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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
Inside People Inc.: A Message to our Community   
Commitment. Strength. Dedication. These are just some of the things I think about when I speak with staff members, people we support and families across People Inc. I’m so proud of our agency and everything our team is achieving through this pandemic. For the last several months, our agency has adapted to this unprecedented crisis with responsiveness, flexibility and creativity.
The many initiatives our agency has implemented are highlighted in an article, contributed by Senior Vice President Denise Bienko to the May 2020 edition of Buffalo Healthy Living.
Please take some time to review the uplifting stories featured in this e-newsletter. The needs of
the people we support have not stopped, but during this incredibly challenging time, we continue
to band together to ensure quality support is provided.
Be well and safe,
Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.

People Inc. Offering Informational Sessions for Families
People Inc. agency management will host a series of conference calls to provide operational updates, projected plans and answer questions for families the agency supports. The following sessions are scheduled:
Residential Services:
Tuesday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m.
Day and Employment Services: Wednesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m.
Community and Respite Programs: Thursday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m.
Families can send questions in advance to Kaitlyn Coles at Phone lines are limited. To RSVP, email or call 716.817.7400. Upon registering, you will be provided with a confirmation and information about joining the conference call.
Program particiant Bernard making a heart gesture shape with his hands.
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. Understanding that some people may prefer not to leave their home during this uncertain time, the Elmwood Health Center Team is ready and able to provide 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 – staff will help determine the most appropriate way to provide assistance and connect with your health care provider. 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.
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 Coronavirus:
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.
Business Solutions Services Continue through COVID-19 Crisis
People Inc. works with businesses in Western New York and the Greater Rochester region to employ people and create jobs around their talents and interests. Over the years, several business solutions have been established that offer high quality work, ranging from janitorial and carpet cleaning to workforce solutions and contract manufacturing. At People Inc., ensuring that people
with developmental disabilities secure and maintain meaningful and competitive employment is an important part of the agency’s goals. 
People Inc. continues to serve the business community, especially during this challenging time.
New machinery has been added, such as an electronic disinfectant sprayer to cover larger areas
and safety protocols have been updated.
Whether you need a crew to clean your workplace once a week or every day, on-site supervision
is provided to ensure that the job is done to your satisfaction every time. People Inc. provides complete janitorial services, interior cleaning services, floor care and maintenance for commercial, business and government offices throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. People Inc. also provides carpet cleaning services for commercial, business and government locations.
Free estimates are provided and the agency is fully insured. For information, contact or 716.817.5750
Immediate Employment Openings:
We’re here for you NOW

People Inc. is looking for compassionate, patient people to work in agency group homes as direct support professionals throughout Western New York, including Boston, Buffalo, East Aurora, Grand Island, Niagara Falls, Orchard Park and West Seneca. Full time, part time and temporary positions are available with evening, overnight or weekend shifts. Direct support professionals assist people with developmental disabilities or other special needs as needed in all activities, areas of daily living and personal care. The ideal candidate enjoys assisting others to reach their full potential. Positions are ideal for college students looking for either summer or year-round employment. Requirements include: 18 years or older; valid driver’s license that meets agency policy; high school diploma or GED preferred, but not required. No experience necessary and People Inc. offers comprehensive paid training. Excellent benefits include: Paid time off, Health/Dental/Vision Plans, tuition reimbursement, employee perks and discounts, 401(k) plan and much more.
When you join the People Inc. team, you can make a difference while also receiving great benefits, flexibility and the opportunity to help others move closer to their life goals and dreams. 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, things are changing daily. As social distancing continues, check out these amazing examples of dedication, commitment and empathy. At People Inc., we continue to get through this pandemic together.
People Inc. Featured on Spectrum News Buffalo
The team at one of our group homes in Amherst, NY, helped educate the public on ways that both staff and people living in our group homes are adapting to the pandemic. Samantha Wilkinson, senior residential supervisor, along with Jennifer and Stacy who live at the residence, did a great job sharing information. Plus, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick reminded the community that direct support professionals are healthcare heroes, too! Check out the report from Spectrum News Buffalo
Tutoring Services Provide Support through Distance Learning
Evan Bratcher featured with Geneva Fronczak providing tutoring services working on math skills using FaceTime.
Justin Basinski is working with his tutor Maureen Stewart with reading on Facebook Messenger Video. Maureen was trying to make Justin “smile” in this picture!
Leslie Walter is using Google Meet to tutor Vincent Akiki using Brain Pop.
As part of the People Inc. Family Advocacy Services, a team of special educators have risen to the challenge, delivering tutoring services for people the agency supports through distance learning. Special educators have been providing tutoring services though video-facing technology. Using various applications from Facebook Video Messenger to Zoom, special educators continue to
provide tutoring services, while also assisting parents with the challenges of home schooling. Special educators have developed unique materials and lessons to assist people in promoting skill growth and assignment completion. Some recipients are even contacting their tutors when they need additional assistance on projects and homework. We’re proud of the special educators for staying innovative, flexible and committed!
Leslie Walter helping Victoria Zeisz create a PowerPoint for US Government!
Alaina Cottrell using Zoom to work on a writing assignment with David Bulan!
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. Some examples include:
  • People living in a group home in Hamburg, NY, painted colorful eggs. Meanwhile, people at another residence in Angola, NY, danced along to a Wii game and created vibrant decorations to brighten up their space. 
  • Taking advantage of a sunny day, people at a group home in Lancaster, NY, added some color to their neighborhood. Bob and Jim, who live at the house, posed with their artwork, which is dedicated to essential workers. 
  • People living at a residence in Silver Creek, NY, and staff worked on landscaping outside the house and safely enjoyed an outdoor dinner together, while maintaining social distance. 
So many local businesses and individuals have come together to provide help where needed and to brighten spirits. We’re so grateful for the support.
Out of the Blue WNY, a local nonprofit that teams up with organizations like People Inc. and enhances the quality of life for adults with disabilities throughout Western New York, recently donated Tim Horton’s coffee to direct support professionals working in our group homes. A big thank you to Out of the Blue for their tasty generosity!
Colvin Cleaners, with assistance from Out of the Blue WNY, generously donated 1,000 masks to People Inc. The initiative
was part of Colvin Cleaners’ Get a Mask, Give a Mask Program.
Their contribution will help continue to safely provide support for people in need.
We’re thankful to former Buffalo Bills running back and member
of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Thurman Thomas, for a generous donation of snacks to benefit tenants of People Inc. Carnation
Senior Living in West Seneca and People Inc. Sunflower Senior Living in Lackawanna. The Thurman Thomas Family Foundation
and Jon Corto of Buffalo Strive Vending partnered for the #StriveForSeniors challenge to help provide food to seniors in
need within the community. The snacks were safely dropped off
with no contact to each tenant. 
“The Thurman Thomas Family Foundation was blessed to collaborate with Buffalo Strive on the Strive for Seniors campaign,” said Patti and Thurman Thomas, founders of the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation. “The Buffalo community always rallies when faced with adversity and we were proud to be able to do our part.”
“Buffalo Strive was honored to serve alongside the Thurman Thomas Family Foundation in supporting our most vulnerable population,” said Jon Corto, founder of Buffalo Strive Vending.
“The people of Buffalo are extremely generous and really stepped up in a big way to make the Thurman Thomas Strive for Seniors challenge a huge success – 42,000 snacks were donated across Western New York.”
Senior Wishes, a nonprofit organization that enriches the lives of qualifying seniors throughout Western New York, donated plants to tenants of People Inc. Iris Senior Living in Hamburg to celebrate Mother’s Day! While traditional wish-granting is temporarily on hold, Senior Wishes is still making efforts to assist older adults. Gabrielle Hangen, site manager and Richard Dunham, maintenance technician, both of People Inc. Iris Senior Living, safely distributed the plants.
“Senior Wishes is pleased to shift its resources from granting traditional wishes to fulfilling basic needs seniors have at this time,” said Wendy Miller Backman, executive director, Senior Wishes. “We have been distributing coloring and puzzle books, as well as craft items to help seniors pass the time and this Mother’s Day campaign was meant to brighten up the day.
Gabrielle shared that many tenants called with gratitude to thank Senior Wishes. 
Thank you to Assemblyman Sean Ryan for delivering pizza to residents
and staff of a People Inc. group home in Buffalo, NY. On his Twitter feed, Assemblyman Ryan thanked all essential workers who are providing care during this difficult time and encouraged donations to essential workers. 
Support Us During
this Critical Time 

Will you help support the mission of People Inc.? Your donation of any amount will benefit the People Inc. Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund, so that we can continue assisting 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, enhanced cleaning products and technology to provide remote support, as well as technology to help people residing in our group homes stay connected with their family and friends. Donations are greatly appreciated, especially during this critical time. Make your contribution today.
Sign Petition to Support Funding from the Federal Government
Your support is needed for direct support professionals – they assist people living in group homes throughout the state 24/7, 365 days a year. Federal stimulus funding is critical to this workforce and agencies who support people with developmental disabilities. Your help is needed to urge the federal government to provide funding for the State of New York. Our industry is supported by
more than 90 percent Medicaid funding, which provides essential services on which New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely. Sign the petition from New York Disability Advocates.
Awards and Achievements 
Rick Banner, director of Advocacy and Person-Centered Services, recently earned the Public Policy and Social Justice Advocacy Award from the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, a statewide association of non-profit providers. The award honors leaders in the disability and human service fields who have made exceptional contributions to the betterment of society, through the advancement of policy and life enrichment opportunities for all. Rick has worked at People Inc. for 16 years, the past 10 years specifically in a position focused on supporting self-advocates and promoting person-centered practices. Rick has also been very involved regionally and statewide, increasing awareness and influencing policy direction and provider approaches. 
Congratulations to David Wantuck, community engagement specialist of Deaf Access Services,
an affiliate of People Inc. He was recognized as one of Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30.
The honorees include entrepreneurs and employees from diverse career paths, ranging from
law to finance and hospitality to construction. Awardees are in the early stages of their careers
and deserve recognition for their achievements at work and in the community. Factors considered for this award program include career accomplishments, leadership, initiative and community engagement.
DeWan Stroud, director of Diversity and Inclusion, was presented with an IDEA Award from Buffalo Business First in February. The awards recognize companies and people in Western New York who prioritize the importance of diversity and inclusion, champion equitable human resources practices and develop inclusive cultures. DeWan oversees the People Inc. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, while promoting awareness and acceptance for people of all cultures and abilities. 
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