Featured children’s book author and more
Featured children’s book author and more
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tulip flowers in the snow with a sign saying hello spring
Welcome Spring, Hope and Motivation
As the snow melts and more greenery appears, this month marks the official start of spring. We welcome this time, known as the season of renewal and hope. Reflecting back, no one could have predicted the national pandemic that impacted the United States at this time last year. Throughout the global pandemic, lives were lost and changed. Fears and isolation overwhelmed people. Social distancing and protective mask-wearing became a new normal. Missed time with loved ones, anxiety and concerns impacted our daily lives. Numerous safety measures were implemented and enhanced for the benefit of the people we support, loved ones and ourselves. Technology took on new life, as we depended on it more for work and to socialize with friends and family.
Today, the global pandemic is still happening and we continue to follow safety precautions, even as COVID-19 vaccines become more available. As the days get longer and the weather warms, we can open our windows for fresh air, our minds for new ideas and our hearts to unite with others.
At People Inc., at the end of the day, we are motivated by the people we support. Their potential. Their independence. Their well-being and safety. Their futures. And the hope for better times ahead.
The cover of the Bixie and Myron book with ilustration of each. The about the author page from the book is also featured with a photo of Robert.
First an Artist, Now a Children’s Book Author
Robert Kneitinger is all about creativity! He receives support from People Inc. Self-Directed Services, a person-centered program that encourages people with disabilities to manage a plan based around their own needs and interests. Robert takes pride in living on his own in an apartment in Cheektowaga, NY. He enjoys creating abstract artwork and recently ventured into another creative outlet – writing and illustrating children’s books. The two books penned, The Adventures of Bixie and Myron and The Adventures of Bixie and Myron Happy Birthday, Robert is on a mission to help people with developmental disabilities realize their potential. His children’s books show that a person on the Autism spectrum can accomplish their dreams with hard work and perseverance. Learn more about what motivates Robert.
Want to help people like Robert remain independent? Gifts of any amount are welcome to help the people we support. Gifts are accepted online or for more information, contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269.
A photo of People Inc. participants from the 1970's.
Telling the People Inc. Story Historical Moment
In 1970, a small group of parents and professionals joined together to address the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and as a result, People Inc. was established. During this era, the agency opened group homes, with its first one in the City of Buffalo, NY. A Mobility Training Program was developed to assist hundreds of people with developmental disabilities in learning to use public transportation. Back then, the first of the agency’s day programs included the Day Activity Center in East Aurora and the former Central Park Plaza Day Treatment Center in Buffalo. Over the next 50 years, the agency implemented innovative programs and numerous services to address the unmet needs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the region.
More of our agency’s historical moments are included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook. Plus, be sure to check out our agency milestones!
Attendees of the community meeting sitt six feet apart. watching a presentation on a jumbo screen.ing
Community Meeting Held for
Proposed Development of the
Mt. Olive Senior Manor Apartments

Last week, People Inc. and Mt. Olive Development were pleased to hold a community meeting about new, affordable senior apartments, which would be located next to the Mt. Olive Baptist Church on East Delavan Avenue in Buffalo’s northeast side. Learn more from WIVB-TV Channel 4 about the proposed Mt. Olive Senior
Manor Apartments and a new vision for the neighborhood. View the meeting online in its entirety.
Use Your Facebook Page for Charity
Spread support for People Inc. with your very own Facebook fundraiser for your birthday or any other special occasion. It’s an easy way to ask friends and family to give back to your favorite charity. To set it up, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your personal Facebook page and go to: facebook.com/fund/peopleinc
  2. Complete the form, set your goal and end date for your fundraiser.
  3. Tell Your Story: Include a short description on why you’re raising money for People Inc. You can ask for donations to remember the life of a loved one or a friend. You can also honor your own birthday or celebrate an anniversary, promotion or any occasion.
  4. Ask your friends and family to help reach your goals. Invite your friends and share on your timeline.
  5. Post.
We’re grateful for your support! If you have any questions, email tribute@people-inc.org or call Jennifer Robinson at 716.817.7269.
An artist working on the mural.
Save the Date: Get into the ‘Swing’ of Things
Mark your calendars! Plans are underway for our Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament, which will be held on Monday, August 16, at the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park, NY. If you have questions or would like to support this event, contact Melanie Brown at mbrown@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7450.
Name People Inc. Foundation as a Beneficiary
Did you know that you can support our mission by naming the People Inc. Foundation as beneficiary of your family member’s special needs trust? For more information, contact Christine Mathieu at cmathieu@people-inc.org.
Sign the Pledge for Spread the Word: Inclusion
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time in which people with and without disabilities come together
to form strong, diverse communities.
The national Spread the Word: Inclusion campaign seeks to promote a society of acceptance and inclusion, as well as awareness to the barriers that people face. Show your support by taking the Pledge to Include to help build a more inclusive world.
Aprofessional headshot of Christy Ferriter
Staff Kudos
We’re happy to recognize our team of staff for their accomplishments:
Associate Vice President Christy Ferriter recently earned a Black Belt in the Lean Six Sigma Program, hosted by the University at Buffalo’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness. The course prepares participants to become improvement leaders and team managers for their organization’s Lean Six Sigma Program by teaching them how to apply the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) methodology. Candidates receive a framework for project management and learn how to use process mapping, perform data collection, apply graphical analysis and implement an extensive set of statistical tools.
Buffalo Business First recently released their Power 250 list. We’re proud to share that People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was ranked #17. Power 250 recognizes the most influential people in Western New York.
COVID-19 Updates
Protecting Staff with COVID-19 Vaccines and Information Available
People Inc. is dedicated to providing educational information to our staff, people we support, families and the community. Resource information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines is available on our website. Many People Inc. employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine in order to better protect themselves, their loved ones and the people they support. Pictured first, above (from left to right) are dedicated staff members Jake Wilkins, Scott Wehrlin, Dawn Tierney, Jill Magno and Stacey Edwards, who led the way by receiving the vaccine and distributing it to eligible employees. The second photo features Mike Smith, a facilities technician, who received the vaccine at our agency clinic.
Resources Available
Our agency continues to monitor regional experiences with COVID-19, while operating in a proactive manner with a range of precautionary measures. Our primary goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for people we support and our staff throughout the pandemic. For ongoing agency updates, refer to the Coronavirus section of our website. 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 at
  • 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.
Are You Compassionate and Want to
Make a Difference?
Sign-on bonus available for some
designated positions

You, or someone you know, can join our team of nearly 4,000 strong and help people achieve their goals! As an essential employer, we’re hiring direct support professionals for evenings, overnights and weekends for a variety of part time, full time and per diem jobs to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many of our positions qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine. A sign-on bonus of $600 for full time and $300 for part time is now available for some designated positions. We are also seeking behavior technicians, RNs, LPNs, employment specialists and team leads to name a few of our agency’s rewarding careers. We offer virtual interviews, paid comprehensive training, a variety of flexible and consistent schedules, as well as mentoring and career advancement. We also offer health insurance, paid time off and tuition reimbursement, along with other great benefits for various openings across Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Featured positions for this month are located in our Akron, Alden, Clarence, East Aurora, Grand Island, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Rochester and Springville group homes. To apply or to view all employment openings, go to the People Inc. Job Board or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Join “Family and Friends Virtual Tours”
If you are a person seeking supports, family seeking services for a loved one, teacher/school transition coordinator or a care coordinator, join us for the monthly People Inc. Family and Friends Virtual Tours. Register in advance for a behind-the-scenes look at many of our Day and Vocational Programs. The next tours are slated for Friday, April 16 and Friday, May 21. They are accessible through Microsoft Teams and begin at 9 a.m. To sign up for a tour, contact Lindsey Rosenberg at lrosenberg@people-inc.org or call Admissions at 716.880.3700 (Western New York) or 585.441.9300 (Greater Rochester region). Meeting information will be sent for each tour, once your registration is received. Additional tour dates are available on this flyer, which can be shared with anyone who might be interested.
Affordable Apartments Accepting Applications
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. Section 8 vouchers are accepted. Some apartments are designed specifically for people who may have mobility issues, are legally blind or who may be Deaf or hard of hearing. Here’s the latest information about some of our apartments:
We’re pleased to announce that 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 (except for Bawny Excelsior/HUD Apartments). Preferences are provided to applicants who have physical disabilities and/or visual impairments. Learn more about rent and eligibility. Info: Email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890. Locations include:
Austin Manor Apartments:
395 Tonawanda Street,Buffalo, NY
Bawny Excelsior/HUD Apartments:
130 Central Avenue, 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
Jefferson Avenue Apartments, located at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 18+ years of age who are income-eligible, physically disabled and/or intellectually/developmentally disabled (I/DD).
One- and two-bedroom apartments available.
Rental applications are currently being accepted
for one-bedroom units for people who are I/DD.

Info: Email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890
The apartments listed below, with requirements, have a waitlist for one- and two-bedroom units:
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.
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 these apartments, email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.
People Inc. Senior Living Locations in Southern Tier and Lockport Accepting Applications
NOW available: One-bedroom Tax Credit apartment unit at
Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, managed by People Inc. The apartment building, ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier, is located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, NY. The HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit apartments provide housing for independent, older adults age 62 and up who meet income guidelines. Vouchers are accepted for Tax Credit units. View a video of this apartment building.
Download an application or call 716.817.9090.
Additionally, People Inc. Pine Senior Living in Lockport, NY (border of Amherst), provides affordable apartments, with rent based on income and offers numerous safety features for independent, older adults age 62 and over who are income-eligible. The apartment building is located off Transit Road near Millersport Highway.
Info: Call 716.433.3381
To learn more about other People Inc. Senior Living locations throughout Western New York, email Seniorliving@people-inc.org or call 716.817.9090.
News from Deaf Access Services
Deaf Access Services to Host Virtual Events
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., continues to provide services remotely, due to the pandemic, in order for its clientele and businesses to access critical services. These include interpreting services, advocacy, employment readiness, educational supports for students, assistive devices and American Sign Language classes. To support its programs, Deaf Access Services is hosting three ways you can help:
Stronger Than Ever, a painting by Rick Rush
Stronger Than Ever, a painting
by Rick Rush
An online auction will be held from April 8 to15, with a variety of items to win. Check out wnydas.org.
Deaf Access Services will hold its “Celebrating Deaf History” Spring Fundraiser virtually on Thursday, April 15. A virtual tour of the Museum of Deaf History, Arts and Culture, located in Olathe, Kansas, will be provided. If you’re curious about the Deaf experience or want to learn about the rich heritage, this will be a great opportunity. Ticket are $11 and can purchased online.
Another way to provide support is with BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue on Thursday, April 15, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the People Inc. Administrative Offices, 1219 North Forest, Williamsville. Three meal selections will be available and can be ordered online in advance or on the day of the event, while supplies last. This is a drive-thru event only.

Event updates will be posted on Facebook. Deaf Access Services is the only non-profit organization in Western New York that bridges gaps in services and communication among the Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities. To learn more, contact Office@wnydas.org, call 716.833.1637 or videophone at 716.335.9192.

NEWS from Headway of WNY
Support for People with TBI: Virtual Support Groups Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., provides support for 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, a bi-annual newsletter, as well as an informational website and Facebook page.
The agency 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 the eligibility requirements.
Virtual Support Groups: 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 April 6 and 20. To join these groups, send your name, phone number, email address and meeting date(s) you would like to attend at support@headwayofwny.org. Virtual connection instructions will be provided to you via your email address. If you have questions, call 716.408.3120.
Advisory Council Volunteer Positions Available: If you’re interested in participating in Headway’s mission, there are some spaces available on its Advisory Council. The council meets virtually on a quarterly basis. The purpose is to provide consumer and professional guidance to Headway and to advocate for its stakeholders to have increased access to resources and support systems. For more details, call 716.408.3120.
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