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Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
People Inc. Seeks New Businesses to Employ People with Disabilities
A Message from our CEO
People Inc. is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Each October, we acknowledge the valuable contributions of workers with disabilities. This year marks not only the 75th observance of NDEAM, but also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – two milestones encompassing the 2020 theme, “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”
At People Inc., we’re proud to support people in their employment goals through our Supported Employment and Vocational Services, along with our Business Solutions. Ensuring that people with developmental disabilities and varying abilities secure and maintain meaningful, competitive employment is an important part of what People Inc. does year-round. Hiring a qualified person with a disability brings greater benefits beyond just filling an open job – it means increased production, unique marketing opportunities and diverse perspectives – all of which contribute to a company’s success!
Even with the many challenges of COVID-19, we continue to assist people with employment opportunities and work with local businesses. This edition of People Inc. in the News includes a story about Christopher Chase, who is employed at Len-Co Lumber in Clarence, NY, as a result of our Supported Employment Program. Christopher’s job allows him to earn a paycheck, support himself and make an important contribution, especially during such a critical time in this global pandemic. I am proud of Christopher’s positive attitude and his job-coaching team for being so supportive.
To learn more on how to employ people with disabilities, call 716.817.5750. I encourage businesses to promote a more inclusive workforce – one where every person is recognized for unique abilities and valuable contributions.
Rhonda Frederick
President and CEO, People Inc.

Christopher driving a yellow forklift about to lift some lumber.
Supported Employment Program Continues During Coronavirus Pandemic
Many people with developmental disabilities
are eager to continue working through the Coronavirus pandemic. Christopher Chase is
a perfect example. A resident of Williamsville, NY, Christopher is employed at the Len-Co Lumber in Clarence, NY, as a lumberyard worker and is assisted through the People Inc. Supported Employment Program. Throughout this pandemic, he has continued to assist customers safely with carry-out and loading vehicles, as well as other duties.
Christopher shared, “I enjoy being part of the team here and learning new things. My favorite job is driving the forklift!”
Bob Drodz of Len-Co remarked: “I am extremely proud of all Chris’ accomplishments in the last eight years of him being onboard with us. Chris takes initiative and continues to be a respected, reliable employee. His positive attitude makes our other employees better workers by improving their moods, too.”
As part of the program, an employment specialist works as the liaison between the employer and the employee, focusing on job-readiness and addressing any concerns. “People Inc. Employment Specialist Kristen Pautler adds a level of support that creates additional accountability, not just for Chris, but for our management team, as well. I would absolutely recommend this quality service to other businesses,” added Bob.
Our Supported Employment Program serves a large spectrum of people with disabilities throughout the region. This program promotes individualized job carving, providing assessment of employment interest and choice, job development, job training, stabilization and long-term follow along. All placements are community-based in an integrated setting. Participants are employees of the businesses and are paid the prevailing wage for their work. To qualify, people must be 18 years or older with a developmental disability and aging out of a school system.
People Inc. is seeking new businesses to employ people with disabilities year-round. The agency assists companies to create jobs around a person’s talents and interests. To learn more about how to get employed through the People Inc. Supported Employment Program or to become a business partner, contact James Scutt at or call 716.817.5750.
Picturedleft to right, Dave McInnis and Carlton Clough.
Pictured L-R: Dave McInnis and Carlton Clough.
Business Solutions Services Continue through COVID-19 Crisis
People Inc. is proud to continue to serve the business community, especially during this challenging time. All of our cleaning protocols follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to safely sanitize businesses. 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, non-profit, business and government offices throughout Erie and Niagara Counties.
Current client, Althea E. Luehrsen, CEO of Leadership Buffalo, offered, “We have been using People Inc. Janitorial Services for about a year now and are extremely satisfied with their work and their pricing. They have done a tremendous job keeping our offices clean and neat on a weekly basis. And when the pandemic hit? They even were available to do a deep cleaning and sanitizing for us to make sure we were safe when we returned to the office. In addition to their great work, we at Leadership Buffalo are very happy that we have the opportunity to provide work for their employees and give back to our community in a small way.”
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. Free estimates are provided and the agency is fully insured. For more information, contact or 716.817.5750.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
Phased Reopening Update, Phone Lines and
Email Available
While many of our People Inc. services remained in full operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date, others were suspended or significantly altered. A planned and gradual reopening of our programs is in progress, based on a variety of factors to support our primary goal – maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our employees. Updates are posted on our website. Families are welcome to call group homes and programs for specific questions or participate in our Family Conference Calls.
We appreciate your understanding and feedback as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time together. The People Inc. Senior Leadership Team continues to be moved by the commitment of our incredible staff. We’re grateful for the patience of families and for community partners, who have shown our agency so much support.

To assist families and people supported through People Inc., a dedicated phone line and email address are available to share specific concerns related to COVID-19:
Phone: 716.817.7445
Numerous questions have been received, specifically about our day programs. As a result, a Day Habilitation and Vocational Services COVID Phone Line is available at 716.529.6505.
Additionally, an Advocacy Phone Line is available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions. It can be reached at 716.322.7070. Messages are monitored from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Informational Session for Families on October 21
Thank you to everyone who participated in our past conference call updates from agency management. We have scheduled a new information session for families of the people we support for Wednesday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. 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 people on the call, this is the most effective way to have your question addressed.
RSVP to 716.817.7400. Please note: An RSVP is needed because even if the conference call phone number remains the same, a new unique access code is issued specific to each call.
Walden Offices Moved to Spindrift Location in Williamsville
Admissions and Other Departments Relocated

Several People Inc. departments and offices relocated from the Walden Business Centre, 3332 Walden Avenue, Suite 100, Depew, NY, to 280 Spindrift Drive, Williamsville, NY, effective October 12, 2020.
Departments and Offices that Moved:
• Admissions
• Behavioral Health/Behavior Services
• Care Management for Children
• Community Habilitation
• Early Intervention
• Environmental Modifications (E-mods)
• Family Education and Training
• Family Support Services
* Educational Advocacy
* Family Reimbursement
* Parent Aide Program
* Personal Development Mentoring
• In-Home Respite
• Self-Directed Services
The above departments can be reached through Spindrift reception at 716.817.9000. At this time, the Admissions email at and phone number at 716.880.3700 both remain the same.
People Inc. Vice President Jocelyn Bos (far left) visited the artists commissioned to do the murals for the People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments.
People Inc. Vice President Jocelyn Bos (far left)
visited the artists commissioned to do the murals for the People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments. While touring, they looked at the work up close and personal, talking with John Baker, James Cooper III, Princessa Williams, Kobe Barber and other artists contributing to this mural.
People Inc. and WNY Urban Arts Collective Develop Jefferson Avenue Mural Project
Five murals by community artists are being developed to brighten the People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments. The initiative is a collaboration between People Inc. and the WNY Urban Arts Collective. Learn more and view photos from The Buffalo News. This important community effort will represent the rich history of Jefferson Avenue through artwork from several local artists who were recently commissioned for the project. The mural artwork project, an opportunity to express and reflect upon the diversity of the city, will be displayed on the newly-constructed Jefferson Avenue Apartments, located at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, NY. People Inc. continues to serve the community by bringing various audiences together for a unique housing model. The Jefferson Avenue Apartments house 89 total units (71 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom). Some apartments have been specifically designed for people who have mobility and vision challenges or who are Deaf/hard of hearing. For information about the apartments for yourself, or to recommend them to a friend or family member, email or call 716.880.3890.
Pictured in the photo are two of the original tenants, Dorothy Flood (middle left) and Mary Doyle (middle right), along with Brian Higgins (far left) and James M. Boles, EdD (far right), former People Inc. president and CEO.
Telling the People Inc. Story Historical Moment
In honor of our 50th anniversary, we’re telling the People Inc. story through photos! Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) visited People Inc. Seneca-Cazenovia Senior Living in South Buffalo, NY, in 2000. At that time, as a member of the New York State Assembly, he toured the apartment building, which is now one of 19 People Inc. Senior Living apartment locations in Western New York for older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. Pictured in the photo are two of the original tenants, Dorothy Flood (middle left) and Mary Doyle (middle right), along with Brian Higgins (far left) and James M. Boles, EdD (far right), former People Inc. president and CEO. Congressman Higgins continues to be a strong ally for People Inc. today, advocating for issues to support older adults, as well as for people with developmental disabilities and much-needed funding for agencies, like People Inc.
More of these historical moments are included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook.
Share Resources, Time and Skills
Your help is needed. Be as generous as you can. Share your time, talents and resources.
Help support our programs and services by donating to the People Inc. Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund: Donations will assist thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, special needs, 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) and enhanced cleaning products, as well as provided technology for remote support and to help people stay connected with family and friends. Donate $20 or more and receive a People Inc. Heroes Awareness Wristband. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
Share your talents and resources: Do you sew and make protective masks? Consider donating them to People Inc. If sewing is not for you, but you are able to provide cloth and materials for others to create masks, let us know and arrangements can be made. Or how about lending support, so people living in our group homes and Senior Living apartments can be creative and stay busy? Art and craft supplies, as well as crossword books and puzzles are appreciated. If you’re able to help, contact Jennifer Robinson at or 716.817.7269.
A photo of Travis Hill.
Travis Hill Earns 2020 Black Achievers Award
We’re proud to share that People Inc. Junior Network Engineer Travis Hill was recognized with a 2020 Buffalo Black Achievers Award. The annual awards ceremony honors outstanding people, and seeks to show the community the variety and quality of achievements of African Americans in Western New York.
In his role as part of the People Inc. Information Technology Department, Travis aids in the design, support, management and maintenance of the agency’s Wide Area Network and all associated systems. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Computer Information Systems from Buffalo State College, he began his IT career at People Inc. as a help desk specialist and rose to his current position. Growing up with hard-working parents in the medical field, Travis developed a strong work ethic. Whether he is arriving to the office early or staying late, Travis prides himself on resolving issues. He uses adaptability, passion and determination to ensure that he is being the best he can be, on or off the clock. His favorite quote is, “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.”
View Travis’s interview and award presentation. Congratulations, Travis!
Pictured from left to right: Frank Azzarelli, executive director of EHC; Kathy Bunce, owner of Buffalo Scrubs; Karleene Epolito nursing supervisor at EHC and Barbara Johnson, director of Clinical Services at EHC.
Buffalo Scrubs Supports Elmwood Health Center
Buffalo Scrubs recently donated 200 sets of scrubs to the Elmwood Health Center (EHC), an affiliate of People Inc.
The new, hygienic clothing will help staff continue to provide quality care to patients, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured from left to right: Frank Azzarelli, executive director of EHC; Kathy Bunce, owner of Buffalo Scrubs; Karleene Epolito nursing supervisor at EHC and Barbara Johnson, director of Clinical Services at EHC. Thank you, Buffalo Scrubs!
A young female graduate thowing her cap into the air.
Get Out the Vote: Resources Available
Over the years, People Inc. has joined Get Out the Vote efforts. With a Presidential election this year, many employees, people we support, families, advocates and employees are interested in making their voices heard. To support this initiative, various voting resources have been compiled and included on our People Inc. website to encourage everyone to participate in the voting process.
Join the “It’s Our Job” Campaign
The last several months have been difficult for our country and our community, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By sticking together and supporting one another, however, we can help make it through these challenging times. People Inc. is proud to join the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in the “It’s Our Job” campaign. This important public-service campaign is aimed at bolstering the local economy in these uncertain times and designed to support businesses throughout Western New York, while encouraging practices to keep our community safe, open, people employed and money cycling through our local economy. Learn more at
A young female graduate thowing her cap into the air.
Fall in Love with a Career at People Inc.
Sign-on bonus available for some
designated positions

People Inc. is hiring for evenings, overnights and weekends for a variety of part time, full time and temporary jobs to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A sign-on bonus of $600 for full time and $300 for part time is now available for some designated positions. We offer virtual interviews, paid training, a variety of schedules and great benefits for various openings across Western New Work and the Greater Rochester region. To apply or to view all employment openings, go to the People Inc. Job Board or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
A livingroom at a Senior Living apartment, decorated in a comforting style.
Affordable Apartments Now Accepting Applications
Do you have an elderly family member or friend who is in need of affordable and maintenance-free living? People Inc. offers a number of options:
People Inc. Senior Living is for independent, older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. Apartment applications are being accepted for its 19 locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Clarence, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport (border of Amherst), South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield (border of North Tonawanda).
Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, managed by People Inc., is accepting applications for one- and two-bedroom apartments, ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier. Located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, Academy Place Senior Apartments is a HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit complex. The one- and two-bedroom apartments provide affordable housing for independent, older adults age 62 and up who meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Vouchers are accepted for Tax Credit units.
Two benefits of People Inc. Senior Living are affordable rent based on income and numerous safety features. As an added cost-savings, some utilities are included. Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. For more information about People Inc. Senior Living and Academy Place Apartments, call 716.817.9090.
Rental applications are also being accepted for the new People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, offering one- and two-bedroom units. Located at 25 Grant Street in North Tonawanda, the apartments are for people who are head of household and 18 years or older, who meet income eligibility. Amenities include: Kitchen with refrigerator, stove and dishwasher; water and garbage removal included; on-site laundry facilities; safety features; air conditioning and on-site management. Tenants may have one small pet. Rent subsidies and/or rental vouchers accepted. Some apartments are designed for people who have mobility and vision challenges or who are Deaf/hard of hearing. Tours available by appointment. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact or call 716.693.4249.
Raising Awareness and Support
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is proud to share the following updates to spread awareness and encourage support for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities:
Buffalo Themed T-Shirt Sales: In collaboration with 26 Shirts, a local T-shirt business, Deaf Access Services designed Buffalo-inspired screen printed shirts that feature “BFLO” finger-spelled across the front. They were sold from September 18 through October 4. Deaf Access Services thanks 26 Shirts for this opportunity and to everyone who purchased a shirt. Through your support, Deaf Access Services raised $3,900!
Open Caption Events at Transit Drive-In: The Transit Drive-In theatre hosted its first open captioning event on September 27. Additional monthly dates will be added. Be sure to “Like” the Deaf Access Services Facebook page for updates.
Irish Classical Theatre Presents “Sea Marks” (Interpreted and Captioned): In partnership with Irish Classical Theatre Deaf Access Services is excited to provide interpreting services for the performance of their production of “Sea Marks.” Tickets are available on the website, The performance is available until Sunday, November 1, from the comfort of home in a pay-per-view-style format. To learn more about this partnership and how Deaf Access Services is providing support, check out this WKBW-TV Channel 7 news story.
To learn more about supportive services available from Deaf Access Services for yourself, a loved one or for your business, email
Help Support the Care of Therapeutic Horses
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., is pleased to share their latest happenings:
Match the Match: Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Lothlorien’s only annual fundraiser, the Boots and Bling Barn Dance, will not be held this year. As the winter months quickly approach, there is concern about the financial stability of the center, which directly affects the care of its incredible program horses. The horses unselfishly give their love and support to participants, as they navigate their emotional and physical healing and therapy. The high-quality, year-round care provided to horses is of utmost importance for their comfort and well-being. People in the community have always stepped up to help. One such person has pledged a match donation of $25,000, if Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center raises at least $25,000 to Match the Match! No donation is too small – it all adds up! Every donation goes directly to the care of these horses. You can make a donation online at the Lothlorien website.
Legislators Visit Lothlorien: A number of legislators, including New York State Senator Robert Ortt, New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan and U.S. Congressman Chris Jacobs, recently visited Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center. They met some of the veterans who benefit from Lothlorien’s services, assisting people to develop their highest potential through therapeutically-based equine activities. Senator Ortt shared his experience through a video posted to his Facebook page.
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. 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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