Grand opening celebration, Give 716 and more
Grand opening celebration, Give 716 and more
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Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. President and CEO shopping at the new People Shoppe. Concetta Ferguson, People Inc. Chief Innovation and Program Development Officer checking out at the new People Shoppe.
Attendees of the new People Shoppe opening.
Every Purchase Has a Purpose – Celebrating the Grand Opening of the People Shoppe
It was an exciting celebration on Thursday, June 30, for the grand opening of our People Shoppe, which provides hands-on work experience for people with disabilities supported by People Inc.! Located at the Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, this store opened as a new vocational initiative, in conjunction with our Day Services, to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to gain hands-on work experiences. People who participate, known as “Ambassadors,” partake in meaningful activities. Every purchase supports our agency’s mission to provide inclusive experiences, including training for a career in retail, by exploring aspects of operating a store from inventory to stocking to customer service and sales.
People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick stated, “From an idea to a reality, this project has been a true collaborative journey with many people coming together to make this store possible, including Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., Tri-Main Development, the Southeast Foundation Board, as well as agency support departments. The primary purpose of this space is not as a retail outlet, but instead a space for people to build relationships and engage with the community.” 
The event brought together members of the People Inc. Board of Directors, Southeast Foundation Board of Directors, Deputy Director of New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Regional Office 1 Darlene Hines-Williams, City of Buffalo Common Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, Sr., Erie County Office for People with Disabilities Director Frank Cammarata, Tri-Main Development President Matthew Wolfe, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick and People Inc. Vice President and Southeast Foundation Board Member Tim Pfohl, community members and staff. Convenient items are sold at the store for tenants and guests within the Tri-Main Center, including mints, pain medicine, greeting cards, gifts, travel size toiletries and ice cream novelties. Plus, there is also a table occasionally outside the store featuring various original items for sale made by recipients of People Inc. Day Services. The store is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn more with these stories from WGRZ-TV Channel 2 and WKBW-TV Channel 7. Check out photos from the grand opening in our Facebook album
Support People Inc. with Give 716
We’re excited to be a part of Give 716 this year! Starting July 14, at 7:16 p.m. and ending on July 16, at 7:16 a.m., the 36-hour online giving campaign provides an easy and fun way for our entire community to unite in support of local nonprofits, including People Inc.! Give 716 was created as a joint effort between the Buffalo Bills Foundation and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation in response to the urgent needs our nonprofit community is facing. Donations made to People Inc. will support our various services benefiting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults. Give back to People Inc. – all contributions are appreciated! The Buffalo Sabres  and Buffalo Bills Foundations will make three $500 grants per hour. Charities will be selected randomly and must receive a donation during that hour to be eligible. A gift of any amount helps People Inc. qualify for a grant. You can also help by spreading the word on your personal social media channels by encouraging others to support People Inc., too! Go to this link to donate  and share with friends. Plus, the Give 716 organizers are offering those who donate special incentives and giveaways!
Nominations Now Accepted for DSP of the Year
People Inc. is accepting nominations for its annual Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Year Awards! Award recipients are agency staff members who provide direct support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrate superior care and consistent dedication. Winners will be selected and announced during DSP Week, September 11-17. Each winner will receive a $1,000 monetary award. DSP Week is observed nationally and honors these wonderful professionals for the valuable contributions they provide. The agency is seeking nominations from people we support, parents, guardians, family members, community members and staff. Winners will be chosen through an impartial committee review. Submit a nomination online. Nominations must be received by Sunday, August 7. For questions, contact Michael Atticus O’Shea at 716.817.7471. 
A collage of pictures featuring Nick and his guitar.
“Traveling Nick” Shares Music and Talents with Jamestown
Nick Kilpatrick has made a name for himself in Jamestown, NY. The 41-year-old, who receives support from our People Inc. Self-Directed Community Habilitation Program, is known by many as “Traveling Nick, the Guitar Guy.” He is a skilled string musician who shares his talents around town, playing guitar for residents at Heritage Park Skilled Nursing, at the Ashville General Store and for the Salvation Army’s kettle drive during the holidays. “I enjoy doing this because I love the people,” Nick shared. Check out a story on our website to learn more about Nick!
Recognition for COLA Funding
On Tuesday, June 21, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick joined Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera, State Senator Sean Ryan, Hamburg Town Supervisor Randy Hoak and representatives from the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) to recognize critical and well-deserved cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments in the 2022-2023 New York State budget for direct support professionals (DSPs) – including our frontline workforce at People Inc.!
“We are so grateful to Assemblymember Rivera, Senator Ryan, our WNY delegation and Governor Hochul,” Rhonda shared. “For several years, we have been stating the case that we need more funding for our workforce and the more than 50 agencies like People Inc. that are part of DDAWNY.”
Among the attendees were advocates from our Community Active People Programs (CAPP). Thank you to all who have helped advocate for this much-needed increase in wages for our DSPs.
Jake, Brian and Linda posed together.
People Inc. Staff Share Expertise on
Senior Radio Buffalo

We’re continuing our featured segments on Aging Gracefully, an educational mini-series from Senior Radio Buffalo! Our latest segment featured Jake Wilkins and Brian Clayback, who represent our Home Health Care Services and People First Mobility, respectively. Senior Radio Buffalo, hosted by Linda Pellegrino, is designed to educate the 55+ senior community, airing on WBEN-AM 930.

Calling all Businesses: Register for the Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament
Golf “fore” a cause! There’s still time to register for our annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament! It will be held on Monday, August 22, at the Orchard Park Country Club. Our event is a great way to network with various business representatives in the area! Registration includes team carts, lunch and a player gift, as well as a post-tournament reception with cocktails and dinner. Early and afternoon rounds are available. Register your team online. A printable form is also available. Not a golfer? A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available, including tee signs to promote your business. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, email or call Christine Melchiorre at 716.817.7269.
Career Spotlight: Experienced RNs
Find a job you will love 

Seeking motivated RNs to join our team to ensure that people receive the right care, within the right setting and at the right time! People Home Health, an affiliate of People Inc. for those with short-term health needs, is focused on providing high quality and individualized patient care for people with and without developmental disabilities. The full time Home Health RN Supervisor/Case Managers provide professional nursing services, supervision and case management. There will be occasional on-call and weekend responsibilities. Requires a valid NYS driver’s license and an operational motor vehicle.

Our employees are our most valuable resource and we are committed to their ongoing personal and professional growth, including providing outstanding benefits. There is a place for YOU on our TEAM! Apply online.
Jessica and Mitch Rubin with their daughter Jessica.
Book Signing: Meet Book Author and Parent Vickie Rubin
Have you read Raising Jess: A Story of Hope, by local author Vickie Rubin? Interested in meeting the author? Want to purchase the book? Here’s your chance – join us on Thursday, July 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Spruce on Main, 4446 Main Street, Snyder, NY, where Vickie will autograph books. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., she will read from her book and answer your questions. Spruce on Main has generously agreed to donate a portion of the book sales during the event to benefit the People Inc. Foundation.
Raising Jess is recommended for parents, siblings, caregivers, healthcare professionals and others interested in the story of one family’s survival and journey when faced with the birth of a child with special needs. Listen to the stories behind the writing of the book and passages from it. Enter their journey filled with compassion, honesty, humor, challenges and above all else – hope. Vickie’s daughter, Jess, happily lives with friends in a People Inc. group home.
Vickie retired from careers with the Early Childhood Direction Center for Oishei Children’s Hospital, Kaleida Health and the New York State Education Department. In addition to public appearances for her book, she also writes a blog, is Nana to her three grandchildren and travels with her husband, Mitch, in their recently purchased RV. Originally from Long Island, NY, Vickie is proud to be from “Buffalo” now.
The cover of After 50 magazine.
After 50 Publication Features People Inc. Senior Services
Our People Inc. Services for Seniors and Older Adults is the cover and feature story of the July 2022 issue of After 50. Learn more about apartment options, plus companionship supports and case management. If you have questions about these supports, here’s contact info:
Senior Living and Affordable Apartments: or call 716.880.3890
Senior Companion Program:
Call 716.768.2381
Senior Outreach Program:
Call 716.768.2357
Celebrate Disability Pride
People Inc. is looking forward to participating in the Disability Pride Celebration Canalside Buffalo on Sunday, July 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our agency, as well as the People Inc. Advocacy Department, will have tables in the Disability Pride tent. The event, hosted by Western New York Independent Living, recognizes the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law on July 26, 1990, making it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. Admission to the event is free. If you have event questions, contact Hayley Joyce at or call 716.836.0822, ext. 146.
Readers of Olivia the Bully, including the author Engelic Everett.
“Olivia the Bully” Featured in People Inc. Senior Companion Program-Led Book Reading
Engelic Everett, who receives services from People Inc., is a published children’s author whose work focuses on antibullying, self-love and self-respect. Engelic’s book, Olivia the Bully, was featured in a live virtual book reading, hosted by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library on Monday, June 20. The video was created by the People Inc. Senior Companion Program, which worked alongside the Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program and the Erie County Retired Senior Volunteer Program. All of these services, which are part of the national AmeriCorps Seniors, were encouraged to take part in a day of service. The project was developed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and finalized in time for Juneteenth. It was a great opportunity to showcase diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as highlight the book’s powerful message. Check out the book reading on Facebook!
In the Community
Our agency is proud to support various community and cultural events. Here’s a snapshot of our recent participation: 
Attendees at the Council.
People Inc. took part in the 9th Annual Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc. Community Breakfast on Saturday, June 25. It was a great way to learn new things and connect with the community!
People Inc. staff volunteering at the event.
On Saturday, June 11, People Inc. sponsored Get Outdoors and Get Together Day, hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Friends of Reinstein Woods. The event was held in partnership with the Towns of Cheektowaga and Amherst, as well as the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. People Inc. staff volunteers shared agency information and job opportunities.
A person we support helping a shopper at Priceright.
Businesses Welcome to Employ People with Disabilities
Ensuring that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure and maintain meaningful, competitive employment is an important part of what we do at People Inc. Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. president and CEO, recently spoke with Buffalo Business First about the importance of hiring people with disabilities. Why? “First and foremost, because they do a good job,” Rhonda shared. To become a business partner or learn how to get employed through the People Inc. Supported Employment Program, contact James Scutt at or call 716.817.5750.
Staff Kudos 
David Wantuck receiving his award.
Congratulations to David Wantuck of Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., who was recently recognized by the Town of Amherst! The acknowledgment highlighted David’s advocacy for the Deaf and hard of hearing community, his work with the town disability committee, as well as his award-winning debut role in “Tribes,” by Road Less Traveled Productions.

It's Never Been a Better Time to Make an Impact
If you are compassionate, creative and energetic, consider joining the People Inc. team! The agency offers rewarding careers assisting people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in achieving their dreams and goals. Use your skills and experience for immediate openings that include direct support professionals, behavior technicians, RNs, LPNs, clinical, behavioral/BIS, social workers, residential management and facilities, just to name some. Outstanding benefits are also available: Paid comprehensive training; consistent schedules; tuition reimbursement; mentoring/career advancement; affordable health insurance options, generous paid time off/PTO buyback and a retirement plan with match. When you join the People Inc. family, you become part of a leading health and human service agency building on 50 plus years of experience and supports. Begin your journey at or call 716.322.7050.

People Home Health Care Accepting Patients
Referrals welcome from care coordinators and
healthcare professionals

Injury, surgery and illness are all difficult to endure, but perhaps one of the most challenging parts is the recovery. One of our agency’s supports, People Home Health Care, an affiliate of People Inc., can help patients regain independence, focusing on providing high quality and individualized patient care for people with and without developmental disabilities. We bring physical, occupational and speech therapies right to your home. Referrals from care coordinators and healthcare professionals are now being accepted.

There are many times that someone may benefit from People Certified Home Health, including: After an injury, surgery or hospital stay; treatment for new medical diagnoses, such as diabetes, cardiac and lung diseases; age-related conditions; wound care and skin breakdown; frequent hospital emergency room visits and for medication management.

Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurances are accepted. For more info or to make a referral, call 716.874.5600. Presentations are available for care coordinators, discharge planners and medical offices by contacting Jake Wilkins, RN, at 

Your new apartment awaits! Accepting applications year-round
People Inc. is happy to provide a variety of apartment options for the Western New York community that are open to the general public!
A living room at a Senior Living Apartments.
People Inc. Senior Living: Affordable and maintenance-free one-bedroom apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. We provide HUD approved apartments.

Features: One-bedroom apartments with kitchen that includes a refrigerator and stove, some utilities included, safety features, on-site management, small pet-friendly and service coordination available at no extra charge for various supports.

Many locations are accepting applications, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo, South Buffalo, Gowanda*, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, Springville and Wheatfield.
*Our Gowanda apartments provide HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit apartments for older adults age 62+. Amenities vary. TTD/TTY: 1.800.662.1220. 
Grant Apartments.
People Inc. Affordable Apartments: Reasonably-priced, safe apartments with some of these communities for people 18 and over, while others have an age requirement of 55 and over; must meet income guidelines. Rent subsidies and/or rental vouchers accepted.

Features: One and two-bedroom units, kitchen includes stove and refrigerator, safety features, on-site management, water and garbage removal included, on-site laundry facilities, central air, small pet-friendly, some units designed for those with mobility and vision challenges or who are Deaf/hard of hearing.

Multiple apartment buildings are located in Erie and Niagara Counties, including Blasdell, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport, North Tonawanda and Tonawanda.
Want to learn more? Our staff are here for you – email or call us today at 716.880.3890 to ask about eligibility and for an application.
News from Deaf Access Services 
Learn ASL This Summer
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is offering summer classes in American Sign Language (ASL). This four-week Fingerspelling class will take place virtually on Tuesdays, from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is open until Monday, July 18 for sessions, happening Tuesday, July 19 through Tuesday, August 9. Seating is limited so reserve your spot today!

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 Headway of WNY
Find Headway of WNY on Instagram
Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People Inc., is expanding its social media presence by launching an Instagram account! Through this platform, the organization hopes to reach a larger audience with more awareness, motivation and information on the important services Headway provides. Follow the page @HeadwayWNY and stay up to date on the latest happenings! 
Headway of Western New York is a support and advocacy agency for persons with brain injuries and other disabilities. The agency is the Regional Resource Center/Single Point of Entry for the Department of Health's Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. 

News from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Support Lothlorien for Give 716
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., is excited to participate in Give 716, taking place from Thursday, July 14 at 7:16 p.m. to Saturday, July 16 at 7:16 a.m. Give 716 is an initiative created by the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres to make it easy for local supporters to connect with nonprofit organizations. Visit this link to donate and share with friends.

Lothlorien provides horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for individuals of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. To learn more about field trips, volunteering or riding sessions, contact Katie Macre at or 716.949.3551.
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