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July 28, 2016: People Inc., Western New York’s largest health and human services agency, has received a grant from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Family Support Services Program. The award, $31,367, will allow People Inc. to provide transportation for individuals attending two of the agency’s respite programs, After the Belle (ATB) and Buffalo Afternoon Respite (BAR).
The Buffalo-based programs, which currently serve 22 young people with developmental disabilities, ages 4 to 21, offer after school recreational and creative activities, help with homework, and peer socialization. For parents, guardians and caregivers, the afternoon sessions provide an opportunity to work full days and complete errands.
Since 2012, the programs have provided transportation, but a combination of insufficient revenue and funding cuts have made the service unsustainable. The award from OPWDD Family Support Services Program will allow ATB and BAR to continue offering transportation with a vehicle that has the capacity to seat all participants, including one who utilizes a wheelchair. Funding will be used to staff the vehicle with a driver and an attendant.
“We are so thankful to the OPWDD and its Family Support Services Council for their support of our programs for young people with developmental disabilities,” said Denise Bienko, vice president, People Inc. “Without transportation, many individuals wouldn’t be able to attend the programs, which open up opportunities to develop skills and build friendships that are so important at that age.”
People Inc. provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York and Rochester. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted individuals in achieving greater degrees of independence and productivity. To learn more, visit people-inc.org. Like us on Facebook at People Inc. and follow us on Twitter @PeopleIncNews.