The Road Trip of a Lifetime
Some of the best memories in life are those moments that can be captured only once. It’s camping under the stars in Colorado with friends and mentors, meeting family members for the first time, splashing through the ocean in California and seeing the world in a new light after encountering new people and places. At least that’s what four Guys Group participants currently embarking on a road trip across the country might tell you.
While their trip has been nothing short of extraordinary, it’s also served a purpose. This trip is a once in a lifetime chance for participants Jon Caldwell, Nick Feeterman, Aaron Hanson and Eric Johnson to learn in action everything from planning and budgeting to safety and social skills – almost everything needed for an average tourism venture. Guided by two People Inc. quality life coaches, each step of the trip, the participants have visited other developmental disabilities (DD) agencies to share the coaching philosophy and encourage others to create programs similar to People Inc.’s Guys Group.
The Guys Group is a social group for young men with DD developed by People Inc.’s Life Quality Coaching Department that helps participants discover and nurture their passions, build lasting friendships and develop important life skills so that they have increased opportunities to live and work independently. This trip is the first sponsored trip of its kind for People Inc.
The cross country trip participants left for their journey on Saturday, May 30, and will return to Western New York on Monday, June 15. Along the way, they have personally matured, adapting to life on the road and learning to appreciate new experiences.
Their journey can be followed in real time on the Facebook page “Crossing Borders WNY.” The trip will also be documented on film and combined with footage of the group preparing for the journey. To help fund the documentary’s production, donations may be made here.
Elmwood Health Center Nationally Recognized
On June 2, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology held a hearing in Washington, DC on advanced health models. Assistant professor with the University at Buffalo’s School of Nursing, Dr. Sharon Hewner, RN, was invited to present information on the Elmwood Health Center’s Care Transition Program. The patient-centered program seeks to ease patients’ transitions from the hospital to the community. It was implemented by the Elmwood Health Center, a People Inc. affiliate, which remains the only engaged practice in Western New York. Congratulations to the EHC for receiving this opportunity to share its expertise on a national stage!
Volunteers Recognized for their Support of Seniors in our Community
Elected officials and senior service professionals recently honored 74 People Inc. senior companion volunteers for their hard work and dedication at a luncheon held at Schiller Park Senior Center in Buffalo. Serving Erie County, these volunteers assist seniors who have difficulty with daily living tasks so they can retain their independence. They help with grocery shopping and errands, light cooking, housekeeping, reading, alerting doctors and family members to potential problems and providing respite for caregivers. We are so lucky to have them!
Pictured L-R: Luvena Moore, program coordinator, People Inc.; Patricia Watson, president, Senior Companion Advisory Group; Rhonda Frederick, president and CEO, People Inc.; Kaamalal Robinson, case management coordinator, People Inc.; and Oswaldo Mestre, Jr., director, Office of Citizen Services.
Looking for a Job You’ll Love?
We are seeking program instructors for our Afternoon Respite programs that provide after school care for young people with developmental disabilities, ages 5 to 21. Program instructors assist with enriching activities, such as homework, arts and crafts, peer socialization, community outings and more. Part-time positions are available in Buffalo, East Aurora and Hamburg. If interested, apply online.
So, How are we Doing?
One of our organization’s core values is the Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. While we have been monitoring our programs and conducting satisfaction surveys for decades, we are hiking up our emphasis on outcomes reporting and data-informed decision making. We recognize the importance of letting our supporters, donors and the community know about the impact People Inc. makes in the lives of thousands of Western New Yorkers every day. Pictured are some staff who learned more about the Results Based Accountability model this week, and there are multiple initiatives in place to help us learn and implement best practices. Look for more reports on the results we achieve in our future publications!
People Inc. in the Community
People Inc. was represented at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County’s Agency Executives annual luncheon where Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke about the county’s Health and Human Services Plan “Initiatives for a Strong Community.” 
Pictured L-R: Mindy Cervoni, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled; Kevin Horrigan, People Inc.; Mark Poloncarz, Erie county executive; and Althea Luehrsen, Leadership Buffalo.
Memory Loss Program Provides Benefits for Participants and Caregivers
Families and caregivers often turn to many resources to help their loved ones with memory loss. A unique People Inc. day program is available and accepting participants. Our Seniors Unlimited social day program meets the needs of adults who have developed dementia or memory loss, which may have been caused by Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart disease or other illnesses. Family members are welcome to visit during an open house event, held in conjunction with the Erie County Senior Services Department, on Saturday, June 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 2635 Delaware Avenue, Suite A, Buffalo (border of Kenmore). 
The program provides benefits for participants, but also a chance for caregivers to work or take a needed break. Participants receive socialization, intergenerational programming, exercise, reminiscing, art therapy and Laughter Yoga. Educational components and a hot meal all in a safe environment are provided.
For more information, call 716.853.4500.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“4 Friends with Disabilities are Driving Cross-Country to Gain Independence:” People Inc. Guys Group cross-country trip is featured. The Mighty, June 2015.
"State awards $3M to WNY nonprofits for housing projects:” People Inc. is included. Buffalo Business First, June 8, 2015.

“Forever Young in WNY:” Museum of disABILITY History featured; Doug Farley, director, interviewed. AM Buffalo, WKBW-TV Channel 7, May 26, 2015.

“Walnut Senior Living Celebrates:” People Inc. Walnut Senior Living is featured. West Seneca and Elm Sun, May 16, 2015. 
Magic, Puppets and Fun
People Inc. Pine Senior Living presents Magic, Puppets and Fun on Wednesday, June 17, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., 6231 Tonawanda Creek N, Lockport (off Transit Road near Millersport Highway). The family-friendly event includes a “Mike Randall and Friends” performance that features puppets, magic, ventriloquism and audience participation. You can also tour our beautiful apartments for independent seniors age 62 and up. Monthly rent is based on income; some utilities included. Enjoy a hot dog cookout while socializing with tenants. To RSVP or for more information, call 716.433.3381.
June 2015
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Paint on Tap for People Inc.
Have fun painting, hanging out with friends and sipping wine at Paint on Tap in Williamsville on July 6, all to benefit People Inc. There are easy-to-follow instructions and staff assistance to paint a majestic dandelion. No experience or equipment needed. Wine is available for purchase and you can bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Click here to reserve your spot.
Golfing for a Cause
People Inc.’s 14th Annual Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, August 17, at East Aurora Country Club, 300 Girdle Road, East Aurora. An early bird morning round of golf is available with a quick round in the morning and an invitation to the dinner program. Morning and afternoon rounds include lunch and will follow a four-man best ball scramble format with a shot gun start.
A dinner program will conclude the event, complete with silent auction and raffle prizes. Sponsorships are available for eight, four or two golfers. Businesses can show their support and receive great exposure by being a tee sign sponsor. Auction items are welcome. For more information or to register, click here or contact Sarah Snyder, annual giving manager, at or by calling 716.817.7269.
Your donations helps individuals with developmental disabilities and senior adults to help them live more independent and productive lives. By pledging a recurring payment of $10 a month or with a one-time gift of $100 or more, you can become one of our valued People Inc. Foundation Supporting Members. To donate, click here
Grant News
The Museum of disABILITY History recently received two grants to help support its educational programs and to tell the story of the lives, triumphs and struggles of people with disabilities.
National Fuel awarded $1,000 for the development of the Museum of disABILITY History Theater Room. The funds will be used to purchase projection equipment. Construction is underway to re-use existing space to create a small theater and interactive exhibit for visitors, students and organizations to utilize.
A Niagara Falls Heritage Area grant was received to create an interpretive exhibit that immerses visitors in the experiences of Dr. Platt Skinner’s struggle for abolition in Niagara Falls, NY. Dr. Skinner established a school for African-Americans with disabilities in the shadow of the suspension bridge in 1860. Visitors to this exhibit will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including excerpts from the school’s publication.
People Inc. Training Coordinator F. Paul Lounsbury works his artistic magic to create a mid-20th century mental institution within our new experiential theater, opening later this summer.
WGRZ-TV Channel 2: Child with autism made an honorary plumber
“….Whether it’s in a plumbers and steamfitters, any skilled craft, I think he has what it would take.”

Huffington Post: 8 Things Parents of Kids with Tourette’s Syndrome want You to Know
“Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder that's accompanied by involuntary movements, or tics, which are ‘frequent, repetitive and rapid.’ That doesn't mean, however, that people with Tourette’s are constantly shouting….”

Today Show: Madeline Stuart won’t let Down syndrome stop her from pursuing a modeling career
“Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old girl with Down syndrome from Brisbane, Australia, is chasing her dreams of becoming a model — and refusing to take no for an answer.”

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