News and Updates for People Inc. Services
News and Updates for People Inc. Services
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Attention All Care Coordinators!
Find out about these topics in the Winter 2021 edition of the People Inc. Care Coordinator Connection quarterly e-newsletter: COVID-19 updates; People Inc. 50th anniversary; Evergreen Health to acquire Elmwood Health Center; Self-Directed, Rochester, Supported Employment and Vocational Services; affordable apartments and more.
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
During this pandemic, we are grateful to care coordinators and health professionals for their continued commitment to adapt and to assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our agency continues to assess and follow COVID-19 protocols, as outlined by state and county guidelines. Agency updates are posted on the Coronavirus section of our People Inc. website. Please review the following information and share with people and families you support:
Informational Session for Families: People Inc. is hosting an Informational Session for Families on Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. Agency management will provide operational updates and projected plans. Questions may be sent in advance, and during the call, to, or texted to 716.868.9233. RSVPs are encouraged by calling 716.817.7400. The conference call number is: 1.607.442.6488 United States, Elmira (toll), with the access code: 352 408 028#.
Resources Available
Families are welcome to call group homes and programs with specific questions.
• A special Coronavirus Phone Line has been established for families to call, 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 is available to have concerns addressed at
• The People Inc. Advocacy Department continues to help people who receive support 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.
COVID-19 Vaccine: We have been sharing and encouraging our staff, and people we support, to review fact-based information about the approved COVID-19 vaccinations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). People Inc. is proud to have been authorized by the NYS Department of Health to dispense the COVID-19 vaccine to those included in the Phase 1A rollout. Vaccine is provided to our agency in limited doses, and we have partnered with Erie County to be used as a dispensing site for their vaccinations on a limited scheduled basis.
Now that those eligible to be vaccinated has been expanded to include people in community settings, we appreciate collaboration with care coordinators in arranging vaccinations. When contacting our staff with a request that they help schedule or arrange for a vaccine from someone on your caseload, please provide the following:
  • Confirmation that you provided education to the person supported related to the vaccine and their consent
  • Information about your communication with others in their circle of support related to obtaining the vaccine.
Having the above will allow our staff to move forward with scheduling or arranging for the vaccine with assurance that the appropriate preparation and consent was obtained.
A photo of Niagara Falls lit with blue lights.
Niagara Falls, NY.
Photo by Roxane Albond-Buchner.
Telling the People Inc. Story for 50 Years
We’re proud to recognize the 50th anniversary of People Inc. The agency started with just a small group of parents and professionals who joined together to address the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and formed what would grow to become People Inc. The variety of programs and services offered has evolved to support over 10,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults. Over the years, People Inc. has expanded these offerings to support even more people in their efforts to live, work and thrive – to be independent, to have access to supports and health services, as well as affordable, safe housing. To mark this milestone, local landmarks were illuminated blue this past summer and our agency’s historical moments are included in a photo album on the People Inc. Facebook page. We will celebrate our anniversary through the end of the year and look forward to safer times ahead.
Newsletter Shares Stories of Support from the Frontlines
Need some feel-good news? Check out the Fall 2020 special edition of the People Inc. Faces of the Foundation newsletter, featuring stories of support from the frontlines. During this past year, our staff members rallied together – and continue to do so – focusing on the safety and well-being of the people we support. The newsletter include examples of dedication and empathy.
Get Social with Us!
Stay in touch between issues of the People Inc. Care Coordinator Connection for agency news, program updates, fun photos and stories on our social media channels. Here’s where to find us: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
People Inc.’s Elmwood Health Center Article 28 Primary Care Moves to Evergreen Health
It was recently announced that Evergreen Health will acquire the Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of People Inc. Under this agreement, operations of the Elmwood Health Center primary care clinic, located at 2128 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY, will shift to Evergreen Health some time later this year. The ownership of the adult and pediatric primary care services, gynecology, podiatry and neurology will be transferred from the Elmwood Health Center to Evergreen Health at a newly-expanded health center at 1870 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo (corner of Elmwood and Hertel Avenues), as soon as approval is received from the NYS Department of Health. Patients will continue to be cared for by the same primary care providers and health center staff.
The physical building (1870 Elmwood) will continue to be owned by People Inc., with the health center and pharmacy operated under Evergreen Health. People Inc. Article 16, rehab and mental health counseling services, along with our durable medical equipment affiliate, People First Mobility, will also be operating at this new site. Something new for patients to benefit from will be ECMC dental services, which will be available at this new location. During the upcoming months, patient needs for Article 28 medical services will continue to be met at the Elmwood Health Center at 2128 Elmwood Avenue. Contacts and processes have remained unchanged. Patients have been notified of the future change by letter, and will be notified again when operations are to begin at the new building.
Known in the area for its exceptional healthcare for more than 40 years, we’re pleased to be partnering with Evergreen Health. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, People Inc. began identifying potential partners and chose Evergreen Health for its similar mission and experience supporting those who are underserved by the healthcare system. Evergreen Health is an “FQHC-lookalike status,” which will bring in rates that can sustain operations, whereas the Elmwood Health Center has had unsustainable rates for years.
We are extremely grateful to the Elmwood Health Center team for their outstanding commitment to providing high-quality care, proven by the loyal patient base.
People Inc. continues to operate various health services, including Early Intervention, certified and licensed People Home Health Care, Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, rehabilitation and mental health counseling, as well as Virtual Medical Care that was initiated this past year.
Info: If you, or people you support, have any questions about the Elmwood Health Center transition, call Frank Azzarelli, at 716.566.5006. Learn more by viewing the press release.
Virtual “Lunch and Learn” Workshops for Care Coordinators
People Inc. invites interested care coordinators to join us for upcoming “Lunch and Learn” workshops that will be held throughout the year. For everyone’s safety, the workshops are held virtually for the time-being. The next topics are Environmental Modifications (EMODS) on Thursday, March 18 and Employment Services for people with disabilities on Thursday, April 15.
Info: Contact Kim Russi at or 585.719.3424. Registration links will be provided via email to those who register.
Waitlist for Self-Directed Services
The People Inc. Self-Directed Services now has more than 1,000 people enrolled. As a result of the continued growth, the program instituted a waitlist for any new referrals. We are actively working to increase program resources, so that we can resume taking new cases. We appreciate your patience.
Western New York:
Emily Burgio, or 716.880.3779
Greater Rochester Region: Matthew Graves or 585.719.3410
Services Expanded in Rochester Region
During this past year, many People Inc. services expanded across the Greater Rochester region, including Care Management for Children, Respite, Self-Directed Services, Supported Employment Program and the opening of a new community-based residence. These resources serve as a great benefit, giving people with developmental disabilities paths to residential options, supports and employment, along with much-needed outlets for families to support school-aged children and those with chronic health needs.
To learn more or to make a referral, contact our Rochester Admissions: or call 585.441.9300
A Supported Employment participant working at Tops..
Vocational Services Continue through COVID-19 Crisis
Ensuring that people with varying abilities secure and maintain meaningful, competitive employment is one of the many important goals of People Inc. That has not stopped during the pandemic, as People Inc. continues to support people with disabilities in their employment goals and work with business through our Supported Employment and Vocational Services. Several business solutions are also part of our commitment to offer high-quality work, ranging from janitorial and carpet cleaning to workforce solutions and contract manufacturing. People Inc. is proud to support people across Western New York and the Greater Rochester region to attain meaningful employment.
To learn more about how to get someone you assist employed through the People Inc. Supported Employment Program or to recommend a business partner:
Contact James Scutt at or call 716.817.5750
A kitchen at the Grant Street Apartments.
Affordable Apartments Accepting Applications
As part of its Affordable Apartments, People Inc. is accepting applications for available apartments and
for people to be added to 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. Section 8 vouchers are accepted. Some apartments are designed specifically for people who may have mobility issues, are legally blind or who may be Deaf or hard of hearing. Here’s information for people you support (and for any friends or family that may be in need of an apartment):
Jefferson Avenue Apartments, located at 1140 and 1166 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY:
18+ years of age who are income-eligible, physically disabled and or I/DD. One- and two-bedroom apartments available. Rental applications are currently being accepted for one-bedroom units for people who are intellectually/developmentally disabled (I/DD).
Info: Email or call 716.880.3890
The apartments listed below, with requirements, have a waitlist for the one- and two-bedroom units:
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 (I/DD).
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 I/DD.
Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: 55+ years of age and who are income-eligible, physically disabled and or I/DD.
Info: Email or call 716.880.3890
An older women holding her kitten.
People Inc. Senior Living in Southern Tier and Lockport Accepting Applications
NOW available: One-bedroom Tax-Credit apartment unit at Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, managed by People Inc. The apartment building, ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier, is located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, NY. The HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax-Credit apartments provide housing for independent, older adults age 62 and up who meet income guidelines. Vouchers are accepted for the Tax-Credit units. View a video of this apartment building.
Info: Download an application or call 716.817.909
Additionally, People Inc. Pine Senior Living in Lockport, NY (border of Amherst), provides affordable apartments, with rent based on income and offers numerous safety features for independent older adults age 62 and over who are income-eligible.
Info: Call 716.433.3381
Learn more about other People Inc. Senior Living locations throughout Western New York:
Email or call 716.817.9090
An older woman on the phone.
Now Accepting Recipients for Senior Companion
“Phone Connection”

Do you know an older adult who is feeling lonely, bored or isolated at home? The People Inc. Senior Companion Program is providing a “Phone Connection” for recipients who qualify and would benefit from making regular connections. This initiative serves as an alternative to providing in-home visits, which are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is now enrolling recipients who are 55 or older and living in Erie County. They will receive the benefit of socialization with a friendly voice. Senior Companion volunteers will call recipients once a week and share any concerns with program staff, who then make referrals to family members or other resources. Registering for the program is free and easy.
Info: Contact Alissa Yax at or call 716.768.2381
COVID-19 Vaccination Presentation with ASL Interpreting and Captioning
Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., recently presented a COVID-19 Vaccination Presentation with ASL Interpreting and Captioning via Zoom. The presenters were Pati Aine Guzinski, training coordinator, Public Health Emergency Preparedness of Erie County Department of Health and Frank Cammarata, executive director, Erie County Office for People with Disabilities. They answered questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The presentation is available by video.
Info: To learn more about supportive services available from Deaf Access Services for someone you support, email
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