brSchumer Announces People Inc. Will Take Over Expand Erie Countys Senior Companion Program Program Will Now Pair Trained Volunteers with 150 New Local Seniors to Help With Daily Activities, Help Preserve Independence in their Homes in Addition to the Seniors Already Served by the ProgrambrbrSchumer: People Inc. Does Top-Notch Work for Erie County Seniors in Housing, Transportation, Health Care More Senior Companion Program Will Be a Perfect Fitbrbr

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service will provide People, Inc. a grant of $383,294 to take control of and expand Erie County's Senior Companion Program. This funding will allow People Inc. to pair trained volunteers with 150 new Erie County seniors, in addition to those currently in the program; these volunteers will provide assistance to seniors in their daily activities and help them remain independent in their homes. The Senior Companion Program at People, Inc. is an important program allowing seniors to age with dignity, to carry on with their daily routines without the burden of having to uproot their life and move to an assisted living center or nursing home. The program as it stands aids 60 to 100 seniors, and through this grant People Inc. can assist up to 150 new people, for a total of close to 250 seniors.


"I am confident that People Inc. will operate the Senior Companion program with the utmost efficiency and success in Erie County, providing approximately 150 seniors the assistance they need to live life comfortably and with independence," said Schumer. "People, Inc is already doing topnotch work in assisting local seniors with their housing, transportation, health and other needs, and the addition of the Senior Companion Program will mean even more exceptional services will be available to seniors in the Buffalo area. I'm thrilled to have helped secure this federal funding for such a praiseworthy organization."


"The Senior Companion Program funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, secured by Senator Charles Schumer, will allow People Inc. to help seniors and adults with disabilities age in place and live as independently as possible, which has been a core value of People Inc. since our inception," said Dr. James Boles, President and CEO of People Inc. "We are excited to help nearly 150 seniors and adults living in Erie County and look forward to collaborating with a number of community centers and senior and communitybased organizations all throughout Erie County. This would not be possible without the Corporation for National and Community Service and Senator Schumer."


People, Inc. is well established in the field of providing services to seniors in Erie County.  Presently they have 18 senior housing sites where they provide housing, case management, transportation, Nutritional and Health Services, and Aging in Place for almost 1,000 seniors. Within their system they use volunteers already to assist their seniors, making them a perfect fit to build and expand on the Senior Companion Program in Erie County.


The goal of the Senior Companion Program is for seniors to receive the assistance of trained volunteers that will connect them with vital programs and services so they can age "in place" instead of in a nursing home placement.  People Inc. is already wellestablished in providing this service, through their training, service coordination and home care departments; their Senior Advisory Council; Day Hab programs; and their Elmwood Health Center.


An extensive effort is underway in New York State through its Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) to transform healthcare in New York. On August 26, 2013, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the State of New York, announced a Demonstration Project to better coordinate the healthcare needs of enrollees in Medicaid and/or Medicare Programs.


The Corporation for National and Community Service was formed to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet community needs. The Corporation is the nation's largest grant maker supporting service and volunteering. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, the corporation provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to express their patriotism while addressing critical community needs.


A copy of Senator Schumer's letter to Corporation for National & Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer appears below:


Dear Wendy Spencer,


I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by People Inc. of Western New York for the Senior Companion Program Grant, CFDA 94.917. As the largest nonprofit organization in Western New York, with an extensive background in providing services for senior citizens, People Inc. is wellsuited to spearhead this program within Erie County. With over 18 locations and approximately 1,000 senior citizens currently under their care, People Inc. offers the Corporation for National & Community Service an opportunity for growth and expansion as they will be able to utilize the strong community ties and trusted name of People Inc.


The Senior Companion Program, which pairs seniors with trained volunteers, is an important program allowing seniors to age with dignity, to carry on with their daily routines without the burden of having to uproot their life and move to an assisted living center or nursing home. As People Inc. already provides many of these services, it has proven that it is not only a highly efficient and successful operation but it is an indispensable resource to the seniors of Western New York. It only seems logical to take advantage of programs that are already in place and allow People Inc. to connect with even more seniors in the region that so desperately need their assistance.


This is an opportunity for the Corporation for National & Community Service to best utilize and enhance their federal investment in the existing community work conducted by People, Inc. Erie County, New York and the seniors therein would only stand to benefit from this continued investment and I would urge to you to strongly consider People Inc. to be the primary recipients of the Senior Companion Program Grant, as I believe they are an outstanding organization with an established reputation as a respected nonprofit and friend to senior citizens.


Thank you for your consideration.  Should you have any questions, please contact my Washington DC office.




Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator

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