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People Inc. Opens New Respite Center in Lancaster

By Anthea Passmore

Lancaster, NY – People Incorporated is celebrating the opening of a new Respite Center in Lancaster. The Downing House will provide temporary care for families with loved ones who are developmentally disabled.

Just over a year ago ground was broken at this Respite Center site. A year later a beautiful building stands. On entering in the central part of the house you find a large, bright, spacious living area filled with sofas and lounging chairs. Two parallel hallways are at each end of the communal area. Off these hallways are spacious bedrooms, a kitchen and a games room. Downing house feels like a comfortable home.

Anna Korus, vice president of Health and Vocational Services at People Inc., said that the duration of time participants spend at the facility depends on individuals circumstances.

"People may stay for as little as a couple of hours to as long as a week for a family in need of respite for a vacation," Korus said.

Downing House can accommodate 12 participants during the day and up to 5 participants in the evenings and overnight.

The facility has a beautiful courtyard area with seating just behind the house. Beyond the courtyard there is a garden with places to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Korus said there are many activities that participants can do whilst staying at Downing House.

"Participants themselves can choose activities," Korus said. "There are also outside activities, such as going to a baseball game or the theater."

People Inc had a capital campaign raising $800,000 for the Respite Center. It will be called Downing House in recognition of its benefactors Franklin Sr. and Delores Downing.

People Inc. provides programs and services to 10,000 people with special needs throughout Western New York.