Inspiring stories, program updates
Inspiring stories, program updates
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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
Inside People Inc.: A Message to our Community
Our priority at People Inc. is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for the people
our agency supports, their families and our employees. People living with intellectual and
developmental disabilities may experience multiple health problems or require 24/7 care,
which unfortunately can put them at a particularly higher risk for complications related to
COVID-19. People Inc. remains diligent with precautionary measures and continues to follow
all relevant state and federal guidelines, while planning a thoughtful and gradual reopening of agency programs.
The People Inc. Visitors Policy was recently adjusted to include family outdoor visits with precautions in place. People Inc. is happy to take this step in resuming family visits, while
observing safety protocols. A fourth letter to families, available on our website, explains some
of the precautions People Inc. is taking.
We greatly appreciate support from families and staff. Please take some time to review the stories
in this e-newsletter for some updates and positive news.
Be well and safe,
Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.

People Inc. Offers New Informational Session for Families June 30
Thank you to families who participated in
our conference call updates from agency management over the past few weeks.
An additional informational session for families
of the people we support will be held Tuesday, June 30, 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 call, this is the most effective way to have your question heard and answered.
RSVP to 716.817.7400 to receive the conference call number and access code.
Phone Lines and Email Provide Information
To assist families and people supported through People Inc., a dedicated phone line and email is available to share specific concerns related to COVID-19:
Phone: 716.817.7445
Additionally, an Advocacy Phone Line is available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions, share what is on their minds and receive support. It can be reached at 716.322.7070. Messages are monitored from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Support Us During
this Critical Time

People Inc. leadership continues to be moved by
the commitment of our incredible staff and support from community partners. The People Inc. Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund is accepting donations, so
that our agency can continue to assist thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, special needs, their 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), enhanced cleaning products and technology to provide remote
support, as well as technology to help people residing in our group homes stay connected with family and friends. Donate $20 or more and receive a People Inc. Heroes Awareness Wristband. Support People Inc. with your contribution of any amount today. Donations are greatly appreciated.
Immediate Employment Openings:
Rewarding Careers Now Available

Dedication. Patience. Integrity. Creativity. These are all characteristics shared by People Inc. employees. If you are considering a new career path – either temporarily or permanently – contact us today. Direct Support Professionals, LPNs, Community-Based Instructors and Behavior Technicians are needed to support people with developmental disabilities.
A variety of shifts and locations across Western New York and the Greater Rochester region are available. Staff receive paid training, great benefits, flexibility and the opportunity to help others move closer to their life goals. To apply or to view all employment openings, go to the People Inc. Careers page or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Encouragement, Inspiration and Ideas
In these challenging times and as social distancing continues, check out these amazing examples of dedication, commitment and empathy. At People Inc., we continue to get through this together.
Safe Outdoor Visitations at Group Homes
Reunite Families
The reopening of safe, outside visitations at People Inc. group homes was recently featured on WIVB-TV Channel 4. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was interviewed along with parent, Vickie Rubin. When asked about the staff and safety measures, Vickie shared, “The job they have done has been phenomenal, to have so many people who are vulnerable, so many staff, and they’re able to pull this off has really been tremendous.” Check out this moving story.
Cortney Does her Part for the Community
Cortney Naylor, who receives People Self-Direction Services,
did her part for the community by assembling care packages
for health care workers. Laura Wilcox, her self-determination assistant, coordinated item donations. Cortney assembled each care package with a Tupperware container, a can of soup, a packet of oatmeal, a variety of individually-packaged crackers and a bag of assorted snacks. Cortney added a finishing touch with decorative paper, ribbons and a thank you note. Ten packages were delivered to Rochester General Hospital. Great job, Cortney and Laura!
Staying Creative During Difficult Times
Although times have been challenging, staff and people we support have been finding ways to stay creative and have fun:

  • People living at one of our group homes in Silver Creek, NY, spent some time making bird feeders. The fun activity will hopefully attract lots of feathered friends!

  • More bird feeders were made by people living at one of our group homes in Niagara Falls, NY – they had fun making them by using peanut butter and bird seed!

  • Housemates living in one of group homes in Silvercreek, NY, brightened up their fashion with tie dye, as they added designs to t-shirts and masks!
Local Restaurants Donate Food to People Inc. Senior Living
Tenants in Lackawanna
We’re grateful to Mulberry Italian Ristorante in Lackawanna, NY, for doing something nice for the tenants who live at People Inc. Sunflower Senior Living, also located in Lackawanna. They donated a delicious lunch of pasta, meatballs, salad and rolls for all of the tenants. All was packaged in to-go containers and safely shared as “take out” for the tenants. There were also gourmet cupcakes donated by Chubby Chix Cakery in Orchard Park, NY.
Even though the tenants were unable to eat the meal all together, it was wonderful to see how hard times can bring out the good in people. Thank you to Mulberry Italian Ristorante and Chubby Chix Cakery for their generosity and thoughtfulness!
Safely Played Bingo Brings Smiles
Tenants of People Inc. Walnut Senior Living in West Seneca, NY, safely connected by playing a social distance bingo game. All the tenants, including Saundra, seen here, had a fun time!
Telehealth Federal Funds to Help Connect Patients and Providers
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the award of federal funding to provide telehealth services
to Western New Yorkers during the Coronavirus pandemic. The funding is distributed through the Federal Communication Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program. We are pleased to be one of the awardees. The funds will allow for a remote patient monitoring platform, remote diagnostic and monitoring equipment and tablets to provide telehealth video consultations and remote diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about this funding, view the full announcement.
Environmental Modifications and
Adaptive Technologies Available
The physical environment may be a barrier for people with disabilities. However, when modified properly, surroundings can also become one of many facilitators to help with daily routines and activities. Find out about the People Inc. Environmental Modifications Adaptive Technologies that are available to assist people with disabilities. Applying for People Inc. Environmental Modifications is now easier to complete through an online application. The application packet will link the person with a project manager and an in-home clinician consultation to review accessibility conditions. For more information, contact Anthony Rushford at
Business Solutions Services Continue through
COVID-19 Crisis
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.
People Inc. continues to serve the business community, especially during this challenging time. All of our cleaning protocols follow CDC guidelines to safely sanitize your location. 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.
Free estimates are provided and the agency is fully insured. For more information, contact or 716.817.5750.
Summer Sessions Now Available for Incredible Years Program
Are you or do you know a parent looking for guidance for a child with unique needs? The Incredible Years Program offers FREE guidance designed for children with special needs. Enrollees are now being accepted for the summer sessions. This social skills program provides guidance, focusing on building social skills, healthy relationships and fostering positive behavior, as well as decreasing negative behavior. Participation requirements include: Children with special needs, between the ages of 7 and 17; must be eligible for services through OPWDD and reside in the community (non-certified setting). People Inc. has added extra safety measures for the Incredible Years Program to continue. To enroll or for more information, contact Shannon Bianco at or 716.880.3826. The free training is made possible by a Family Support Services grant through the WNY DDSO.
Elmwood Health Center Remains Open During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of
People Inc., has implemented options to make
it easier for patients to seek care in the most convenient way. The Elmwood Health Center Team is providing care with three options:
  1. In-person visits at the Elmwood Health Center, 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo (border of Kenmore)
  2. Telephonic visits (tele-visits)
  3. Video visits
If you are seeking care, call 716.874.4500. The safety of patients and staff is of utmost importance. The Elmwood Health Center is adhering to current guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control, while taking every precaution to make the office safe for patients.
Affordable Housing in Western New York
People Inc. offers affordable housing in various locations across Western New York. We encourage you to share these openings with family and friends:
Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, NY, managed by People Inc., is accepting applications for one and two-bedroom apartments. These apartments are ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier. Located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, the complex provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and New York State Tax Credit apartments. The safe and affordable housing is for independent adults age 62 and up who meet the federally-mandated household income guidelines. Vouchers are accepted for Tax Credit units. For an apartment application or for more information, call 716.817.9090.
People Inc. Senior Living accepts apartment applications year-round for its locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Clarence, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield. The affordable apartments are for independent adults age 62 and up who meet the federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Call 716.817.9090.
People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, currently under construction at 25 Grant Street in North Tonawanda, NY, is for people 18 years and older and who meet income eligibility. Rental applications are currently being accepted. Occupancy is expected in July 2020. Info: Email or call 716.880.3890.
People Inc. Highland School Apartments, located at 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY,
has one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments available for people who are 18 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Email or call 716.694.1623.
People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, located at 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, is accepting applications from people who are 55 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Email or call 716.881.6600.
Resources and Advocacy
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., continues to operate through this crisis and be a resource to the community. Check out these stories that have recently been in the news:
Deaf Access Services is the only local non-profit community organization solely dedicated to supporting the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. To learn more, go to
Lothlorien Shares Red String Legend with
the Community

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., has introduced a new way for people in the community to connect. With the mission of assisting people to develop to their highest potential through therapeutically-based equine activities, Lothlorien is delivering special bracelets to many people and business across East Aurora, NY. 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. For a $10 donation, people can receive a Red String Bracelet and know that they have made a difference in the lives of riders and horses at Lothlorien. All proceeds go directly to the care of the horses and program operations. Visit or call 716.949.3551 to get your Red String Bracelet today!
Established in 1983, 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. Lothlorien delivers therapeutic equine services with the help of specially-trained instructors, 200 volunteers and two staff. 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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