AND more news!
AND more news!
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube
Dear Friends, 
We are heartbroken as we extend our deepest sympathies and support for the families of victims, and survivors, of the horrific acts of racially motivated hate that occurred on Saturday. The cowardly attack by a white supremacist who targeted people because they are Black, is nothing short of pure evil. It requires nothing short of full condemnation, full force of the law and our full and persistent attention in ridding the poison of hate, bigotry and ignorance from every corner of our community.

We know that the fear and trauma that so many in our community now feel on a daily basis will not be quickly or easily resolved. There is deep pain, as a tremendous process of personal and community grieving continues.  

People Inc. is invested and integrated into every area of our community. We cherish the people and relationships developed with community groups along the historic Jefferson corridor; we are here for the long-run. The photo on the left was taken just hours before Saturday’s attack, as People Inc. staff joined others in a community cleanup near our apartments on Jefferson Avenue. We pledge to continue our work toward creating a community of inclusion and belonging for all. Let’s become what this community is meant to be.
Rhonda Frederick, President & CEO
Thank You, Nurses! From the Peole Inc. Nursing Management Team.
Honoring our Nursing Staff During National Nurses Week
National Nurses Week, May 6 to 12, is a time to recognize the contributions of nurses all around the country. At People Inc., we have an incredible team of nurses, who provide compassion and strength to the people we support on a daily basis. To mark the occasion, a presentation was created to honor members of our nursing team. Thank you, nurses, for the amazing work you do year-round! 
A photo of the team.
A photo of three team members.
People Inc. Athletes take Part in Special Olympics Regional Tournament
Meaningful opportunities and friendships are returning through sports! People Inc. program participants recently took part in Special Olympics New York’s Western Regional Basketball Tournament at Niagara University! The group was invited by Dennis Garland, a Niagara University professor.
Niagara University, which has hosted Special Olympics New York’s Western Regional Basketball Tournament since 2006, held the event on April 30 for the first time since the COVID-19 global pandemic canceled the 2020 competition. About 125 Special Olympians showed off their skills as part of the exciting tournament.

“I really enjoyed it because I got to play basketball with all of my friends,” said Michael Wojtan, an athlete and participant in the People Inc. Young Adult Life Transitions (YALT) Program.

Other athletes mirrored these sentiments:
“This year was my first opportunity for Special Olympics, and it’s really great!” exclaimed Thomas Altman, YALT participant.

“I've been doing Special Olympics for a while, but I especially enjoyed doing this with the coaches and seeing what they had in mind for all of the drills that we do,” expressed Kyle Stern, who is also enrolled in YALT.

Beth Duncan, People Inc. senior day supervisor, helped coordinate the People Inc. athletes’ involvement. “I really can't say enough about the wonderful experience. These athletes have not only had the chance to increase their basketball skills and physical fitness, but it has also been a joy to watch the natural friendships that have formed,” Beth explained. “So many organic relationships have been made, and that's our goal for programs like this. At People Inc., we are looking forward to the future, as we continue our relationship with Niagara University for more inclusive opportunities on campus.” 
Resources for People in need of Support and Families: Transition Services Virtual Expos – Visit the People Inc. “Room”
People Inc. is proud to be one of the presenting agencies at three upcoming “Transition Services Virtual Expo 2022” sessions sponsored by Person Centered Services. These sessions will provide students ages 14 to 21, who receive special education services, and their families, an opportunity to meet and interact with local providers, supporting successful transitions to adulthood. Experienced staff from People Inc. will offer information on the agency’s numerous adult services, including eligibility criteria, referral processes and vacancies. Special education personnel and care coordinators are also invited to attend.

The free live regional events will be hosted via Zoom, from 6 to 8 p.m. on:
Tuesday, May 24: Western Region (Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties)
Wednesday, May 25: Eastern Region (Cayuga, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca and Wayne Counties)
Thursday, May 26: Southern Tier Region (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Livingston, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates Counties)

Governor Kathy Hochul meets Jackie Baich, a participant of the People Inc. Community Active People Program.
People Inc. Joins Governor Kathy Hochul for
NYS Budget Presentation

Last month in her home town, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul made her first NYS budget presentation update at Kleinhans Music Hall. The Governor and her Western New York team invited People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick, people our agency supports and staff to attend.

People who participate in the Community Active People Programs (CAPP) and other Day Programs, as well as staff – were present as the Governor announced a $20 billion, multi-year healthcare investment, as part of the budget. “We appreciate the commitment of the Governor and the State Legislature to provide vital assistance to the healthcare field, including support of our direct care workforce,” offered Rhonda Frederick. “Staff, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families deserve to be a priority.” During her speech, Governor Hochul said she wants to help many populations within the community and shared, “I want to thank our friends from People Inc., who joined us here today. They deserve a good home. They deserve support services.”

View the presentation, including a “shout out” to People Inc. at the 30:33 mark.
OPWDD Commissioner Kerri Neifeld Visits People Inc.
People Inc. was pleased to welcome Commissioner of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Kerri Neifeld on Tuesday, May 3. During the visit, the Commissioner learned more about several of our programs, including the Community Active People Program (CAPP), which highlighted its emphasis on community integration for attendees. At the Arts Experience, one of our fine arts Day Habilitation Programs, Commissioner Neifeld talked with participants, who love to explore art and expression! The group shared how they also have jobs through our agency’s Supported Employment Program and enjoy friendships they have through many of our other agency supports. Wrapping up the tour, Commissioner Neifeld met with family members at a group home in Williamsville and also visited our Village Green residence for people who are medically frail.

Guests part of the tour also included Jennifer O’Sullivan and Dixie Yonkers, both of OPWDD and Ellen Hardy of the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO). Check out tour photos on the People Inc. Facebook photo album
Career Spotlight: RNs and LPNs
At People Inc., we have an incredible team of nurses who deliver compassion and strength to the people we support on a daily basis. We have several full/part time and per diem openings for New York State licensed RNs and LPNs in our Residential, Day and Home Health programs across the greater Rochester area and Western New York. This career path enables you to share your experience and skills with employees, people we support and their families. Benefits of working for People Inc. include paid and on-going training, tuition reimbursement, mentoring, health insurance options and generous paid time off. Visit to review these positions and apply to join our team!
Attention Care Coordinators: Virtual Training on Thursday, May 26
People Inc. invites care coordinators to join us on Thursday, May 26, as we host our monthly virtual “Lunch and Learn” workshop, from noon to 1 p.m. The topic of “Afternoon Respite Services” will be presented by Adam Perry, People Inc. program director. Some of the discussion will focus on:
  • For the people you work with, which Afternoon Respite Services are available?
  • Who qualifies for Afternoon Respite services?
  • How do you apply for Afternoon services and what is the process that follows?
Registration is required. To register, contact Suzanne Mcclarin at or 585.719.3424 by the end of the day on Tuesday, May 24. A link for the training will be sent by email.
Registration Now Open for the Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament
Golf for a cause! Registration is now open for the annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament, being held on Monday, August 22, at the Orchard Park Country Club. Early and afternoon rounds available. Golf registration includes team carts, lunch and a player gift, as well as a post-tournament reception with cocktails and dinner. Register your team at
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, email or call Christine Melchiorre at 716.817.7269.
People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick and event emcee Maryalice Demler of WGRZ-TV Channel 2.
People Inc. President and CEO Named
BNSME Executive of the Year

Earlier this month, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was named 2022 Executive of the Year by Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives! Local business professionals gathered for the BNSME’s Executive of the Year and Elite Sales and Marketing Awards at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. Members of the People Inc. Board of Directors, staff and Rhonda’s family were proud to be in attendance to applaud our CEO as an exceptional leader. Event emcee Maryalice Demler of WGRZ-TV Channel 2 led a candid Q&A with Rhonda, where they spoke about our agency’s evolution over the years. When asked how employers can be disability inclusive, Rhonda shared, “People with disabilities need to be at the table and be listened to. As you create a culture of inclusion, have that employee with a disability be treated like everyone else.” Thank you to Rhonda for her ongoing leadership, encouraging people our agency supports and staff to follow their dreams to meet their goals! 
In the Media: Being a Resource to the Community
Local news media stories have recently included information from People Inc. and agency representatives. Our team is pleased to share information and their expertise:
Beth and her daughter Grace.
Adrian Ragland and her son on the cover of Buffalo Healthy Living.
Kevin Horrigan speaking on WIVB-TV Channel 4.
A picture of the story on page 42.
Get to know “Amazing Grace,” as mom Beth Kuerzdoerfer shares her motherhood journey – a heartfelt tribute for Mother’s Day and every day. Thank you to The Buffalo News Columnist Sean Kirst for giving parents and their children with developmental disabilities a voice within the community.

Adriana Ragland, a behavior intervention specialist for People Inc., was featured on the cover of the April 2022 issue of Buffalo Healthy Living magazine. Adriana shares her experiences raising her autistic son, TJ and offers advice to parents and caretakers of autistic children.

People Inc. Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Horrigan spoke with WIVB-TV Channel 4 about critical cost-of-living adjustment funding for People Inc. in the New York State budget, as well as support from Governor Kathy Hochul.

People Inc. Respite Services and a family supported is featured in the Western New York Family Magazine May 2022 issue of its Special Needs section. The story, which starts on page 42, was  contributed by Nicole Forgione, assistant director of Marketing Communications for People Inc.
Rick Banner accepting his award.
Rick Banner accepting his award.
Pictured left to right: Chief Innovation and Program Development Officer Concetta Ferguson (left) and Project Director Anthony Rushford (right) congratulate John Rupert Malones (middle) on earning his award.
Pictured left to right: Chief Innovation and Program Development Officer Concetta Ferguson (left) and Project Director Anthony Rushford (right) congratulate John Rupert Malones (middle) on earning his award.
Staff Kudos
A round of applause to our amazing staff members:

Rick Banner, People Inc. director of Advocacy and Person-Centered Practice, was honored with the Community Service Award from Embrace Western New York for his contributions to advocacy for people with developmental disabilities in the LGBTQIA+ community! As part of his acceptance speech, Rick encouraged LGBTQIA+ people to be more inclusive towards those with developmental disabilities and acknowledged People Inc. as a trailblazer in the advocacy/developmental disabilities field in New York State.

John Rupert Malones, process improvement analyst at People Inc., was honored with a Buffalo Business First 30 Under 30 Award! John started at People Inc. in 2016, assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and, over the years has risen to his current position with the Information Technology Department. He spearheaded the creation of a scheduling system during the pandemic and played an integral role in space-planning for staff moving from rented facilities.  
Mike Shultz reading from his book.
Feel Good News: Featuring Paralympian Mike Schultz
People Inc. was thrilled to host Paralympian and Author Monster Mike Schultz for a presentation and book signing on Tuesday, March 29, at its new People Inc. Health Services Building in Buffalo, NY! Schultz shared some details about his experiences and read excerpts from his book, Driven to Ride: The True Story of an Elite Athlete Who Rebuilt His Leg, His Life and His Career. The memoir is co-authored by journalist and Buffalo, NY native, Matt Higgins, and covers sports, business, Schultz’s experiences with injury, recovery and triumph, as well as working together as a team with his wife Sara Schultz. 
A series of videos were created to highlight Mike’s presentation, as well as our People Inc. Rehabilitative Health Services. Check out the videos: 
Rochester Weekday Summer Respite Accepting Applicants
Calling All Families and Care Coordinators: Registration is open for a Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Respite Program in Gates, NY, available to OPWDD eligible people, ages 11 to 21. This People Inc. Respite Program provides a safe and fun environment, while parents/guardians are at work, attending appointments or running errands. People who participate will engage in daily activities, including but not limited to: Card/board games, Nintendo Wii, movies, bean bag toss, ladder ball, outdoor games in a grassy area and basketball. Making the most of the summer, participants will be going to places to enjoy a movie or ice cream, plus The Garden Factory, mini golf and shopping trips. People Inc. also has a membership with the nonprofit farm Homesteads for Hope, where program attendees can plant/maintain a vegetable garden, go fishing on the Erie Canal and participate in educational farm-related activities. Martin the Standard Poodle is the program’s resident canine and is a certified therapy dog trained to help the participants relax when they are having a tough day. Please note: The agency is not able to provide transportation to or from the 1860 Buffalo Road location in Gates. Advance registration is required. Families can request that their service coordinator contact People Inc. Admissions at or 585.441.9300. For more information, call 585.719.3413. 
A kitchen at the Oakwood Apartments.
A tenant at Linwood Lafayette in her kitchen.
Grant Apartments.
Your New Apartment Awaits
People Inc. is happy to provide a variety of apartment options for the Western New York community – open to the general public!
Each location through People Inc. Affordable Apartments includes units with a refrigerator and stove. Plus, the apartments have safety features, AC, are pet-friendly and tenants enjoy the ease of using the building laundry facilities. Rental vouchers accepted. Our staff members are available to provide age and income eligibility details. Here’s the latest info about People Inc. Affordable Apartments, which are close to shopping, dining, schools and so much more:

People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY: One- and two-bedroom units available. This brand NEW apartment complex is for people 55+ years, income-eligible. Additionally, there are seven furnished set-aside apartments for people 55+ who are income-eligible and are frail elderly homeless individuals.

People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: The apartments are for people age 55+ and income-eligible. A one-bedroom market rate unit is available.

People Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible or who has an intellectual or developmental disability.

People Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible; have a traumatic brain injury or an intellectual/developmental disability. A two-bedroom unit with hearing and vision accommodations currently available.

Locations for the Olmsted Apartments, managed by People Inc., are located in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport and North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible. Preferences for people with physical disabilities or vision impairments are provided.

People Inc. Senior Living has the amenities you deserve and rental rates you’ll appreciate! Contact us today if you, a family member or someone you assist want to worry less about the stress of home ownership and financial concerns. People Inc. Senior Living provides safe, comfortable and maintenance-free one-bedroom apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. We provide HUD approved apartments. Many locations are accepting applications, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo, South Buffalo, Gowanda*, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, Springville and Wheatfield. Apartment units include kitchen appliances and are pet-friendly. Many safety features included. (*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).

For more info about any of these apartments or for an application, email or call 716.880.3890.
News from Deaf Access Services 
Support the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Communities:
Contact Representatives Today

Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is encouraging Western New Yorkers to show support for a major milestone – commission for D/deaf, DeafBlind and hard-of-hearing communities! While this is overdue, it is exciting news. For more information on the bills and how to contact your representative to cosponsor it, the Empire State Association of the Deaf (ESAD) has created a video on the subject. Check out the video description for a transcript and a helpful script for contacting your representatives.

Deaf Access Services responds to the interests of people who are Deaf and hard of hearing by promoting communication access, awareness and opportunities in the greater community.
News and event updates are posted on the Deaf Access Services Facebook page.

News from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Volunteer Opportunities Now Available
Do you or someone you know have experience with horses and are looking for a place to volunteer, meet new people and help others? Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., may be the place for you! The riding center, located in East Aurora, NY, has immediate openings for volunteer horse leaders to participate in therapeutic riding lessons. Horse experience and knowledge (grooming, horse handling, familiarity with equipment and horse behavior, etc.) is preferred. Lothlorien offers flexible schedules and is a wonderful option for those looking for volunteer hours for school or community groups. Training is provided. The minimum age is 14. All volunteers must have the ability to walk for at least an hour, with brief periods of jogging. Additional opportunities are also available, such as sidewalking and helping around the barn. The riding facility provides horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. To volunteer or for info about riding sessions, contact Katie Macre at or 716.949.3551.
powered by emma