Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — Rivershore, Inc., a private nonprofit organization that supports people living with developmental and other disabilities in Niagara County, announced Wednesday that it has become an affiliate of People Inc., Western New York’s leading nonprofit human services agency.
Officials from both organizations said the collaboration coordinates services in Western New York, allowing for more efficient operations and a sharper focus on service excellence in a changing landscape.
“It is extremely important to be flexible and responsive ... especially when you consider state budget cuts and some of the financial challenges that are affecting nonprofits,” said Rivershore Executive Director Jeff Sanderson. “By proactively seeking an alliance with People Inc., an organization that shares our commitment to excellence in service delivery, the people receiving services through Rivershore, Inc., and the staff who support them, will continue to have the best possible services while furthering the joint missions of our agencies.”
Members of the Rivershore Board of Directors will serve on a newly created advisory board and will continue to assist with quality oversight, strategic planning, fundraising and advocacy.
“Jeff is a visionary leader with outstanding foresight and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for our organizations and the more than 12,000 people we provide services to each year,” said People Inc. President and CEO James M. Boles.
Rivershore will retain its name, separate corporate status and staff and will operate independently. Agency supports will be integrated resulting in reduced overhead, added services and lowered administrative costs.
“The state and in particular the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) are laying the foundation for these kinds of collaborations to occur. To People Inc. and Rivershore’s credit, they’re ahead of the curve,” said state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane. “What distinguishes this affiliation between these two agencies even more, is the fact they both have the rare designation from OPWDD as COMPASS agencies which is extremely beneficial to the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities they serve in our region,” added Maziarz.
COMPASS is an OPWDD initiative that recognizes and promotes provider agencies that have progressed beyond minimal regulatory compliance and have achieved excellence in service delivery. Only seven of the 700 providers statewide have been recognized by OPWDD as COMPASS agencies.
Founded in 1980, Rivershore’s mission is to support people living with disabilities as they pursue and achieve a meaningful life. Rivershore supports more than 200 people living with disabilities in Niagara County each year, employs 140 staff and has 15 locations.
In operation since 1971, People Inc. helps individuals with disabilities and their families, and seniors, live more healthy, independent and productive lives through 140 locations and 50 innovative programs and services. People Inc. has an active employee base of 3,200.