Nominate a Direct Support Professional!
Nominate a Direct Support Professional!
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3 young men, participants in the Young Adult Life Transitions group, holding game balls at a Bisons baseball game at Coca-Cola Field
Home Run Fun
Buffalo is a city that takes its connections with its sports teams very seriously. One of these beloved teams is the Buffalo Bisons, with whom People Inc. has a longstanding relationship.

Brad Bisbing, director of marketing and public relations, for the Bisons said that for about 15 years the Bisons, have donated tickets to People Inc. through their Community Care Program and the Buffalo Bisons Charitable Foundation. We are so grateful that their generosity allows participants from our residences, day programs and Senior Living apartments, to enjoy recreational and community events that promote inclusiveness.

In June, People Inc.’s Canisius Young Adult Life Transitions (YALT) Program went to a Bisons game and had a great time! Braden Castanza, one of the participants in the outing said, “Baseball is my favorite sport to play, the Bisons is the best team and I love to go to the games.” Chris Cintron, another participant added, “It is fun to go to the game, I love baseball and the Bisons.” The group enjoyed ballpark food and represented their team with Buffalo Bisons attire. Participants even got the chance to catch and keep baseballs during the game. “I went with my friends and we got baseballs,” shared Justin Wright, a third YALT participant.

“The Bisons give an opportunity for one of America’s greatest pastimes to be enjoyed during the summer by hundreds of individuals and their families and older adults,” said Bradford Watts, community relations coordinator at People Inc. “We are so grateful for this partnership.”

Nominations Now Accepted to Recognize
Direct Support Professionals

People Inc. is accepting nominations for its annual Direct Support Professionals (DSP) of the Year Awards! We welcome families and community members to nominate staff members of People Inc. who provide direct support to people with developmental disabilities, demonstrate superior care and consistent dedication. Ten winners will be selected and announced during Direct Support Professionals Week, September 9-15, 2018, and will receive a $1,000 monetary award. Each year, DSP Week is observed nationally and honors these wonderful professionals for the valuable contributions they provide to their communities. For a nomination form with submission guidelines, click here. Nominations must be received by August 10.
Rendering of the Linwood Lafayette apartments
Applications Accepted for People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments
We’re excited to share that applications will soon be accepted for People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, currently in construction at the corner of Linwood and Lafayette Avenues in the City of Buffalo. The affordable housing apartments for people 55 years and older are expected to be ready for occupancy in January 2019. For a sneak peek at the progress of the apartment complex, click here to check out a video Montante Group shared on its Twitter page.

It was announced in May 2017 that People Inc.’s Community Housing Development Organization received official notification from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) of funding for its 37-unit apartment project at 637 Linwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY. In conjunction with the Gates Circle renovation initiative, the project will help revitalize the community with much needed housing. The new mixed-income apartments will also include seven units for individuals with developmental disabilities, age 55 years and older who, live independently.

Well known for its development of group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities and providing affordable housing to older adults, People Inc. continues to broaden its scope to bring various audiences together for a unique housing model.

The one-bedroom apartments will include a kitchen with appliances. Tenant income limits will be based on current federal rates. The apartment building will include a community room with a small kitchen, on-site laundry facilities, ample green space and courtyards. Tenants may have one small pet. Safety features will include a secure entrance and a 24-hour on call emergency service. Additionally, the building is near a major bus route and accessible to various services and retail shops.

People Inc., along with its development team partners, Montante Construction and Long Associates Architects, will mirror architectural designs from the neighborhood for the exterior of the apartment building’s structure. Located near a high-end senior living complex by Canterbury Woods, the project will provide an affordable option for the diverse neighborhood.

Applications for residence will be released by mail at 4:30 p.m. on August 17. For an application or more information, email or call 716.880.3890.
James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. Awards People Inc. $25,000 in Grant Funds
People Inc. is pleased to announce that our agency has received a grant from James H. Cummings Foundation. The award, totaling $25,000, will be used toward construction of transitional housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities looking to move from family or group home settings into community living.

The project, called On My Way! @ Wayside, will provide a transitional residence in Hamburg, NY, for individuals to live for three to nine months. During this time, they will develop independent living skills through hands-on learning. Three fully-functioning training apartments will be created along with a large common space for group instruction in cooking, cleaning and laundry.

“As the Board considered this project, what really impressed them was the forward thinking of People Inc.,” shared Mary Jo Hunt, executive director, James H. Cummings Foundation. “This project will prepare individuals with developmental disabilities who have the capacity to live independently the opportunity to practice and gain confidence in living on their own. It is a unique service for these individuals and their families.”

The apartments will be transitional, with short stays allowing for many individuals to be served over the coming years. A late Spring 2019 opening is projected.
Arts Experience Participants Join
The Odyssey!

Every summer, Artpark in Lewiston, NY brings in fun and artistic events for all to enjoy including camps, speeches, concerts and musicals. This year, participants from the People Inc. Arts Experience, a fine arts day habilitation program, are collaborating in a musical adaptation of Homer’s epic tale, the Odyssey. Arts Experience participants will share the stage with Broadway actors, community organizations and local actors. The musical promises to bring the audience through high adventure and true love, as the characters recreate the beautiful and dangerous world of the Odyssey.

Support People Inc.’s Art Experience Program, while having a relaxing summer evening! Performances will take place on Saturday, August 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, August 5, at 1 p.m. at Artpark, 450 S. 4th Street, Lewiston. Reserved seating tickets are $25 and are available through Artpark’s website or by calling 716.754.4375.

For more information about the performance, click here or call Amy Jakiel, People Inc. Arts Experience senior day supervisor, at 716.768.2367.
Make Planned Giving Part of Your Financial Goals
The People Inc. Foundation invites family members and supporters to attend a FREE presentation, “3 Simple Ways to make Planned Giving work for you and your loved one with Special Needs,” which will be held on Tuesday, August 7, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Offices of Mass Mutual, 300 Corporate Parkway, Suite 216N, Amherst.

The session will cover how to make Planned Giving a part of your family’s personal financial goals without costs or obligation.

The presentation is co-presented by: Joanne Beaton, Janis Dunworth and Matt Lydon of the Mass Mutual Special Care Planning Team and Kevin J. Miller, Esq., CFP®, AEP, Sr. Financial Planner of Key Private Bank. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. RSVP by Friday, August 3, to Christine Mathieu, People Inc. Foundation Legacy officer, at or 716.817.7256.
Rhonda Frederick
People Inc. CEO Named to the
Power 125 Women

Congratulations to our President and CEO, Rhonda Frederick, who ranked fourth on Buffalo Business First’s Power 125 Women. The list highlights the most influential women in the eight counties of Western New York.
Kaamalal Robinson holding her LeadingAge New York IGNITE Leadership Academy certificate.
Building Skills with LeadingAge
Kaamalal Robinson, Case Management coordinator for People Inc., recently completed the LeadingAge New York IGNITE Leadership Academy. The transformational leadership platform is designed to foster growth and relationships among our current and next generations of leaders within New York’s non-profit providers of care, housing and services to older adults. Each year, the graduation ceremony is held in May at the Saratoga Convention Center during the annual LeadingAge New York conference.
 People Inc. Fact sheet cover featuring Delaney, 14 year old participant of the environmental modifications program
New Fact Sheet
Now Available

Our People Inc. fact sheet was recently updated and is now available on our website. It includes an overview of our agency and services, along with a brief timeline of milestones. Family members and health and human service professionals, as well as our community partners are encouraged to use our fact sheet as a resource. Click here to download a copy.
Featured Job of the Month:
Physical Therapist

People Inc. is currently hiring a part time physical therapist in its Early Intervention Program. The physical therapist will provide services to children participating in the Erie County Early Intervention Program as indicated on the child’s Individual Family Service Plan. This position requires a candidate to be licensed and currently registered by New York State to practice physical therapy. To apply for this employment opportunity or view other available openings, click here.
Case Management Services Available for Older Adults
Through the People Inc. Senior Outreach Program, case management services are provided to older adults 60 years or older who live at home to provide the necessary support to age in place. The program is available to seniors who live in Kenmore, Grand Island, North Buffalo, Tonawanda (city and town) and West Buffalo, NY. Older adults enrolled will gain access to appropriate services, including: Adult day care, housekeeping, caregiver resources, food stamps, health insurance/Medicaid and home care services. Spanish speaking staff are available. For more information for a loved one or a senior you assist, call 716.768.2357.
collage featuring: site of the original Niagara County Almshouse plaque , closeup of headstone with flower, rows of headstones
Once Buried,
Not Forgotten

For years People Inc. staff and program participants, along with the Museum of disABILITY History have volunteered their time to clean and care for the grounds of many institutional cemeteries in Western New York. These cemeteries were abandoned and neglected, leaving them in terrible condition.

In 2006, David Mack-Hardiman, associate vice president for
People Inc. and Museum of disABILITY History, aligned with the nationwide Operation Dignity movement to restore institutional cemeteries. Since then, the Museum team, along with People Inc. staff and program participants, have helped restore four cemeteries, including the latest one, Niagara County Almshouse.

To repair these cemeteries, volunteers rake, weed, plant and trim trees. Goals for this project are for landscaping to be maintained and to have the cemeteries represent the memory and honor of all buried there. The team plans to restore additional cemeteries in the future and make sure those that are finished are upheld.

Many people have shown gratitude towards the volunteers for restoring the cemeteries. William Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, publically thanked the workers for their restoration efforts of the cemetery. David explained, “We worked collaboratively with Niagara County officials and historians on the project.”

Families have also expressed their gratitude, coming forward to identify their ancestors. One of the goals of this project is identifying some of the people buried in the cemeteries. This includes Christopher McDonough from Charleston, South Carolina. He shared, “You have given us our grandfather. We never met him as the family kept his life a secret to all of us children. When you were able to provide his death certificate and location of his burial, my life changed forever.”

To learn more about volunteering or finding ancestors, contact David Mack-Hardiman at or at 716.629.3606.

Four Ways to Support Golf Tournament and Auction

There are many ways to support our 17th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament and Auction, which will be held on Monday, August 20, at the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park, NY. Here’s how you can support the event:
1. Encourage your company to sponsor a golf team – registration is open for our morning and afternoon rounds.
2. Not a golfer?
A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available, including
tee signs to promote
your business.
3. Donate items for our silent and live auctions
or help solicit businesses.
We would love items
like trips with travel accommodations, theater or event tickets, spa packages, wine tours, monthly floral delivery package and restaurant gift cards.
4.Donate bottles of wine for the event’s popular wine wall, which is a way to raise extra funds.

For more information, click here. To assist with our event or if you have questions, contact

Melanie Brown at or call 716.817.7450.
Shop with AmazonSmile
Help support People Inc. while shopping for your backyard barbecues, pool needs and all of your summer fun essentials! With AmazonSmile, you can support people with developmental disabilities, their families and older adults when 0.5 percent of every purchase is donated to the People Inc. Foundation. To shop at AmazonSmile, go to On your first visit, select People Inc. as the charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Your selection is saved and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation. As of June 9, 2018, 80 people have made 155 purchases benefitting People Inc. with $1,896.24 in cumulative donations. Happy shopping!


Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.

“Governor Cuomo Announces $7.7 Million in Better Buffalo Fund Awards:” People Inc. included. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Website, June 22, 2018.

“55 local groups receive Wilson legacy grants:” People Inc. included. The Buffalo News, July 11, 2018.

“10 of the best places to find political inspiration:”
Museum of disABILITY History included. The Independent, July 12, 2018.

“Programs assist families and children with developmental disabilities:” Bee Publications – Health Supplement, June 20 and 21, 2018, page 3.

“Museum of disABILITY History: An Inclusive Space of the Past, Present and Future:” Museum of disABILITY History featured. AmeriDisability, July/August 2018, page 20 and 21.
Support Groups Available
Headway of WNY, a not-for-profit agency and an affiliate of People Inc., provides a number of support groups for people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their caregivers. The support groups give participants an opportunity to share resources and information in a confidential setting.

Two of the support groups that are offered are: Peer Support for individuals with TBI, which meets every first and third Tuesday of each month. Another one is Caregiver’s Support, which meets the first Tuesday of each month. Both are free of charge and meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Headway office, 2635 Delaware Avenue, Suite E, Buffalo, NY.

New people are welcome to join the support groups throughout the year. For a full listing of support groups, go to or for more information, email or call 716.408.