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May 2023

Ed Caisse

May 11 2023

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Agenda

Date: May 11, 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

Francheaska Bermudez: Public Health Institute 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Hi everyone, my name is Francheska Bormudez. I work at the Public Health Institute of Western Mass, and I along with Dan who’s also on the call. We will be presenting on our healthy air network. So we have a network of air sensors around Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee measuring air qualities. So I will give a short presentation on why we’re doing what we do, why it’s important, and we’ll do a short demo on what an air sensor can do with burning a candle for example, and how we can quickly clean the air after. So I’ll just hit share screen (Zoom screen sharing).

To start off, as we’re all professionals, we’re all doing a lot of great work and helping folks out, and so as a basis we for environmental justice we work with the notion that everyone has the right to healthy air and a safe environment, but also folks have the right to have access to this information that we so regularly put out. So the healthy air network where a network of professionals from various organizations, but also resident advisors are very involved. Resident advisors from Springfield and Holyoke, and they’re involved for various reasons, but the most common being that we ourselves suffer from some sort of asthma or chronic lung disease. Or we know someone, family or friend that does and that hits right to home and why they are involved in this project. So a lot of vulnerable populations are vulnerable to poor air quality and air pollution, so here we are thinking about our children and older people, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, and etc.

Air pollution affects us in different ways. Some short term, having an asthma attack, having high blood pressure, but long term, those that while may not have asthma today you can develop it. You can develop chronic bronchitis, COPD, die prematurely, etc. And so what we see here is that in Springfield and Holyoke, residents are three times more likely to go to the ER for asthma, compared to the State. And so why is that? Why is Springfield and Holyoke when it comes to this? And that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing with tracking air quality in the cities. So some more stats in Holyoke, four out of twenty kids in Holyoke have asthma, Springfield three out of twenty, when the state is just two out of twenty. And at the end of the day we have noticed that by 2050 everything is just getting warmer. And this affects the climate, the weather, all of the extreme weather we have experienced and will continue to experience. The stats are something crazy, like I believe last year, 2022, in total there were only eleven, well I say only, but compared to these stats it is juristic, there were eleven days that were over ninety degrees. And just think by 2050 we’ll have over a month of over ninety degree weather. And now I will pass it to our colleague who is also with us at the healthy air network.

Dan Butterworth:
Hello everybody! Thanks for having us. So in the interest of time, I don’t think we’ll do a whole like verbal brainstorm about this next slide. But we’re telling the kids a lot of times we ask them, what are the sources of air population that are happening in our communities. And I mean if we wanted to, you could brainstorm some of those right into the chat. The pictures are sort of some give aways there (pictures of air pollution facts on slide show). But I think it’s pretty clear to everybody in our communities that we do have lots of sources of local air pollution, and then some of the things that don’t always come up is that we do some sorts of air pollution that blow into our area from other spots. If you go to this website online ( it’s up all the time, it shows you our local monitors that are mounted all over the region. The monitors on this network we know they have been carefully calibrated. There are other places that see some of this information but the ones that are on this particular website we know are fairly accurate.

When I first started getting involved with this and sort of started monitoring this site, the thing that I was always sort of amazed at was how responsive and dynamic the data on there really is. I mean to the point that where we have one mounted here at the Hitchcock Center where I’m sitting today, and every once in a while we would have a fire side chat where we’d have a little campfire and a little program around the fire, and I could literally log into the healthy air network and see where I could see literally see when they lit the fire for the program that night. You could see the particulate matter, and you can imagine because we have a wooden building we’re not putting the fire too close the building, and still you would just see the proximity of that fire and the combustion already affecting the air quality around the building. If you jump up to the next slide then, this is a great slide of when we had all of those wildfires out west, and those were when we have having those really strange sunsets that look almost like apocalyptic sunsets. And that what our air was looking like and if we pulled the data from the network back then, we have these lovely little graphs of what it looked like when the sky looked like that. So that’s what I’m saying like these sensors even without going outside, without looking out the window, if you have health issues or if you have family have health issues, you could easily wake up in the morning and check this before the sun is up. And you would be able to see a good picture of what that air quality’s like in the area. Popping over to the next slide this is kind of what I was saying about we had a couple issues very recently where there’s been trains catching on fire out of state and a day or two later we see a spike in our air quality in this region. So to me, that’s always kind of interesting that if something happens in like Indiana we don’t see an immediate spike, but have been noticing that several days later after some of these far out of uptown things they pop up on the network. So back to these sensors (Dan shows a presentation video on how the sensors work).

The fan with a filter on it is something you can do for yourself in your own home (for better air quality). In terms of what your communities can do, trees have been a very popular topic here. Planting trees I think we have just a couple of different organizations here that are involved in tree planting in the local areas. Regreen Springfield, City of Holyoke Urban Forestry Program, Community Gardens Program. Community Gardens is sort of a win, win, because if there’s a community gardener we probably we have one less structure that’s using energy, then we’ve got that green space conserved that helps drop temperatures. Which if we jump to the tree slide I think that’s actually one of the things that’s on that slide. Trees have a lot of different ways that help improve air quality. Some of them are just as simple as giving off oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. Some pollutants actually do get absorbed by the trees and actually become incorporated into the trees, probably another good reason to not turn around and burn the tree because a lot of that probably gets rereleased. And even something like if we have one area that’s a polluting area and then we have a residential area nearby, planting trees between those two areas, one of the things people are even looking at is how much of that actual pollution just gets stuck to the trees. It’s just a physical barrier that without even being an issue of any chemistry involved just the barrier itself. And Francheska this is where I usually just flip it back over to you.

So this is the work we’re doing, we want to raise awareness about air quality and its effects on health for those that are vulnerable. Log into our air networking site, you can see it on your phone. We’re working on it becoming an app soon, but just before it gets warmer, air quality worsens with heat, so just keep that in mind. We just wanted to share to folks about our network, what we do, this resource that’s out free for the community to just check the air quality today, and is it a healthy air day for folks to go out today.

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

Abbie (Western Mass MOMS):
Good afternoon everyone, I love to be here, thank you so much for that presentation that was a lot of helpful information and definitely gave us a lot to think about. My names Abbie I’m here to represent the Western Mass Moms Partnership Program. For those of you who don’t know what we do, we offer an opportunity for mothers and caregivers with children under eighteen for their chance to receive our services. Our services include an eight week stress management course, we’re running this as part of a research study, this means it’s free to join, not only is it free we actually pay our participants as they move through the program and we do that with gift card incentives. So there’s a little more to it but I’m happy to connect one on one to explain exactly how our program works and how to enroll. But again thank you for being here.

Adar Medina:
Hi I’m Adar Medina from Holyoke pediatrics, I’m one of the medical home care coordinators and nothing new to present.

Art Lobdell:
Art Lobdell from Boy Scouts of America, how are you doing today, thank you all for the opportunity to be on here. Certainly we have opportunity to get some youths from Holyoke out to our summer camp programs. Again, please be in touch with us as soon as you can, I know I’ve got some of my other staff on here as well. So I also wanted to make out a quick pitch for the Holyoke Rotary Club, we are looking for volunteers to assist us with community service in Holyoke. We’re doing a maintenance program over at Jericho on the 20th and can use some extra hands for that. We also have other programs that are going on. Twice a month we make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the hungry through Kate’s Kitchen and could use some extra volunteers there. And so again today I am pitching another organization at the Boy Scouts. I’m pitching the Holyoke Rotary Club, we have other service projects as well, but I don’t want to use up too much of everybody’s time. Perhaps if there’s an opening sometime I could actually make a pitch for the Rotary Club as one of the spotlights.

Alison Schoen:
Hi everyone my name is Alison Schoen, I’m from the Hope For Youth and Families Foundation here in Springfield, Mass. We are currently working on a wonderful summer program that we are going to be providing for Springfield youth, so if anyone has any college students that are interested in being coaches for us please shoot us an email and we would love to get them connected with our program. Additionally, on May 23rd we have a careers colleges and fair for local charter and empowerment zone schools in Springfield happening at the Mass Mutual Center. If you know of anyone who would like to participate as a vender, please also feel free to reach out. Super excited, thanks Ed for all your help.

Ashley Jediny:
Hi everybody, Ashley Jediny, Hampden County Office. I’m the program coordinator for our prost overdose outreach team. I do not have an update at this time.

Bianca Frederick:
Hi everyone, I’m Bianca I’m from Union Alliance, and at this time we don’t have any updates.

Ana Gerena: Girls Inc. of the Valley
Good morning everyone, I’m with Girls Inc. of the Valley, if you’re unfamiliar we’re a nonprofit based in Holyoke, but we serve youth in Springfield and Chicopee as well. One our major updates is that we’re currently enrolling for artist and action summer program. It’s going to be two, three week programs for different age groups. Third through fifth grade are going to be June 26th through July 4th and our sixth through seventh grade will be from July 24th through August 11th. It’s going to be in our brand new building on 480 Hampden Street, which we are very excited about! And so, it’s a beautiful space we’re excited to get youth filling in and doing our wonderful programs. It’s completely free, breakfast, lunch, and snack is provided. So I’m going to go ahead and add it to the chat. Our flyer we’re also probably going to email blast soon with more information. We’re really looking to enroll youths, so if you know anyone that’s available. Again, it’s completely free which is great, so please help us get some youth in there. Thank you.

Bill Courchesne:
Hi everybody, Bill Courchesne, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. I’m the ward six coordinator for the Holyoke Safe neighborhood Insinuative. Nothing new to report right now but if you guys are having anything involved in ward six please reach out to me, I’ll be happy to help you any way I can.

Caleb Sierra:
Good afternoon everyone, for me it’s a great privilege to be with so many great organizations, I’m just presenting real quick. I’m a part of the team that’s hosting one of the biggest women’s conference focuses on the Latino community in the Pioneer Valley. So I just wanted to share with you really quick that we’re trying to bring together providers, entrepreneurs, businesses owners, nonprofit organizations, community leaders to be involved in this event to promote health issues; mental, emotional issues, that women in our community might be facing, underserved women.

This event will be bilingual and we’re going to have many different resources at the event. So we wanted to provide the chance for organizations in Holyoke to also unite this effort for the valley. We have different ways that sponsorship could occur. We have spots for other vender tables for organizations that are in this Zoom to put you information on this day; it will be June 3rd. The one organizing this event, Ronda Garcia, will put more information; she just put the flyer right now. And we have something that I really wanted to emphasize is that we have free tickets right now that we want to give out to people, and to women that your organization might be serving that would benefit from these resources because this conference does have a cost. But some more information about that, I know Veronica’s email is right there (in the chat notes). I know she’ll be sending out some emails.

If you have women interested that could benefit from a conference like this with tons of resources; conferences, workshops and a free breakfast. So if your institution wants to sponsor people to go, if there’s not enough free tickets to go out for everyone and you think that’ll also be beneficial there’s ways to support. So again, thank you all for the amazing work you do in the community and I won’t take up anymore of your time.

Carmen Ruiz: Valley Opportunity Council
Hi my name is Carmen; I work for Valley Opportunity Council. Adult education I am the program assistant. Right now we are trying to get a level one class during the summer. We don’t have the dates yet and we are also still enrolling students for the CDL. It’s a ten week program free of charge, students have to be level three, level four to qualify and if anyone’s interested I could put my name in the chat and my contact have them call me.

Chile Salazar: Hope for Youth and Families
Hi everyone, I’m Chile Salazar; I am also with Hope for Youth and Families Organization. My colleague Alison already provided a great update about our upcoming job and career fair, as well as our summer program so I’ll just leave it at hello.

Daniel Torres: Fishers of Men New England
Good afternoon everyone, Daniel Torres from Fishers of Men New England. We’re basically a ministry that helps churches and is collaborating with churches. And our biggest project right now is trying to get churches more involved in the fabric of their communities. Churches do amazing work but sometimes the community doesn’t either understand or know what they’re doing. So we’re trying to work with churches and more specifically get more of the churches in Holyoke involved in what happens in the community. And this is a great tool to get that information out. So we’re going to be getting that information to you in the near future. Thank you Eddie and have a great day everyone.

Denise Kelly Lachet: Hampden District Attorney’s Office
Good morning everyone, my name is Denise Kelly Lachat, and I’m from the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. I’m a diversion specialist and reaching out to people, I think Art might be one with I can maybe work with. Looking to find community service. For those of you who are not familiar with the diversion program; what that is, is people who come to court and have either misdemeanor offenses or nonviolent crimes; we give them the opportunity for them not to have it go on their record. And one of the things we ask them to do sometimes is community service. Since COVID it’s been kind of hard to find community service, so if anyone has something like that and they’re willing to take some of these people in to do community service if you can reach out to me. My name and number and email are in the chat. This would be for juveniles and adults as well. Thanks Ed.

Diosdado Lopez-Martinez: The Support Network
Gracious Eddie, Diosdado Lopez-Martinez, I’m from the Support Network in Holyoke. Basically what we do is we work with families that suffer with emotional depression and social issues. So if you have any questions call me or hit my email. Thank you.

Ellen Broadhurst:
Hi, good afternoon everybody. I’m a private social worker; I work family’s parents to help them have their children return from the care and custody of the department of social services, of children and services. And I’m just here because this group is an amazing resource to stay up to date with what the parents need to support them. Thank you.

Heather Maclnnes: Western Mass Boy Scouts of America
Hi, my name is Heather Maclnnes, I’m with the Western Mass Boy Scouts of America. I also work with exploring programs where we have programs that we teach youth different career fields for aviation, communications, law enforcement, fire department, and pretty much everything is there where we work with many different units where an example; for the aviation that I’m an advisor in, we meet at Barnes Airport in Westfield twice a month. We work with many different guest speakers from Westover to the management at Barnes and we pretty much help the kids to get trained in their career fields where they get to learn hands on experiences, almost like a vocational school, but it’s not. It’s more hands on, in depth, where the kids are actually the leaders and we teach the kids to be our future leaders; be our future pilots, to be our future law enforcement officers, and fire department. So they sit there and they get to learn from the fire department, the police department, and everything. I’m working to try to get the law enforcement exploring units and fire department in Holyoke. Right now I just haven’t had a chance at the moment; my crazy schedule has just been busy. I will be at the Barnes airshow this weeke3nd with our aviation explorers. We will have a booth there that we will be having everything regarding exploring for scouting for kindergarten to the age of eighteen. We will be having everything you can find with exploring anything we can help with the youth to get them into better environments and try to help them out. There’s a lot of ways where they can sit there and do a lot of community service; to help better their environments, to help better their communities as well. We try to work with all of them to give them a better future and like I said its youth led so the kids are the leaders. They’re the ones running the program they pick out where we go for field trips. We have a field trip coming for aviation, next summer to go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where we will be meeting with everybody from all over the country for aviation field. So they’re a lot of opportunities there and we’re also hiring positions for summer camp as well for our council camp. And we’re also hiring for some jobs for the council itself.

Johann Vega: Holyoke Media
Thank you so much Ed. Hello everybody, I am Johann R. Vega, and I am the director of media engagement with Holyoke Media. Which is a public access channel, which is channel 15 in the city of Holyoke. We are still proud and happy to finally announce the grand opening of Holyoke Media’s facility this upcoming Friday, May 19th at 4:00 PM. It’s going to be an open event for everybody to attend, so you can see our space and see our different offerings that we have for production of television and podcasting stations. So people can actually learn how to create their own content. We’re going to have a live performance by a Puerto Rican cuatro player, A. Mendes; and food, and drinks, and great opportunities to connect and have a great time on May 19th. Also I want to make sure that everybody knows that we are finally here open and available to partner and connect, to promote everything that is happening in the city of Holyoke and the valley about the different programs, activities, so we can have those conversations and make content for channel 15 and social media on Holyoke Media. To talk about everything that is happening and being an amplifying voice of everything that is going on with these meetings of the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Insinuative. So it’s really important and meaningful moment that we have been waiting for several years to happen. And I want to make sure that everyone knows that you are all invited to join us on May 19th, next Friday, 4:00 PM. Also, to start talking about possibilities to start creating content together to help promote and amplify the different works, projects, and stories that you have on your own different organizations and entities, because that is the main goal of Holyoke Media; to amplify and make sure that everybody knows what is happening in our community in Holyoke and the valley.

Jac Essing: DIAL SELF AmeriCorps
Hi everyone, it’s so good to be with you, and so great to follow up after Johann because I was just actually at Holyoke Media a couple weeks ago with our core members and I can say that the space is great and I’m excited to partner with him to do more with them. I’m Jac Essing, I am with the Dial Self AmeriCorps Program and we are recruiting for ‘23-’24 program term. So members within our program we have about thirty slots which serve full time, forty hours a week at different nonprofits and school settings to support young people and their socioemotional learning, building their sense of belonging, autonomy, confidence, so all of the good things that we think young people should have. The benefits of serving within our program include; living stipends, education award, weekly personal and professional workshops, relationships, again all the good stuff. And so if you or someone you know would be interested in serving within our program, I’m going to put all of this into the chat as well and feel free to reach out. Also, some of our members are putting together an event in Holyoke for May 27th at Holyoke Heritage Park to support the unhoused population, so if you know others who would like to partake in that please feel free to me about that. Thank you.

Jeffery Hayden: Holyoke Community College
Hi, good afternoon everyone, thank you Ed. Jeff Hayden, Holyoke Community College, vice president for business and community services. Which essentially means adult education, workforce development, and English for speakers of other languages. We have a number of free training programs that we’re offering over the summer. I’ll put a link in the chat that’ll allow you to connect to that. Also, we are promoting an ESOL SNA class that we’re having in downtown. We’re also happy to say, and this probably is news a little bit early, but we’re working with Tech Foundry to establish a Tech Hub at the Maple Street location in downtown as well. So a lot going on and anything we can help, please let me know.

Jennifer Yekel: MSPCC
Hi everyone, my name is Jennifer Yekel, I work at MSPCC Eliot in the survivor services program, Holyoke Office. Solely focused on recovery and impact of trauma on survivors. We work with various child types, ranging from three to twenty one. We also provide various modalities for individual therapy and provide support groups, not only for survivors but also non offending caregivers. And we’re accepting new clients, so please reach out if you would like more information or like to make a referral.

Kate Pousont Scarborough: Food Bank of Western Mass
Hi everyone, I’m Kate Pousont Scarborough, from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. As always you can always reach out to me if you have a pantry, a shelter, a meal site, and you’re looking for more food we can talk about membership. And I also just wanted to let you know about an event coming up called Voices and Food Equity a Gathering of Emerging Leaders. It’s on Wednesday May 24th at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, 5 o’clock to 7:30. It’s a cost free gathering and for anyone who’s passionate about advancing food justice and creating a more equitable food system for people in Western Massachusetts. So there will be networking and guest speakers and some food and drinks will be available. I’ll put the link in the chat so you can sign up and there’s some contact info in that link if you have any questions.

Kathleen Ralls: Women’s Money Matters
Hi everyone, I’m Kathleen Ralls from Women’s Money Matters, and we’ve been primarily on the eastern part of the state but we’re looking to make some connections in Western Mass. I lived in Florence and Northampton and Amherst for ten years so I’m very familiar with the area. And what we do is we provide free financial wellness education for girls and women. If they don’t have access to hotspots, to laptops, we provide things for them. We provide state care if that’s an issue so we basically try to move any barriers and help anybody who identifies as comfortable in the community to come out and get some help with their finances. In particular we focus on girls and women who are low income, who are lower socioeconomic status, particular immigrants for those who are unfamiliar with our credit and economic system. We provide in person and virtual programming, and we have a couple of programs coming up, virtual, that we would love to have some people come and join us. I’m going to put a couple of flyers in our chat, so thanks so much.

Liandro Gonzalez: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
Hello everybody, Liandro Gonzalez, Hampden County Sheriff Office, working here at the Holyoke Police Community Center. I am also a part of the Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative ward one. Nothing to report at this time, thank you Ed.

Linda Manning: Easterseals Mass
Hi good afternoon everyone, I’m Linda Manning, I’m with Easterseals Massachusetts. I work as the pre-employment training coordinator. I work with student who are between the ages of 14 and 21 and have sort of a disability. I help them learn employment and transition skills. One key part of what we work with students on is helping them to get internships in the community. There’s no cost to the host or employer, Easterseals pays the intern so if anyone is interested in hosting a student intern this summer or into the fall, please reach out to me. My contact information is in the chat, thank you.

Lydia Pares-Pacheco: Big Brothers / Big Sisters
Hello everyone my name’s Lydia Pares; I am with Big Brother Big Sisters. We serve a nonprofit youth organization; our mission is create and support one on one mentoring and if anyone is interested in volunteering or enrolling a child my information is in the chat. Thank you.

Mandy Goulet: Hope for Holyoke
Hello everyone, my name is Mandy; I’m the peer outreach coordinator at Hope For Holyoke. We are a peer led community; benefits of becoming a member is you can take part in events such as our Mother’s Day brunch we have this Saturday, 11 to 1. We are moving; the date is to be determined, hopefully sometime this summer. Our Highway To Hope Program is up and running. I have my colleague on here, Mr. Sear; he’s going to explain that later on when he’s called. Thank you so much.

Maria Chambers: Behavior Health Network
Hi everyone, my name’s Maria Chambers; I’m a senior program manager at the Behavior Health Network and I don’t have updates today.

Maria Pagan: Holyoke Public Library
Thank you Ed. This is Maria Pagan, I’m the director of the Holyoke Public Library. First I want to thank all the partners that have responded to join the library in the Together For Families. Which is a program we’re working to be able to encourage and educate parents to engage in the health, education, and welfare of their children throughout their childhood and up to adulthood. I already sent the invitation to join. Thank you again to those who wanted to be part of this collaboration. The next email that I’m going to be sending out is to invite you for an informational planning meeting, so we can get to know each other and talk more about what this program is going to be about and how we are going to be working together. Then there’s going to be the training, and then by July/August we’ll have the program up and running. Thank you Ed.

Michael Moriarty: One Holyoke
Hey everybody, hope all is well. I’m Mike Moriarty, executive director of Holyoke Community of Development Corporation. The thing I want to share is an upcoming event on June 1st, especially if you have networks of people who are parents and children or students in Holyoke; it’s really open very widely. We are proposing bringing something called a Math Trails into Holyoke, sort of a public education and arts instillation. I’m putting a link into the chat box right now that brings you to the math talk organization so you can have a good sense of what that is. If you go to Boston, there are places in Nubian Square, Madison Park in Cambridge, Main South in Worcester, where families and their children can go and experience both a digital and an inline math experience; with number lines, with counting shapes, all sorts of beginning math concepts, in a fun and engaging way in a public park. That only exists in Eastern Mass and we’re going to fix that and we’re going to bring it right to Holyoke. It requires a design process and that’s going to start on June 1st, I’m just getting the media release out today.

I’ll be sending to you Ed so you can share it with everyone here. We’re trying to get an audience of seventy five people. We mostly want folks who live in Holyoke, who live in the areas of where we’re proposing this might go. We’re thinking places like Heritage Park, Pulaski Park. Community Park; it’s only going in one place. We want a collaborative community design process to pick exactly where that might be. It could be a whole trail going through the Flats or going through South Holyoke. And different people can make the case then we can see what comes out of the planning process. All of the information is going out today, also looking for a few locally based organizations to kind of help me on a steering committee with this, in terms of making sure we have outreach and good scheduling that doesn’t conflict with other local events. We hope to have a design done by the fall, and then my job is going to be to raise the funds to actually get the instillation done. So that’s June 1st it will be taking place in the Holyoke High School auditorium, we’ll be offer one of Holyoke Medical Center’s community meals at 5 o’clock so people can come in and get their food and stick around for a designed session that’ll run about two hours. So again, take a look at the website in the chat and I’ll be getting Ed the media release and other information that can be shared with everyone. Thanks very much.

Molly Jane Thoms: Community Legal Aide
Hi everyone, I’m Molly Jane Thoms, I’m a staff attorney at Community Legal Aide. We’re based in Springfield but serve Holyoke too, you might recognize the name Corrine Ryan who’s usually here at these meetings, I’m filling in for her today. We represent clients across a broad range of civil legal issues and I’m in the education unit. And what I’d just put out to this group is that our education takes are open, so if you’re working with any students or their families who are facing issues with Special Ed, 504 Plans, bullying, or other kinds of discrimination or school discipline definitely give us a call. It’s great to get referrals and it’s great even if other providers can make a call in to do intake with our clients to help them get through that process which has a few hurdles. So if anyone has any questions I’ll put my contact info in the chat again. Thanks so much.

Myriam Rodriguez: Holyoke Public Schools
Hi good afternoon, my name is Myriam Rodriguez, I am the new family coordinator at Lawrence.

Nasir Nolan & Juan Otero: Highway to Hope
Nasir: Good afternoon everybody, my name is Nasir Nolan, I’m a recovery coach and driver at Highway to Hope which is located in Hope for Holyoke. We provide safe and confidential transportation to people living in the Hampden County. Comminuting to detox residential treatment and sober housing anywhere in Massachusetts. We can be located at Hope for Holyoke, 100 Suffolk Street, until we move.
Juan: We’re going to have new flyers and stuff like that with more information as they come along. When we move keep on being on our Facebook page and then you’ll be able to know when we’re going to move. We are still finding out and waiting for the move date. But we’re here to be able to service the community as much as we can.

Yvonne Lomax: Westover Job Corps
Good afternoon Ed and everyone, Yvonne Lomax from Westover Job Corp, outreach and admission manager. We are now accepting applications for residential students as well as nonresidential students. I also wanted to share that we have three new trades that are really outstanding and will be up and running in August; which is our heavy equipment, heavy equipment mechanics, and then we will also be having our Mercedes Benz Program connected to our Auto Program. We do tours every Wednesday 10:00 AM by confirmation. My email and my number is in the chat And I also wanted to extend our self to any community service that we can assist with within our local communities in Western Mass, Holyoke, and anywhere our services are needed. Thank you everyone and have a good day.

Officer Josh Colon: Holyoke Police Department
Hello everybody, I’m Officer Josh Colon, Holyoke Police Department; the community police officer for the department working out of a 208 Ray Street. At the moment I have no updates. Thank you Eddie.

Roxanne Cotton: Monte Marie
Hi everybody, I’m Roxanne, I do admissions at Mount Marie and business development. So we have a couple of things coming up; first Monday, I’m looking for a place. What we’re doing is nursing home week, but I want to announce first that Mount Marie became officially today mask free so we had a huge celebration here. And also Monday is we’re giving back, it’s nursing home week so we’re giving back to the community. So we’re putting together birthday bags. I’m trying to find if somebody could maybe help me [find] a place where we can donate these bags on Monday. We have decorations, cake mixes, frosting, stuff like that, and the department heads are all put in bags together. So we’d like to deliver those to someone in Holyoke, if anyone can reach out to me. Also, Tuesday is Intergenerational Day. We did reach out to the schools but I guess you have to do that three months in advance to have students come in and we just want to see if there’s any kids in the area that could come play games with our residents. They can reach out to me as well on that between 3:00 and 3:30 our activities director said. And then also, we’re doing an appreciation barbeque for police and fire department in Holyoke on Wednesday May 17th between 11:30 and 1:30. We’d love to have as many police and fire department there as we can. We did deliver flyers to them as well. So we’re doing that just to give back to the community to show our appreciation for everything you guys do. And then I wanted to get ahold of Johann Vega, we actually have to see if that’s something we could tap into him with that with giving back to the community. And also we have our prom for our residents, a senior prom; we’re doing the roaring twenties that is June 1st. So I can reach out to you Ed just to see if I can get some community involvement. I do have the Western Mass Miss Teen coming to crown our queen. We’re trying to get ahold of the mayor’s office to come crown our king. It’s going to be a huge event for our residents; especially now that we’re mask free it’s going to be better yet. We went and got dresses and they’re making their flapper headbands and everything like that. So it’s going to be a great event for the residents they loved it last year and the roaring twenties is great for them. Look for it, look on our Facebook for our mask free thing it was great we were around with a fire pit and had the staff and residents throw them out in the fire pit. So this day has been long overdue, so it’s a great event.

Sandy Ward: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library
I put in the chat I’m a volunteer as people know, at two different organizations. The Holyoke Public Library and the mini golf event on April 29th was a lot of fun and really want to thank the sponsors and volunteers who helped make that successful. I’ve put in the chat a link to the photos I took of the fun we had in the library and one of the photos is a list of the sponsors so you can take a look at that photo album. I also put in the chat a reminder that I’m with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts, and we have a very informative website with price chats of the funeral prices in the area. And I offered to talk to groups about different death care options and questions about green burial and things like that. So you can find out more from our website. I have just scheduled a talk on June 1st. I can see that was probably a bad choice of date because of there’s such competition but it’s great a lot of good stuff happening in Holyoke. I put the information in the chat. Thank you.

Chief Sean McBride: Holyoke District Court Probation
Hi good afternoon, Sean McBride the Chief Probation Officer here in Holyoke. Nothing to report.

Shellie Daries: Department of Children and Families
Hi everybody, Shellie Daries, Department of Children and Families, I’m a foster care and adoptive recruiter for the Holyoke area. We offer information sessions about how to become a foster parent or adoptive parent on Mondays at 5:30 PM and Thursday mornings at 10:00 AM. My information is in the chat so let me know if anybody has any questions.

Sheryl Maldonado: Way Finders
Hi good afternoon everyone, my name is Sharron Maldonado. I work bistro member for Way finders as resident engagement coordinator. So for this month we’re going to have a few events. May 18th we’re going to have our Chestnut Community Amassment meeting, it’s going to be held from 5:00 to 6:30 PM. May 22nd we’re going to have an info session with Common Capital, 210 Elm Street, Holyoke, 5:00 to 7:00 PM. It’s going to be for residents that are from Holyoke or Springfield that are interested in forming a business or whatever they want to. So if you’re interested you can jump into this meeting or you can get to me, I put my information in the chat. Also, June 3rd we’re going to get together with One Holyoke with the cleanup. We’re going to do it and we’re going to gather together at 10:00 AM. If you want to be with us and cleanup Chestnut Street we’d be glad to have you with us. Thank you.

Veronica Garcia:
Hello, hello everyone. I just wanted to [give a] quick reminder, we have a conference on June 3rd. This is a women’s conference that I would love to share some tickets we have available, especially for people that they can’t pay the ticket. So we have some sponsors that give [them] away. So it’s very important to reach out to me as soon as possible because we would definitely like to pack that space. We’re actually going to talk about mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. And it’s crucial to have this space for people and especially for women. On June 3rd we’re going to have an all-day event, so please reach out to me and I’m going to send again the flyer. Thank you everyone.

Yadaris Rivera: Holyoke Housing Authority
Hi everyone, we have our first time home buyer classes coming up on the 23rd and the 24th from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If you know of anybody who’s interested you can go onto our website and sign up. That’s all I have to report. Thank you.

Jason Comcowich: Nuestras Raices
We have a number of things going on. So there’s regular volunteer days at our farm, 24 Jones Ferry Road, on Thursdays. You can get in touch with me; I’ll put you in touch with our farm team if you have anyone who would like to do that. I also have a lot of rolling opportunities available, helping out with our community gardens. We have some light restructuring of la fin kita that we need to do. As well as helping spread some compost and top soil at a number of our other gardens. And I can schedule that on a per needs basis if you have any folks who need some volunteer hours. And we also on May 20th, that’s a Saturday, our farm opening party. So that’s going to be from 12:00 to 4:00, it’s going to have live music, food venders, there’s going to be all kinds of fresh products and plants for sale. So come and check that out, it’ll be a good time. And that’s all I have for now, thank you.

Amanda Wallace: Way Finders
Hello, I’m filling in for Jenn Santos, who is the system navigator here at Way Finders. I don’t have any updates; I’m just here for resources.

Keiry Dilone: RFK Community Alliance
Hi I’m Keiry, I’m from the ASELL Program, I am a case manager. We don’t have any updates but we’re always open to community service opportunities and volunteer opportunities for our youth.

Gloria Penagos: Holyoke Community College
Thank you Ed and do you know that this is my favorite meeting. First I want to say thank you to Francheska and her colleague for the presentation. I think it was very interesting and very worrying. I’m from Holyoke Community College; I’m very excited to host on June 2nd this amazing meeting. After COVID I think the best thing we can have is a meet in person and we will do the networking. That will be an awesome meeting and I hope everybody can join us. Actually, Jeff was here, and Jeff was talking about free job trainings. I just want to emphasize about the culinary hospitality that was run in July for those people that want to go through the culinary field, and need help with the English this is a perfect time. So I will send out flyers and anyways, anybody can go through our website and you will find every single free training that we are offering. Thank you Ed.

Ed Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff’s Office
We’re kicking off our basketball program next week. Friday nights we’re going to be doing our big one, that’s when we get our most parents come out. So we always love to see; we’re going to have agencies and speakers from different career opportunities talk to the youth every Friday. But I want you guys to know that you guys are always welcome to come and join us. Set up a table; pass out information to the youth and families. You guys are welcome to join us every week if you want. The season’s going to go from May 19th to the championship is going to be Friday July 28th and that should be a special day as well.

I want to invite all of you, if there’s any agency representatives that want to get more involved; specifically like being a score keeper, or a volunteer chaperon on the nights we do our league. Particularly, Fridays is a really busy night, there’s hundreds of people. I know some of the folks on this call like; Abbie’s been there a couple times. There’s a lot of people around on a Friday night, so it’s a good night for agencies that want to give information to the hands of the families to actually get that information out.

That’s all I have, our next meeting is going to be June 2nd at the Culinary Arts Institute. I’ll send out a reminder but please make sure you click on that link and register for that meeting. That’s not going to be our regular Zoom meeting; it’s going to be in person. I guess I’ll talk to Gloria a little closer. I think we could potentially set up a Zoom meeting during it but we’ll have to look into that with the team at the Culinary Arts Institute. I think it would be a great opportunity for us, a lot of us haven’t been together too much because of COVID so maybe it’s a great opportunity for all of us to get together in person and have lunch together as we network. So that’s all I have for today. I just truly want to thank you guys for coming on.

I did make note of a couple agencies that we would like to see on the Holyoke Hub; Diosdado I think that there’s opportunities for you guys to get involved with the Holyoke Hub. The Holyoke Hub is on Tuesdays. And even if an agency can’t make it to the meeting every Tuesday, we like to have you guys fill out an MOU and be able to be part of the team. When we do have a filter four or a situation that needs to get wrap around services, we want to be able to engage you and get you guys involved. Another agency, Kate Pousont Scarborough, I thought that the resources that you have, we’ve had several situations that have come to the table that could really utilize your services. So I just want to encourage you, if you don’t know exactly what the Holyoke Hub is you could actually go on our website and read last month’s notes. I actually gave a pretty deep overview of the process and exactly what the Holyoke Hub is. What we’re doing is really trying as a community to identify people in the community that are at an acutely elevated risk; like on the verge of a possible overdose, like on the verge of a possible suicide, or on the verge of maybe getting arrested or having a real bad situation because of maybe alcohol abuse, we also have a focus on youth. So we do get a lot of situations come to the table through the Holyoke Public Schools. We’re just trying to help youth and families get out of acutely elevated risk situations. So it’s important for us to have resource agencies that are part of that team so when we do form a filter four we can get all those resource agencies that actually have services to deal with the rick factors the acutely elevated risk situation is demonstrating. So just consider it, if you need more information, send me an email. Hope to see you guys next month on the 2nd please register.

Chat Notes:

Mandy Goulet Hope for Holyoke

Abbie Germain
Abbie Germain- Western Mass MOMS 413-561-7413

Bill Courchesne
Bill Courchesne HCSD HSNI Ward 6 Coordinator 413-858-0015

Maria Pagan
Hello. This is Maria from the Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101

Carmen Ruiz
Carmen Ruiz , Program Assistant for Adult Education Prog. VOC

Molly Jane Thoms - she/her - CLA
Molly Jane Thoms - community legal aid, mjthoms@cla-ma,org

Abbie Germain
Find us on Facebook!

Jennifer Yekel
Jennifer Yekel MSPCC/Eliot Survivor services

sean mcbride
Chief Sean McBride - Holyoke District Court

Edward Caisse: Hampden County Sheriff's Department

melissa santiago
Melissa Santiago - BHHL-

Veronica Garcia
Hello everyone, I’m Veronica Garcia CEO of the Latino Marketing Agency My email is:

Shellie Daries
Shellie Daries, Foster Care Recruiter, Department of Children and Families. or 413-4523247

Ashley Jediny
Ashley Jediny, Hampden County Sheriff's Office, Program Coordinator Post overdose outreach,

Francheska Bermudez
Francheska Bermudez, 413Cares Program Coordinator at the Public Health Institute of Western Mass

Kathleen Ralls/Women's Money Matters
Hi everyone! I am Kathleen Ralls from Women's Money Matters. My email is

Yadaris Rivera
Hello everyone, Yadaris Rivera HCV FSS and Community Engagement Coordinator for Holyoke Housing Authority 413 539 2220 ext 275

Yvonne Lomax
Yvonne Lomax-OA Manager-Westover JCC-

Jason Comcowich
Jason Comcowich- TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator- Nuestras Raices-

Jeffrey Hayden
Jeff Hayden, HCC - Adult Education, Workforce Development, ESOL -

Lydia Pares-Pacheco BBBS-Bilingual Program Supervisor
Lydia Pares-Pacheco, Bilingual Program Supervisor at Big Brothers Big Sisters. 413-781-4730
Denise Kelly-Lachat, Hampden District Attorney's Office Diversion Specialist, (413)437-5561

Kate Pousont Scarborough
Kate Pousont Scarborough. The Food Bank of Western MA., 413-419-0139

Lisa M Carbonell-Correa
Lisa M Carbonell-Correa MA CCHW CDP
Memory Specialist - Dementia Care Consultant 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900

Ellen Broadhurst
Ellen Broadhurst, Private Social Worker supporting parents of children in DCF care, reach their goal of reunification.

Bianca Frederick
Bianca Frederick, RFK Community Alliance AIM youth program

Francheska Bermudez
Gloria Penagos -HCC

Ana Gerena (she/her) Girls Inc. Valley

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

Caleb Sierra
Caleb Sierra- Professional Translator/Interpreter

Shannon Burke
Shannon Burke Holyoke Pediatrics Medical Home care Coordinator. Sorry I'm late

Sheryl Maldonado VISTA member, working with Way Finders as Resident Training Engagement Coordinator Tel 413-386-6898, We help residents in our target areas, with computers class, CCA meeting, with digital equality coalition, walks in the neighborhood and cleaning. Next cleaning June 3rd 10am to 12pm. Our next (CCA) Chestnut Community Alliance meeting 5/18/23 5pm to 6:30pm

Maria Chambers
Maria Chambers, Senior Program Manager at the Behavioral Health Network (413)654-7639

Daniel Torres
Daniel Torres, Fishers of Men New England, creating collaboration and capacity building for churches and nonprofits to better serve their customers and or member base.

Kate Pousont Scarborough
Thanks for the great presentation!

Dan Butterworth - Hitchcock Center
Thank you all so much for your time! I hope my little smoke/fire demo was fun to see!

Abbie -Western Mass MOMS
Western Mass MOMS is always enrolling. Call today with questions or to see if someone is eligible! 413-561-7413

Erica Vasquez
Erica Vasquez Holyoke Pediatrics Care Coordinator. Email is: I do not have a camera unfortunately. No new updates.

Francheska Bermudez
413Cares is holding "Office Hours" for organizations and individuals to learn more about 413Cares and ask specific questions to help everyone use the platform to the fullest capacity. Register and drop in for the time needed.
May 17th, 1:30-3:00pm -- Register here

Off. Josh Colon
Hello everyone Off. Josh Colon Holyoke Police Dept. 413-650-0546

Art Lobdell
Im also hiring year round part time
Youth Worker Outreach
Retail Store mgr

Veronica Garcia
You won't want to miss out on our incredible event happening in Springfield on June 3rd! The Viviendo Sin Limites Conference - the ultimate event for empowering underserved women in our community! As an incredible community leader, I greatly appreciate the remarkable contributions you make to our community and the surrounding area. You won't believe the impact your support can have on the countless women we serve.
However, as I prepare for our Living Without Limits Conference, I invite you to lend your support to this vital cause by identifying women whom you serve that would benefit from attending.
The ticket price is currently at $60, but I understand that not everyone can afford it. That's why I'm reaching out to organizations like yours to help us find these amazing women and either sponsor them or we can secure a free ticket for them. We only have a limited amount of time to distribute the free tickets so confirming their attendance is imperative. Let's work together to make this event accessible to everyone who wants to be a part of it!
Thank you in advance for your assistance in spreading this information to your friends who may be interested in sponsoring and attending the event.
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:

Alison Schoen
Alison Schoen, Hope for Youth and Families Foundation-

Carmen Ruiz
Carmen Ruiz, 413-602-0206,, Valley Opportunity Chicopee

Sarah Lynn
Sarah Lynn- MSPCC Prevention- Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers programs. Free, Voluntary, home visiting parent support programs. for more information

Roxane Cotton
Mont Marie is having an Appreciation BBQ on Wednesday May 17th for the Police & Fire Department 11:30 - 1:30 if you know of a police or fire department member plese send them our way for a BBQ, any questions contact Roxane @ 413-538-6050 or e-mail at

Caleb Sierra
Caleb Sierra-
Professional Translator/Interpreter at Latino Marketing Agency in Springfield, Massachusetts. We fulfill all of your organization's marketing needs, whether it be a website, a commercial, a television commercial, a radio promotion, or the creation and management of social media content. We are eager to serve you with professionalism, modernity, and cultural sensitivity.

Erica Vasquez
Erica Vasquez Holyoke Pediatrics Care Coordinator. Email is: I do not have a camera unfortunately. No new updates.
Diosdado Lopez-Martinez
Diosdado Lopez-Martinez, The Support Network 413-887-2771
For this Summer: Holyoke Community College & Culinary Arts Institute offer FREE JOB TRAINING ESOL CULINARY & HOSPITALITY -

Bianca Frederick
Heather can you add your contact info in the chat ?

Heather MacInnes
I do not have the contact information for that area. I can provide with my contact information and you are welcome to come and visit our Aviation Exploring Post/Club 1903. and my cell number is 413-218-2798.

Iohann Vega
Holyoke Media Grand Opening on Friday May 19th 4-6pm. One Court Plaza (Entrance on Suffolk Street) Holyoke, MA.

Jac Essing (DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program; she/they)
Jac Essing, she/they,; we're recruiting DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps members for our 23-24 program term. Members serve full-time (40 hrs/week) at non-profits and school settings to support young people in their socio-emotional learning and building their sense of belonging, autonomy, and confidence. Benefits include: living stipend ($1618/monthly pre-tax), $6,895 education award, weekly personal and professional development, free health insurance, and much more. Apply and learn more:

Sandy Ward
Sandy Ward, volunteer, reporting on the April 29 event, Mini Golf & Games at the Holyoke Public Library. I want to THANK the sponsors and volunteers who helped so much. I invite you to view photos of the FUN at
My personal email:
I’m also a volunteer with the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass. Our website provides useful information about many options, tips for saving $, and a comparative chart of prices changed by funeral homes in our region. Visit
I offer talks to groups. E.g., Thursday, June 1, 7pm, at in Divine Theatre at GatewayCityArts (as part of Nerd Nite Holyoke)

Jeffrey Hayden

Heather MacInnes
Heather MacInnes, Western Mass Boy Scouts Of America Council. I am the Membership Specialist and the Program Specialist for Exploring. I am also the Advisor for the Aviation Exploring Post/Club 1903. Youth ages are 10 yrs old through 20 yrs old.

Keiry Dilone
Keiry Dilone, Case Manager (YASL Program), 413-575-7260

Heather MacInnes
My cell phone number is 413-218-2798 and my email address is

Kate Pousont Scarborough

Jeffrey Hayden
Some other notes: HCC Culinary Arts Truck for Health and Wellness education will be on the road by June 1. Also the Freight Farms on Race Street will be painted next week and then relocated to the Mass Green High Performance Computing Center property soon after.

Kathleen Ralls/Women's Money Matters
Please feel free to contact me if you would like me to provide an info workshop for your staff and clients.

Mandy Goulet
Mandy Goulet Peer Outreach Coordinator

Bianca Frederick
Linda Manning we can definitely connect I might have youth interested or future youth I can't find your contact info in the chat. Here's mine and my name is Bianca

Michael Moriarty

Yvonne Lomax
Hello Ed- I have another meeting at 2pm- I have to log off Westover is accepting applications and Tours by confirmation-413-5056100- Residential Housing available.

Molly Jane Thoms - she/her - CLA
Community Legal Aid - Molly Jane Thoms - education law unit :)

amanda wallace
Molly can you please put your contact info in the chat.Francheska Bermudez
Francheska Bermudez
413Cares is holding "Office Hours" for organizations and individuals to learn more about
413Cares and ask specific questions to help everyone use the platform to the fullest capacity. Register and drop in for the time needed.
May 17th, 1:30-3:00pm -- Register here
Have to hop off, bye everyone!

amanda wallace
Will do thank you Molly
And I am from Wayfinders

Maria Chambers
Have to run to another meeting. I hope everyone has a great afternoon!

Jeffrey Hayden
HCC STEM Equity Conference - October 27 - Please save the date.

Yadaris Rivera
Hello everyone I have to go, we have our next First time home buyer class on May 24th and 25th from 9am-2pm if anyone is interested in attending or know of anyone please go onto our website to sign up.Maria Rodriguez

Hi everyone! I need to hop off but I am Maria I. Rodriguez and I have an established non-profit, Give With Love Corporation and currently work for DCF. I was introduced to you all by Miguel A. and I am looking to network and learn from you all as time goes on. Thank you for having me here and looking forward to the great information and opportunities. See you all next time!

Abbie -Western Mass MOMS
Yes, those Friday nights are GREAT!

Erica Vasquez
That's the link he shared in the chat earlier

Jac Essing (DIAL/SELF AmeriCorps Program; she/they)
thank you

Veronica Garcia
Thank you everyone

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is special meeting on Friday, June 2nd, 2023: Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race Street in Holyoke.

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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