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March 2023

Ed Caisse

March 9 2023

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: March 9, 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

Veronica Garcia: CEO of Latino Marketing Agency 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Hello everyone, thank you for this great opportunity, you are amazing Ed to put this together every month. Latino Marketing Agency, I would like to present who we are and what we do. This is our Executive Board, I am Veronica Garcia the CEO of Latino Marketing Agency, with me at this meeting Samalid Hogan, she is the Business Development Officer and Jennifer Osorio, she is the Director of Operations Sales and Marketing. I would like to turn the presentation over to Samalid, who will speak about the core of the business and who we are.

Samalid Hogan: Chief Business Development Officer
Thank you Veronica, good afternoon everyone as Veronica said my name Samalid Hogan. Our agency is woman owned and we were founded by Veronica Garcia and me back in late 2021, but all of last year we have great success working with other businesses. We are multicultural and bilingual, which means that our entire staff is bilingual, we all speak English and Spanish. We are also international; our staff represents several Latin countries including Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. Not only because we come from those countries but because we also have great professionals in those countries working with us remotely, which has given us that extension to those Latin countries to have access to resources there as well. Our whole team has 30 plus years of experience in marketing, video production, graphic design, and social media management. Our differentiator is the storytelling and the audio visual. When you see some of the videos that we can come up with, your jaw will drop, these are mini movies; it is not like a high school video that your friend will record with your iPhone. These are really great Hollywood quality productions that we are bringing here to Western Mass. We have a wide variety of clients from non-profit to for-profits, from larger organizations to smaller mom & pop type businesses. Some business that might jump out at you are Common Capital, Frontera Grill, Partners for Community, which is a local non-profit that provides many services for our community, and so on. What we do, as I said before, is audio-visual production, which also includes animated videos, web design, and digital marketing. With digital marketing, we go beyond your website, we go beyond your social media; we can also tap into the traditional media like radio stations and newspapers and make sure that your campaign reaches your target audience.

Veronica Garcia
Thank you Samalid, I would like to pass the presentation to Jennifer.

Jennifer Osorio: Director of Operations Sales and Marketing
Hello everybody, good day, nice to meet you all. One of the things we would like to bring to your attention and share with you is that Latino Marketing Agency has Viviendo Sin Limites which is a production of one of our brands that we work with. We are currently hosting an event on June 3rd, it is a women’s conference and it is Emocionalmente Sanos, which means emotionally healthy. Our goal here is to provide resources and tools to help uplift women finding inner strength and healing. We will be having guest speakers, resources with health information that we would be providing. We would like to invite you all either to help with sponsorship or join us the day of the event. Anybody who would like information, please email or contact Veronica, she has put her information in the chat, but we would love to have you connect with us one way or another. I want to recap that we offer a free 30 minute consultation, for anybody who might be interested in any of our services. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any information or need that you might have. We thank you for the time you’ve given us and look forward to either hearing from you or working with you. Thank you

Veronica Garcia
If anybody has any questions for us about who we are, what we do, please reach out to us, or maybe we can answer your questions in the couple of minutes we have left. Thank you very much.

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

Adair Medina: Holyoke Pediatrics
Hi, I’m Adair Medina, I am one of the Care Coordinators here at Holyoke Pediatrics and I have nothing new to share.

Art Lobdell: Boy Scouts of America
Art Lobdell, Boy Scouts of America and learning for life, just wanted to share that we have completed our re-registration of all of our youth and we are up 20% in youth enrollment from where we were last year. That is in our whole Western Massachusetts region. We are still trying to find partners to engage in Holyoke but the program is thriving elsewhere. Now is the time to get involved, perhaps we can get some Holyoke kids to be able come out to our summer camp with us this summer? We also have the monthly activity that happens at our camp called Warnaco Heights Outdoor Adventures that is a single day program on one Saturday a month where they have the opportunity to do all of our programs. I am sure you’ll hear later on from my associate Heather, who will talk to you about the Explore Opportunities and how those are growing very quickly, thank you.

Alijah Leombruno: Eliot MSPCC
I am an In Home Therapy Supervisor with Eliot MSPCC over on Sullivan Rd. in Holyoke. We currently have very short wait-lists for our therapeutic mentoring program and in-home therapy. You can make a referral on our website,

Ana Gerena: Girls Inc. of the Valley
Hello everyone, good afternoon. My name is Ana Gerena I am with Girls Inc. of the Valley. If you are not familiar Girls Inc. is a supplemental education program that goes into schools and provides after school programs for youth age 5 to 18+ currently. I am here to talk about our Eureka program; it is our five year college and career readiness program that focuses on STEM. It begins the summer before a youth’s 8th grade year and provides them with support throughout all high school. We are currently accepting 7th graders, 8th graders, and 9th graders for registration. If you work with youth or have a child that’s interested, please present them with this opportunity. They do not need to be currently engaged in any STEM activities, if they are just interested and want to learn more and get really great college readiness skills, we partner with UMass Amherst for the first two years. They go over to that campus and get lessons from real professors, and then the following three years they get support with getting into to college and getting those credits. If you have any questions you can reach out to me, I put my information in the chat and I will also include the flyers in the chat. It is a great program, we are really looking for youth to sign up, so if you know any that might be interested please encourage them to apply. Thank you.

Angelimarie (Angie) Mercado-Santana:
My name is Angie; I am the new advisor for Community Education Project (CEP). At this time we are continuing to do the ESOL class for the Latino population, as well as the GED classes in the morning.

Ashley Jediny: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Hi everyone, hi Ed, Ashley Jediny, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. I am the program coordinator for our post-overdose outreach team and I also coordinate the Hampden County Addiction Task Force with the District Attorney’s Office. I don’t have any updates on my end but I did want to share, All Inclusive Support Services (AISS) is having their graduation and celebration of recovery on April 13th from 5pm to 8pm. It is open to providers, community members, and graduates of AISS so if anyone is interested, please reach out and I can share the flyer. Thanks Ed.

Barbara Droz: Wayfinders
Hi everyone, I’m Barbie Droz from Wayfinders. I am the resident service coordinator for the Holyoke portfolio. I have nothing to report today. Thanks for having me here Ed.

Bianca Frederick: RFK Community Alliance
Hi everyone, I’m Bianca from RFK Community Alliance with the Aim Mentoring Program. Right now we don’t have any updates.

Brenda Evans: UMass Amherst school of Public Health and Public Health Science
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Brenda Evans; I am the community research liaison at the Center for Community Health Equity Research at the UMass Amherst school of Public Health and Public Health Science. I do not have any updates or announcements.

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Hi everybody Bill Courchesne, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. I am the Ward 6 Neighborhood Coordinator for the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative, nothing to report at this time.

Brandon Dumas: Odyssey House
Hi folks, I’m Brandon, I work for the Odyssey House Clubhouse out of Holyoke. For those if you that are not familiar with Clubhouses, we are a vocational rehab program for individuals diagnosed with mental health disabilities. We primarily focus on helping folks find employment, educational resources, and housing resources. We also help with some different structural needs. I don’t have much to report for today. I will put my information in the chat if anyone would like to reach out if they may have a client that is interested. Thank you.

Brett Fortin: U.S. Department of Labor: OSHA
Hi, good afternoon everybody, my name is Brett Fortin and I work for the U.S. Department of Labor: OSHA. One of the update we are giving is as we start to move closer to the summer months we are available for outreach efforts for organizations that work with teen workers that are going to be entering the workforce. We give presentations on how to stay safe, how to avoid situations that could lead to injury, and their rights that are afforded to them underneath those programs. Thank you for your time.

Caitlin Goodbrake: BHN
Hi everybody my name is Caitlin Goodbrake, I work for BHN, Behavioral Health Justice Involved Program and I am a care navigator here. I wanted to give information on the Justice Involved Program. It is an intensive outreach program that helps adults who are justice involved, Mass Health Eligible, or have Mass Health, and have a history of mental health and substance use diagnoses. Our goal is to bridge the gap between people getting out of jail or prison on probation or parole and connect them to the services they need to ensure they are successful. We are currently accepting referrals if you want more information about that I put my info in the chat. Thank you for your time.

Molly-Jane Thomas: Community Legal Aid
Hello, Molly-Jane Thomas, my pronouns are she/her. I am a staff attorney at Community Legal Aid in Springfield, and we also serve the Holyoke area. I am filling in for Corrine Ryan today, but you might remember her. We are the civil legal services organization that serves all of Central and Western Mass. I am in the education unit and we mainly work with students that a have Special Ed and IEPs, as well as, students that have school discipline issues or issues with bullying. There are a lot of kids out there struggling with mental health that is really affecting their success in school and having overlap with child welfare in a variety of different agencies. Thanks so much everyone for being here.

Denise Kelly-latchet: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Hello, Denise Kelly-Latchet from the District Attorney’s Office, I have nothing to report right now. Thanks Ed.

Elizabeth Veillette: CHD
Hi everyone I am the employment specialist navigator with CHD’s Diversion Shelter and Housing Division. I work with individuals who live in EA shelters to attain training employment and combat the barriers that keep them away from that. I don’t have any updates but I wanted to thank everyone for sharing so generously, through the emails you have sent so many things that have been of huge value to my residents. Thank you all so much.

Frank Martinez: Enlace de Familias
Hello, Frank Martinez here, Executive Director of Enlace de Familias, I have a few things to share. One is that our Community Empowerment Lab, which is a youth entrepreneurship program with internships, is still looking for candidates to join. It’s broken up into three parts, you have internships, a build your business portion, and then we are doing a comic book which they are going to be able to publish and sell and earn money from at the end of the summer. We pay each student around a $100 stipend a week and then we give them a prize at the end and they will be able to sell their products at any event that comes up. We also have a partnership with Wayfinders and helping them out with their RAFT applications for anybody who is interested in applying for RAFT or utility assistance you can send them our way. If they don’t qualify for Wayfinders , we also have additional funding to be able to help them on our end because Wayfinders does require that some cases have specific letters form their landlords and if they don’t have any of that we can help them out in other ways. Lastly, we do have steering committee for a community connections program and we are looking for member partners to join the steering committee. What the steering committee does is they approve the budget for community connections to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, its 75% residents and 25% partners. Again our food initiative is every Saturday we have been held up because of snow coming on Saturdays but I don’t think there will be that much this Saturday, so if anybody needs food they can either stop by any day during the week and every Saturday. We also provide them with food and our address is 299 Main St, if anyone is interested I know Ed sends everything out with the information you need to contact me.

Gloria Penagos: Holyoke Community College
Thank you so much, Gloria Penagos from Holyoke Community College. Holyoke Community College and the Culinary Institute are offering free job trainings. We have line cook for a hotel, Nurse Aid, and about ten more. You can also check online, where you will find everything there. When I have the opportunity to present I will give you all the information. I am so glad that I joined this meeting, thank you so much.

Heather MacInnes: Boy Scouts of America Western Massachusetts
Hello my name is Heather MacInnes; I work with multiple parts of the Boy Scouts of America Western Mass council. I am also the advisor for the Aviation Explorer group where we have exploratory programs for ages 10 to 20 years old. We teach them life skills, we have some programs available for aviation, lifesaving staff, communication, and trade skills. We are working on partnerships with other communities to have one for law enforcement and the fire department. These are similar to trade skills that you would do hands on with the youth. For example, with my aviation program they are learning how to become pilots, so we are instilling leadership skills and to be leaders in our community, and it is the same for the other trade skills. We are also working on getting partners in healthcare as well. My contact information is in the chat and you can reach out to me.

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America Western Massachusetts
Hello everyone I am Iris Sosa and I also work with Boy Scout of America Western Massachusetts outreach program. Like Art Lobdell and Heather mentioned we are always looking for partnerships with different agencies, we have different aged youth, for example Cub Scouts is age’s kindergarten to 5th grade. If anyone needs any information just contact us, I put my information in the chat, as well as the link for the program that Art talked about and the link for summer camp. If any family is looking for scouting but needs Spanish translation or information just let me know and I would be more than happy to help them too. Thank you.

Israel Rivera: Families First
Hey everyone, good afternoon, thanks Ed. I am the interim regional manager at Families First. We offer parenting programs for parents that have youth between the ages of birth to 8. There are two different curriculums 0-3 and 3-8. We also have an extension to that; it’s the parent leadership program. This Tuesday we will be graduating 20 parents from the parent leadership program at Enlace de Familias thanks to Frank, they allowed us to use their space. March 29th we are launching a program called the Power of Parenting again, it’s at Donahue School. We have another 3 programs that we will be launching throughout the month of April as well, so I am looking for help recruiting and getting parents registered for the programming. We are fairly new in Western Mass but we have already graduated about five to six different cohorts and the parents that are involved have become somewhat of a family. It’s grown a larger network, similar to what you guys are doing here but in regards to parenting, where they chat about how they can share resources. I am going to share that flyer in the chat so if anyone wants to register any parents or has any ideas of registering any parents we do programming in Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield so feel free to reach out. Thank you.

Jason Comcowich: Nuestras Raices
Hello, I’m Jason Comcowhich from Nuestras Raices; I have a couple things to announce. We are partnering with Mass in Motion, Holyoke Housing Authority, Food Core, Sullivan School, and NOFA to bring back some community gardens in Jarvis Heights and Beaudoin Village. We are looking for community groups who might be interested in hosting a youth gardening program there. We will have some community plots available for youth organizations, especially if they would like to serve the youth residents there. We are also partnering with SESA and NOFA to do a community soil testing day April 15th at a lot of our community gardens, so if anybody wants to learn about different issues of legacy pollutants or soil health and microbiota, or nutrient levels, come by that day. I will have more details within a week or two so anybody can reach out to me for that. We are also doing a Serve Safe class here, March 23rd through the 25th. Class is on the 23rd and the 24th in the evenings and testing is in the morning on the 25th. Its only $75 for the class and test which is a really good deal, so if you know anyone who is looking to get their Serve Safe manager certification feel free to direct them my way, my email is in the chat. That is all for today, thank you.

Jenna Stadulis: CPCS
Hi everyone my name is Jenna; I work for CPCS in their Springfield Youth Advocacy division. I am filling in for Krista Gale today, but we do not have any updates.

Jennifer Santos: Way Finders
Hi, my name is Jennifer Santos and I am a system navigator for Way Finders in our Emergency Assistance Shelter portfolio. There aren’t any new updates besides that we are at full capacity. I am here trying to gather information to assist our families with resources to be able to place them in their own home.

Jessie Berliner: MHA Grit Yale Street House
Hello there, my name is Jessie Berliner; my pronouns are she/they. I am a Care Coordinator at MHA’s Grit Yale Street House; we are a residential recovery home for folks with co-occurring disorder in the LGBTQ community. I have nothing further to report.

Joanna Berube: Way Finders
Hello, good afternoon, I am Joanna I work at Wayfinders also in the rental assistance department, so I assist voucher holders in upward economic mobility. I am here today to gather resources, so thank youu everybody for sharing.

Joanne Gilman: Elliot MSPCC
Hi everyone I’m Joanne Gilman, I’ve been reporting to this program for several years now as a representative of MSPCC and I have been reporting about in-home therapy and other services that we are giving. I am now with a new department; one of the reports that were given earlier was by Alijah, our new supervisor who is taking over what I was doing previously. Today I would like to talk about the Survivor Services program which I am now a part of. This is a free and confidential service for individuals, families, and for the community to promote the recognition and understanding of the recovery of the impact from trauma victimization. The main shift this is important to know is that we are viewing people as being survivors rather than victims, as our model of care. We are a flexible and adaptable program, we are individualized and strength based, culturally competent, and trauma-informed. The other piece that is important is that our program is federally funded so the clients do not have to have insurance. One of the things that I have already put into the chat is that we are starting a DBT skills group for high-school aged survivors and I put the information for people who would like to learn more about this. It’s going to be a fun and voca-funded group held weekly starting April 5th on Wednesdays at 4:30pm. As I said the information and contact is in the chat and I look forward to talking more about the survivor services program in weeks to come.

Caitlin Littleton: River Velley Counseling Center
Hi everyone I’m Caitlin Littleton, I use her/them pronouns. I am taking over for Laura Banks, who I believe some of you may know as the Adolescent Sexual Health program manager at River Valley Counseling Center. I am kind of hitting the ground running so thanks for having me.

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
Hello everyone, I’m Officer Josh Colon from the Holyoke Police Department, working out of 208 Race St. At the moment we have no updates, thank you Ed.

Kate Pousont Scarborough: Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Hi everyone my name’s Kate Pousont Scarborough I am happy to be with you for the first time today. I am the new agency recruitment coordinator at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, I don’t have any updates for today but if you do have a meal site or a food pantry or are offering food in a short-term sheltering situation and you would like to connect with us for some more resources, please reach out to me, my contact information is in the chat. Thank you.

Kevin Noonan: El Colibri
I’m with El Colibri we are continuing with our quest to start a shelter for single women who are on the streets of Holyoke but so far no success and I have nothing else to report. Thank you Ed, I didn’t realize you have been doing this since 2011, thank you for doing that.

Lani Ortiz: DIAL Self America
Hi everyone my name’s Lani I use she/her pronouns. I am the community coordinator at DIAL Self America Program. Our office is in Greenfield but we have members serving all throughout Western Mass. Our program is a 10 month program where members serve and support the youth in the community. They are serving at local schools or non-profit agencies. Throughout their time they are building professional and personal development skills as we have weekly trainings. They receive a living stipend as well as an education award which is nice for those that want to go to college and whatnot. They also build a lot of community connections through collaborations, it is a wonderful program for those 18 and up, are U.S. citizens, and have their high school diploma or GED. If you have anyone that wants to experience something new and build on their community that they already have, please reach out and I will put my information in the chat.

Laurie Dimock: Hartsprings Foundation
Hi everybody, I’m Laurie Dimock and I am the community development director for Hartsprings Foundation, we are a local non-profit dedicated to making a positive impact in our community as well as the environment. If you haven’t already heard of us, our organization collects donations of unwanted clothing , textiles, housewares, and all kinds of other things to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as other local non-profits in our community partnership program . If you have an organization that is interested in an easy way to fundraise for your agency or program feel free to reach out to me. I am going to post my email in that chat, thank you for your time.

Liandro Gonzalez: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Hello everybody, Liandro Gonzalez, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the Holyoke Police Community Center. I have nothing to report at this time.

Lydia Pares: Big Brothers Big Sisters
Hi everybody, my name is Lydia Pares I’m with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our missions is to create and support one on one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and the promise of youth. If anyone wants to become a volunteer feel free to reach out. Also if you have any children ages 7 to 14 that you feel would benefit from having a mentor you can also reach out, I will put my information in the chat. Have a good day.

Maria Chambers: BHN
Hi everyone, my name’s Maria Chambers I use she/her pronouns. I am a senior program manager at BHN overseeing our community partners’ programs. No updates today, thanks.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library
Hi Ed and hi everybody, my name is Maria Pagan I’m the director of the Holyoke Public Library. As a follow up to last month’s meeting I am going to be in contact with some of the agencies in regards to the grant that we received to do a community partnership and collaboration with as many organizations as possible to help our children and their families be successful in school, their health, and their welfare. We have many programs coming between now and April. We have several authors coming to the library to talk about different subjects; one is about the Quabbin Reservoir, another is about a children’s book about a canine and bullying. We also have the “Softer Side of Celtic Music” happening at the library within the next few days. Along with many other programs that we have at the library we are also have videogames for gamers so they can practice and play with each other in a safe environment. We are also looking forward to the Mini golf event that will be happening in April. I hope that many of you will contact me to be partners with the library in order to ensure that the partnership is a success in helping everybody in the Holyoke community. Thank you Ed and thank you everybody.

Marisol Aliciea: MetroCare of Springfield
Hello everyone, my name’s Marisol I am the program director here at MetroCare of Springfield. We are a unique adult foster care service that has been underutilized. We are a state-funded program that services members 16 and over who cannot live safely on their own due to medical, physical, or cognitive disabilities so they need assistance with activities and daily living. We provide caregiver, a non-taxable stipend every month so they can take care of their loved ones financially, we have nursing oversight, and case-management oversight. We also have a service coordinator who will help these members get a PCP, food, housing, and anything else they need. They should have Mass Health standard but that doesn’t stop me if they don’t, I will make sure that they have the resources that they need. We also have skilled nursing, we have a hands off nursing sector and a hands on skilled nursing; we also provide mental health services. We are taking members, my name and contact information is in the chat, if you need assistance with anyone in the community I am here to help.

Marissa Chiapperino: Holyoke Medical Center
Hello I’m Marissa Chiapperino, registered dietitian at Holyoke Medical Center in our community navigation department. The biggest things I have going on right now are our free diabetes classes. The last class of this cycle will be next Wednesday (3/15) at one o’clock at the Chicopee Senior Center and then we will restart the cycle again in April at Holyoke Senior Center. These are free and you don’t have to be a senior center member or somebody with diabetes, just wanting to know more and support is also welcome. I will include that flyer in the chat.

Meghan Williams: Atlas Farm
My name is Meghan Williams, I’m with Atlas Farm up in Deerfield but we have been coming down to Holyoke for the past two years selling vegetables with our Blue Mobile Market. We accept EBT and we are a HIP vendor. We are looking for new partner organizations; we are hoping to be in Holyoke two to three days a week this year, that’s as many as twelve different stops a week. Folks or organizations that want to host the market and give us a place to park, help educate about HIP , join us at a stop and have a table, or even some youth employment opportunities, I put my information in the chat, so please reach out.

Miguel Arce: Springfield College
Good afternoon, Miguel Arce from Springfield College Department of Social Work, nothing new to report but the extended offer to speak with anyone about continuing higher education opportunities. Thank you Ed for all you do.

Nancy Alvarado: CHD
Hi my name is Nancy Alvarado, I’m a DV Services navigator through the Center for Human development, CHD, and I work with EA families in shelters and provide DV service for them such as referrals, safety checks, and things like that. Nothing to report, but I want to let you all know that I appreciate you so much, I am learning so much in these meetings. The resources that you all are reporting, I am sharing them with staff and clients alike, so thank you all.

Danielle Hartner: CHD
I am the clinical director for EA shelter system, nothing new to report except that I know everyone knows about the EA shelters. There are no spots available for folks that are in hotels that are waiting to get into shelter placement. I think the DHCD is trying to get a better handle on it but there is no telling what is going to happen with the fluctuation of numbers.

Nayroby Rosa: OneHolyoke CDC
Hi everyone, good afternoon, I’m Nayroby Rosa from OneHolyoke CDC, I’m the Director of Community Engagement. A couple things that we are doing this month; we have a first time home buyers informational session tomorrow in the flats is anybody is interested. I put the flyer in the chat if anyone is interested in signing up. As Frank mentioned, we are collaborating for our parents support group “Raising Bilingual Children”. We’ll have the UMass team there with free childcare and after the cooking group we’ll be offering the support group. We have our vaccine clinics, we are continuing our vaccine efforts, and we have a clinic on March 13th at Key Foods. We are also going to be hosting Bingo for books at Kelly School at the end of March; all of those flyers will be in the chat. One thing I wanted to mention is that we will again be host the “I Can Be Anything I Want to Be” career exploration at Kelly School and I am looking for companies and organizations that can be at the school to tach the kids about your job and what you do for work. Holyoke Police Department and the fire department were there last year, and Holyoke Community College is going, so we need more people teaching the kids. All the kids will pass through each grade to get to know what the jobs are and then we open it up to parents who are looking for work from 4pm to 6pm. People can sign up to be there all day or for half a day, depending on what they can do. All the flyers will be in the chat, thank you Ed.

Richard Guy: Behavioral Health Justice Involved Program
Good afternoon everybody, it’s great to be here. I’ve been trying to get into this meeting forever, there just been a schedule conflict. I would like to piggy back on what Caitlin Goodbrake said a little earlier regarding BHJI. I happen to be the director, I work with her and three other care navigators providing extensive outreach services for that justice involved in Hampden County. We recently celebrated our first year of operation; we have gone from one care navigator and zero clients, to four care navigators, 65 active clients, and a small waiting list. I can also add that two of the four care navigators are bilingual and the program is for male and female justice involved adults, those that are incarcerated and coming out or in the community on parole and probation, pre-trial individuals are eligible as well. It is a voluntary program, we don’t deny anybody, and we hope to double our program in the next 12 months. For those that are old school like me, I don’t expect the care navigators to be available 24/7 but I am and I am happy to help. I have bene in community corrections on the evidence based side for thirty-years and I am finding this program to be the ultimate safety net I wish I had through the years to work with my particular programs in the community. This is a great resource, I’m blown away by the resources and the participation, and I should have given up that state meeting months ago, thanks very much, thank you Ed.

Roxanne Cotton: Mont Marie
Hi, I’m Roxanna Cotton, Director of Admissions at Mont Marie; I also do the community marketing. We are in the process of putting together a cookout at our facility for the first responders. I will send out a flyer with that date that we will be hosting it, so if anyone wants to jump in and help that would be great to get as much participation as we can. We are also looking for a couple of artists who could come in and interview our residents who have dementia and then they take that information that they gathered and do some type of art project that we would like to do an art show with. I can send you the information for the as well Ed. We are opening our facility to hold meetings for local agencies; we have a lot of room here at Mont Marie, so if you’re interested please get a hold of me. We also have job fairs that we hold weekly; we are hiring nurses, nurse’s aides, dietary, and other positions; we are trying to keep our ears open for employees. Our life enrichment department is looking for volunteers to volunteer with doing activities for residents as well.

Sandy Ward: Holyoke Public Library
Thanks Ed, I’m glad Maria mentioned the mini golf is coming up in April, its way ahead on April 29th. I put a link in the chat where you can find out how to sponsor or volunteer, we really could use sponsors, people who would like to promote their business or agency and make creative obstacles or decorations on part of the course. It’s a wonderful family friendly event we have had more than 350 people play through on that one day of the mini golf, so it is a great exposure. If you are decorating a hole the set-up is on the 28th, the Friday night before and I will be in charge of coordinating that set up so I sure could use some volunteers then. Thank you very much.

Sarah Lynn: MSPCC Prevention
Hi everybody, Sarah Lynn from MSPCC Prevention. We are actively taking referrals for Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers. We have a great event coming up from our fathers and families network, we are partnering with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and Helix Human Services. We are having a talk on “Fatherhood, Parenting, and Incarceration: A Father’s View from the Inside Out” and a resource fair for re-entry. We are doing this in person at Mill Street. We are still looking for a few more vendors to provide resources for dads who are currently incarcerated and getting ready for re-entry. There will also be a great panel discussion for the second hour of this, so if you are interested in being a vendor please reach out to me, my email’s in the chat, thanks so much.

John McCarthy: USCIS
John McCarthy, I’m with USCIS community relations, I work out of the Boston office. One point of interest this week, there are presentations on the CHNV, the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan Process that just started with USCIS. Those presentations are coming up on Saturday the 25th of March from 11 am to 12:30 pm and they will be hosted by the Worcester Public Library. There will be a repeat of it on Wednesday evening, the 29th of March from 6 to 7:30 in the evening. For anyone who is interested in attending, simply go to the Worcester Public Library events calendar and go to the date and time of the event, click on the event, and register to attend. I have put that and my contact information into the chat.

Yajaira Marquez: CFCE
Hi everybody I’m Yajaira Marquez, I work with CFCE, the Holyoke and Chicopee Community Program and Head Start is our lead agency. The only thing I wanted to say is that we do have play groups going on in the community. We do Mondays at 9:30 am for anyone who works with families 0 to 5 and are interested, go to the Westover Head Start location in Chicopee. We are at the Holyoke Library, every Tuesday at 9:30 in the morning for anyone that works with families who have nothing to do and want to go in for a playgroup. I will send the flyers in the chat, thank you.

Sasha Viands: Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
Hi everyone, Sasha Viands, she/her pronouns. I am the community outreach coordinator for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. We have a couple of updates- folks may or may not have worked with Caesar Cruz who was our outreach specialist here, he is no longer working with Planned Parenthood so we are hiring for a community outreach specialist here in Western Mass and I will drop the job description in the chat. Additionally we are also looking for an outreach manager for the state as I have accepted a role within the organization as the associate director for equity initiatives, so we have a couple of openings here. We are also bracing for the mifepristone decision in Texas right now, so we haven’t quite gotten anything down from our national affiliates. As it stands right now the use of mifepristone for managing medication abortion is still legal here in Massachusetts and will remain that way until further notice. We have also expanded our prep for minors in the state as well, so if anyone has questions about that you can feel free to reach out to me- I am dropping my email and phone number in the chat. We can also present to any staff or groups that you think would benefit from our services or information. We have merged with our education department so we can host parent groups, including young parents, already parenting parents, and expecting parents. We can also coordinate material drop-offs for your respective organizations for things like condoms, dental dams, lube, informational packets, information about our counseling and referral hotline, as well as patient navigation to coordinate with services. I think that is all, thank you so much for having me, good to see you all.

Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court
Good afternoon everybody, Sean McBride, the Chief probation officer here in Holyoke. I have nothing to report, but thank you for allowing me to attend.

Marisol Guevara: Springfield College
Hello everyone, Marisol Guevara from Springfield College. I have wonderful news to announce, we have just added two certificate programs at the undergrad level. One is in Gerontology and the other one is a certificate in Speech-Language Pathology. We are also announcing partnerships with many of the organizations that are represented here today. If you work for any of these organizations you qualify for a $5,000 to $10,000 grant towards the tuition of any of our degree programs. I put down the information on this in the chat. Organizations such as CHD, BHN, YMCA, Community Action Partnership, Headstart, Gandara, New North Citizen Council, Valley Health Systems, Mental Health Association, Cities of Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee, Public schools in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, VOC, Helix Human Services, NEBA, ServiceNet, Square One, Westover Job Corps. These organizations have partnerships in Western Mass with Springfield College because their missions are very similar to the degree programs that we offer. We are now offering online degrees at the Masters level and at the undergrad level as well as hybrid with course on the weekends and in the evenings. Your training certificates from work that you have done can be converted into credits towards your undergrad degrees to accelerate the process of getting the degree and to save money. We are hosting a face-to-face open house on March 18th, it is a Saturday, from 10 to 11:30. I put my information in the chat so please contact me if you are interested in attending. We are also having a virtual event on April 1st, we are now enrolling students for the summer and fall, so if you have been thinking about going back to school this is a great time especially if you work for any of the partnership organizations. We will provide additional funding to go through this process and get the position and pay that you deserve. Thank you Ed, I did send you the flyer where they can sign up, hopefully you can forward that to everyone and they can have the opportunity to sign up for any of our online information sessions. Thank you.

Sunibel Guerrero: The Community Education Project
Hi, my name is Sunibel Guerreo, I am the office administrator from The Community Education Project. We offer ESOL and HiSET classes. For the moment we do not have any updates, thank you.

Sylvia Ruiz:
Hi everyone, it has been quite some time since I have been here and I wear two hats today. My first one is I am an Account Executive with Fallon Health, I work with the senior population 65 and older. We are a health insurance program that have very rich and robust benefits, so please reach out to me- my information is in the chat. I am looking to connect and to be able come in and do some presentations and education so that our youngsters of yesterday all have a free educational option and know what their options are. My second hat that I wear- I am one of the founding board members of She’s Local. I helped create Metrowest Conference for women, I also created Central Mass Conference for Women which I am actually the chair of. I also was the one who brought Pioneer Valley conference for Women together. We will be having the conference on May 4th at the Marriott Springfield in downtown. If you have not seen any information on that please check out and click on the Pioneer Valley Conference for Women. It is going to be an amazing event. I look forward to meeting a lot of you, like I said I am back in Holyoke so looking really to network. Ed, thank you again for having me and I am so thankful that you are still having this group- this is amazing.

Victor Machado: Homework House
Hi my name is Victor Machado, I am Face Coordinator at the Homework House. Homework House is a free tutoring program. We support kids from the ages of 6 to 12. If you are interesting in tutoring, please reach out to us. Thank you.

Yadaris Rivera: Holyoke Housing Authority
Hi, nothing other than what I just posted in the chat to report. Just getting registrations ready for our first time homebuyer’s classes.

Rosalee Williams: Ward 2 School Committee
Hi everyone, I am excited about what I’ve heard today- I am very happy. I have been on the school committee for 8 years and I am also a volunteer- I go into the schools to teach the kids arts and crafts. I got a call from Mr. Gates from Dean Tech, he wants me to set up a day where I can come in and do some of the work that I have shown him that I can do. I also write children’s poems and I never knew I had the talent until now so I am going to run it by you real quick- I wrote, “A book can save the day, when the parade is over, why not rhyme? Coloring books, the circus comes to town, you never outgrow your need to read, cupcakes, my little butterflies, flowers, and if flowers could talk”. I am a down to earth on hand person, although this is my ward all of the schools belong to me. So I am happy, thank you Ed for having me today and god bless you guys, all of you.

Melany Mendoza: Western Mass Mentoring Partnership
My name is Melany Mendoza, I represent Western Mass Mentoring partnership which is a statewide organization. I work in Western Mass, I am the manager of community engagement dedicated to fostering strong relationships with the community members and particularly with youth development organizations and schools. As a statewide organization we are committed to ensure that every person in the state has access to quality mentoring relationships. We network with over 300 organizations throughout the state. Additionally, we host networking meetings quarterly for youth development organizations, so we try to bring speakers and small trainings. We have a lot to offer so I invite you to go to our website; I will put it in the chat soon. Thank you so much to those who were with me on Tuesday, we had a meeting at Holyoke Public Library and we have about 40 organizations there. It was beautiful, thank you.

Edward Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
I sent out a flyer a while ago regarding our upcoming back to school event, so I just wanted to throw that out there. I think it is going to be our 11th or 12th annual, it is going to be August 19th from 11 to 3 at McNally Field. It is our big community event; we partner with the Holyoke Public Schools and many other agencies and give away 2500 backpacks to the kids. We fill the day with food and activities, so if you are able to join us- more information will come forward. I’ll send you guys more information as we get closer. We need about 300 volunteers to actually drive the day, we really like to try and get the volunteers from the agencies, so it’s a good team building day- all the agencies working together.

Thank you so much for joining us, hopefully I’ll see you guys next month. I will say this- I was on a conversation with someone regarding the importance of us finding out about what resources are in our community, so I do want to let you know that we are aggressively trying to find additional service providers out there that we can make contact with and hopefully bring to the networking meeting and get that information out to everybody so that when we do have youth and families that need to get connected to resources we will be able to have those resources available. I did send out to all of you guys when we did our Holyoke Hub data analysis on our first 22 situations, which was about 3 or 4 months ago, we are getting ready to do a data analysis. We are up to 40 situations that have come through the Holyoke Hub, so when we get that data analysis complete I will get it out to you. What I like about it is it really demonstrates and shows us all the situations that got referred to the table, exactly what the risk factors are. That helps us look for what agencies we really need to do some more recruitment with. Here’s an example, so there is a lot of mental health agencies out there and like someone said about housing earlier that all the housing units are at capacity so a lot of times there is a waiting list for agencies. Sometimes it is important for us to have maybe 3 or 4 agencies that have a specific resources especially if that is a resource where agencies have long waiting lists, like in the mental health field. I just wanted to throw that out there and as soon as we get the report complete I will get it out to all you guys so you can look it over. When we do send the report out if you have any feedback or ideas, if you think we should look at tracking some additional data, but the data that is there you’ll see the data points that we look at. What was really important for many of us is the data around the risk factors, so we know exactly which agencies we really have to target and bring to the table. That is all I have for today, hopefully we will see you guys next month. If you know of a resource agency that is not at this table, if you would consider inviting them, that would be appreciated, I hope you have a nice day, hopefully we see you next month. Next month is going to be on April 13th.

Chat Notes:
Jennifer Santos
Jennifer Santos- System Navigator- Way Finders

Frank Martinez
Enlace de Familias de Holyoke, , 413-532-9300

Sylvia Ruiz
Sylvia Ruiz, Fallon Health NaviCare, 508-353-5544 Senior Care Options

Bill Courchesne
Bill Courchesne HSCD HSNI Ward 6 NW 413-858-0015

Heather MacInnes
Heather MacInnes
Heather MacInnes -Boy Scouts of America Western Mass Council and Exploring Program-

Marisol Alicea - MetroCare of Springfield
Marisol Alicea, MetroCare of Springfield, Adult Foster Care Program, 413-729-449
Sorry! I forgot to share my email. Marisol Alicea, MetroCare of Springfield, Adult Foster Care, 413-729-4499,
Thank you all!!

Marisol Guevara Neal
Marisol Guevara Neal from Springfield College
Springfield College is offering $5,000 to $10,000 grants towards the tuition of bachelor or master's degrees for staff working with partnership agencies. These agencies are: CHD, BHN, YMCA, CAP, Head Start, Gandara, New North Citizen Council, Valley Health Systems, Mental Health Assoc., Cities of Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee, Public schools in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, VOC, Helix Human Services, NEBA, ServiceNet, Square One, and Westover Job Corps. We are hosting an on campus open house for those interested in bachelor's degree programs online, being held on Saturday March 18th from 10 am to 11:30 am Please contact Marisol at 4137483624 or email me at

Sarah Lynn-MSPCC Prevention
Sarah Lynn- MSPCC Prevention
Josh Colon
Officer Josh Colon Holyoke Police Dept.

Brett Fortin
Brett Fortin, U S Department of Labor-Occupational Safety and Health Administration Springfield Area Office,

Yajaira Marquez
Yajaira Marquez, HCS Head Start/ CFCE

Probation Officer Marian Vazquez
Marian Vazquez/Probation Officer

Jenna Stadulis
Jenna Stadulis-Committee for Public Counsel Services YAD

Caitlin Littleton (they/she)
Caitlin Littleton, Adolescent Sexual Education Program Manager at River Valley Counseling Center
Thank you all!

Alexy Alicea
Alexy Alicea, Valley Opportunity Council:

Yadaris Rivera
Hello everyone, Yadaris Rivera here from Holyoke Housing Authority.
You can go into our website and register on line for our First time home buyer classes If you should have any other questions you can reach Ms. Vivian Rodriguez at 413 539 2220 ext. 219 her email is

Víctor Machado
Victor Machado, Face Coordinator at Homework House,
Welcome Gloria!

Miguel Arce
Miguel Arce, Department of Social Work, Springfield College,

Alijah Leombruno-Eliot-MSPCC
Alijah Leombruno, In-Home Therapy Supervisor with Eliot MSPCC

Brenda Evans
Good afternoon! Brenda D Evans, CCHER/SPHHS UMass Amherst;

Kate Pousont Scarborough
Kate Pousont Scarborough, Food Bank of Western MA, Agency Recruitment Coordinator,

Art Lobdell

Molly Jane Thoms - CLA
Molly Jane Thoms, she/her, Community Legal Aid education unit, (filling in for Corrine Ryan)
Intake info:

Tori Halloran (she/her) | Safe Routes to School
Tori Halloran (she/her), Outreach Coordinator with the Safe Routes to School Team -

Ana Gerena Girls Inc. of the Valley
Ana Gerena- Special Projects and Volunteerism Manager at Girls Inc. of the Valley,

Maria Chambers
Good afternoon all! Maria Chambers, Senior Program Manager at BHN 413-654-7639.

Jackie Willemain
Hello All! I am Jackie Bedinelli- Willemain, District Social Worker with West Springfield Public Schools,

Israel Rivera
Israel Rivera
Families first western mass

Shannon Burke
Hello everyone, Shannon Burke from Holyoke Pediatrics. Medical Home Care Coordinator

Veronica Garcia
Hello everyone, my name is VERONICA GARCIA from Latino Marketing Agency

Joanna Berube
Joanna Berube Way Finders Rental Assistance, Economic Mobility Program

Gloria Penagos
Gloria Penagos - - Gloria Penagos -

Laura Dimock
Hello, I am Laurie Dimock, I work in Marketing and Community Development for Hartsprings Foundation, a clothing and textile recycling organization that supports both Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as fundraising for local non-profits through our Community Partnership Program.
Laurie Dimock Hartsprings Foundation

Caitlin Goodbrake
Caitlin Goodbrake, Care Navigator with BHN's Behavioral Health Justice-Involved Program.
Roxane Cotton
Roxane cotton - Mon Marie

Kevin Noonan
El Colibri

Richard Guy
Richard Guy, BHJI Program Director, BHN.
Need to jump over to another meeting. This connection is an invaluable resource. Thanks! Dick

Iris Sosa
Iris Sosa. Scout BSA Cell 787-513-1375
Thank you

Angelimarie (Angie) Mercado-Santana
Angie Mercado CEP Holyoke Advisor

Adair Medina
Adair Medina Holyoke Pediatrics

Liandro Gonzalez
Deputy Liandro Gonzalez Hampden County Sheriff's

Jason Comcowich
Jason Comcowich, TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator, Nuestras Raices: - I apologize, my computer is not recognizing it’s built in camera; so I can't use my video. I'll keep trying to troubleshoot
That sounds great. Atlas Farm Store is my happy place. I will follow up after the meeting with an email.

Meghan Williams
Meghan Williams with Atlas Farm, we do mobile markets in Holyoke with our blue bus and we are looking for additional partners this year. 413-768-7701
Oops, hoping to connect with Nuestras Raices. We have been doing mobile markets and pop-ups in Holyoke for 2 years and we'd love to see how we could coordinate or work together to publicize the mobile markets in Holyoke this year.

Maria Pagan
Hello. This is Maria G Pagan, Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. I will be connecting with as many organizations as possible in the next 2 weeks to connect regarding the Community Partnership/Collaboration 'Together for Families/Unidos por las Familias' initiative - from Feb 9th meeting.

Bianca Frederick
Bianca Frederick with RFK Community Alliance

Jessie Berliner (she/they)
Jessie Berliner, Care Coordinator- MHA GRIT Yale program. Residential Co-occurring Recovery for the LGBTQ+ Community. 413-417-6295
Sasha N. Viands (she|her|ellas) — Outreach Manager for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. / 413-455-5757

Barbara Droz
Hello Everyone, I am Barbie Droz Resident Services Coordinator for Wayfinders Holyoke portfolio. Email: (413) 333-1048. Unfortunately I will have to leave early as I have a meeting at 2pm. But as always thank you Ed for having us all here.

Rafael Santos
I'm scheduled for a meeting at 1:15 pm here at HCHC, but I'm happy to see how well this group is doing. I'm hoping to meet with you all again soon.

Elizabeth Veillette
Elizabeth Veillette, Employment Specialist/Navigator, CHR Diversion Shelter and Housing. 413 266 9840
Ashley Jediny
Unsupported Message

Veronica Garcia
Hello everyone, my name is VERONICA GARCIA from Latino Marketing Agency and here I share the link for our event June 3

Lydia Pares Big Brothers Big Sisters
Lydia Pares -Pacheco Big Brothers big sisters
Denise Kelly-Lachat, Hampden District Attorney's Office, Holyoke District Court and Holyoke Juvenile Court Diversion Specialist

Sandy Ward
Sandy Ward, volunteer, Mini Golf and Games at the Holyoke Public Library will be coming Saturday April 29, 2023. Plan to join us! Sponsors and volunteers welcome. For more information, visit

Joanne Gilman
Joanne Gilman, MSPCC 413-532-9446 or 413-847-0885. I am now with a new department, Survivors Services, a program of the Victims of Crimes Act. We are starting a group for DBT skills for high school age youth who have been impacted by trauma. The group will be starting on April 5, Wednesdays at 4:30. If you know of a client who may be interested in this group, please call Jessie Channell at (781) 999-5229. A brief screening will be required to determine eligibility. Or call me for further questions about the Survivor Services program, which does not bill insurance companies. Joanne Gilman, LICSW, 413-847-0885.

Veronica Garcia
As we prepare for our Living Without Limits Conference, I want to extend the opportunity for you to support this necessary work once again through a general donation, a sponsorship, or vendor table.
Contact Veronica for more information:
Details are as follows:
Date: Saturday June 3rd, 2023
Time: 8:00AM (Doors Open), Event Starts at 9AM
Location: 1500 Boston Road Springfield MA
Register to Attend: Please register at the following link:

Brandon Dumas (ODYSSEY HOUSE)

Samalid Hogan
FYI - the Urban League’s Next Stage Acelerar – Holyoke Program dedicated to scaling minority owned businesses and businesses located in low to moderate income communities.
Inner City Entrepreneurs/Interise has had the fortunate opportunity to work with local, regional, national, and even international businesses who call Massachusetts home some of those notable alumni include: Internationally recognized Taza Chocolate, QVC’s own My Grandma's Coffee Cakes of New England, historical Wally's Cafe, local retail giants Tropical Foods, Stop and Compare Markets, and regional transportation stalwart DPV Transportation to proudly name a few of our over 500 local alumni.
The program is valued at over $15,000, but we are excited to be able to offer it for free.
We are doing two virtual info sessions on March 14th in the AM @ 9:00 AM - and in the evening @ 7:00 PM
I am sharing the links here for registration.
Info Session 2 @ 7:00 PM

Caitlin Goodbrake
Caitlin Goodbrake, Care Navigator with BHN's Behavioral Health Justice-Involved Program.

Israel Rivera
Flyers for Power of Parenting @ Donahue school Holyoke.

Lani Ortiz
Unsupported Message

Lydia Pares Big Brothers Big Sisters Lydia Parès-Pacheco 413-781-4730 ext. 132

Kevin Noonan
Forgot to include contact info:
Kevin Noonan
El Colibrí
(413) 437-0631
Marissa Chiapperino

Free Diabetes Classes

Marissa Chiapperino

Nayroby Rosa, OneHolyoke CDC
Nayroby Rosa, OneHolyoke CDC 413-409-2004 and email is

Meghan Williams
Nayroby, I would love to connect with you. I know OneHolyoke does a food bank 2x/mo. but I'd love your input/feedback on our mobile market stops this year. Thanks, Meghan (Atlas Farm)
Nayroby Rosa, OneHolyoke CDC
Sound great Meghan, please email me. We are doing farm share program

Shannon Burke
Shannon Burke Holyoke Pediatrics. Noting to report today. Sorry no camera today/voice. Thanks for your time and resources available. I have to jump off.
John McCarthy
Community Relations USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) 6173565441

Tori Halloran (she/her) | Safe Routes to School
I have to hop off early for another meeting! But if your organization is interested in learning more about Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and/or partnering with our team & local schools to increase safe biking and walking among elementary, middle, and high school students, please email me at or check out and . Thanks, everyone!

John McCarthy
Cuban Haitian Nicaraguan and Venezuelan Process. CHNV Presentations Worcester Public Library Sat. 3/25/2023 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM and a repeat on Wednesday evening 3/29/2023 from 6:00 Pm to 7:30 PM. If you wish to attend please go to website select the event you wish to attend and register on that site.
Sasha Viands / 413-455-5757

Yamaris Rivera
Yamaris Rivera- sorry I have to leave but the Lawrence School is looking for volunteers to support our school walking school bus, daily from 8:00-8:30am, for more information please contact Yamaris Rivera (413) 534-2075

Melany Mendoza Mass Mentoring She/Her/Ella Melany Mendoza

Lani Ortiz
Unsupported Message
Caitlin Goodbrake
Thank you everyone for sharing! Thank you Ed for all that you do!
Bianca Frederick
Thank you

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, April 13th, 2023 (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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