Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook E-Mail a Link to a Friend

Latest News

Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, Inc. Joins the People Inc. Family


Lackawanna Based Agency Maintains their Identity and Mission



Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, Inc. has become an affiliate of People Inc., Western New York’s leading health and human services agency. Agapé Parents’ Fellowship, Inc. is an interdenominational organization dedicated to parents and families of loved ones with disabilities.


“During this time of budget constraints, human service agencies are looking to pull together their resources for operations to run more efficiently and for non-profits to collaborate where possible,” said People Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer James M. Boles, Ed.D. “The main goals during for this transition with Agapé were for their agency to maintain their identity and it is important for them to maintain their faith-based goals.”


Recently, the Agapé affiliation with People Inc. became official. People Inc. took over the behind the scenes functions of Agapé’s business functions while the foundation of the organization remains intact. “We have met with so many people from different departments in People Inc.,” says Donna Roberts, Agapé’s executive director. “We look forward to the partnership and to be allies for services and employee training.”


Similar to People Inc., Agapé also began with a group of concerned parents. In 1981, three sets of parents who have a child with a developmental disability met through their church and began to share information. When looking into other agencies that provided services, they felt that the core values did not match theirs and developed Agapé Parents’ Fellowship. The three original founding families were Bob and Gloria Rogan, John and Trudy Fish and Michael and Grace Bapst. Of those three couples, the Rogan’s and John Fish have since passed away. The Bapst’s continue to be involved with the organization and they reside in Clarence.


Non-profit organizations have had increased operational costs and competition for funding sources due to today’s economic struggles and budget cuts. “With limited resources, we have always just done it ourselves – from payroll, to transportation and even to cleaning the building,” added Roberts. “The ability to retain our core values and identity, but have some help with the everyday needs of running an organization is a wonderful opportunity for our team. While the transition has been scary, we know it needs to be done to survive in a challenging fiscal climate. We are grateful to People Inc.”


Agapé's budget was approximately $800,000. The agency serves about 120 individuals through Day and Residential Rehabilitation, Medicaid Service Coordination and Respite. Additionally, Educational Advocacy is provided to families throughout the year. Agape’s main office will remain on South Park Avenue in Lackawanna. Agapé fosters Judeo-Christian principles of sharing one another’s burdens, encouraging one another and praying for one another. The desire is to minister to each family through a holistic approach, creating a happy, healthy and secure family unit.


As an affiliate of People Inc., the Agapé team will pool their resources and focus on service provision. People Inc. provides services to more than 12,000 individuals, employs 2,500 and has over 40 years of experience.


Agapé is not alone in this transition as other agencies have recently joined with People Inc. In 2011, Headway of WNY, a volunteer support, advocacy and resource organization that was founded in 1985, became an affiliate. Headway of WNY is a not-for-profit agency that provides resources, support groups, recreational programs, training and educational programs to both survivors and caregivers of brain injury.


In 2012, People Inc. Finger Lakes was formed serving individuals with developmental disabilities in the Rochester region. In January, the former DePaul Developmental Services, merged with People Inc. to provide quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities, families and the community beyond the Western New York area.



Nicole Forgione, Public Affairs Manager

Direct: 716-817-7490,

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

Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn youtube