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March 2024

Ed Caisse

March 14 2024

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: March 14, 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.

Elizabether Cardona: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 1:05pm – 1:20pm

Hi, thank you so much for the invitation to present today and share a little bit about the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. I put my name in the chat, and I also put my email address so if there's any follow up questions or anything that you want to inquire more about you can. So again, thank you and I'm going to go to the next slide. For the purpose of our conversation today, because I hope it's a conversation, I'm going to be introducing to you the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and also talking a little bit about the work that we do.

I’m going to share a little bit about MassDEP who we are, what we do. I'll share a little bit of highlights of the work we're doing in Holyoke. We have a great partnership with the city. Now I want to talk a little bit about what we're doing there. I'm going to offer you some opportunities to attend some of the events that we're collaborating with some of you, and then there'll be some time for some questions. I'm only six months into my job and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be working at MassDEP as a community engagement manager.

What I am most passionate about is the mission of MassDEP. It's a mission driven organization. Our goal is to protect and enhance the common natural resources; air, water, and land, and provide for health, safety, and welfare of all people. I think what really makes my heart beat is the fact that MassDEP is committed to address and advanced environmental justice and equity for all people in the commonwealth, to provide meaningful inclusive opportunities, to participate in agency decisions, and also to diverse our workforce.

A little bit about the agency; we have four different regional offices. One in Boston,the Central office, one north of Boston, in the South, and the Western Regional office where I work. We support one-hundred and sixty towns and communities as far south as Longmeadow, as far north as Burnaston, and from the Quabbin all the way almost to Albany. So it's a very vast territory. We have four different bureaus. We have the Bureau of Administrative Services, which is where I work, the Bureau of Waste and Cleanup, and that's if you can imagine a truck having some kind of accident on I-91 we come out and we support that cleanup project. There's also the water resource, and the air, and waste.

I'm going to be talking about what we're doing in Holyoke, but to put it into context, we need to understand a little history of Holyoke. The city was designed to be an industrial haven and it really created opportunities. Obviously, work and opportunities for technology, but there's also a legacy that was left behind. Due to the manufacturing chemicals that were used, and that cross contamination along with the fact that fossil fuels were required and are required for production to happen. And so, because of that there are some legacies left behind.

To also put it into context, Holyoke is known as an environmental justice community. On the left, you’re looking at a map of the city of Holyoke, and the different colors that you see there identify different neighborhoods. Each of the colors is part of an identity of the people that live in the city of Holyoke. [Color coded map presentation of Holyoke] Yellow stands for identifies for communities of minority, the green is for communities who have low income, and then we have the blue that identifies people who English is not their first language. It's important to know that among that also comparing the medium income for Holyoke to that of the State, there is some disparities there, and you all are very well aware of that. But what is important also to know is that in order for individuals to be able to have a voice they need to have information. They need to have access to information.

My role is really to get out into the community to share information and to be able to provide those opportunities for communities to engage in the decisions that are happening in their community. Currently, we have a partnership with the city of Holyoke. Our team meets with the mayor and his team to talk about environmental issues. To assess impacts that affects the quality of life. Some of you have probably noticed that there are some cameras around the city. MassDEP has put those cameras up there which has really been effective in reducing illegal dumping. We know that illegal dumping impacts not just contamination in the air, the soil, but also the aesthetics. When you're looking out and you see illegal dumping it may impact you and it may impact how you view the world, or how you feel. So it is important to have clean surroundings for everyone.

We're an enforcement agency as well, so we work closely with the city to inspect and enforce hazardous waste, evaluate drinking water, and the work that I'm doing out in the public schools engaging community. We also as I mentioned earlier, provide assistance to the city; the Conservation Commission, technical assistance, trainings to be able to help and support the work that's already happening because we're here to support. We're not here to take over anything, but really to provide that guidance, that support that is needed to ensure that the city can thrive and have what they need.

We also have been very intentionally looking for grant opportunities and funding to support the work that we're doing. Some of the things that I've been involved in since coming here to MassDEP, and thanks to Ed the first person I called when I was appointed to this position was Ed connected me to several leaders in the community and organizations, and it has just been a wonderful collaboration.

I've been working very closely with Holyoke Community College and Nayroby Rosa over at OneHolyoke, and together we were able to put together some projects that came from going to different leaders and different organizations to ask; what were the priorities they were working on? What were the environmental issues that they were concerned with? And so out of those conversations Nayroby, myself, and some other leaders have come up with some ideas. One of the things that we did was to put together a pilot read aloud at Kelly school. It was an environmental justice team read aloud, that just happened this past Tuesday, four-hundred and forty-five children from pre-k to fifth grade.

They were able to learn about recycling, and were able to have information about what they could do to make their communities better. I have six colleagues who are at the High School, they're mentoring six students. They're doing pilot projects, their senior capstone projects, and they also installed a purple air monitor. I'll be talking a little bit about that in a little bit. But these collaborations are important not only to provide education, but also tangible experience, experiential learning, so that our children, our youth, are able to understand not just the problem, but how to solve it. We talked about the illegal dumping and we need your help. If you see something out there in the community that shouldn't be there, contact me or MassDEP and let us know. We're happy to come out and look into that issue.

We do inspections. We do go out to make sure that there are no contaminations. We work hard to make sure that we also provide technical support because we're not just about enforcement, but if necessary, we will make sure that people and individuals are following policies and regulations. The air quality monitors, I'm sure everybody knows asthma is prevalent in our region and this really is a problem. If you're sick you can't go to work, you can't go to school, and so it is important that we have information. So if I have asthma, I look at the monitors online, and if it's a bad day I'm not going to go for a walk. I'm going to plan for that. So it's important that we have good information so that we can make decisions.

We're working really hard to make sure that we're not just identifying that there's a day that you can't go out there, but also why can't we go out? What’s happening in the air that is making the air quality not safe for us? We have several monitors in the area at different schools, different sites. This data helps us to again analyze the issue in terms of drinking water is really important. We want to make sure that it is safe for everybody to have good drinking water, and we work with the city to ensure that's happening.

The wetlands, it's something that often times we don't think about, but if you live near a wetland and you are not sure if you want to cut trees and you're not sure if that is going to impact the environment, let me know. I'll put you in touch with our team. It is important to understand the value of wetlands. Sometimes they can be something that annoys us, but there's a reason, and so the more information you have the better it is for you and for the environment.

Wastewater discharge is something that is ongoing. We're working with the city to be able to assist in grant funding and technical assistance; because this is something that we want to make sure that the city is healthy and has the resources to be able to meet the needs of the citizens. Waste Site is another program that we have and we've done several inspections in the cities to make sure that city has the support. I know that currently the mayor is putting out a recycling program. We're working in the different programs that we are doing to support what is happening in the city brown fields.

We were talking earlier about how there was a lot of manufacturing; well those buildings are still there. What are we going to do about that? We work with the city to consider what projects opportunities are available for jobs, and to ensure that the city has these spaces put back into the market. As I said earlier, we work to support the city in terms of providing technical training and guidance, to make sure that the city has the resources to respond to emergencies.

This is something that I'm huge about its part of my work; it's really getting the information out there about jobs. A lot of times, there are people that look like us in these positions, Ed has been kind enough to share the information, and we've actually hired folks who've heard through this network about these jobs. There are all sorts of jobs. Sometimes people say, “Well, I'm not a scientist.” There are jobs in the administration in programs that are good paying jobs. If you don't have food on your table, other things are not going to be a priority. Part of our environmental justice initiative is to promote the jobs that are available. Holyoke Community College, UMass, have great programs if you're interested also in learning more about environmental science.

These are two dates I just want to share. We're working with OneHolyoke, there's going to be a big clean up in the city on the 22nd during lunchtime. So please join us if you can. On the 27th of April, there's a there's going to be a community resource fair that's happening at the Roy Park right where Kelly School is. It's a great opportunity to network, to share information that you're having, so if you want to learn more about it please let me know as well.

It's important for us to be able to collaborate, to understand, the fact that MassDEP is your neighbor, we're here to support the environmental issues in the community, but also to enhance what's already happening. We're doing outreach and we need you to do our work. The last thing I want to leave you with is a quote. It's about the “us.” If we can't lift others up, we aren't going to have a world for us, right? So we need each and every one of you to do your part, and to ensure that we continue to lift the voices of others. Thank you.

Agency Overview and Updates: 1:20pm – 2:15pm

Carl Borden and Heather MacInnes: Western Mass Council Boy Scouts of America
Hi, we have Cub Scouts meetings tonight with Holyoke. We're growing our units. We're working to grow more of the troop level for boys and girls and for all youth. Our meeting tonight is at 5:30PM to 6:30PM. Instead of meeting at the Holyoke Library, we now meet at Mount Tom Notch, who actually is our sponsor for the program. We have a lot of these kids that are working on everything.

We will be featured in the St. Patrick's Day Parade as well. So all of our scouts all around will be doing that, and these kids are very eager to learn. One of the girls is working on merit badges for troop level. The Cub Scouts are taking field trips and pretty much going through and working on advancement and trying to help do community service as well. They want to also help in with the filling of the backpacks. They want to help out with anything they can for community service cause that's based on scanning is also community service, so they're looking to do projects. They can do fundraising things that they're selling pancakes or doing can drives again soon. Anything we can help these kids out to help make the program more cost efficient for them.

Just to let you know that these careers in Richmond, the explore programs we're doing, we're right now at about six different schools throughout the Pioneer Valley. We're expanding. We're looking for help with those with that expansion. We got some kids interested in different career fields that we currently do not have programs for, so we'll be reaching out to groups and companies that are in those career fields to help us expand into one of the other twenty-three different programs that we can offer up here in Holyoke and such.

Al Ortiz: Holyoke Health Center
I work in the Holyoke Health Center, I manage the recovery services here. I manage the recovery coaches here and if you live in this area, High Street, Maple Street, the flats of Holyoke, you know that we have a big substance abuse problem here. So the recovery coaches from the Holyoke Health Center are constantly out there issuing hygiene kids, condoms, little using kits that come with cookers. And you know, just offering kids kits that help with harm reduction. That's it, thank you.

Alexandra Maggio: United Way of Pioneer Valley
Hi, my name is Alexander Maggio, I work for the United Way of Pioneer Valley. We are here to help you guys get volunteers. I just wanted to pop on today and introduce myself and let you know that we're starting our volunteer initiative. If you have volunteer needs, reach out to me. I'll put my email in the chat. Thank you.

Anaamika Nair: Gandara Center.
Hi everybody, my name is Anaamika Nair, I am the stop access coalition coordinator. So youth substance use prevention within the Gandara Center. We are hosting a webinar, a free webinar actually on historical inequities of cannabis focusing on racial equity. I'm going to post that in the chat. It’s happening next Friday, from 1:00PM to 2:00PM. I hope you can attend, but also, if you can't please share it out and register, and then register anyways, because you'll get a recording. Thank you.

Angela Kelly: Careforth
Hi everyone, I'm Angela, and I am with a company called Careforth. We are an adult foster care company. So we care for the caregiver at home, caring for a loved one that is on MassHealth. I do cover the city of Holyoke, so please feel free to contact me. If you think you know of someone that's caring for a loved one, because we give them support as well as a tax free stipend, and my information is in the chat. Thank you.

Angelica Fontes: Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Hello everyone, my name's Angelica, I'm glad to be here today. I'm the Director of Organizing with the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. Really happy to connect with folks who are working on violence, prevention, or just have interest overall in learning more about the coalition. Feel free to send me an email, my information is in the chat.

Bella Reeves: Pa'lante Transformative Justice Holyoke
Hi y'all, my name is Bella Reeves, I am the alumni fellow here at Pa'lante Transformative Justice in Holyoke right now. Pa'lante is just finishing up wrapping up our open house. That was on the 28th of February. Now, we're starting our Peer Leader application recruitment for fourteen to nineteen year olds. So if you know any youth that are wanting to join Pa’lante, feel free to reach out, I already put the application in the chat. Then, we also have our Meta open Monday through Thursday, 3:00PM to 7:00PM. Finally, we're starting our Alternative Anger Management Series Mindful Rage. That's going to be starting in April, thank you.

Brett Fortin: OSHA Office Springfield
My name is Brett Ford, I'm the Compliance Assistant Specialist and the Outreach Coordinator for the OSHA Office in Springfield, Massachusetts. Part of our job is to ensure that people have safe and healthy workplaces to work. Any engagement with us is kept confidential or anonymous. We do not release that information, and thank you for your time.

Candace Chapman: YWCA Holyoke Teen Parent Program
Hello, I'm the Program Director for the Holyoke Teen Parent Program in Holyoke. I'm here just to grab resources, but we are also hiring within the whole agency of the YWCA in Springfield and in Holyoke.

Cassie Giardina: Rise Above Foundation
Hello, good afternoon everybody. I'm here with Rise Above Foundation, and we support youth and foster care ages zero to twenty-three in funding any sort of extracurricular or enrichment activities on a rolling basis all year long. The only requirement is the youth has to be in the care and custody of DCF. But additionally, right now spring and fall, we give out care packages for any youth eighteen to twenty-three. That's doing any sort of educational program at school and they've finished high school. I'm going to put the link to the Google form in the chat. So if you know a youth that is still in the care of DCF and is eighteen to twenty-three, definitely have them fill that out and we'll send them a nice big care package. Let them know that they're doing great.

Catherine Brown: RFK Community Alliance
Hello, Catherine Brown, Case Manager at YASL RFK Community Alliance. YASL stands for Young Adult Supported Living Program, we are DCF funded. Young adults, ages eighteen to twenty-two can be in our program and receive housing, support, resources, and independent living. If you have referrals from DCF, you can email them to the email I'm about to post now. Thank you for the time.

Charlene Rivera: Holyoke Pediatrics
Hi, I'm Charlene Rivera, the Care Coordinator for Holyoke Pediatrics. I have no new updates at this time.

Chiara McNally: Attorney General's Office
Hi everyone, I'm Chiara McNally, I am a Paralegal with the Attorney General's Office in Western Mass. I'm with the Community Engagement Fair Labor Consumer Protection Civil Rights. My co-worker, I'll leave her email in the chat as well. She's Nia, you can reach out to her about any community engagement needs. We do have a clinic that is in May, and we do have complaint online forms. So you can, or the people you serve if you have any issues, you can always file a complaint with us, and Nia has more info on community engagement. Thank you.

Dashima Walter: Preferred Behavioral Health
Hello everyone, Dashima, I'm the Administrative Assistant here at Preferred Behavioral Health. So far, we just got a new psychiatrist on board, so we have current openings for our psychiatrist for adults. I also put my email in the chat message if anybody needs a referral emailed or anything to them, we can do that as well. I know we have a waiting list for kids to see psychiatrists. It's like a two month wait, but currently we do have available openings for adults. Thank you.

Diana Biagioli: Federation for Children with Special Needs
Hi everybody, I was at the event yesterday, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank Mister Arce for the amazing event. And you, Ed, you were an amazing speaker. Good choice Mister Arce. I just want to mention that I attended Nia and Emily's workshop in the morning, and it was great. So thank you for that. I'm representing the Federation for Children with Special Needs. We're the parents center in Massachusetts for young people with disabilities ages zero through twenty-six. We work with their families and any professional that works with them.

We are a referral center. We have free information online, a ton of trainings, free Thetrainings online, everything related to special needs. I put the link in the chat, I also put a link for Next Gen careers. I think I'm presenting a special ed next month on it, but I'm not sure. We're working with Mr. to do outreach for this new pilot program for young people, eighteen to thirty, who are looking for employment.

Diosdado Lopez-Martinez: The Support Network
I work for The Support Network, I work with supporting families with children with mental health issues and all disabilities. We do our best to navigate the school and get the IEP and the 504. We start from the beginning to the end, we don't leave the family in the middle, we just continue with them. Thank you.

Dr. Nadeem Sikandar: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi, everyone! My name is Nadeem Sikandar, I am with the Valley Opportunity Council. My specific department runs adult basic education, as well as out of school and in school youth programs. At the Valley Opportunity Council, we have open slots if you have youth who're interested in working part time employment, as well as some career development. We are here to help.

Apart from other services, we will be presenting a full presentation in September so we'll see you then. Thank you very much. I just want to add that I copied and pasted all of that information into the word document, because it's hard to see it like that. But I'll reach out to many of you for some collaboration, thank you.

Elizabeth Veillette: Center for Human Development
I'm the Employment Specialist Navigator for CHD's Large Family Shelter Program. I assist our residents with ESOL training, employment, and other things as needed. I have no updates today, thank you.

Faith Sarisley: CrossPoint Clinical Services
Hi everybody, my name is Faith, and I'm the Marketing Community Relations Coordinator for CrossPoint Clinical Services. I left my contact information in the chat, as well as our website link, you can find all of our good stuff. At CrossPoint we continue to provide faith based and traditional mental health counseling from our four locations across Massachusetts. The closest one is West Springfield.

We also have health and wellness options such as life coaching, personal training, things like that. It's open to anybody, whether it be you, your clients, people you work, with anybody like that. We are available virtually, you can see more about any of that stuff in the events and coaching section of our website. In the chat section that I listed, or on our app as well. And that's about it for me, but thanks everybody and enjoy the sunshine.

Flor Diaz: Valley Opportunity Council
Hello everybody, my name is Flor Diaz, I'm with the Valley Opportunity Council WIC Program. We are a nutrition and nutrition education program for women, infants, and children. The only update I have right now is that our Ludlow WIC Office is going to open April 10th. We've been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, so we're going to have a grand reopening April 10th from 10:00AM to 12:00PM, at 14 Chestnut Place, Ludlow. Thank you.

Gabriel Vargas: Community Education Project
Hi there everyone, my name's Gabriel Vargas, I'm with the Community Education Project. I'm the Student Advisor here, and we offer ESOL classes, and we also offer native language literacy and Spanish high tech classes. As of right now, I don't have any updates for any events.

Gabriela Santiago: Rewarding Insurance Agency
Hello everyone, I am Gabriela Santiago, from Rewarding Insurance Agency. I have been here before, but I haven't been here for a while, and I just want to let everyone know that before we were just doing retirement, which was life insurance plans, and now we have been growing. We've been doing Medicare Advantage Plans. So that means we're working with Medicare and all the other health places like Holyoke Health Center. If anyone has any problems with their Medicare MassHealth, CCA, United Health Fallon, or anything like that. We're now located on 284 Maple Street in Holyoke, and we're here to help the community, especially the elderly program. Thank you.

GiGi Northrop: Morgan Elementary School
Hello all, my name is Gigi Northrop, I am the current elementary school librarian at Morgan Elementary. We are currently working with the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative to put together an Earth Day event that will be in April. I'll have more information on that at our next meeting. I also just wrote a book, wrote and illustrated a book that's available at the Holyoke Public Library. I'll also put my email in the chat if anybody is interested in purchasing their own copy.

Hasanah Shah: Young Parent Support Program YWCA
Hello all, my name is Hasanah, I am the Young Parent Support Program Counselor here at the YWCA. We are currently taking in clients, young moms or dads until the age of twenty-three, to help with resources outside in the Western Mass area. So if anybody has any potential clients, please send them our way. I will be putting in chat our referrals. Thank you.

Helena Dixon: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi everybody, I am with the Valley Opportunity Council. We have a team of people here today. I work for the Adult Education Program, and just as a reminder, we have English as a Second Language. We offer morning and night classes. We also offer the GED and HiSET preparation classes, Adult Literacy for those who are learning how to read and write in English but are not speakers of other languages. The newest program, or what we are offering now in the spring, is a free Citizenship Class for those who are permanent residents of the United States and want to become citizens.

The next class will be starting in April. If you know of anyone who holds a Green Card and wants to become a citizen of the US, please contact us at VOC and we'll get them into the class. Last, but not least, we also offer a free CDL Program, Commercial Drivers License. It's a free training, we pay over $8,000 tuition for those who qualify. This program is for speakers of other languages who want to become truck drivers in the United States. So thank you very much, have a good day.

Jayde Thomas: Lighthouse School Holyoke
Hi, my name is Jade Thomas, I'm from Lighthouse School in Holyoke. I'm a Teacher Advisor, and here we serve seventy-five students. Currently, we have a bunch on the waiting list, but we're an alternative to public schools. We base learning on coing tompetencies, and students can take classes from glass flameworking, we have comic book history, we have a financial literacy class, and students really get a say in their learning here.

We have a fundraising event called Razor Glass, happening next Thursday, March 21st. I'm going to put my contact info and the link to sign up in the chat. Anybody is welcome to attend. We are looking to expand into a new building, so any support and fundraising is much appreciated. Thank you.

Jennifer Yekel: MSPCC/Elliot
Hi everyone, I'm Jennifer Yekel, with MSPCC/Elliot and the Survivors Services Program as a VOCA Clinician in the Holyoke Office. We provide individual therapy, group therapy, and case management for survivors. Ages three to twenty-two, and their caregivers. We also offered trauma related presentations to the community. We are still accepting new clients and are able to assign very quickly. So please reach out for more information, and my info is in the chat.

Kevin McAllister: Former Educator
I am Kevin McAllister, former educator. Great job Miguel and Ed yesterday, and here to support Ed and his initiatives.

Lindsey Rothschild: Holyoke Hockey Club
Hi everyone, my name is Lindsey, I'm from the newly founded Holyoke Hockey Club. I came to one other meeting, and since then we've gotten our 501C3 in place, so we're moving right along. We are looking to offer free hockey opportunities for underrepresented youth in the sport of ice hockey. We're looking to launch in the fall of 2024. In addition to fundraising, we're looking for opportunities to engage with Holyoke youth and their families. We can set up hockey activities at any kind of event just to get people interested and excited about it. So that's us, you can reach us at Thank you.

Mandy Goulet: Hope for Holyoke
Good afternoon everybody, my name is Mandy Goulet, I am the Peer Outreach Coordinator and Recovery Coach at Hope for Holyoke. We offer peer recovery support services, we're open Monday through Sunday. We also have a Highway to Hope Program which offers support with a recovery coach for Detox or Medicaid assisted recovery services. It's all free, we don't bill insurance.

Our updates are; we are marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade this Sunday, and we are going to be hosting our Hope awards, which will be coming in May. Please look forward to that invitation, we will be inviting community partners, we celebrate our volunteers and community partners with awards. Look forward to that, thank you.

Maria Rodriguez: Give With Love Corporation
Hi, good afternoon everyone. Maria Rodriguez, here with Give With Love Corporation. We are a startup nonprofit organization, just looking to expand and connect with other organizations. Thank you.

Melany Mendoza: Mass Mentoring Partnership
Hi everyone! I have two quick announcements; number one, I wear two different hats. I am Melanie Mendoza, I'm from Mass Mentoring Partnership, which is a nonprofit organization state wide. We provide a lot of support for programs who are providing mentoring, not just programs, we go where mentoring relationships are happening. One event that is happening this week, which is very important to us, is Youth Mentoring Day at the State House. So right now, we have about two-hundred people ready to register from all over the state, coming to meet legislators and conduct pieces. This is crucial. We do a lot of advocacy. We have an advocacy lobbyist in the staff, and it is thanks to that we have now 1.5 million dollars in funding to support mentoring programs throughout the state. I will put my information in the chat so I can reach back out to you later.

Another announcement with a completely different hat, is that I am a co-owner of AllSport Arena in Northampton, and we have put together a tournament that is happening on Saturday, April 6th. This is a three v. three tournament to support funding will be raised to support the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative. So we really appreciate having the pleasure to work with Ed for over fifteen years. I feel that the work he does in the community is crucial, with the basketball leagues and everything. So last year we did this fundraising to support other causes, and this year we have decided that the Holyoke safe neighborhood initiative will be it. Holyoke is my community, so we are excited about that. I'm going to also put the link over there, if you want to cheer. If anyone you know wants to put a team or in any way to support the event, that would be wonderful.

Melishia Santiago: Springfield Technical Community College
Hi everybody, my name is Melishia Santiago, I'm the Assistant Dean of STEM at Springfield Technical Community College. I'm here to support and collaborate with you all. Mainly, we want to tell people about the MassReconnect Program, which is a tool for free community college for people over twenty-five years or older. Thank you.

Miguel Arce: Springfield College
Good afternoon everyone, I have just three quick points. First of all, I want to thank Mr. Caisse for the significance of the work of organizing us all. I've seen attorneys, doctors, and social workers, and this is a really critical forum for us to be able to get together and share resources. It's community organizing at its best, and he's the second part of that congratulations to Ed is the fact that he's really a caring person, and he's bringing people together in direct ways to make a difference in children's and families lives, and that's the example of the hub.

The second major point I want to make is that what Elizabeth Cardona said about collaboration is spot on. It takes us all to work together. The problems are too massive for us to be egoistic and think that we can all do it by ourselves. It's not true. Don't fall into that trap. It's organizing, it's getting together and moving towards social change. The final point is to talk about the collaboration at the conference that took place yesterday, because I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that it is this kind of collaboration of working together. There are too many people on the screen for me to identify everyone without re-doing something remiss.

Thanks to Ed, he did a great job in terms of his leadership in moving the agenda forward. I also like to thank people who were there who were presenting as workshop presenters. Finally, the people that were present in the audience, and grew and learned and developed and became more aware of segregation that takes place in our community.

Nancy Kocsmiersky: Holyoke Public Library
Hi, I'm Nancy Kocsmiersky, I'm with the Holyoke Public Library, I'm the Development Associate. I wanted to talk about the library in general. We have many spaces that we welcome any of you to come and use, and it's all for free. My secondary presentation is about mini golfing games. It's an event that we do as a fundraiser, but it's also very much a community engagement event. We are giving out free passes to all Holyoke students in all the public schools and the private schools.

We're going to be sending that out the week before the event. I also know that sometimes families may have issues with the parents not being able to feel comfortable coming, so we definitely want to work with any agencies. If you have families who want to come, we can make it happen. We can make passes for them to come free also. My information is in the chat, please if you're interested in that, or for your constituents, please contact me. Thank you.

Rafael Santos: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
My name is Rafael Santos, and I'm from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office. I work in partnership with Ed with the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative. My role here at the Sheriff’s Department is working as a High-Risk Offenders Transition Counselor. Then, one of the things that I'm going to ask all of the agencies that may have services available for a man who is about to be released; please let me know if there's beneficial services for them. I put my email in the chat.

Some of these men obviously do need a lot of support in many different areas, whether education, employment, mental health services, abuse. And if I can get a little bit more information together with other counselors that we work here, it could probably make their transition a little bit smoother. The hope is that they don’t come back to us again. I'm reaching out to you, and if there's anyone who can share that information that'll be awesome. Thank you so much.

Samuel Del Valle: Holyoke Police Department
Hello. I'm Sam Del Valle, I was born and raised in Holyoke. I represent the Holyoke Police Department. I had put my information in the chat there. Other than that, I have been assigned to the professional standards and training for police officers. They also asked me to be involved with the community, so I'm actually glad to be part of this. I'm here if anybody needs me. My information is in the chat. If you're visiting this weekend, stay safe, it's going to be a rainy one this Sunday. So make sure you wear some type of cover, rain jacket, and enjoy. Thank you.

Sandy Ward: Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts
I'm a volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts, continuing to do presentations to different groups, to let people know what their options are. We also answer questions and email. I've put the information in the chat. We don't have any charge for our services. We just encourage people to plan ahead, think ahead, and we have a price comparison chart on our website that can be very handy. We're in the process for 2022 now, collecting the new price list from the funeral homes in eighty-five locations in Western Massachusetts. So it's a big task, we're about halfway through it. In another month we should have the updated information. Thank you.

Sarah Lynn: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
I am Sarah Lynn, I am from MSPCC Prevention. We have the Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers Program. Both parent support programs. We have immediate openings in our Healthy Families Program, which is for first time parents under the age of twenty-three, but they can be a day before twenty-four, and they can be in Holyoke, Westfield, or in the area. My other announcement is, we have our next free session of the Fathers and Families Network. The topic is Fathering Children with Special Needs, and the two presenters are actually going to be at the New England Fathering Conference next week. If you were not able to attend that, you can come to our presentation, and I will put that in the chat. Thanks.

Sean McBride: Holyoke District Probation Office
Good afternoon everybody, Sean McBride, Chief Probation Officer here in Holyoke. Nothing to report just thanks for allowing me an opportunity to listen to a presentation and to listen to everybody's events. Thank you.

Shaundell Diaz: Three County Continuum of Care
Good afternoon everybody, Shaundell Diaz, Coordinated Entry Coordinator with the Three County Continuum of Care. I placed three flyers inside of the chat. One is for the two part three county racial equity screening training series that's coming up, a three-part Attorney General's Office training that we're having. Thanking Nia for the connection as well as the WayFinders credit success that is happening on May 13th over Zoom.

Shellie Daries: Department of Children and Families
Hi everybody, Shellie Daries, from the Department of Children and Families Foster, MA. I'm a recruiter for Foster and Adoptive Families in the Holyoke area. We have a need, as probably a lot of you know, with youth in Holyoke, in regards to them entering the foster care system. We're always looking to collaborate, and you guys gave some great ideas. I'm hoping to get into some of the resource fairs and the Earth Day event and all that, just to be present and get our information out to the public.

We offer information sessions, Mondays at 5:30PM and Thursday mornings at 10:00AM. If anybody's interested in coming to learn what the eligibility process looks like to become a foster parent for youth in our community, please reach out to me. My information is also in the chat. Thanks, everybody have a wonderful day.

Sidney Richeux: Gandara Center
Hello everyone, my name is Sidney, I am a Triage Clinician here at Gandara Center for the Intensive Care Coordination Program. It's a service that can benefit youth and families that are trying to get connected to community resources and have a coordination of services. I am going to add the referral form in the chat with my contact information. If you have any questions about the program or how to refer any kiddo, you can give me a call. You can try to contact me by email or I'm also gonna leave my phone number there, if in case you prefer a phone call? Thank you everyone.

Socrates Montas: Gandara Center
Hi everyone, I am Socrates Montas, from the Gandara Center. There's a community based youth clinical services. My information is in the chat. As long as well as the referral sheet for genome therapy. We're currently offering home therapy nation, jeopardy, mentorship, any home behavioral services. All the referrals should be on the chat. Thank you.

Tammi Benson: United Way of Pioneer Valley
Hello everyone. We continue to offer our regional food pantries in Springfield, Chicope, and Holyoke. We also continue to offer our Financial Wellness and Call to Talk Programs. There are no changes.

Thomas Alimberti: Gandara Center
Hello, I'm with the Gandara Center as well, so I won't spend much time but just know that we are fully willing to come out face to face with folks, meet you all, and give a more detailed presentation on what it is that we have to offer. So you could reach out to myself, Sidney, or Socrates.

Wilbert Weche: Willful Change, LLC
Good afternoon everyone. I'm here representing Willful Change, LLC. I own and operate this organization, which is a local training and development firm that specializes in leadership development. What I do is I work with organizations that are looking to intentionally work with their organizational leaders, to develop skills, competencies as well as any abilities that they may feel that are lacking, or they would just like to essentially develop so that they can help their organizational leadership to be more effective and efficient in the work that they do.

I will be dropping a flyer in the chat for you guys to view. I would love, love, love, love, love, love, to connect with you guys. If I can serve and provide any type of tailored solutions, whether it's coaching, keynote speaking, or training. Please give me a chat. Thank you.

Wilhelmina Humphries: American Red Cross
Thank you for having me today. This is my first meeting and I've enjoyed listening to all of the other agencies and what they're doing. We were just at the State House this past Tuesday. It was our advocacy day, and we had Red Cross people talking to the lawmakers, explaining to them what the Red Cross is all about and what we do next month. We are having our Sound the Alarm Program kickoff, and that is going to be in Worcester as well as West Springfield. We're going to be going in certain areas, walking around, attaching carbon monoxide machines and smoke detectors in people's houses. I will leave my email in the chat line and thank you for having me, I enjoyed it.

Art Lobdell: Holyoke Rotary Club
Today I've worked for the Boy Scouts of America, and I just wanted to remind folks we have opportunities for both day and resident camp coming up in the summer. We'd love to have some Holyoke youth coming out to our camps. Also, I want to represent the Rotary Club of Holyoke. I'm the incoming President, and we have a Flag of Heroes Plaza in front of the library. There'll be fifty American flags put out there for about six weeks. So we are interested in working with others on that project, both volunteers working setting that up as well as folks that might want to sponsor some of those flags. The heroes are personal heroes, not just folks in military service, or just whoever your hero is.

In the fall we'll also be having a volunteer leadership recognition. Again, for all of Holyoke recognizing folks who volunteer in any capacity. We'll be having a dinner in October, and are hoping to engage with lots of other agencies and people in Holyoke. Art Lobdell from the Rotary Club of Holyoke. Thank you.


Miguel Arce
Springfield College present

Faith Sarisley
Good afternoon everyone! Faith Sarisley
CrossPoint Clinical Services, Inc.

Catherine Brown
YASL program of RFK Community Alliance

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

Shannon Burke
Medical Home Care Coordinator Holyoke Pediatrics

Alyssa Golden
CORI/Reentry Unit at Community Legal Aid 413-582-1377

Alexandra Maggio
United Way of Pioneer Valley

Diana Biagioli
Transition Family Coordinator at the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Here is our website:

Wilbert Weche
WillfulchangeLLC Training and development: Specializing in leadership development.

GiGi Northrop
Geraldine "Ms. GiGi" Northrop - Library Media Specialist @ Morgan Elementary

Elizabeth Veillette
Hi all! Elizabeth Veillette, Employment Specialist Navigator for CHD's family shelter program. 413.266.9840, My apology - camera and mic are off because I'm home while my furnace is being replaced.

Socrates Montas
Community Based Youth Clinical Services Gandara Center

Hasanah Shah
Young Parent Support Program Counselor, YWCA of Western MA.

Jayde Thomas
Teacher/Advisor at LightHouse School in Holyoke

Diana Biagioli
Also want to share NextGen Careers which is a pilot program run by MRC (Mass Rehab Commission) and we are helping them do outreach for this. Here is more information:

Elizabeth Cardona

Chiara McNally
Attorney General Office WMAS Paralegal

Angela Kelly
Careforth Adult Foster Care - covering all caregivers caring for loved ones at home that are on Medicaid. We cover the entire state of MA. (619)606-6771

Angelica Fontes
MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence,

Gabe Vargas
Student Advisor at Community Education Project

Shaundell Diaz
Here is the A.13 Workshop presentation that I, Tanisha Arena, Rose Webster-Smith, and Gilad Meron did yesterday at Springfield College!

Bella Reeves
Hi y'all! Bella Reeves, Alumni Fellow at Pa'lante Transformative Justice in Holyoke. email:

Edward Caisse
Hampden County Sheriff's Office,

Carl Borden and Heather MacInnes
Heather MacInnes and Carl Borden with Boy Scouts of America Western Mass Council. and Cub Scouts meeting is tonight at Mount Lodge. Youth ages 5yrs old to 17 yrs old. The Scouts meet 2 twice a month on Thursdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. We will have a joining night on the 28th of this month.

Melishia Santiago
Assistant Dean of STEM, Springfield Technical Community College,

Sarah Lynn
MSPCC Prevention - Health Families and Parents as Teachers

Charlene Rivera
Medical Home Care Coordinator Holyoke 413-536-2393

Shaundell Diaz
Coordinated Entry Coordinator, Three County Continuum of Care/CAPV

Diosdado Lopez-Martinez
The Support Network

Jennifer Yekel
MSPCC/Eliot VOCA trauma clinician

Nancy Kocsmiersky
Holyoke Library

Karina Castro
Outreach & Admissions Counselor, Westover Job Corps Center, work cell (413) 883-5773, office (413) 593-4084,

Dashima Walter
preferred behavioral health

Gabriela Santiago
Rewarding Insurance Agency

Nancy Kocsmiersky
Holyoke Library Development at library -Mini Golf and games family event April 20

Maria Rodriguez
Give with Love Corp.

Gabriela Santiago
Rewarding Insurance Agency
Community Relations Coordinator 413-359-2741

Dr. Nadeem Sikandar
Valley Opportunity Council Chicopee/Holyoke Director of Programs, Adult Education and Career Readiness.

Iris Sosa
Boy Scouts of America Western Mass Council,, 787-512-1375.

Anaamika Nair
Stop Access Coalition, Gandara Center,

Bella Reeves
Peer leader Application

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
Thank you Elizabeth.

Flor Diaz
VOC/WIC Community Coordinator

Heather MacInnes
Work western mass council, bsa Youth Services for all genders/orientations grade k- age 21
Community Rotary Club of Hokyoke Flags for Heros launching 5/18 at Holyoke Library
973 769-2340

Alyssa Golden
I can't stay, but it's great to see you all! Feel free to reach out with questions about the legal assistance available for criminal records-related issues. Alyssa Golden, Community Legal Aid 413-582-1377

Alexandra Maggio
United Way Pioneer Valley for volunteer needs

Anaamika Nair
FREE Webinar! Register and share please!!

Robert Crawford
Thank you Mr. Caisse for this space and thank you MassDEP for the information. I have to respond to an emergency but here is my contact info:

Rob Crawford

Rafael Santos

Brett Fortin
UD DOL\OSHA 413 785 0207,

Cassie Giardina
Rise Above Foundation, Cassie Giardina-Community Outreach Manager. General youth in foster care support for funding link-Funding | Rise Above Foundation ( Care Packages for youth in foster care ages 18-23.

Catherine Brown
YASL Case Manager here
Email DCF referrals for our independent living program at:
have resources or volunteer opportunities?
Email me at:

Lindsey Rothschild
Holyoke Hockey Club

Chiara McNally
Attorney General's Office - Community Engagement Coordinator (WMAS)

Dashima Walter
sorry everyone I have to go but it was very nice meeting everyone my office number to pbh is 413-310-3681

Heather MacInnes
Holyoke Rotary is seeking memebers. Meet at Library 3rd tuesday for lunch 12-130.
Flags for Hero- regonize personal heros not limited to veterans or first responders 5/18
Volunteer Awards Dinner in October recognizing volunteers in all sectors

Chiara McNally
I have to hop onto another call, thank you for having me and it was nice to see everyone!

Shannon Burke
Sorry I had to jump off. Holyoke Pediatrics. No new updates. thank you everyone for your time

Samuel Del Valle
Holyoke Police Department
Professional Standards Unit
138 Appleton Street
Holyoke, Ma 01040
T: (413) 322-6900 Ext. 577
C: (413) 472-9281

GiGi Northrop /

Jayde Thomas LightHouse School in Holyoke's Raise Your Glass fundraiser is coming up on 3/21. Can you come? Please RSVP at this link

Helena Dixon
VOC > Citizenship Classes and ESOL CDL Paid Program > Helena Dixon (413)459-2733‬ (Text only)

Diana Biagioli
Sorry, have to go to another meeting. Looking forward to presenting next month!

Mandy Goulet
Hope for Holyoke peer recovery center

Melany Mendoza
Mass Mentoring Partnership 3V3 Tournament


Melany Mendoza
Mass Mentoring Partnership
Melany Mendoza Manager of Comunity Engagement Mass Mentoring Partnership

GiGi Northrop
I have to hop on another meeting at 2pm, however I look forward to connecting again next meeting. Peace & positivity to you all!

Sarah Lynn
MSPCC Prevention

Sarah Lynn
MSPCC Prevention

Melishia Santiago
Sorry I have to leave. Thank you!

Sidney Richeux
Hi, My email is I have attached the referral form for ICC services. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program or how to refer the clients. 413 433 2671

Thomas Alimberti
Gandara Center
Community Based Clinical Services
I have to jump off for another meeting. Thanks Everyone!!

Nancy Kocsmiersky
Holyoke Library
I have to leave. Thank you for all of your good work. Have a great day.

Wilhelmina Humphries

Melany Mendoza
Mass Mentoring Partnership
Would love to have one of these meetings in person!

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is a special meeting on Thursday, April 11th on Zoom.

Contact Information:
Edward Caisse
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
(413) 858-0225
Friend Request us on Facebook @ Shsni Holyoke

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