News and Updates for People Inc. Services
News and Updates for People Inc. Services
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Attention All Care Coordinators!
The following is the Summer 2020 edition of the People Inc. Care Coordinator Connection quarterly e-newsletter. Learn about: How People Inc. is managing the Coronavirus crisis, Temporary Respite Centers, Elmwood Health Center, Environmental Modifications, WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts and more.
A Message to Care Coordinators
During these challenging times, we appreciate the tireless work of health and human services partners. This unprecedented pandemic is forcing people to work differently, while developing creative solutions for daily challenges. We want to reassure you that People Inc. has been proactive and continues to be committed to the safety and well-being of people we support, their families and our employees.
Numerous critical measures have been taken to help manage this crisis. People Inc. has implemented safety precautions to help mitigate the spread of the virus, while continuing to follow all relevant state and federal guidelines for sanitization, social distancing and quarantine procedures. The agency is taking all of the outlined precautions, including enhancing cleaning protocols, performing daily health screenings on staff, suspending community outings, temporarily closing all agency day programs and continuously monitoring
people supported by the agency for signs and symptoms. Staff have been provided with guidelines and are required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate to their responsibilities.
Fortunately, People Inc. activated an Emergency Response system six years ago, and, immediately mobilized our response. Our Emergency Preparedness Team has continued to meet daily to proactively access resources, ensure communication and implement coordinated actions. Implementation of our Telemedicine Program two years ago also helped quickly assess medical concerns without automatically transporting people to crowded healthcare centers. The on-call
nursing system has a COVID module to effectively triage what is presented, and working with
the onsite residential team.
Additional critical measures were also implemented to manage the crisis, daily health screenings, and limiting exposure through solutions like our own version of Instacart, called "PeopleCart" to shop for and drop off groceries at residences. Day program staff were flexible in working within residences, bringing fresh perspectives and creative activities to ensure engagement and personal preferences were prioritized. You’ll read more about advocacy efforts later.
Communication has been paramount, with daily briefings to staff, weekly contact to families, special conference calls for families, and dedicated phone and email lines for questions about COVID (see story below). Information for families and circles of support is on our website under Coronavirus Update. Our reopening plans are also contained there and will be updated regularly.
Phone Lines and Email Available: To assist people and their families, a dedicated phone line and email is available to share information and pose questions related to COVID-19:
Phone: 716.817.7445
The longstanding People Inc. Emergency Closing Line
is updated regularly with closure updates:
Western New York: 716.817.5700
Greater Rochester Region: 585.441.9393
Through this crisis, the People Inc. Admissions Team is available to address questions. For information or to make
a referral, contact:

Western New York: or call 716.880.3700
Greater Rochester Region: or call 585.441.9300
The many initiatives People Inc. has implemented are highlighted in an article in the May 2020 edition of Buffalo Healthy Living. Thank you for your effort as we continue to work together to ensure the safety of the people we support. Stay well and healthy.
Complete Survey: Your Feedback is Needed
During this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic,
People Inc. wants to stay as connected with you as possible
so that, together, we can continue to provide quality supports
to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are seeking your feedback, so that we can continue to provide useful and targeted communication to you, and make any necessary improvements. Please take a moment to complete this survey by Friday, July 17. At the end of the survey, enter your name and email for a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card.
People Inc. Offers a Special Conference Call for Care Coordinators on
Thursday, July 30, 3 p.m.
Agency management will provide COVID-19 updates, projected plans for reopening and
answer questions.
Questions may be sent in advance and during the call to or texted
to 716.868.9233.
Given the anticipated volume of participants on the calls, this is the most effective way to have your question heard and answered.
To RSVP, call 716.817.7400. Please share with any Care Coordinators who may be interested.
Conference call number: 1.607.442.6488 United States, Elmira (Toll)
Code: 243 145 732

People Inc. Offering Additional Informational Session for Families July 14
People Inc. agency management is hosting an additional informational session for families on Tuesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. The session will provide operational updates, projected plans and answer questions. Questions can be sent in advance and during the call to or texted to 716.868.9233. RSVPs from families are encouraged by calling 716.817.7400.
The conference call number is: 1.607.442.6488 with the access code: 807 399 228. Please share
with any families who may be interested. Additional family conference calls are being scheduled for the next several weeks and will be announced once confirmed.
Temporary Respite Center Meets Community Needs
While traditional respite services have been postponed at our Downing Respite center, we are
now operating as a regional resource at that site. In its place, People Inc. has
been approved to
be a provider of temporary Respite Services, designed to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities impacted by the COVID-19 virus who do not require hospitalization
and are otherwise eligible and approved for this temporary placement (a maximum of 14 days).
The center is, located on Genesee Street in Bowmansville (Lancaster) and will provide a unique opportunity to deliver enhanced supports, while providing separation from others who may not be affected. The center operates as a sub-acute setting – meaning it is not a hospital or certified by the Department of Health. It operates with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), clinical design and protocols similar to those at hospitals. While the agency is maintaining these high standards for care, people who are staying in the center will experience a home-like environment.
To inquire about accessing services for someone you support: Contact Thomas Ess, associate vice president and Emergency Preparedness coordinator, at, 716.866.1728 or 716.817.9208
Elmwood Health Center Remains Open to
Meet Healthcare Needs

The Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of People Inc., continues to provide for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this uncertainty, the Elmwood Health Center is ready to respond to health care
needs for the people and families that care coordinators support. Located at 2128 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, the center remains open for
in-person visits, as well as through either telephonic visits (tele-visit) or video visits. If someone you support is seeking care, staff will help determine the most appropriate option. The Elmwood Health Center is adhering to the current guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control, while taking every precaution to make sure the office is safe for
patients who need to keep their appointments. The Elmwood Health Center is accepting new patients.
All major health insurance
plans accepted.
Info: or 716.874.4500
Advocacy Department Provides Support
The People Inc. Advocacy Department continues to help people who receive support stay connected and informed through Zoom video and phone conferences. An Advocacy Phone Line has been established for people supported by the agency to ask non-emergency questions, share what is on their minds and receive support. It can be reached at 716.322.7070. Messages are monitored from
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Environmental Modifications (E-mods)/
Adaptive Technologies Available

Try the NEW Environmental Modifications
online application

Applying for People Inc. Environmental Modifications
(E-mods) is now easier than ever! No longer is there
a need to go to the office for printing or physical signatures. This latest version of the application can
now be completed online
in minutes. Simply open the file using Internet Explorer. If you don’t use Internet Explorer, download the application and open it with Adobe Acrobat. Complete the required sections and submit to your supervisor for approval. The application packet will link the person with a project manager and an
in-home clinician consultation to review accessibility conditions. People Inc. will also coordinate with an architect when needed to safely meet program and local requirements.
To learn more info: Contact Anthony Rushford, project director, at
Buffalo and the Southern Tier: Call 716.880.3815
Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes regions: Call 585.719.3417

People Inc. Supports Children and Young Adults
Children and Young Adult Services at People Inc. include a wide variety of programs that match
the needs of a child or young adult and their family. Our team works with care coordinators to
select programs that support people from birth to age 26, offering services ranging from early intervention, care management for families enrolled in a Children’s Health Home and medical
services to job-readiness education.
There are many challenges that children and young adults face. For those you support who are dealing with Reporting Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, check out this resource, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To learn more about People Inc. Children and Young Adult Services
or to make a referral, contact:

Western New York: or call 716.880.3700

Greater Rochester Region: or call 585.441.9300
Affordable Housing in Western New York
People Inc. offers affordable housing in various locations across Western New York. We encourage you to share these openings with family and friends:
Academy Place Senior Apartments in Gowanda, NY, managed by People Inc., is accepting applications for one and two-bedroom apartments. These apartments are ideal for older adults in the Southern Tier. Located at 1 School Street in Gowanda, the complex provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and New York State Tax Credit apartments. The safe and affordable housing is for independent adults age 62 and up who meet the federally-mandated household income guidelines. Vouchers are accepted for Tax Credit units. For an apartment application or for more information, call 716.817.9090.
People Inc. Senior Living accepts apartment applications year-round for its locations throughout Western New York, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Clarence, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield. The affordable apartments are for independent adults age 62 and up who meet the federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Call 716.817.9090
People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, currently under construction at 25 Grant Street in North Tonawanda, NY, is for people 18 years and older and who meet income eligibility. Rental applications are currently being accepted. Occupancy is expected in July 2020. Info: Email or call 716.880.3890.
People Inc. Highland School Apartments, located at 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY, has one-bedroom apartments available for people who are 18 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Email or call 716.694.1623.
People Inc. Jefferson Avenue Apartments, recently constructed at 1140 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, NY, is for people 18 years and older and who meet income eligibility. 1166 Jefferson is complete and tenants are moving in. Rental applications are currently being accepted. Occupancy is expected in July 2020. Info: Email or call 716.880.3890.
People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, located at 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, is accepting applications from people who are 55 or older and meet federally-mandated household income guidelines. Info: Email or call 716.881.6600.
Family Education and Training Series: Now Offered Virtually
Due to the continuing COVID-19 situation, People Inc. Family Education and Training Series (FET) classes are now being offered virtually, as in-person training is not available at this time. The current list of programs are available and additional one-on-one sessions may also be scheduled.
These programs are for families of children with developmental disabilities up to age 18 year’s old
who are enrolled in the Home and Community-Based Waiver Program. Participation in FET enhances the decision-making capacity of the family unit through a wide array of educational opportunities. Once enrolled through OPWDD, people can register for a class by downloading a 2020 presentation schedule and returning the registration form.
Info: Contact
WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts: A great tool to assist with protecting eligibility
The WNY Coalition Pooled Trust is a tool that can be used to enhance the quality of life of people with disabling conditions. Funds placed into the trust are not counted as income or resources by Medicaid or the Social Security Administration. The expenditures made on behalf of that person should supplement, not replace their government benefits. The trust can be used to purchase additional items and services not adequately covered by governmental benefits. In that case, those assets are also protected and available for distribution at the end of the beneficiary’s life.
Contact us if you or a person you support:
  • Has a Medicaid Spenddown
  • Has/Will be receiving a personal injury settlement
  • Has/Will be receiving an inheritance
  • Has/Will be receiving a back payment from the Social Security Administration
  • Has difficulty staying below the SSI resource level
  • Has other funds impacting eligibility
  • Does not have a circle of support or is over age 65 and needs a supplement needs trust
  • Needs to move quickly and find a simple solution
Info: Tracey Kosmoski, 716.817.7484. The WNY Coalition Pooled Trust is administered locally by People Inc. and Center for Elder Law & Justice.
Fun Activities from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., has lots of fun resources on their website. The materials include photos and videos of the horses and barn cats, activity pages and games. To learn more and share with people you support,
go to
Established in 1983, Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. is a non-profit, therapeutic horseback riding facility providing therapeutic equine services and horseback riding opportunities for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Located at a 10-acre facility outside the Village of East Aurora, NY, Lothlorien is the longest-running therapeutic program in Western New York, serving ages three and up.
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