Celebrations and more news!
Celebrations and more news!
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AGENCY NEWS
Local dignitaries cutting the ribbon at the Jefferson Apartments.
A resident speaking at a podium at the event.
Celebrating Jefferson Avenue Apartments We were excited to host and celebrate the opening of our People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments on Monday, August 2! We welcomed many community leaders who shared remarks, including: New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, U.S. Congressmember Brian Higgins, NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy, NYS Assemblywoman Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin and Erie County Legislator - District 1 Howard Johnson. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick shared information about the development of this new, mixed-income apartment project and the joy to be a part of the historic Jefferson corridor. Two apartment tenants each expressed how their apartment makes them feel more independent and proud to be a part of the welcoming community. Members of the Project Development Team, funding partners and other community leaders were also in attendance to celebrate the completion of this project. People Inc. continues to broaden its scope to bring diverse audiences together for affordable and unique housing models, including to Buffalo’s East Side. Located at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, the project features 71 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom apartments across two, three-story buildings, which includes one caretaker apartment unit. Plus, over 16,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space is included. The head of household must be 18 years or older and meet income eligibility. Sixteen apartments are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, who live independently and will have access to supports by People Inc. Currently, there are 400+ people on the waitlist. “Affordable, quality housing continues to be one of my top priorities and People Inc.’s innovative affordable housing development, which includes units for persons with disabilities, is a great fit with that mission,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Since 2006, my administration has strategically committed $58 million for affordable housing projects that have leveraged $470 million in development and created over 2,266 new housing units for city residents, senior citizens and veterans.” To learn more about this apartment project, check out the news story from The Buffalo News and WIVB-TV Channel 4. For event photos, view our People Inc. Facebook page.
Celebrating Jefferson Avenue Apartments
We were excited to host and celebrate the opening of our People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments on Monday, August 2! We welcomed many community leaders who shared remarks, including: New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, U.S. Congressmember Brian Higgins, NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy, NYS Assemblywoman Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin and Erie County Legislator - District 1 Howard Johnson. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick shared information about the development of this new, mixed-income apartment project and the joy to be a part of the historic Jefferson corridor. Two apartment tenants each expressed how their apartment makes them feel more independent and proud to be a part of the welcoming community. Members of the Project Development Team, funding partners and other community leaders were also in attendance to celebrate the completion of this project.

People Inc. continues to broaden its scope to bring diverse audiences together for affordable and unique housing models, including to Buffalo’s East Side. Located at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, the project features 71 one-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom apartments across two, three-story buildings, which includes one caretaker apartment unit. Plus, over 16,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space is included. The head of household must be 18 years or older and meet income eligibility. Sixteen apartments are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, who live independently and will have access to supports by People Inc. Currently, there are 400+ people on the waitlist.

“Affordable, quality housing continues to be one of my top priorities and People Inc.’s innovative affordable housing development, which includes units for persons with disabilities, is a great fit with that mission,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Since 2006, my administration has strategically committed $58 million for affordable housing projects that have leveraged $470 million in development and created over 2,266 new housing units for city residents, senior citizens and veterans.”

To learn more about this apartment project, check out the news story from The Buffalo News and WIVB-TV Channel 4. For event photos, view our People Inc. Facebook page.
Rhonda Frederick and Maria Bell are smiling in a picture together.
Telling the People Inc. Story Historical Moment: 50th Anniversary Feature 
The People Inc. story began on August 14, 1970, when a small group of parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities joined with professionals to address their needs, forming what would grow to become People Inc. Today, People Inc. makes an impact in the lives of over 10,000 people a year with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. A key figure in this growth has been Rhonda Frederick, our current president and CEO. Pictured here with Maria Bell, a longtime recipient of People Inc. services, Rhonda first began working at People Inc. in 1980 as a direct care worker. Gradually, she rose through the ranks to become chief operating officer (COO) in 2002. She spearheaded our agency’s development for Senior Living apartment complexes, with encouragement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and was also instrumental in the establishment of other services for older adults. In the COO role, Rhonda was able to assume increased responsibilities, which facilitated her eventual transition to the top agency leadership role in October 2014. We are so thankful for Rhonda’s advocacy and contributions to the People Inc. story. We look forward to continuing our mission for 50 more years and beyond!

More of our agency’s historical moments are included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook page. Plus, be sure to check out our agency milestones
Photo of Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa and the Amherst Town Board.
Amherst Town Board Recognizes our 50th Anniversary
People Inc. was honored to receive a proclamation celebrating our 50th Anniversary from Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa and the Amherst Town Board at their meeting on Tuesday, July 13. Many of the people we support, as well as our employees, call the Town of Amherst home and we are so proud of this presence and history. Thank you to the Town Board for this recognition and their ongoing openness and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
Plan Ahead to Support Our Giving Day in September
Next month, we will host our People Inc. 50th Anniversary Giving Day! This special online event will help fund the future of our multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, celebrating more than 50 years of service throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Your contribution will help support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults to help meet their needs and goals. The date of this special giving opportunity and details will be announced soon. In the meantime, if you have questions, contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269. 
Supported Employment Featured on
Spectrum News

One of our many critical services, the People Inc. Supported Employment Program, recently made the news featuring Kevin Nowak, a recipient of our services. This Spectrum News Buffalo story highlights the Americans with Disabilities Act and the importance of providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities. The story also included information about the ongoing wage crisis that human services professionals face. People Inc. Employment Services Specialist Shannon Panepento summed it up well, remarking, “As far as the staff crisis, once you get into this field, it changes your life forever. And the money, as I say to everybody, money comes and goes, but smiles are priceless.”

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 businesssolutions@people-inc.org or call 716.817.5750. 
A photo of Housemates from one of our group homes in at the beach.
Celebrating National Beach Day
August 30 is National Beach Day and people we support are joining in on fun in the sand and sun. Housemates from one of our group homes in Silver Creek, NY, took a nice walk to the beach and enjoyed the lake breeze! 
A photo of Rachel (pictured in green tie-dye) and Megan (pictured in pink) painting with watercolors.
A photo of art created by Rachel and Megan.
Wonderful Watercolors
July was World Watercolor Month and Rachel (pictured in green tie-dye) and Megan (pictured in pink), who live at one of group homes in Clarence, NY, took part in their own colorful celebration. They combined paint and water and used water guns to apply the mixture to canvases. This was a unique way to create beautiful masterpieces! 
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 of staff is pleased to share information and their expertise:
“Sean Kirst: In community for those with disabilities, a call to support the next generation:” This story highlights the importance of advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick added that funding is crucial to provide direct support professionals a living wage. The Buffalo News, July 17, 2021.
“People Inc. ready to start next project at Elmwood Crossing:” The story features our new Folweell Affordable Apartments that will be under construction soon. The Buffalo News, July 22, 2021. 
A photo of DAS and ETHOS AmeriCorps Program staff workng on the garden. A photo of Dekota, one of the people who lives at the house. A photo of administrative employees and ETHOS AmeriCorps Program working together.
The Caring Continues
People Inc. Days of Caring continue as administrative employees have joined together to show their appreciation for our direct support professionals and lend a hand, beautifying indoor and outdoor spaces at our group homes.

At one location in West Seneca, NY, volunteers from our affiliate, Deaf Access Services, including members from the People Inc. ETHOS AmeriCorps Program, transformed the garden by weeding, pruning, laying mulch and planting flowers. Dekota, one of the people who lives at the house, was so excited to see the changes, that he asked if he could water the flowers and check out the new garden décor. At another location in Akron, NY, a group of administrative employees and members of the People Inc. ETHOS AmeriCorps Program worked together to spruce up the gardens. Within minutes of hanging a bird feeder, several feathered friends arrived. Ian Gattuso, senior residential supervisor, reported that the people who live at the house love watching the birds from the porch or through the windows.
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Updated Guidance and Resources
Our focus remains on the safety of the people we support and our staff. The People Inc. team will continue to operate in a proactive, precautionary manner, with a primary goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people we support and our staff throughout the global pandemic. For ongoing agency updates, refer to the Coronavirus section of our website. Thank you for your continued observation of the protocols that best keep the people we support and our staff as safe as possible. 
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, COVIDconcern@people-inc.org, is available to have concerns addressed.
  • 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. 
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
Make an Impact Each Day
Join People Inc. to Make a Difference 

Make an impact every day when you join the People Inc. team! Direct support professionals, clinical and behavioral staff are needed to help people with disabilities achieve their goals! People Inc. is hiring now for various part and full time, per-diem positions, which are great for college students to gain hands-on experience and for people returning to the workforce. Featured positions for this month are located in our Akron, Alden, Clarence, East Aurora, Grand Island, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Rochester, Silver Creek and Springville group homes and day programs.

As an essential employer, People Inc. is hiring compassionate, creative and energetic people for positions across the career spectrum – from entry level to management. A new starting hourly rate of $15 per hour is available for select direct support positions. A sign-on bonus of $750 is now offered for some designated direct support positions and a $375 sign-on bonus for part time. For designated management positions, a sign-on bonus of up to $1,500 is also available. (Note: The sign- on bonus is subject to change and/or may be discontinued at any time). There are also immediate opportunities for LPNs, RNs, Children’s Services case managers, medical liaisons and residential management, just to name a few.
Staff earn generous PTO and PTO buyback. Plus, virtual interviews, paid comprehensive training, a variety of flexible and consistent/flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement, mentoring and career advancement are offered. Some of the other great benefits provided by People Inc. include health insurance and retirement plan with match, along with lots of rewarding experiences.
Take the next step to grow your career today! To view People Inc. employment openings, go to people-inc.org/careers or call 716.322.7050 for more information. 
PROGRAMS and SERVICES
Rendering of the Oakwood Apartments.
Volunteers Needed to Help Older Adults
Want to assist older adults to remain independent in their own home? The People Inc. Senior Companion Program welcomes volunteers 55 or over, who live in Erie County and meet income guidelines to assist older adults with grocery shopping, light cooking and housekeeping. Additionally, our volunteers have the opportunity to reach out to recipients virtually through our program’s “Phone Connection” initiative. Trained volunteers earn a stipend, mileage and meal reimbursement. To join us or for more information, contact Alissa Yax at ayax@people-inc.org or call 716.768.2381. 
Rendering of the Oakwood Apartments.
Submit Applications Soon for New Senior Apartments in Blasdell Under Construction
People Inc. is pleased to announce its new apartments for older adults 55 and over. People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, currently under construction at 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY, is slated to open for occupancy in September 2021. This two-story apartment building is available for heads of household 55 years and older, with 31 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments. Seven units are reserved for people who are frail elderly/homeless and in need of support services. Note: Section 8 Voucher Holders are welcome and will automatically qualify within some income limits. Minimum income does not apply.
Applications are now being mailed to interested people or you can download them from our website in English or Spanish. Completed applications must be postmarked by Monday, August 23. They will be opened at a lottery held on Tuesday, September 7. Per COVID-19 requirements, we will be filming the lottery to be viewed later on the People Inc. Facebook page. For more information or an application, email housing@people-inc.org, visit NYHousingSearch.gov or call 716.880.3890.
Nelson Hopkins Apartments exterior
The Nelson Hopkins Apartments
Your New Apartment Awaits
Affordable Apartments in Erie and Niagara Counties

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. Some apartments are designed specifically for people who may have mobility issues, are legally blind or are Deaf or hard of hearing.

The 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. 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 for the Olmsted Apartments include:
Austin Manor Apartments: 395 Tonawanda Street,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 Apartments5562 Davison Road, Lockport, NY
Additional People Inc. Affordable Apartments are accepting applications for one- and two-bedroom units, with some having a waitlist:

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.
Jefferson Avenue Apartments, 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 18+ years of age who are income-eligible, 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 any of these locations, email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890. 

An older adult holding her kitten.
People Inc. Senior Living Accepting Applications
Multiple Locations throughout Western New York
Do you have a parent or elderly loved one who needs to downsize from their home or remove the worry of household maintenance? It’s helpful to plan ahead and our trained team of staff from People Inc. Senior Living can help with financial eligibility questions, as well as provide guidance for families and for older adults, who are thinking of moving. People Inc. Senior Living provides affordable and maintenance-free apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible.

Apartment applications are accepted year-round for our Senior Living locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo (border of Cheektowaga and South Buffalo, Gowanda*, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport (border of Amherst), Springville and Wheatfield (border of North Tonawanda). (*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).

Two benefits of choosing People Inc. Senior Living are affordable rent based on income and safety features. As an added cost savings, some utilities are included. The apartments include a kitchen with appliances. Amenities ensure cleanliness and safety. Various safety features include stove fire prevention devices, grab bars in the bathroom, emergency pull-cords, a secure entrance and a 24-hour response system. There is also a day-time manager and a live-in caretaker for building emergencies. Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. If additional supports are needed, tenants may utilize a unique benefit through People Inc. Senior Living Service Coordination at no extra charge to assist with various services.
For more information or an application, email Seniorliving@people-inc.org or call 716.817.9090. 
News from Deaf Access Services
Deaf Awareness Month is Around the Corner
Next month is Deaf Awareness Month! Deaf Awareness Month began in 1958 as “International Day of the Deaf,” which was first championed by the World Federation of the Deaf. Since then, it has been extended to the “International Week of the Deaf,” which comprises the last full week of September. Local, regional and national organizations often celebrate Deaf Awareness during a different week, day or even the whole month of September. Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., has more information, including local Deaf Awareness events, listed on its website.

For more information about available programs and trainings through Deaf Access Services, contact Office@wnydas.org, call 716.833.1637 or videophone at 716.335.9192. News and event updates are posted on the Deaf Access Services Facebook page
NEWS from Headway of WNY
Headway Support Groups Moving to Wednesdays
Bi-monthly support groups hosted by Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People, are moving to the first and third Wednesday of each month, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The next meeting is September 7. To join these groups, send your name, phone number, email address and meeting date(s) you would like to attend to support@headwayofwny.org.
Virtual connection instructions will be provided to your email address. If you have questions,
call 716.408.3120. 

Headway assists 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, waiver programs, symposiums, outreach, special fundraising events and a bi-annual newsletter. 
Keep up-to-date by going to Headway’s website and following their Facebook page.
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