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People Inc. Receives $1.5 Million in OPWDD Grant Funding

Agency receives five grants total, more than any other agency in the state 

February 4, 2015: People Inc. has received a total of $1.5 million in funding from The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to support five projects that address barriers to transforming the system of care for individuals with developmental disabilities. The OPWDD awarded 133 grants totaling $65 million to more than 103 organizations through a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process open to New York State developmental disabilities providers, advocates and local governments. The grants range from $33,000 to $5.2 million and are funded through the New York Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) Transformation Fund. 

Funding received by People Inc. will support five projects designed to remove barriers in the areas of housing, self-directed services and employment as follows:

Family Care Project
The Family Care program model, where providers open their homes and program participants live as part of the family, will play an increasingly important role in the future service system. People Inc. will partner with Lifetime Assistance Inc. to propose and pilot redesign of the program statewide to make it more attractive to provider families and participants and develop marketing strategies to raise awareness about the program.  

Life Quality Coaching Project
Transforming our system of care requires a more community-based, inexpensive, consumer-directed way of operating. This project will focus on better preparing individuals with developmental disabilities and their families so that they can embrace the imminent changes, and succeed with a different type and level of support. This project will deploy Personal Outcome Measures (POMs) and the Life Quality Coaching model, a “burst” service that provides short-term intense coaching to reach specific milestones of independence, to create a culture of transition and facilitate the integration of residential consumers into more independent community settings. People Inc. will collaborate with The Resource Center on this project. 

Self-Directed Community Services Project
Self-Directed Community Services is a choice-based program designed to promote independence as individuals with developmental disabilities and their families build their own circle of support. This collaborative project will focus on deploying technology to more efficiently process payments, timesheets and other administrative duties associated with self-directed services. Janus Systems Corporation will serve as technical consultant developing the full software solution to be piloted. Collaborating agencies include Lifetime Assistance, Inc., Aspire of WNY Inc., Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Heritage Christian Services Inc., Rivershore Inc. and The Resource Center. 

Employment Project I
To advance both Governor Cuomo’s Employment First Policy and OPWDD’s New York Plan to Increase Employment Opportunities, this project will expand three small business enterprises that are currently being piloted by People Inc. to capitalize on market opportunities and create competitive jobs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Employment Project II
In line with OPWDD’s Employment-First philosophy, this project will focus on providing legal guidance for People Inc. and peer organizations across the state as it relates to self-employment and new business creation for individuals with developmental disabilities. People Inc. will partner with Capabilities Inc. on this project.

All awards will be financed by the New York State BIP Transformation Fund. Projects were selected based on the quality of the application received as well as the size and scope of the project. The BIP Innovation Fund is designed to engage New York's broad network of providers, advocates, and community leaders in developing systemic improvements that address barriers encountered when providing community-based long term supports and services (LTSS) across all populations of Medicaid beneficiaries in the state. 

People Inc. is a not-for-profit health and human services agency providing programs and services to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York. Since 1971, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity.

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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