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Our History

People Inc. was founded from a humble beginning in 1970 by a small group of parents and professionals, who were concerned and passionate about addressing the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. Since then, People Inc. has remained forward-thinking and expanded its mission to include a wider variety of supports that address the needs of people with developmental disabilities, families, older adults and the general public.  

Growth, Values, Success 

Over the years, People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, has grown greatly in numbers of populations served, variety of services and number of locations in Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. People Inc. strives to instill its values to improve lives, provide respect, pursue excellence, promote diversity and inclusion. We started with less than 10 employees and more than 50 years later, we have nearly 4,000 staff members, who make an impact for the more than 10,000 people of all abilities and ages at nearly 200 locations.

Providing Supports 

Programs and services include: Residential, Children and Young Adult Services, Community Habilitation, Day Services, Vocational Services and Supported Employment, Family Supports, Respite, Self-Directed Services, Health Services, Services for Older Adults, Affordable Apartments and various Business Solutions.

Grateful for Collaborative Innovation

Throughout the years, People Inc. has aligned with other agencies, forming partnerships that have strengthened our mission to effectively provide person-centered services and be more financially secure. Our agency is thankful to the community and to all of our partners for joining together as a united People Inc. family that is dedicated to helping people achieve independence and meet their goals. With these proactive alliances, we are well-positioned to continue to provide high quality and innovative services to help support people now and into the future.

• In 1989, People Home Health Care Services, an affiliate of People Inc., was established for those with short-term health needs. These services provide at-home, medically prescribed support for people of all ages who are in need of acute medical care or assistance with daily living, including physical, occupational and speech therapies; nursing care; nutrition and medical social work.

• People Inc. recognized that Western New Yorkers with developmental disabilities had increased difficulty finding quality medical services and took medical care one step further by developing plans for a community-based health care facility. A capital campaign was formed and as a result, the Elmwood Health Center was established in 1994. An affiliate of People Inc., the Elmwood Health Center offers a range of health care services to people with disabilities, children, seniors and the general community, as well as specially-designed services for people with developmental disabilities.

• Over the years, there has been a growing need for assistance for people with traumatic brain injuries. In 2011, People Inc. responded to this need by partnering with Headway of Western New York. As an affiliate of People Inc., Headway of WNY assists people and families with a traumatic brain injury, other cognitive conditions, seniors and veterans. The agency offers a variety services, including support groups, identification of supports and waiver programs, as well as education and outreach.

• People Inc. furthered its existing reach in Niagara County when Rivershore, Inc. became a division of the agency in 2014. Founded in 1980, Rivershore supported people in Niagara County living with developmental disabilities to pursue and achieve meaningful lives. In 2016, People Inc. partnered with Southeast Works, a local not-for-profit agency based in Depew, NY, supporting people with developmental and other disabilities, primarily through employment training and services. 

Since joining the agency, both Rivershore, Inc. and Southeast Works have merged with People Inc. The existing foundations for Rivershore and Southeast Works continue to raise funds and promote advocacy efforts – the Rivershore Foundation supports people in Niagara County with developmental disabilities to live independently. The Southeast Foundation raises funds to enhance employment opportunities for adults with disabilities supported by People Inc.

• In 2019, Deaf Access Services become an affiliate of People Inc. The partnership allows both organizations to pool resources to meet growing demands, expand services for a broader geographic reach and enrich services for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing. 

• In 2020, Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., a non-profit horseback riding facility, affiliated with People Inc. The facility provides therapeutically-based equine activities for people with disabilities of all ages, older adults and veterans with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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