For parents, guardians and caregivers of young people with developmental disabilities, it’s not always possible to work full days or complete errands when a loved one’s needs take priority. Located in safe, community settings, People Inc.’s Afternoon Respite Programs are a bridge between school/day programs and home. The programs provide well-rounded experiences to nurture the skills of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Participants enjoy arts and crafts, get homework help, and sharpen their recreational and socialization skills.

Last year Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund helped five respite locations in Erie County expand services to young people living with disabilities and neurological impairments, such as autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The generous donation helped People Inc. purchase multi-sensory equipment and supplies, such as kinetic sand and color-changing light cubes, musical instruments, inflatable balls for bouncing and tumbling, and oversized body-hugging bean bag chairs to reduce sensory overstimulation and promote relaxation. Program participants enjoy fun and relaxing evidence-based activities proven to reduce anti-social behaviors and increase happiness.

“We are extremely grateful to have the Afternoon Respite Programs available in our community,” said Lynn Yannazio, a resident of Hamburg whose son, Joe attends one of the programs. “It gives us great peace of mind to know that he is safe and well cared for after school. The People Inc. staff go above and beyond to accommodate Joe and make him feel at home. He has a love of music, and is able to have fun and express himself with the instruments the program provides.”

To learn more about People Inc.’s Afternoon Respite Programs, call 716-683-7100, ext. 238.