Multiple apartment locations accepting applications!
Multiple apartment locations accepting applications!
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Rhonda Frederick, Rachel (who lives at Wayside) and others cutting the ribbon.
Promoting Independence Through “On Our Way @Wayside”
People Inc. was excited to host a Housewarming Celebration for People Inc. “On Our Way @Wayside” on Tuesday, June 29. This new project provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities a space to live and build important life skills. Hamburg Town Supervisor James Shaw, Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick and a Wayside tenant shared remarks during the housewarming. The event recognized benefactor Nancy Ware, as well as support from the James H. Cummings Foundation and Garman Family Foundation. Gabby Harrington, representing State Senator Sean M. Ryan and Karen Hoak, Councilmember, Town of Hamburg, were also in attendance.

The “On Our Way @Wayside” project started with the donation of a former EduKids daycare building, which was located on the corner of Wayside Drive and Roberts Road in Hamburg. Since then, a new building was recently completed. Three tenants at a time will live at Wayside for a three to nine-month period and their progress will be tracked monthly through an assessment process. The residence consists of three separate pods/en suites. Staff will be present at limited, set times to work on skills for independent living. The larger, common training spaces will allow for group learning activities on cooking, cleaning, laundry, budgeting and mobility training.

“For decades, People Inc. has been a crucial asset to Western New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Senator Ryan shared. “Their latest contribution to the community will provide a safe and stable environment for members of this frequently underrepresented population to learn skills that will prepare them for an eventual transition to independent living.”
To learn more, check out the WIVB-TV Chanel 4 news story and view event photos on our People Inc. Facebook page.
Nominations Now Accepted for DSP of the Year
People Inc. is accepting nominations for its annual Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Year Awards! Recipients are agency staff members who provide direct support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrate superior care and consistent dedication. At least 15 winners will be selected and announced during DSP Week, September 12-18, 2021. Each winner will receive a $1,000 monetary award. DSP Week is observed nationally and honors these wonderful professionals for the valuable contributions they provide. We are seeking nominations from people we support, parents, guardians, family members, community members and staff. Winners will be chosen through an impartial committee review. Submit a nomination through a printable form or online. Nominations must be received by Sunday, August 8. For questions, contact DeWan Stroud at or 716.322.7060. We appreciate your time to nominate a valued direct support professional!
Michael Maldonado
Michael Maldonado Receives Triple C Award from the Office of Attorney General
Michael Maldonado, who receives Educational Advocacy and Tutoring Services from People Inc., was recently recognized by the NYS Office of the Attorney General! Michael, a recent eighth grade graduate from Amherst Middle School, received a Triple C Award, which is presented to students who exhibit character, courage and commitment to bettering themselves and society. Michael was nominated for his kindness and responsible nature. He maintains a positive attitude and puts forth his best effort in school, all while overcoming personal obstacles. Michael also participates in lacrosse and football and has worked hard throughout the year to improve his skills. Congratulations, Michael!
YALT Brings Blooms to Delaware Park Rose Garden
The People Inc. Young Adult Life Transitions Program (YALT) that is held at the University at Buffalo was recently featured in The Buffalo News. The group helps to maintain the Delaware Park Rose Garden, part of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Walnut Ribbon-Cutting.
Telling the People Inc. Story Historical Moment: 50th Anniversary Feature
It was a beautiful, sunny day on May 8, 2015, as our agency celebrated the opening of People Inc. Walnut Senior Living in West Seneca, NY. This new location marked the agency’s 19th Senior Living location, while responding to the needs of a growing elderly population. People Inc. worked through the court system and partnered with the West Seneca Town Board to resolve any initial concerns to build a 46-unit apartment building on the former Houghton College Campus.
A need was recognized to provide this type of housing. “We proactively met with community members to avoid any misconceptions,” said Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. president and CEO. “In fact, the success of this project has only shown that the need is evident, as this location has the highest waitlist – enough to build two additional apartment buildings in the area.”

During the celebration event, tenants happily shared their personal stories, mingled with guests and provided tours of their apartments to community members. Saundra King, a current tenant, shared: “I feel comfortable and safe. I actually participate in some of the activities I didn’t think I would. My life has become much easier. I have less stress, less anxiety and I have more time to enjoy my senior years.”

With locations throughout Western New York, People Inc. Senior Living provides older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible an opportunity to live affordably, independently and safely, with support services as, needed. To learn more about People Inc. Senior Living or for an apartment application for yourself or a loved one, call 716.817.9090.
More of our agency’s historical moments are included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook page. Plus, be sure to check out our agency milestones!
Sponsorships Still Open for Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament
Register Your Twosome or Foursome Today
There’s still time to register for the annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament happening on Monday, August 16, at the Orchard Park Country Club. To register your team, complete the fillable or online form. There are also various sponsorship opportunities still available, including tee sign sponsorship opportunities and renewals.
Special thanks to all of our supporters, including Hole In One sponsors: Allied Mechanical; Parkview Health Services; Savarino Companies, LLC; Upstate Pharmacy Ltd and William L. Long & Associates, as well as to our Eagle sponsors: Barclay Damon, LLP; CSI –Contract Specialists Inc.; CSS Construction; D.V. Brown & Associates; Dobmeier Janitorial; Flaherty Salmin CPAs; KeyBank; Towne Automotive Group; United Business Systems; USI Insurance Services and Walsh Duffield.
For more information on how to support our largest agency fundraising event, contact Melanie Brown at or call 716.817.7450.
Photo of Diversoty panel.
Sharing Expertise on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace indicates that companies recommit to their organizational goals towards education, dialogue and relationship-building. On Wednesday, June 16, Buffalo Business First held a “Virtual Panel of Experts: Diversity and Inclusion.” People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was part of the panel and focused on disability inclusion. The panel discussion highlighted how companies update their diversity and inclusion processes, differences between diversity and inclusion, steps to create a more inclusive environment, as well as how you know when the goal is achieved. Didn’t register for the online panel? No worries – you can view it online!
WNY 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge
People Inc. partnered with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County to help develop the WNY 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Through broad community engagement, the WNY 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge will increase awareness of critical issues and strengthen our community’s capacity to dismantle all forms of racism. Self-directed learning opportunities will encourage a deeper understanding of race, power, privilege and leadership. Participation is free. Register today!

Letters to My 20-Year-Old Self – from Rhonda Frederick
People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick recently penned a letter to her 20-year-old self that is part of a series published in Forever Young Magazine. In it, she recounts her early experiences and looks forward to a bright future at People Inc. Browse the letter!
Center Street staff and residents. Pleasantview IRA. Kenneth, who lives at William East IRA, smiling with his family.
People Inc. “Days of Caring”
Employees from People Inc. administrative offices have found a creative way to lend a hand and say thank you to our direct support professionals – by participating in “Days of Caring!” Administrative staff visit our group homes and spend the day beautifying spaces, both inside and outside the home. Some of the projects have included painting exterior doors; weeding flowerbeds; pruning trees; mulching gardens; cleaning sheds; building and planting a raised flower bed for vegetables and herbs; and creating an outdoor sanctuary with birdfeeders and floral displays to welcome staff and visitors. So far, our Days of Caring volunteers have spruced up several People Inc. residences throughout Lancaster, East Aurora, and Lackawanna. “It's been a great way to say thank you to the staff for all their hard work during the pandemic and give the homes a little extra TLC,” said Jane Bergmann, operations director at People Inc., who facilitated the project. “Seeing the staff responses when they see the final outcome has been really amazing!” What a great team effort!
Do Your Summer Shopping with AmazonSmile
Are you in need of gardening materials, outdoor games or hiking supplies? You can find these items and so much more on Amazon, all while supporting our agency’s mission! The Amazon app makes it easy to shop and support People Inc., at no extra cost to you. Simply follow the instructions below to select People Inc. as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to People Inc.!
Here’s how it works:
  1. Download the Amazon app
  2. Open the app on your phone
  3. Select the main menu (=) and tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
  4. Select “People Inc.” as your charity
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app
You can also shop with AmazonSmile from a personal computer. Get started at
Melanie Wilkinson (Brown), Kevin Horrigan, Michelle Richter, Denise Bienko and Brad Watts at the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Golf the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Golf Tournament.
In the Community
A group of People Inc. administrative staff volunteered at the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, June 14. Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant and Banquet Facility is a longtime supporter of our agency, donating part of the proceeds from their golf tournament to the People Inc. Foundation on an annual basis. We are so grateful to the Ilio DiPaolo team for their generosity!
Shelley Curl.
Wishing Shelley Curl a Happy Retirement
Shelley Curl began her career at People Inc. in 1999. She was a new, physical therapy graduate and decided that People Inc. would be a good starting point to get her “feet wet” in the industry. As her time with People Inc. progressed, she found a great passion in providing supports to people with developmental disabilities. Shelley knew she was making a difference and slowly realized that People Inc. was exactly where she wanted to be long-term. Shelley moved from a day program setting into the out-patient clinic at the Elmwood Health Center. There, Shelley helped grow the department into what it is today.
Shelley has a great gift for fostering growth in new employees and students by recognizing and helping them see their potential. In 2014, she was acknowledged by the University at Buffalo for her excellence in clinical instruction. Her passion for teaching and encouraging those around her sets her apart.

Congratulations, Shelley, and thank you for many years of incredible service and dedication.
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Updated Guidance and Resources
Our focus remains on the safety of the people we support and our staff. The People Inc. team will continue to operate in a proactive, precautionary manner, with a primary goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people we support and our staff throughout the global pandemic. For ongoing agency updates, refer to the Coronavirus section of our website.
Please note: As of Thursday, July 8, 2021, based on revised OPWDD guidance, People Inc. adjusted our masking protocols throughout the agency as follows:
  • Unvaccinated people are required to wear a mask in People Inc. program and office buildings and in common spaces in apartment complexes. Therefore, if you are vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask in People Inc. buildings – this includes staff, visitors, vendors, people supported and families.
  • During transportation, masks are still required for OPWDD programs, regardless of
    vaccine status.
  • Breakrooms are open for use for those who are vaccinated only, with no masks required.
Thank you for your continued observation of the protocols that best keep the people we support and our staff as safe as possible.
Additionally, the following resources are available:
  • Families are welcome to call group homes and programs with specific questions.
  • A special Coronavirus Phone Line is available for families to call at 716.817.7445.
  • An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is available for families and people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to share questions. The number is 716.529.6505.
  • A special email address,, is available to have concerns addressed.
  • The People Inc. Advocacy Department continues to help people who receive supports stay connected and informed through Zoom video and phone conferences. Our Advocacy Phone Line is available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions by calling 716.322.7070.
Seeking a Career Where You Can Make
an Impact?
Join People Inc. to Make a Difference

You, or someone you know, can join the People Inc. team of nearly 4,000 strong and help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their dreams and goals. Career opportunities are available at locations throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. As the leading health and human services agency, celebrating more than 50 years of service, People Inc. is hiring now for various part and full time, per-diem and summer opportunities, which are great for college students to gain hands-on experience. Featured positions for this month are located in our Akron, Alden, Clarence, East Aurora, Grand Island, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Rochester, Silver Creek and Springville group homes.
As an essential employer, People Inc. is hiring compassionate, creative and energetic people for positions across the career spectrum – from entry level to management. A new starting hourly rate of $15 per hour is available for select direct support positions. A sign-on bonus of $750 is now offered for some designated direct support positions. For designated management positions, a sign-on bonus of up to $1,500 is also available. (Note: The sign- on bonus is subject to change and/or may be discontinued at any time). There are also immediate opportunities for LPNs, RNs, Children’s Services case managers, medical liaisons and residential management, just to name a few.
Virtual interviews, paid comprehensive training, a variety of flexible and consistent schedules, tuition reimbursement, mentoring and career advancement are offered. Some of the other great benefits provided by People Inc. include health insurance, retirement plan with match, paid time off and discounts, along with rewarding experiences.
Take the next step to grow your career today! To view People Inc. employment openings, go to or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Rendering of the Oakwood Apartments.
New Senior Apartments in Blasdell Under Construction Accepting Applications
People Inc. is pleased to announce its new apartments for older adults 55 and over. People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, currently under construction at 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY, is slated to open for occupancy in September 2021. This two-story apartment building is available for heads of household 55 years and older, with 31 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments. Seven units are reserved for people who are frail elderly/homeless and in need of support services. Note: Section 8 Voucher Holders are welcome and will automatically qualify within some income limits. Minimum income does not apply.
Applications are now being mailed to interested people or you can download them from our website in English or Spanish. Completed applications must be postmarked by Monday, August 23. They will be opened at a lottery held on Tuesday, September 7. Per COVID-19 requirements, we will be filming the lottery to be viewed later on the People Inc. Facebook page. For more information or an application, email, visit or call 716.880.3890.
Nelson Hopkins Apartments exterior
The Nelson Hopkins Apartments
Your New Apartment Awaits
Affordable Apartments in Erie and Niagara Counties

Looking for an apartment or know someone who is? As part of its Affordable Apartments service, People Inc. is accepting applications for available apartments and waiting lists. The apartments include: Kitchen with refrigerator, stove and dishwasher; utilities for water and garbage removal; on-site laundry facilities; safety features; air-conditioning and on-site management. Amenities may vary. Tenants may have one small pet. Some apartments are designed specifically for people who may have mobility issues, are legally blind or are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The Olmsted Apartments are now managed by People Inc. – all locations are accepting applications, with some immediate openings. These include one- and two-bedroom apartments for people 18 years of age and older, who meet income eligibility. Section 8 vouchers accepted. Preferences are provided to applicants who have physical disabilities and/or visual impairments. Learn more about rent and eligibility.
Info: Email or call 716.880.3890.

Locations for the Olmsted Apartments include:
Austin Manor Apartments: 395 Tonawanda Street,Buffalo, NY
Elizabeth Harvey Apartments: 525 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, NY
Gratwick Manor Apartments: 840 Tonawanda Street, Buffalo, NY
Haskell Stovroff Apartments: 30 Alpine Place, Cheektowaga, NY
Nelson Hopkins Apartments: 5562 Davison Road, Lockport, NY
Additional People Inc. Affordable Apartments are accepting applications for one- and two-bedroom units, with some having a waitlist:

Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: 18+ years of age and who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.

Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: 18+ years of age and who are income-eligible, traumatic brain injury (TBI), physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.
Jefferson Avenue Apartments, 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 18+ years of age who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.

Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 55+ years of age and who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled.

To learn more about any of these locations, email or call 716.880.3890.

An older adult holding her kitten.
People Inc. Senior Living Accepting Applications
Multiple Locations throughout Western New York
Do you have a parent or elderly loved one who needs to downsize from their home or remove the worry of household maintenance? It’s helpful to plan ahead and our trained team of staff from People Inc. Senior Living can help with financial eligibility questions, as well as provide guidance for families and for older adults, who are thinking of moving. People Inc. Senior Living provides affordable and maintenance-free apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible.

Apartment applications are accepted year-round for our Senior Living locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo (border of Cheektowaga and South Buffalo, Gowanda*, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport (border of Amherst), Springville and Wheatfield (border of North Tonawanda). (*Our Gowanda location provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit apartments for seniors age 62+. Accessible unit available. Amenities vary. TTD/TTY: 1.800.662.1220).

Two benefits of choosing 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. If additional supports are needed, tenants may utilize a unique benefit through People Inc. Senior Living Service Coordination at no extra charge to assist with various services.
For more information or an application, email or call 716.817.9090.
NEWS from Headway of WNY
A Starry Success
Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., recently held their 2021 Starry Night Spring Silent Virtual Auction. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary cancellation of the 2020 Starry Night with Headway, many components were reformatted to fit this year’s website-based virtual event. Participation was open to the general public with no tickets or entrance fees. With 13 items to bid on, there were a total of 10 bidders, 26 bids and 11 winning bids! Thank you very much to all who participated and helped raise funds in support of Headway’s mission. Additionally, we extend special thanks to everyone who contributed to our silent auction:

Sponsors: Sarah Denio and Family, Erie and Niagara Insurance Agency, Edward and Barbara Reed, Mark and Nancy Reed
Donors: Rose Marie Cetola, Tom and Kathy Kilminster, Joseph McMahon, Jeff and Trudy Sanderson, James Truax
Gifts-In-Kind: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Alethea’s Chocolates, BAC for Women, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Hunt Country Vineyards, Prime Wines Corp., Ristorante Lombardo, Salvatore’s, Stress Relief, Annette Rome, Tantalo Fine Portraits, Vision Development of WNY (Vidler’s), Wegmans
This website-based event was a first for Headway and we hope you found it to be an enjoyable, user-friendly experience. Feedback is welcome. Please send all comments or suggestions to Christine Melchiorre at Your input will help us as we continue to improve processes for possible future virtual activities and events.
Assistance for People with TBI and Other Cognitive Conditions: Virtual Support Groups
Headway of WNY is pleased to announce the addition of a new Support and Advocacy specialist, Chris Malinowski.
As part of their support and advocacy services, Headway assists people and families with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), other cognitive conditions, seniors and veterans. The agency offers a variety of services to the Western New York community, including: support groups, identification of supports, educational programs, symposiums, outreach, special fundraising events and a bi-annual newsletter.

Support groups are currently meeting virtually on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Upcoming dates are July 20, August 3 and August 17. To join these groups, send your name, phone number, email address and meeting date(s) you would like to attend to Virtual connection instructions will be provided to your email address. If you have questions, call 716.408.3120. Please watch for anticipated additional support groups to be added in the near future.

Headway of WNY is also the Regional Resource Center/Single Point of Entry for the New York State Department of Health’s Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. These waiver programs are administered by Headway and offered to those who meet eligibility requirements.
Keep up-to-date by going to Headway’s website and following their Facebook page.
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