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Making A Holyoke Neighborhood Safer

HOLYOKE, Mass (WGGB) — People from all walks of life came together Wednesday in Holyoke to try and make for a better life for a city neighborhood.

To the casual observer, Holyoke’s Hamilton Street Park looks very appealing on a sunny late summer day. But unfortunately, it’s appealing to the wrong element.¬†Raul Matta, PICSR program manager says that area of Holyoke is a haven for drug addicts and dealers, so for a day, they’re trying to give the area a new image.

Step Up, the Holyoke Health Center, and the South Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative joined forces to clean up this park and raise awareness about the problem of drug addiction. Matta says hundreds of children play in Hamilton Street Park and the dirty needles scattered all around expose them to the threat of HIV or Hepatitis C.

Andrew Melendez of the newly formed safe neighborhood initiative says this clean-up involves people from the neighborhood, across Holyoke and from local colleges. He calls it a beautiful thing that they care about Holyoke.

Raul says more park and neighborhood clean-ups are planned for the remaining months of the year.

If you’d like to volunteer and make a difference, call 536-8721.

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