Events, recognition, careers and more!
Events, recognition, careers and more!
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube
Staff and people we support creating artwork for the Juneteenth float. Staff and people we support creating artwork for the Juneteenth float.
Staff and people we support creating artwork for the Juneteenth float. Staff and people we support creating artwork for the Juneteenth float.
Looking Forward to Juneteenth
The annual Buffalo Juneteenth Festival is happening on Saturday, June 18 and People Inc. is proud to be participating! To prepare for the event, a group of people we support and staff got together on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, to decorate our People Inc. float. Our “Juneteenth Tailgate” activities were a great opportunity for everyone to come together in a fun, creative way and learn from each other.

“Being able to celebrate Juneteenth as an agency means the world to us – it makes us feel accepted and celebrated for our culture and heritage,” shared Fatima Johnson and Shanika Williams, staff members from our People Inc. Learning and Development Department. “The feeling that comes with being seen, heard, respected and celebrated at work is second to none. It’s a true sense of belonging,” added Fatima and Shanika, who are co-leading our agency efforts to participate in the Buffalo Juneteenth Festival. Program participants from our Arts Experience Day Habilitation Program, Lincoln Day Services and Young Adult Life Transitions Program of Daemen University showed their spirit by painting meaningful messages and butterflies with vibrant colors. People Inc. is one of several organizations, along with marching groups, schools and local businesses, that will take part in the Buffalo Juneteenth Festival.

Juneteenth is the celebration of freedom and the end of slavery historically noted on June 19, 1865. Proper commemoration of Juneteenth and the ideals and harsh history it represents can prove to be a step in bringing the country closer to racial justice. Learn about the history and events for Juneteenth. Be sure to look for our People Inc. float and cheer on our marchers!
Celebrating Pride Month
We’re proud to celebrate diversity year-round and June is a national time to recognize LGBTQ+ Pride! This is an opportunity for our community to come together, affirming the importance of love, inclusivity and unity. People Inc. was proud to take part in the Buffalo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 5! Community members are encouraged to attend the Rochester Pride Parade and activities on Saturday, July 16. Learn about the history of Pride Month.
People Inc. staff and their families helping at the Food and Supplies Drive.
Bags of donated food and supplies.
People Inc. Supports the Community
Our agency continues to support the community following the tragic events that took place last month in Buffalo, NY. As we mourn and reflect, a sense of unity has been shown throughout the community. People Inc. employees have been eager to help. Over the past several weeks, People Inc. staff from across the agency generously donated to a “Food and Supplies Drive” for tenants of our Jefferson Avenue and Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, who relied primarily on the Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Staff and people we support worked together to sort and deliver these items to tenants, who were very grateful. Some special bags, based on dietary needs, were also put together. A group of staff gathered to help comfort our tenants by distributing dinners, connecting with them and embracing a spirit of community that we hope to carry far into the future.

We are grateful to so many people, organizations and businesses, who continue to be a bright light during this difficult time.

Heal. Talk. Act. – Racism as a Public Crisis
As a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative, People Inc. is a proud sponsor of upcoming presentations from Buffalo Healthy Living: “Heal. Talk. Act. – Racism as a Public Health Crisis.” The conversations will take place on WBBZ-TV Channel 5 or 67 throughout the remainder of the year and will cover topics such as: Where do We Go from Here to Heal and Progress; Living in a Food Desert; Disparities in Health Care; Understanding Prejudice and more. The following dates and times are scheduled (or view after):
  • Wednesday, June 15, at 8 p.m. OR Saturday, June 18, at noon
  • Wednesday, June 22, at 8 p.m. OR Saturday, June 25, at noon
Recognizing Senior Companion Volunteers
Last month, we held a Recognition Luncheon for our People Inc. Senior Companion volunteers at The Foundry Suites on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Everyone enjoyed their time together and each volunteer received an appreciation gift. The afternoon was extra special, as it was the first time the group had been together since the start of the global pandemic in March 2020. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick attended and shared her appreciation for our Senior Companions. A moment of silence was also held for the Jefferson community, which is home to many of our volunteers.

Senior Companion volunteers add cheer to the lives of fellow seniors and assist them with various tasks. We welcome volunteers year-round, including to help with our People Inc. Senior Companion “Phone Connection” initiative. Contact us today at 716.768.2381 to volunteer and find out about eligibility requirements. Learn more about our Senior Companion Program, for volunteers and enrollees age 55 and up in Erie County:
Attendees of the Recognition Luncheon. Rhonda Frederick at the Recognition Luncheon. Attendees of the Recognition Luncheon.
Career Spotlight: Behavior Technician
Take Your Career to the Next Level – Join the People Inc. Team

Are you looking for a job that offers amazing flexibility, lots of variety and the ability to work with people one-on-one? If so, becoming part of the People Inc. team may be a great fit for you! Agency behavior technicians work specifically with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in group homes throughout the region. In this vital position, you will support people with activities of daily living, community outings, transportation, provide assistance with medical needs, instruct staff and assist with the development of behavior plans. We provide comprehensive paid training.

These positions are available in communities, such as: Alden, Akron, Brockport, Buffalo, Greece, Hamburg, North Chili, Rochester, Springville, West Seneca and Williamsville. People Inc. increased the starting wage and offers a $750 sign-on bonus for full time and $375 for part time. Positions in the Rochester area, Brockport and Springville qualify for a sign-on bonus of $1,000 FT and $500 PT.

If you love to help people and make a difference in people’s lives, consider joining the People Inc. family! Our employees are our most valuable resource and we are committed to their ongoing personal and professional growth, including offering outstanding benefits, like tuition reimbursement, generous paid time off, affordable insurances, retirement plan with match, mentoring and career pathways. There is a place for YOU on our TEAM. Apply at:
Vickie with her daughter, Jess.
The cover of Raising Jess: A Story of Hope
Book Signing Save the Date: 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? Heard about the book, but haven’t purchased it yet?

Join us on Thursday, July 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Spruce on Main, 4446 Main Street, Snyder, NY, where Vickie will sign your copy of the book. 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.
Register for the Drive Fore Disabilities
Golf Tournament

Golf “fore” a cause! Registration is now open for the annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament, being held on Monday, August 22, at the Orchard Park Country Club. Early and afternoon rounds are available. Golf registration includes team carts, lunch and a player gift, as well as a post-tournament reception with cocktails and dinner. Register your team online. A printable form is also available. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, email or call Christine Melchiorre at 716.817.7269.
DEI Monthly Calendar Available Online
Upcoming Virtual Presentation

“Diversity is our strength, equity our virtue, inclusion is our passion.” This is the motto that sums up our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) principles of People Inc. and the initiatives led by our DEI Committee. One of the projects produced by the committee is a monthly calendar to share seasonal cultural, ethnic, religious and health observances, as well as regional events, with people the agency supports, families, employees and the community. It is our hope that though this calendar, we will all learn and grow together.

An upcoming event includes our very own People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick, who will be the featured speaker at Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s 2022 D&I Symposium: DEI at Work. The virtual discussion, on Thursday, June 16, will focus on the benefits of hiring refugees and people with developmental disabilities.
People Inc. and Di Paolo's staff.
Thank You to Ilio DiPaolo Family
A group of People Inc. staff volunteered at the Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, June 13! Ilio DiPaolo’s is a longtime supporter of our agency, donating part of the proceeds from this event to the People Inc. Foundation on an annual basis. We’re so grateful to the Ilio DiPaolo family for their generosity!
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 is pleased to share information and their expertise:
President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was featured as part of WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s Selfless Among Us series with Melissa Holmes!
Amara May, who works at our People Inc. Arts Experience Day Habilitation Program, is featured in a story in the Western New York Family Magazine.
People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was featured as part of WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s Selfless Among Us series with Melissa Holmes! During the segment that aired on Wednesday, May 25, she shared her journey from 1980 to present: "I got a job in a group home. I came here and absolutely fell in love.” Bill Collins, a member of our People Inc. Board of Directors and a parent of a child with a developmental disability, reflected on Rhonda’s advocacy, along with Jill Turchiarelli, a People Inc. employee and recipient of services.

Music therapy can help children with varying abilities gain a sense of accomplishment. Amara May, who works at our People Inc. Arts Experience Day Habilitation Program, is featured in a story in the Western New York Family Magazine June 2022 issue of its Special Needs column. She is a music therapist credentialed through the Board Certification for Music Therapists and shares her artistic talents with people we support. The story, which starts on page 48, was contributed by Nicole Forgione, assistant director of Marketing Communications for People Inc.
Staff Kudos
A round of applause to our amazing staff members:
David Wantuck on stage in his role in “Tribes.”
ake Wilkins, vice president of Home Health Care Services for People Inc.
David Wantuck (pictured far right) of Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., was recognized with an Artie Award on Tuesday, June 7! David earned the Blossom Cohan Award for his debut role in Road Less Traveled Productions’ “Tribes.”

Jake Wilkins, vice president of Home Health Care Services for People Inc., was honored with a Buffalo Business First Excellence in Health Care Award. He ensures the delivery of high-quality and individualized in-home patient health care and also oversees operations of our People Inc. Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to self-direct their own services. Jake has been instrumental serving on our agency’s Emergency Management Team, helping to arrange COVID-19 vaccinations for more than 2,500 people with special needs in Western New York.
Tenants of our People Inc. Walnut Senior Living Apartments in West Seneca, NY, were recently visited by the House of Munch food truck!
Snacks and Fun with People Inc. Senior Living Tenants
Tenants of our People Inc. Walnut Senior Living Apartments in West Seneca, NY, were recently visited by the House of Munch food truck! It was a great opportunity to enjoy some delicious snacks and camaraderie.
You or a loved one can join the fun, too, and receive affordable rental rates! People Inc. Senior Living provides safe, comfortable and maintenance-free one-bedroom apartments for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. We provide HUD approved apartments. Many locations are accepting applications, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo, South Buffalo, Gowanda, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, Springville and Wheatfield.
Apartment units include kitchen appliances and safety features. They are also pet-friendly. Want to learn more? Our staff are here for you – email or call us today at 716.880.3890 to ask about eligibility and an application. Check out our website at:
Basketball at the respite program.
Rochester Weekday Summer Respite Program
Accepting Applicants

Attention Families and Care Coordinators: Registration is open for the Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer Respite Program for OPWDD eligible people ages 11-21 in Rochester. This People Inc.

Respite Program provides a safe and fun environment while parents/guardians are at work, attending appointments, running errands or taking some time to relax.

People who participate in the program will engage in daily activities, including but not limited to: Card/Board games, Nintendo Wii, ladder ball, outdoor games in a grassy area and basketball. Making the most of the summer, participants will go to places like the movies, The Garden Factory, mini golf and shopping trips. People Inc. also has a membership with the nonprofit farm Homesteads for Hope, where program attendees can plant/maintain a vegetable garden, go fishing on the Erie Canal and participate in educational farm-related activities. Martin, a Standard Poodle and certified therapy dog, makes special appearances to help participants relax when they are having a tough day.

Please note: The agency is not able to provide transportation to or from the 1860 Buffalo Road location in Gates.

Advance registration is required. Families can request that their service coordinator contact People Inc. Admissions at or 585.441.9300. For information on the program, call 585.719.3413.
A kitchen at the Oakwood Apartments.
A tenant at Linwood Lafayette in her kitchen.
Grant Apartments.
Your New Apartment Awaits
People Inc. is happy to provide a variety of apartment options for the Western New York community – open to the general public!
Each location through People Inc. Affordable Apartments includes units with a refrigerator and stove. Plus, the apartments have safety features, AC, are pet-friendly and tenants enjoy the ease of using the building laundry facilities. Rental vouchers accepted. Our staff members are available to provide age and income eligibility details. Here’s the latest info about People Inc. Affordable Apartments, which are close to shopping, dining, schools and so much more:

People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY: One- and two-bedroom units available. This brand NEW apartment complex is for people 55+ years, income-eligible. Additionally, there are seven furnished set-aside apartments for people 55+ who are income-eligible and are frail elderly homeless individuals.

People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: The apartments are for people age 55+ and income-eligible. A one-bedroom market rate unit is available.

People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible or who has an intellectual or developmental disability.

People Inc. Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible; have a traumatic brain injury or an intellectual/developmental disability. A two-bedroom unit with hearing and vision accommodations currently available.

Locations for the Olmsted Apartments, managed by People Inc., are located in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport and North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible. Preferences for people with physical disabilities or vision impairments are provided.
News from Deaf Access Services
Service Outreach Expanding and Interpreters Welcome
Additional Offices in Niagara Falls and Rochester

Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., is excited to announce that its office space has expanded! In addition to its main office, located in the Tri-Main Center at 2495 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, there is now shared office space at Heart Love & Soul, 924 Niagara Avenue in Niagara Falls, NY. Additionally, co-located offices are at the People Inc. Greater Rochester Region Headquarters, 1860 Buffalo Road in Rochester, NY.

The expansion will assist in supporting community needs and allow the team to continue growing the agency’s interpreting services to help work towards the goal of creating communities that are fully accessible. To make an appointment for any of the office locations, call 716.833.1637.

If you are an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter interested in joining the Deaf Access Services roster to expand access to independent interpreting work, apply today! For service providers interested in learning more about onsite and remote interpreting services, as well as CART services, call 716.833.1637.
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.
Now Hiring ASL Office Coordinator
Love being around Deaf, DeafBlind and hard of hearing community members, where you also have full access to communication? This is your chance to grow your career with an office coordinator position – must be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Apply online.
Irish Classical Theatre’s “The Onion Game” to be ASL Interpreted and Open Captioned
Irish Classical Theatre continues their ongoing work to help make the theatre community more accessible. In collaboration with Deaf Access Services, the American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Open Captioning (OC) of “The Onion Game” will be held on Wednesday, June 22, at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. For more info and to purchase tickets, go to:

News from Headway of WNY
New Staff Join Headway of WNY
Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People Inc., recently welcomed two new team members! Devon Pettygrove, community relations coordinator, will be working to promote Headway and coordinate its support groups. Angelica Rochford, assistant regional resource development specialist, will be involved in Headway’s waiver programs. 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
Fun at Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., an affiliate of People Inc., welcomes field trips from local groups throughout the year. Visitors arrive on Fridays to learn about and meet the horses, take part in crafts, go on hikes and other fun activities. A recent field trip group created pool noodle horses and took part in their own parade before enjoying a rocking dance party!

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. Stay up to date with the latest happenings on the Lothlorien Facebook page.
powered by emma