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A 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 at 716.529.6505.
Concerns may also be emailed to COVIDconcern@people-inc.org.

Updates on Programs, Services and Protocols Due to COVID-19

While many of our People Inc. services remained in full operation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to date, others were suspended or significantly altered. Adjustment, as needed, will be made across the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions, based on geographic case prevalence. The People Inc. Emergency Preparedness Team is proactively engaged in monitoring any potential changes in our service areas and will adjust agency policies accordingly. 

Our primary goal is to maintain a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our employees. To be as transparent as possible, and allow for families and others to best plan, we will continue sharing updates to programs, services and protocols. We appreciate your support, as we continue to work together through this extremely challenging time.

  • October 5, 2021: A vaccine mandate was announced by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. This new requirement, established within New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) agency regulations, does not apply to our People Inc. operations. This mandate will apply to all people working at the psychiatric hospitals in the OMH network, as well as those working at ArchCare, the specialty hospital certified by OPWDD. Families, please note that this does NOT apply to People Inc. staff and there is no change affecting our services at this time. People Inc. continues to monitor this closely and will provide updates, as they become available.
  • August 19, 2021: People Inc. adjusted our masking protocols, based on revised OPWDD guidance, throughout the agency effective immediately, as follows:
    • ALL People Inc. employees, vendors and visitors are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. 
    • During transportation, masks are still required for OPWDD programs, regardless of vaccine status. 
  • February 15, 2021: Many of the People Inc. Day, CAPP, YALT and Respite programs began reopening, but not all. See chart in next section.

Thank you for your continued observation of the protocols that best keep the people we support and our staff as safe as possible.

We will continue to post updates to this information online, and as always, families are welcome to call group homes or programs for specific questions or participate on our family conference calls.

The chart in the next section will continue to be updated to reflect status changes of a program or service.

Update Details for Programs & Services (Chart)

Updated 8.19.2021

PROGRAM

TYPE

DETAILS

Residential      Group Homes

Visitation at  Group Homes

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions for visitation. Please Note: ALL People Inc. employees, vendors and visitors are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status inside the group home at all times. 

Medical Appointments

Family/Guardian may attend medical appointments and procedures as necessary. However, attendance is also based on the specific health care facilities' COVID-19 guidance and policies. Most health care facilities and providers are still requiring the use of face masks, regardless of vaccination status and still have some capacity limitations in place.

Person Served Return to Group Home

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions for return to the group home.

Community Activities

As of July 8, 2021, there are no restrictions on community activities. Please note that unvaccinated people are still required by NYS & OPWDD to wear a mask.

Senior Living

Common Areas

Community rooms (with kitchen) are open. Tenants and visitors who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask in the common areas.

Affordable Apartments (Mixed Income/Tax Credit Apartments)

Common Areas

Community rooms (with kitchen) are open. Tenants and visitors who are unvaccinated are required to wear a mask in the common areas.

Day Habilitation, Community PreVoc, CAPP, DHWW, YALT

General Operations

Operations primarily open to persons who live at home with their families or reside in other agencies' residential programs due to continued restrictions on capacity in buildings (social distancing) and transportation (50 % occupancy on vans/buses).

The Lancaster program remains closed.

Information is provided on the Day and Employment Chart.

Employment Services

General Operations

Community-based employment supports have continued, following employer/placement’s status. Limited Contract Manufacturing is operational at 181 Lincoln location.

Free-standing Respite

General Operations

Traditional respite services at Northtowns and Downing Respite Centers are operational.

Site-Based Respite

General Operations

The following changes were made as of 2.9.2021, or after, for our respite sites: 

Open:

1860 Buffalo Road Respite (Rochester)

After the Belle Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

After Work Respite (Depew/Lancaster)

Del-Ton Weekend Opportunities (Tonawanda) 

Iris Afternoon Respite (Hamburg) 

Ken-Ton Afternoon Respite (Kenmore-Tonawanda) 

Late Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

Lockport Recreation Respite (Lockport in community programming)

Northtowns Afternoon Respite (Lockport) 

OMG (formerly known as On Main and Grove) Afternoon Respite (East Aurora) 

Orchard Park Weekend Opportunities (Orchard Park) 

Recreation Respite (Depew/Lancaster)

Southtowns Afternoon Respite (Hamburg) 

TLC K-5 Afternoon Respite (Amherst) 

TLC (fomerly known as Themed Learning Club) (Amherst)

Not opening at this time:

Buffalo Afternoon Respite (Buffalo) 

Rochester After School Respite 

In-Home Behavioral

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Community Habilitation/  In-Home Respite

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Recreation Respite

General Operations

Program reopened

Elmwood Health Center

General Operations

Continued operations, open for in-person and virtual visits.

Home Health Care

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Headway of WNY

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place. Virtual support groups held the first and third Tuesday each month.

Deaf Access Services

General Operations

Continued uninterrupted operations, with precautions in place.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center

General Operations

General operations resumed, with precautions in place.

Ombudsman Services

General Operations

In-person support in line with operator’s visitor policies.

Senior Companion Program

General Operations

Operating at clients’ homes and doing telephone wellness calls. 

 

 

  • May 11, 2020

    May 11, 2020 Parent and Caregiver Group Virtual Meeting on May 15

    Parent Network of Western New York is hosting virtual meetings for parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities. These meetings will take place on Fridays, May 15, 22 and 29 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. This online event provides a welcoming environment for parents, family members and ot

  • May 05, 2020

    May 5, 2020 Parent and Caregiver Group Virtual Meeting on May 8

    Parent Network of Western New York is hosting virtual meetings for parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities. The meetings will take place on Fridays, May 8 and 15, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. These online events provide a welcoming environment for parents, family members and other c

  • Apr 27, 2020

    April 27, 2020 Parent and Caregiver Group Virtual Meeting on May 1

    Parent Network of Western New York is hosting virtual meetings for parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities. The meetings will take place on Fridays, May 1, 8 and 15, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. These online events provide a welcoming environment for parents, family members and othe

  • Apr 22, 2020

    April 22, 2020 Family and Caregiver Group on April 24

    Parent Network of Western New York is hosting another virtual meeting for parents and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities. Rick Banner, director of Advocacy and Person-Centered Services at People Inc., will be the guest speaker, discussing use of technology and outreach during this

  • Apr 20, 2020

    April 20, 2020 Face Mask Donations Needed

    Do you or does someone you know create cloth masks or have a supply of other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Help our direct support professionals continue to work safely with a donation . Anyone having leads or involvement with those making or donating masks for frontline workers, please emai

  • Apr 16, 2020

    April 16, 2020 Letter to Families (English and Español)

    April 16, 2020: Another letter to families is available (in English and Español ). As always, People Inc. encourages you to stay in contact. Our dedicated email address and phone line is operational to help make it easier to share any concerns at COVIDconcern@people-inc.org or 716.817.744

  • Apr 15, 2020

    April 15, 2020 Important Information from Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS) Director Arnold Ackerley

    Self-Advocates and Parent Advocates had a recent victory advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be allowed to have a support person with them if they are admitted into the hospital. Thank you to all the advocates who worked so hard on this, and to the New Y

  • Apr 14, 2020

    April 14, 2020 Immediate Action Needed - Urge Federal Reserve for Forgivable Loan for Nonprofits

    Attention Families and Supporters, On Friday, April 10, the Treasury and Federal Reserve announced the Mid-Size Loan Program , for nonprofit and for-profits with 500-10,000 employees through the Main Street Business Lending Program, which would include organizations like People Inc. As it stands

  • Apr 03, 2020

    Resources

    Updated April 3, 2020: Please consult the following resources for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention New York State Department of Health Other Resources: For concerns regarding COVID-19:  email COVIDconce

  • Mar 31, 2020

    March 31, 2020 Letter to Families (English and Español)

    March 31, 2020: Another letter to families is available (in English  and Español ). As always, People Inc. encourages you to stay in contact. Our dedicated email address and phone line is operational to help make it easier to share any concerns at COVIDconcern@people-inc.org or 716.817

  • Mar 24, 2020

    March 24, 2020: A Message from Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. President and CEO

    A Message to our Community    During these very challenging times, we so appreciate the tireless work of our partners – elected officials, our peers in health and human services, vendors and supporters. Above all, I’m incredibly thankful for and proud of the 4,000 staff members of People Inc. Their dedication and talent are evident on a “typical” day, and in times like this, are even more vivid and extraordinary. We wanted to share some of the proactive measures we have taken within People Inc. to prepare and deal with this crisis.   At People Inc., the safety and well-being of people we support and our employees remain our highest priority, as the potential for community spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues. We are actively in contact with and monitoring websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NYS Department of Health (DOH), County Health Departments and the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), among others.   During this crisis, we are thankful for our Emergency Response model that has been in place for the past six years. Our long-standing People Inc. Emergency Preparedness Team is meeting twice daily to ensure that we remain proactive and address access to resources, while keeping communication flowing to our staff, people we support and their families.   People Inc. has a number of measures in place, including:     Suspending community outings and operation of our Day Programs, and reassigning those staff members to augment our teams at residential sites. Our staff has been extremely flexible and have demonstrated exemplary commitment to our mission in light of unprecedented circumstances. Implementing a conservative  Visitors Policy  and working with families on arrangements while taking precautions to protect the well-being of those we support and our staff. Utilizing our existing Telemedicine Program in our residential sites, which continues to quickly assess medical concerns without automatically transporting people to crowded healthcare centers. Increasing training on cleaning protocols and product use, and practicing beyond Universal Precautions.  Enhancing supports for our staff with 24/7 access to our Employee Service Line and Employee Assistance Program and a dedicated resource and information section of our Employee Intranet, as well as daily updates.  Expediting and centralizing sourcing of critical supplies and establishing a secure staging area and process to get those where they are most needed.  Continuing to plan ahead to be prepared as best we can for the future.  Developed a  Coronavirus Update section on our website.   A dedicated phone line and email address have been established for people supported and their families to contact us with specific concerns related to COVID-19 Coronavirus: Phone: 716.817.7445, Email:  COVIDconcern@people-inc.org .   As a resource for people we support, a special phone line for non-emergency help has been established, which is 716.322.7070.   Our longstanding People Inc. Emergency Closing Line is updated regularly as decisions are made to suspend any agency program. You can call the two available phone lines for closure updates:   Western New York:  716.817.5700 and                            Greater Rochester region:  585.441.9393.   Thank you for your support as we work to ensure the safety of the people we support and our staff. Sincerely, Rhonda Frederick President and CEO People Inc.

  • Mar 23, 2020

    March 23, 2020 Updated Visitor Policy

    Updated March 23, 2020: People Inc. has once again updated our  Visitor Policy  based on emerging info from the NYS Department of Health, which is now in effect at our agency locations*. This includes updated processes for families who utilize our Residential Services. Call 716.817.5700

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