Telling the People Inc. story
Telling the People Inc. story
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Birthday cake with lit candles showing 50.
People Inc. Celebrates 50 Years
People Inc. was officially established on August 14, 1970. I’m so pleased to share that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the agency! I have been a part of People Inc. for 40 years and I’m so proud of how far we have come! It’s a time to look back on all of our accomplishments. We are also in a middle of a pandemic – a time that I certainly could not have imagined – we are getting through this together.
We started with just a small group of parents and professionals who joined together to address the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and formed what would grow to become People Inc. Now, we are many – not only in numbers, but also in the programs and services we offer for people of all ages and abilities, our employees and areas served throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region.
Our continuum of programs and services have evolved to support 10,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults. Over the years, we have expanded these services to support even more people to live, work and thrive – to be independent, to have access to supports and health services and affordable, safe housing – all while promoting independence and fulfilling experiences. As other organizations affiliated with People Inc., services were preserved in the community and expanded to even more people.
To all of our loyal families, 4,000 employees, supporters and community partners, thank you for being a part of the People Inc. journey for the past five decades, through developing innovative programs and services, providing opportunities for independence and inclusion, as well as advocacy and fundraising.
While we won’t be able to celebrate in-person in the short-term due to the national pandemic, we look forward to safer and better times ahead. I want to reassure you that People Inc. is focused on continuing to provide high quality services and safe environments for the people we support and for our staff. We will celebrate our 50th anniversary between August 2020 and July 2021. We will include information in this e-newsletter, our social media channels and website as the celebration continues.
Here’s to many more accomplishments. Let’s continue to tell the People Inc. story!
Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.

Local Landmarks Lighting Up Blue
On Friday, August 14, local landmarks will light up blue in recognition of our anniversary! Keep an eye out for these sights:
  • Niagara Falls* at 10 p.m. for a duration of fifteen minutes (live cam link to view from home).
  • Buffalo, NY City Hall to be illuminated at night through the Buffalo LIT (Landmark Illumination Team) initiative.
  • Downtown Buffalo, NY Electric Tower Building to be illuminated at night.
If you spot any of these landmarks, safely snap a photo and send your pictures to We will share them in future communications and across our social media channels. Remember to wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing procedures when viewing the landmarks.
* Please note that all Illumination times are approximate and subject to change according to light conditions. Niagara Region, Ontario is currently in Stage 3 of the reopening of the Province and the Niagara Falls Illumination Board would like to reiterate that social gatherings are limited to 100 people and physical distancing remains a requirement for all people who are not from the same household or established social circle of 10 people. In all instances, no more than 10 people are permitted to be closer than 2 meters (6 feet) and when not possible, a face mask must be worn. On behalf of the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure all measures are taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
Your Support is Needed During this Critical Time
COVID-19 has affected our lives, the lives of loved ones, as well as our jobs and businesses. Yet People Inc. has not wavered in commitment to its mission. The People Inc. Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund is accepting donations so our agency can continue to assist thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, special needs, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Your donation will help bridge the gap of extra expenses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and enhanced cleaning products, as well as technology to provide remote support and to help people stay connected with family and friends. Donate $20 or more and receive a People Inc. Heroes Awareness Wristband. Support People Inc. with your contribution today. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
View People Inc. Inclusion Video
If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a few minutes to view the People Inc. Inclusion video. Inclusion has always been the fundamental purpose of People Inc. The agency’s longtime values of Improving Lives, Respect, Diversity and Inclusion are meant to guide everyday actions in very practical ways. We strive to live them every day, but there is still work that needs to be done. We can be part of the solution by standing together against racial injustice. People Inc. has made it a priority to focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for people supported and its staff to become a more culturally competent agency. View the People Inc. Inclusion video as part of the agency’s continued expression of its values. Let’s promote inclusion for all.
How 2020 is Making it Easier and More Fulfilling to Give
Now more than ever the People Inc. Foundation and the community we support are grateful for the generosity and thoughtfulness of our donors. And now some good news for donors: Whether you are donating to our COVID relief fund, our charitable gift annuity, or sponsoring an event, the CARES Act is providing enhanced tax incentives for individuals and corporations that give! (NOTE – most incentives are for 2020 only). For more information on the CARES Act and legacy giving, contact Christine Mathieu from the People Inc. Foundation at or 716.817.7256.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
People Inc. Family Conference Call Scheduled for August 18
Our priority remains on safety and healthy environments for the people our agency supports and all of our employees. We have scheduled an additional information session for families of the people we support for Tuesday, August 18, at 6:30 p.m. During this call, agency management will provide operational updates, projected plans and answer questions. Questions may be sent in advance, and during the call, to, or texted to 716.868.9233. Given the anticipated volume of participants on the calls, this is the most effective way to have your question heard and answered. The conference call number is: 1.607.442.6488 with the access code 338.086.370#. Please note: an RSVP is needed because even if the conference call phone number remains the same, a new unique access code is issued specific to each call. Feel free to share with any families who may be interested. Call information is also posted to our website.
A group picture of the Farmham residents.
Virtual Meeting for Parents/Caregivers on August 21
Parent Network of Western New York is hosting virtual meetings for parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities. The next meeting will take place on Friday, August 21, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. This online event provides a welcoming environment for parents, family members and other caregivers to meet, share experiences, ask questions and receive support. More information can be found on the Parent Network website. Please share this information and flyer with anyone who may be interested.
Another event from Parent Network of Western New York is taking place on Wednesday, August 19, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Titled “Help, My Child Won’t Wear a Mask,” the virtual meeting is designed to provide families tools to help children wear masks. If interested, register in advance. For more information, contact or call 716.332.4170.
Encouragement and Ideas
As social distancing during these difficult times continues, check out this example of dedication. At People Inc., we continue to get through this pandemic together.
A picture of the Student of the Week certificates.
Tee Earns Student of the Week
Tee is a teenager who resides at one of our group homes in West Seneca, NY, for children and young people. Like many of us, Tee’s daily routine has been affected by COVID-19. She has struggled with missing her friends and being unable to attend school.
During the last few months, Tee and staff developed a daily checklist to help her stay on track. She independently approached the senior residential supervisor to view the Class Dojo app for her virtual learning and assignments each day. Not only did she complete all of her work, but she received Student of the Week—not once, but twice! Way to go, Tee!
Virtual learning isn’t the only thing that kept Tee busy during the pandemic. Like any teenager, she has passed her time by talking on the phone, listening to music, redecorating her bedroom and shopping (online)! Tee turns 18 in the fall and plans to move into an apartment of her own.
Although Tee has been successful with virtual learning, many children, especially those with disabilities, are not candidates for virtual learning and therapies. Staff at the group home have worked diligently to provide these services to the girls living there during this pandemic. Kudos to these dedicated direct support professionals for keeping everyone safe and enhancing their lives each day!
A young female graduate thowing her cap into the air.
What’s Next? College, Trade School, a Job?
Join our Team!
Sign-on bonus available for some designated positions

If you’re starting or considering a new career path – either temporarily or permanently – contact us today! We have immediate full time, part time and temporary openings for direct support professionals, community-based instructors and behavior technicians to help people with developmental disabilities. A variety of shifts and locations across Western New Work and the Greater Rochester region are available. We offer virtual interviews, paid training and great benefits. Sign-on bonus available for some designated positions. To apply or to view all employment openings, go to the People Inc. Job Board or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
A livingroom at a Senior Living apartment, decorated in a comforting style.
People Inc. Senior Living Accepting Applications for Affordable Apartment
Whether thinking of downsizing or removing the worry of household maintenance, it is helpful to plan ahead. People Inc. Senior Living provides affordable and maintenance-free apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income eligible. The 19 locations throughout Western New York, managed by People Inc. Senior Living, help older adults stay close to family members and the community they care about.
People Inc. Senior Living continues to accept apartment applications for all of its locations, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Clarence, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport (border of Amherst), South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield (border of North Tonawanda).
Additionally, Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, managed by People Inc., is accepting applications for one and two-bedroom apartments, ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier. Located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, Academy Place Senior Apartments, managed by People Inc., is a HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit complex. The one and two-bedroom apartments provide affordable housing for independent older adults age 62 and up who meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. A two-bedroom tax credit apartment is available for $456 (with occupancy of 2-4 people). Vouchers are accepted for Tax Credit units.
Two benefits of People Inc. Senior Living are affordable rent based on income and safety features. As an added cost savings, some utilities are included. The apartments include a kitchen with appliances. Amenities ensure cleanliness and safety. Various safety features include stove fire prevention devices, grab bars in the bathroom, emergency pull-cords, a secure entrance and a 24-hour response system. There is also a day-time manager and a live-in caretaker for building emergencies.
Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. Plus, the apartment buildings include a furnished community room and laundry facilities. Service coordinators are available to provide tenants assistance to services at no extra charge.
Apartment applications are available on the People Inc. website. For more information about People Inc. Senior Living and Academy Place Apartments for yourself or a family member, call 716-817-9090.
A man and woman with janitorial equipment.
Business Solutions Services Continue through COVID-19 Crisis
People Inc. continues to serve the business community, especially during this challenging time. All of our cleaning protocols follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to safely sanitize businesses. Our experienced staff is here to help you reopen
and stay open. People Inc. provides janitorial services, interior cleaning services, carpet cleaning, floor care and maintenance for commercial, business and government offices throughout Erie and Niagara Counties.
People Inc. works with businesses in Western New York and the Greater Rochester region to assist people with disabilities to secure and maintain meaningful, competitive employment. Several business solutions have been established that offer high-quality work, ranging from janitorial and carpet cleaning to workforce solutions and contract manufacturing.
Free estimates are provided and the agency is fully insured. For more information, contact or 716.817.5750.
Virtual Support Groups Available
Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., is providing virtual support groups. The focus is regarding brain injury and handling stress during the current pandemic. The next session will take place on Tuesday, August 18, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For those interested in participating, follow these instructions: Email your name, phone number, email address to Participants will need to use a Google Chrome web browser with Microsoft software or Safari with Apple software. Once your email is received, further instructions will be provided for your virtual connection. There is no cost to attend. The Headway Team looks forward to connecting virtually.
ASL Class Registration Opening Soon
Registration for an American Sign Language (ASL) class, hosted by Deaf Access Services (DAS), an affiliate of People Inc., will open Monday, August 17. Classes, focusing on Skill Levels 1-4, will begin the week of September 14. Check out the DAS website for more information.

Deaf Awareness Week is Coming Up
You may know someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. But do you know what it’s like to be cocooned in silence? Do you know how to communicate with these members of our community?
Deaf Awareness Week, taking place September 21 – 25, is an opportunity for the hearing community in Buffalo and Western New York to better understand Deaf Culture in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Check out the Deaf Access Services Facebook page for more details.
David Wantuck, community engagement specialist, will be a keynote speaker virtually. On Friday, September 21, join the St. Mary’s School for the Deaf community and Deaf Access Services as they showcase virtual ASL storytelling, Deaf and Hard of Hearing “voices” during COVID-19, local Deaf and Hard of Hearing organizations and programs for Deaf students.
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is a local non-profit agency that responds to the interests of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals by promoting communication access, awareness and opportunities in the greater community.
A picture of the Red String Bracelet in its packaging, a white translucent fabric drawstring bag.
Picture of a regular and miniature sized horse.
Modified Programming Now Open
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
, an affiliate of People Inc., is happy to announce it has re-opened for modified programming, as of August 3. It has been great to see the amazing riders, caregivers, volunteers and staff back at the barn! In order to service riders that have already registered, the scheduling of new riders will not take place at this time, but an announcement will be made as that changes. For more information, go to or call 716.655. 1335.
Connect with a Red String Bracelet: Lothlorien continues to offer unique “Red String” bracelets for only $10. Legend says that there is an invisible “Red String” that connects us all. Regardless of time, place or circumstance, the thread may stretch, twist or tangle, but we always remain connected. Proceeds benefit the care of the horses and program operations. By making this purchase, you can help to make a difference in the lives of riders and horses. Visit or call 716.949.3551 to purchase your Red String Bracelet today!
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. is a non-profit, therapeutic horseback riding facility providing horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Located at a 10-acre facility outside the Village of East Aurora, NY, Lothlorien is the longest-running therapeutic program in Western New York, serving ages three and up.
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