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October 2021

Ed Caisse

October 14 2021

Virtual Networking Meeting

Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Meeting Notes

Date: October 14, 2021
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

Rodney Allen: CrossPoint Clinical Services 1:05pm - 1:20pm

Rodney introduced himself as Executive Director of CrossPoint Clinical Services. CrossPoint specializes in faith-based counseling (but not exclusively) with the mission of redeeming the mind, body, and spirit. Operates with the philosophy that modern-day Western medicine separates us into silos in terms of the care that we receive (i.e., seeing a pastor for spiritual health, a physician for physical health, a therapist for mental health), but they believe that we are not as separated as that. Rather, there’s such an overlap that they want to provide services in all of these domains. CrossPoint promotes personal healing through quality psychotherapeutic and wellness services and guide others to do the same with our professional consultation and training. Their services are client-centered, based on sound clinical practice and Biblical principles. They believe that trust, respect, confidentiality, and compassion are essential values to our work with individuals, families, and professional clients. Since opening their doors in 2013, CrossPoint has expanded to 23 licensed counselors, including those who are bilingual and work with youth, with locations in Worcester, Stoughton, and West Springfield.

Although mental health counseling is a large part of what they provide, CrossPoint actually goes beyond that by providing quality educational opportunities to the community in order to help people grow through the stages of life and the things that they go through. All of the CrossPoint staff a have experience working in both faith-based and nonfaith-based environments using traditional and integrated counseling approaches. Some of the classes facilitated by CrossPoint include Smart Step Family, a class about the dynamics of a blended family with children from previous relationships. They also offer Respect 101, an anger management class, as well as a number of marital enrichment and premarital classes. CrossPoint accepts most insurances (with the exception of Mass Health Standard) and offer manageable self-pay options. Referrals can be made online and more information can be found on the website. Wellness Coach and Trainer for CrossPoint Jennifer Allen also shared information about the Purpose Posse, an online workout community that meets regularly online for live workout and meditation classes for $20 a month, which insurance providers can reimburse. Jennifer performed a live demonstration of what these exercise classes look like and can be contacted for more information as well.

Agency Overview and Updates 1:20pm - 2:25pm

Yesenia Cruz: Ad care Hospital
No updates at this time. Ad care stands for alcohol and drug care. The organization does inpatient detox and outpatient substance use services for folks struggling with addiction. Ad care also provides support services for family members of love ones struggling with addiction regardless of whether the loved one is a client. Feel free to reach out for more information.
Yesenia Cruz, Ad care Hospital Community Service Rep
Contact:, 508-713-1710

Adalyn Colon: Holyoke Community College
Office located at 206 Maple St. in downtown Holyoke. HCC offers free day and evening classes for HI SET and GED preparation. HCC also offers English as a Second Language classes for people who want to learn or improve their English. Feel free to reach out for more information.
Adalyn Colon, Intake Specialist, Adult Education HCC
Contact:, 413-552-2927

Aida Rivera: Enrollment Office at Holyoke Public Schools
Working with Jennifer in a new position as Homeless Student Administrator at the Enrollment Office.

Seneida Torres: Alianza
Offices are open and advocates are seeing clients. Alianza has a grant that they are using to focus on elders or abuse in later life. If anyone is interested in a presentation, feel free to reach out. Alianza is hosting an event on October 23rd for Domestic Violence Awareness Month that is open to both collaborating agencies and community members. Reach out for more information.
Seneida Torres - Outreach Coordinator for Alianza (formerly Women Shelter Companeras) in Holyoke. Please contact me if you'd like to schedule a presentation or talk about services and how we could collaborate. We are having a DV event - October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I will add the flyer. Please feel free to attend and please share with your colleagues, participants and/or anyone within the community. Thank you
Contact:, 413-887-1610

Aliza Ansel: Valley Opportunity Council
Youth Advisor. Organization is looking for ABE 100 literacy level students (can be ESOL or ABE). This program is appropriate for those whose literacy level is too low for ESOL 1 and no alphabetic speakers such as Russian and Arabic speakers. If students’ literacy levels are too low for ESOL class, then this is the class for them. Feel free to reach out for more information. VOC is offering some online and in-person classes.
Aliza Ansel - If you are looking for a program for low ESOL or beginner ABE students, we have a low level literacy class with opening. Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 9:00-10:30am. Classes are all ONLINE. If interested please contact

Amy Karengekis: Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Western Massachusetts Office
Located in the Springfield regional office. The Attorney General’s Office is partnering with Lawyers for Civil Rights, Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and Greater Boston Legal Services Asian Outreach Unit to host a virtual meeting addressing hate in our communities from municipal school and community leaders across Massachusetts. This meeting will be held October 26th from 3:30pm-5:00pm. The event is going to give information about the rise in hate incidents and how to respond hate incidents and hate crimes. It will also provide resources to victims and to communities. Those who are interested can register for the event online. Feel free to reach out with information or questions.

Ami Jackson: Youth Advocacy Division Criminal Defense Investigator
Located in the Springfield office. YAD covers the Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin juvenile courts. The agency CPCS is going to be opening up a public defender office in Holyoke so that they can better serve the area more directly. Offices will hopefully be back in full swing in November. The agency is looking for anyone interested in being a social service vendor (must meet qualifications). Anyone interested can find out more information on the website under the “Jobs” link.
Ami R. Jackson – Criminal Defense Investigator Springfield YAD Office • 101 State Street, Suite 210 • Springfield, MA 01103413.750.1640 (p) • 413.733.2048(f) - We serve youth in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties in the juvenile courts. Qualifications: Masters level social workers (MSW), or a M.A./M.S./M.Ed. in a related field.B.A. Or B.S. in a related field and with relevant social service experience. License preferred (LICSW, LCSW, LMHC, LADC1, LMFT), but not required. For more information about the social service vendor’s role or the process to be approved to receive payments please email or click on this link:

Ashley Huard: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Survivor Services
Grant funded program serving Hampden and Hampshire County. The program offers therapy to children ages 3-22 who are survivors of sexual abuse, have been impacted by homicide, have witnessed domestic violence, have been impacted by community violence, and or survivors of physical abuse and neglect. They also offer case management, group therapy, and trauma-informed trainings for educators and other professionals. Their waitlist is currently closed due to being down a clinician, so anyone interested in working for the program is encouraged to apply (especially Spanish-speaking applicants). Group therapy will be offered soon and there will be no waitlist.
Ashley Huard - Survivor Services (781) 879-4804 (cell) Looking for opportunities to provide trauma informed training in schools, offices, etc. Groups are coming soon!

Art Lobdel: Boy Scouts of America
Looking to find area partners for programs in Holyoke. They continue to seek out opportunities to serve young people from Kindergarten to age 21 in vocational, character building, and outdoor education programs. They do have an outreach worker that is in place, but are in need of partner agencies to work with them. Feel free to reach out if interested in these programs.

Bill Courchesne: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Nothing to report.
Bill Courchesne - HCSD HSNI Ward 6 Coordinator

Brenna Monroe: Revitalize CDC
Safe and Healthy Homes Coordinator. The agency works with housing and healthcare.

Rachel Monroe: Revitalize CDC
Program Manager of DASH (Doorway to an Accessible Safe and Healthy Home) Program, which received funding to serve all of Hampden County. However, the program received significant ARPA Funds for Holyoke. This program’s eligibility is less rigid than before, requirements being low-income, older adults on Medicare and diagnosed Asthma. The program works with The Center of Eco-Technology, who performs a home assessment for the client to identify asthma triggers in the home. They then will receive supplies such as a vacuum, a mop and bucket, green cleaning supplies, etc. The program can also remove certain triggers from the home (such as carpet removal). Those who are eligible can fill out an application on or

Carmen Pagan: Revitalize CDC
Intake Coordinator for Revitalize CDC. Nothing else to report.

Chassity Crowell-Miller: River Valley Counseling Center
Director of Outpatient Services in Holyoke office. RVCC is accepting referrals; however there is a waitlist for the clinic. However, there is availability for some of their in-school counseling services in Holyoke and surrounding school districts.

Claudia Lora: A Better Life Homecare
A local agency that provides PCA services and at-home nursing services. They are offering physical and occupational therapy as well. The agency will be holding a workshop in November on healthier proxy and power of attorney in Spanish.
Claudia Lora - Community Outreach Director for A Better Life Homecare, Currently looking for CNA’s, PCA’s and nurses.

Cynthia Espinosa: City of Holyoke Planning and Economic Development Office
Hosting a partnership with 24 different historical and architectural sites October 16th at the Doors Open Holyoke Event. This event is celebrating the doors opening of incredible sites including the MIFA Victory Theater, the Robert Fishway, and others. The City of Holyoke is asking people to register online at They’re also partnering with 12 different downtown restaurants who offer a 10% discount for those who register for the Doors Open Event throughout the whole day. In addition, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm the merry-go-round will be free of charge for anybody who attends thanks to the support of Senator Velis and State Rep. Pat Duffy

Cristian Pedraza: New England Farm Workers Council WIOA Youth Program
The program works with participants between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school or looking to complete their HiSET and transition onto higher education, the workforce, or the military. The program helps to provide youth with work experiences so they can learn more about the wokforce and see what interests they have. They are accepting enrollments and are doing the Adult Basic Education Test for those who are interested in the program. Participants should call to make an appointment to take their test. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Cristian Pedraza - NEFWC WIOA Bilingual Academic Tutor (413) Maria Montero - Program Manager (413)

Derek Estrella: Holyoke Community College Career Pathways Program
Senior Community Outreach Counselor. The program provides free classes and services to providers in the early childhood field. They are recruiting up to 25 participants for the English CDA Program in the spring. There will also be some community courses being offered in the spring as well including Infant and Toddler and Trauma-Informed Care. Another free spring course being offered is a Spanish Education 104 course in Child Growth and Development (participants must be actively working in the field). Feel free to reach out if anyone is interested in any of these free courses and advancing their credentials.
Derek Estrella - Senior Community Outreach Counselors, Career Pathways @ Holyoke Community College,, (413) 552-2593 Course Offering for Spring: EDU 217: Infant & Toddlers HSV 141: Trauma Informed Care Spanish EDU 104 Child Growth & Development & a English CDA (Child Development Associate) Cohort starting in the Spring.

Duane Harden: Community Member
Interested in helping the community and learning what he can do to get involved.

Elizabeth Lenart: Holyoke Public Schools
Dean Technical High School has a lot of students seeking job or co-op opportunities. Feel free to reach out if interested.
Elizabeth Lenart - College & Career Counselor Dean Technical High School

Gina Anselmo: District Attorney’s Office
Youth Prevention Programs Coordinator. Youth Prevention presentations for Hampden County schools and students. Topics covered include social media for all age levels, Stop the Swerve presentation on impaired and distracted driving prevention program, and a Just Once program that covers substance use and opioid presentation. If interested in scheduling a presentation, feel free to reach out.

Iris Sosa: Boy Scouts of America
The outreach program is working to create new units in the Holyoke area to bring the program to the kids there. Iris also helps within the Spanish community and delivering information to Spanish-speakers as well.
Iris Sosa - Scout BSA Western Massachusetts Council,

Israel Rivera: Holyoke Public Schools
Family Access and Community Engagement Manager. HPS along with One Holyoke and others are working on organizing the 6th Annual Holyoke Community Dinner coming up within the next few of months. More information to follow. They will be reaching out in search for support, volunteers, and possibly donations.

Jeffrey Hayden: Holyoke Community College
No update.

Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola: Department of Youth Services Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (Central and Western Massachusetts).
Part of a local and national network of juvenile justice practitioners and stakeholders working to build a better and more equitable justice system. Right now in Western Mass the center/focus is on restorative justice, raise equities, and diversion initiatives, with an emphasis on youth of color and dually involved youth. Office is located in DYS building on Tinkham Road, Springfield. There is a collaborative training coming up on November 3rd, 3:00pm – 4:30 pm, titles, “The Child Welfare System and History of White Paternalism Deconstructing Dominant Narratives” where they will be delving into the history of the U.S. child welfare system in connection to white supremacy and if it’s led to see dominant narratives on racial disparities in the child welfare system. The training is in partnership with the court improvement program, administrative office of the juvenile court, DCF, racial justice task force, and family resource center. Poster and link for training will be shared.
Jenyka Spitz-Gassnola, Department of Youth Services Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Local Coordinator,

Kevin Joslyn: For the Love of Good Foundation
Three Sunday’s a month from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to serve homeless and struggling neighbors. Food, clothing and toiletries are given out. This past Sunday, they were out at Appleton and Chestnut, will be in Chicopee on the 24th and back in Holyoke at Kates Kitchen on the 31st. Next month, on the 14th, back at Appleton and Chestnut, on the 28th they will be at Kates Kitchen. No one gets turned away, regardless of religion, sexual orientation, gender etc. Also do an outreach to people suffering from an unexpected crisis. Next month will be passing the 5,000 mark of homeless and struggling neighbors that have been helped in the last three years. Website:

Jessie Berliner: GRIT
Residential recovery program for those with dual diagnosis. Specifically works with the LGBTQ community.

John McCarthy: USCIS
Deals with legal immigration into the United States. Someone seeking immigration can apply to USCIS and will either be accepted or denied. Biden Administration pushing for all federal agencies to push for naturalized citizenship.
John McCarthy-

Jonathan Alicea: Latino Counseling Center
Two offices, Mental Health Clinic on 125 Liberty St, Springfield and 121 State St, Springfield. There are four psychiatrists, four psychologists and they are conducting psychological evaluations

Karen Legace: U.S. Attorney’s Office
No update.

Kathy Anderson: Holyoke Medical Center
Community outreach for the hospital. Just did a workshop for nurses on the stigma of substance use disorder. More programs are available, not all are on substance use disorder. Social Determinacy of Health promoted the partnership with Wayfarers, which helps people with unstable home and shelter situations find a place to live. Dinner program feeds about 360 people per month. Next dinner is next Tuesday at the Salvation Army, one after that is November 9th. Also partner with revitalized CDC on asthma program by providing cleaning supplies and heppa vacuum filters. Starting 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (more details to come).

Kathyria Beltran: enrollment advisor for community education project in Holyoke. Provides adult as well as adolescent education opportunities. Program offers two levels of native language literature and adult basic education classes to transition to college or careers.
I am Kathyria Beltran, the new Enrollment advisor for The Community Education Project in Holyoke. CEP provides a variety of adult and family educational opportunities in the diverse Holyoke community. We offer two levels of native language literacy, three levels of ESOL classes and Adult basic education transitions to college and careers. For more info please visit : or give us a call at (413) 538-5770.

Kimberly Maende: Pubic Health Institute of Western MASS
Provide education, collaboration, and promotion for the Springfield Safe Homes Project and 413 Cares Project.
Kimberly MaendeProject CoordinatorSign up for our e-newsletter! Phone 413.794.3062PublicHealthWM.org413Cares.orgSpringfieldHealthyHomes.orgPublic Health Initiative of Western Massachusetts

Liandro Gonzales: Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
No update.

Lucy Friedman-Bell: Safe Routes to School
Walk to school day, focused on feedback.

Maria Pelchar: Holyoke Fire Department
No update.

Marissa Chiapperino: Registered Dietician at Holyoke Medical Center
Work to reduce hospital readmission rates. Active partner with “Let’s Move Hampden County”. Free diabetes series offered every month at Holyoke Medical Center. Four part series led by nurses, dieticians, and pharmacists. and work for the Community Navigation Department

Megan Gross: Bilingual Language Development Lab @ UMass Amherst
Program aimed to help Spanish speaking families with children who have special needs that involve a monthly support group for parents and caregivers that are facilitated by a fellow bilingual parent from Holyoke, while having activities for their children run by bilingual speech language pathologists and students, as well as other volunteers. At the moment, meetings are virtual and the next meeting is October 27th at 5:00 p.m.
Supporting Families Raising Bilingual Children, Interest survey:; contact:

Nayroby Rosa-Soriano: OneHolyoke
Putting together a Spanish language mayoral forum for next week, located in the Flats Community Building. Both candidates will be present. Questions and comments will be in Spanish, as well as the audio once posted to Holyoke Media’s YouTube page, will be in Spanish. Each of the candidates will be provided with an interpreter. Kids costume party on the fourth Friday of the month. Every month they try to have an event with a different theme. Last event was about cannabis industry, next month’s event will be centered around education and educators. Also, continuing vaccination efforts using additional funding and outreach program. Recently hired more staff in order to reach out to multiple communities. Little libraries installation, ribbon cutting will be tomorrow 9:30 a.m. therefore; kids will be able to borrow books and return them due to the lack of libraries in the flats right now. This little library project has been worked on in cooperation with the Leah group of HCC and the LatinX Club whom provided the funding for the boxes. Pfizer vaccine has been FDA approved, so if you were doubting getting your vaccine before, please get it now.

Nicole Coakley: Assistant Director of the Center for Services and Leadership: Springfield College
Fall cleanup for senior citizens (rake leaves, trim trees and bushes, clean yards) taking place on October 16th and another one on October 23rd.
Nicole Coakley, Assistant Director of the Center for Service and Leadership at Springfield College (413)342-8009

Officer Colon: Holyoke Police Department
No update.

Sandy Ward: Volunteer with the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass
Goal is to educate people on the different options, laws, and what an individual’s rights are. There is an upcoming program called “Traditions old and new: A Range of Rituals” which will be hosted by Gail Rubin. This program will be available for free via Zoom on October 17th at 2:00 p.m. Gail will speak about funeral traditions and the implications that the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on the funeral business industry and the different options within following Covid-19 guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

Sergio Vicente: MassHire Holyoke (Youth Council Operations Coordinator)
There is not much to update, however, there are a few programs that will be running in the future; Mass housing financing agency as well as youth works. Anyone who wants to help youth find their way and get jobs, send them our way.
Sergio Vicente - MassHire Holyoke Career Center -

Susan Dillard: Education Director at the Academy Music Theater in Northampton
Currently, looking for ideas, collaborations, and partnerships for ways to help bring some performing arts programs to kids. Currently classes are offered primarily in Northampton. Trying to form new partnerships to expand their reach, after school programs or during the day programs, or even night activities.
Susan Dillard, Youth Programs at Academy of Music Theatre. Looking for partners to helps bring performing arts programming to kids. Open to workshops, after schools programs, or extra-curricular classes.; (413) 320-4403. Please reach out! I'd love to collaborate!

Terry Lombardo: HCS Head Start
HCS is currently enrolling and serves children age 6 weeks to five years and have a very large center in Holyoke. Nikki Blaze is new C.E.O. Jana Santos has retired after 48 years.

Yvonne Lomax: Outreach and Admissions Manager at Westover Job Corps
Job Corps is still accepting virtual orientations and interviews and is also looking to partnership with any outreach that they can present in regards to Westover information and willing to help with any community service or community event in the city of Holyoke.

Walter Rice: Westover Job Corps Center
There are some great new policies coming out for the students that are vaccinated, more information will be coming out about that soon. Proud members of Ward 2.

Ed informed everyone if they are looking to be the agency to speak for 15 minutes at our upcoming Networking Meetings, they should reach out to him by email and he can schedule them.

Ed also mentioned that they are working on a Ward 2 clean-up that is scheduled for Wednesday, 10/20 in South Holyoke, behind Enlace. Also looking to do a Family Fun Night at Morgan School on Friday, 10/29.

Old Business / New Business
Next Meeting is Thursday, November 18th, 2021 (ZOOM).

Close Meeting 2:30pm
Contact Information:
Edward Caisse
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
(413) 858-0225
Friend Request us on Facebook @ HSNi Holyoke

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