vice President of the club, I invite anyone to chat me about Kiwanis International, what we do and why we are here. And perhaps what Kiwanis can do for you?!
Andrea Levine Kennedy Real Estate Professional

Georgie Brown
I have to head out thanks everyone!

Angelique Rodriguez
Thank you Ed for these meetings!!!

Robin Siniaho
Thank you everyone!

Sara Landaverde
Thank you!

Arnaldo Garcia Jr
Thanks for the opportunity.

Angela Kelly
Thank you for a great meeting!

Gabriela Santiago
Thank you Ed and all for great information provided.

Shauna Dandy
Thank you!

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