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Independent Living of Genesee Region

August 11, 2022 - 12:48am

Press release:

In light of the disruptions that may occur from the “ReAwaken America” Tour in Batavia, Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be providing programs and services remotely this Friday, August 12th.

ILGR will not allow the event to interfere with its continued advocacy and service for all members of our community. Out of an abundance of caution, though, staff will conduct business as usual on Friday by telephone, E-mail, and video and web conferencing.

Last week, the governing board of the Independent Living of the Genesee Region released an anti-hate and racism statement in reaction to recent violent events in Western New York and across the country.

Director Rae Frank said “The Governing Council of ILGR felt that it was time to stand up and make it known that the people with disabilities will stand by our friends and neighbors who find themselves marginalized in our society, regardless of their religion, color, sexual identity, and other characteristics.  They have, and always will have, a friend and a partner at ILGR.” 

As a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. Family of Agencies, Independent Living of the Genesee Region offers an expanding array of programs and services to help individuals with disabilities take and keep control of their own lives.

August 4, 2022 - 4:05pm

Press release:

This past week, the governing Board of the Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) has released an anti-hate and racism statement, in reaction to recent violent events in Western New York and across the country.

Director Rae Frank said “The Governing Council of ILGR felt that it was time to stand up and make it known that the people with disabilities will stand by our friends and neighbors who find themselves marginalized in our society regardless of their religion, color, sexual identity, and other characteristics.  They have, and always will have, a friend and a partner at ILGR.” 

ILGR has adopted the following Equity Statement in response to the aforementioned recent violent racist acts in Buffalo and around the Country. 

“Independent Living of the Genesee Region unequivocally believes all forms of hate and violence directed against people based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, size, immigration, economic, or housing status has no place in our community.  We are in opposition to all discrimination and racism.  We stand with all members in unity for our community.  Independent Living of the Genesee Region will always be committed to stand with our community and will fight prejudice, discrimination, racism, and bigotry as we continue to advocate for tolerance, inclusion and understanding.”

ILGR believes that this statement is particularly applicable to the recent announcement of Clay Clark’s “ReAwaken America Tour” coming to Cornerstone Church in Batavia.

ILGR joins other concerned citizens in asking for this event to be cancelled in respect for the pain and suffering of many Americans in recent weeks. There is an online petition on the AVAAZ.org website which can be accessed at this URL: https://tinyurl.com/OpposeReAwakenTourBatavia. Interested persons can make their own decisions on whether to join us in asking for this event to bypass our community.

July 9, 2022 - 10:57am
posted by Press Release in Independent Living of Genesee Region, batavia, news.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) invites you to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at our Annual Picnic.  Free food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, and salad, will be provided, plus additional fun, and games.  We look forward to having you join us! 

The event takes place Tuesday, July 26, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Town of Batavia Kiwanis Park, 3808 West Main Street in Batavia, rain or shine. 

Please bring your own chair!  COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

You can RSVP and get more information, by calling Cathy DeMare at 585-815-8501, extension 400.  Let her know if you need transportation.  Please note that all children under the age of 12 must have a booster or car seat.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

June 14, 2022 - 6:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Independent Living of Genesee Region, batavia, news.

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Among the expanded services being offered by Independent Living of the Genesee Region is a closet for people that were displaced and have recently found a place to live.

The closet contains donated household items to help a person get back on his or her feet.

"We basically accept (in donations) any appliances, dishes, silverware, I mean, anything that somebody who's establishing a new place would probably need," said Holly McAllister during a tour of Independent Living's "new" place in the Crickler Building on Main Street in Batavia.

"New" because Independent Living relocated from its downtown location to the Crickler building shortly before the start of the pandemic. However, the agency never had an opportunity to host an open house until now.

McAllister's job title is "taking control administrator." 

"We have a housing department so people who go to DSS or are homeless can come here for help to get housing," McAllister said. "We are independent living specialists so people can come in and get help with finding housing."

Working with people in a housing crisis is part of McAllister's job.

"I work with the consumer as part of keeping people in their homes and trying to get them help if they need it."

Independent Living is located at 319 West Main Street, Batavia.  Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone is (585) 815-8501.

Photos by Howard Owens

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The office also houses a lending library.

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There are also art and craft supplies available.

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At the open house, the new Michael Phillips Conference Room was dedicated.  Philips is a past CEO of Independent Living who passed away from cancer.

 

June 5, 2022 - 10:29pm
posted by Press Release in news, Independent Living of Genesee Region, batavia.

Press Release

So that residents of the GOW Counties (Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming) who have a disability are aware of the expanded programs and services provided by Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), we will be holding an Open House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 9 at our main facility at 319 West Main Street in Batavia. 

Those who attend will be able to view our expanded offices – seven were added; enlarged Medical Equipment Loan Closet (we are now collecting kitchen and household goods for consumers in our homeless housing program); and new Conference Room.

Anyone may stop by during open hours for a tour.  At 12 noon we will be dedicating the Conference Room in honor of Michael Phillips, our late Chief Financial Officer, who passed away last November, after 35 years of outstanding and enthusiastic service.

As the date approaches, ILGR will share additional Open House details on the ILGR Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ILGR14020.  For questions, call (585) 815-8501, Extension 400.

ILGR offers a wide range of services to help people with disabilities remain in control of their own lives and live more independently. Among them are long-term supports and services for seniors and individuals with disabilities through NY Connects, application assistance for Medicaid, Social Security, and Department of Social Services programs, employment and housing search and assistance; an expanded loan closet with free durable medical equipment; and Taking Control, which provides consumer directed personal assistance services (Home Care Aides).

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. Family of Agencies, offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

February 3, 2021 - 3:59pm
posted by Press Release in news, Independent Living of Genesee Region.

Press release:

Western New York Independent Living Inc. (WNYIL) is participating in the New York Association for Independent Living (NYAIL)’S 2021 Virtual Legislative Education Week from Feb. 8 to 12.

People with disabilities in the Western New York area will have the opportunity to speak with local, state, and federal elected officials and make their representatives aware of the issues that are important to them!

Elected officials confirmed to participate so far include: Assemblymembers Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Stephen Hawley, Pat Burke, Angelo J. Morinello, Karen McMahon, David DiPietro, Monica Wallace, Michael Norris, William Conrad, and Jonathan Rivera and State Senators Patrick M. Gallivan and Robert G. Ortt.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic prompted restrictions on businesses which greatly decreased employment and tax revenues, New York State had a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall, which the leaders seemed intent on reducing somewhat by cutting back on programs, services and legal protections for the State's citizens with disabilities.

That temptation has only been increased by the pandemic’s circumstances. Legislators will soon be meeting to hammer out details of the State Budget, which is due to be finished on April 1.

Participants wishing to hear from, and talk to, their representatives can use the Zoom Meeting online platform OR call in to speak with the elected officials participating. Register by Feb. 6 for these virtual meetings by contacting Jillian Moss at (716) 836-0822, ext. 146, or by email at [email protected].

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. Family of Agencies offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

December 18, 2020 - 12:35pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) welcomes Kahlil Simon into his new position as a Housing Specialist.

In this role, he will assist individuals to apply for, and navigate, the programs and services offered through ILGR, including, coordinating housing evaluations for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, household budget counseling, employment advocacy, home environmental accessibility consultation, as well as serving as a liaison with landlords.

Prior to this promotion, Kahlil Simon served ILGR as a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Peer Specialist, where he earned a New York Peer Specialist Provisional Certification.

Before his coming to the Agency, he had worked as an Imaging Services Secretary at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, where he was recognized with an Exemplary Service Award. During his tenure at the Medical Center, Simon was inspired to seek work that was more community service-oriented, ultimately obtaining employment with ILGR. 

About his new position, he says, “Here at ILGR, it’s my goal to provide a service to the members of our communities that are in need of assistance, while upholding the high standards of this organization.”

Simon attended Genesee Community College in Batavia after moving to the area from Brooklyn.

ILGR is delighted that Kahlil Simon will continue to serve the disability community in this new position.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

December 17, 2020 - 6:21pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) in collaboration with the Genesee County and Orleans County Departments of Social Services announces a new program to assist tenants and landlords affected by the current COVID-19 health pandemic.

The Emergency Solutions Grant, via the CARES Act funding, will provide rental assistance to individuals who are facing eviction and are unable to pay their rent due to circumstance related to the pandemic.

These circumstances may include being laid off, furloughed, workplace closure, having a wage earner unable to work due to COVID-19, or being the primary care giver of someone who contracted COVID-19, or other circumstances.

The eviction prevention rental assistance will be available to cover up to a maximum of $4,200 for households that qualify. The rent subsidy will be paid directly to the landlord to prevent eviction on behalf of the tenant.  

This program will be available to renters who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Must be a resident of the County where they are applying.
  2. Must be determined ineligible for rental assistance with the Department of Social Services. 
  3. Must provide proof of tenancy.
  4. Household annual income must be at or below 50% of Average Median Income (AMI) for the County level prior to the COVID-19 crisis; and Households must provide documentation of loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19 after March 16, 2020.
  5. Must be at risk of being evicted once the moratorium on eviction is lifted because of the COVID-19 Pandemic (i.e. already missed or about to miss rent payments and face eviction).

How to Apply for Assistance:

  1. Contact the Department of Social Services to determine your eligibility for rental assistance. 
  2. If you are not eligible, contact Independent Living of the Genesee Region at [email protected].
  3. You will be assigned to an Independent Living Specialist who will conduct an interview and collect all required documentation.  

Before contacting Independent Living, please have answers to the following questions:

a. Does your household income qualify based on this year’s gross yearly income? (The Federal Government’s unemployment pay of $600 per week is not considered as part of your income, but the state unemployment payments are). Please see income guidelines for income limits per household size.

              Genesee County                                                                Orleans County

One Person                   $25,800                                             One Person              $26,750

Two Person                   $29,500                                             Two Person              $30,600

Three Person                $33,200                                             Three Person            $34,400

Four Person                  $36,850                                             Four Person              $38,200

Five Person                   $39,800                                            Five Person              $41,300

Six Person                    $42,750                                             Six Person                $44,350

Seven Person               $45,700                                             Seven Person           $47,400

Eight Person                 $48,650                                             Eight Person             $50,450

b. Have any of your household members become unemployed or under-employed as result of the COVID-19 Pandemic?

c. Are you at risk of being evicted once the moratorium on eviction is lifted because of the COVID-19 Pandemic? (i.e., already missed or about to miss rent payments and face eviction)

If the renter provides false information to the County or its designee, they will not be qualified for the assistance and will be required to repay the assistance. The eligibility determination organization has the final say/decision in all matters/situations pertaining to this program. The program regulations can be changed at any time throughout the grant year due to reasons of funding or program need. In addition, the entire program may be withdrawn and/or changed by the County for any reason, including reasons of funding or program effect.

The Emergency Solutions Grant will provide additional funds to the existing Rapid Rehousing Program facilitated by Independent Living of the Genesee Region for people who are experiencing homelessness.  If you are unsheltered and need assistance, please contact Independent Living at (585) 815-8501, ext. 400. 

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

December 15, 2020 - 12:20pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) welcomes Alan Huntington to its staff to be their Program Specialist to coordinate Continuum of Care for Western New York (CoC) services in partnership with the Homeless Alliance of Western New York in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.

A concept introduced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a Continuum of Care is a collaborative funding and planning approach that helps communities plan for and provide, as necessary, a full range of emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for homeless as well as other resources to address their needs.

He will encourage participation in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) as well as regularly meet with Warming Shelters and other organizations to provide information on resources to their direct service staff.

Huntington brings useful experience from his recent work with the City of Amarillo, Texas, where he was trained on HMIS and worked with the CoC committees to end homelessness for veterans in that area.  He was also assisting the social workers on the Coming Home housing project there which helped those who are chronically homeless and have complex needs.

Huntington holds a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School, Class of 2011. His defense of an innocent homeless man in one of his trials led to his desire to further serve the homeless. He says that, “You will find a passionate advocate for my home county and area homeless individuals in me.”

ILGR is delighted that Alan Huntington is bringing his passion and experience in helping homeless people to serve the GOW region in his new capacity.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

September 28, 2020 - 4:47pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristen Lazarony (inset photo left) to Independent Living Specialist in the RapidRehousing Program, where she will be helping individuals with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to obtain housing in the homes and communities of their choice.

Lazarony previously served as a Facilitated Enroller in ILGR’s Medicaid Application Assistance Program, helping people with disabilities and older adults, obtain medical insurance.

Prior to joining ILGR, she served in varied positions in the medical field with several local companies including United Memorial Medical Center, WellNow Urgent Care, and Pembroke Family Medicine.

Lazarony is a graduate of Batavia High School, Class of 2003.

ILGR is delighted that Lazarony will be serving the disability community in this new position.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

August 4, 2020 - 6:02pm

BUFFALO -- The Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service is proud to announce that -- in addition to broadcasting over the air – its livestream and programs are now available online. The new service debuted July 31.

For people who can see, hold a book or newspaper, and turn a page, reading a printed publication is no big deal. But for thousands of people in Western New York, including Genesee County, who are blind, have low vision, or have other print disabilities, it is.

Over the last 30 years, hundreds of volunteers for the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service have been reading local and national newspapers, magazines, books and other publication over a private radio transmission that was available to listeners who were loaned a special radio receiver.

While the broad range of reading material shared by the radio station with its listeners every day was great, the station always struggled to serve more people since every listener needed one of the radios.

And while the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service will continue broadcasting over the air, adding an internet broadcast is a game-changer. Listeners will be able to access the programs they want, when they want them, wherever they are, on any internet-connected device – including smart phones and smart speakers, tablets, desktop and laptop computers.

And not only will listeners be able to catch the livestream just like they werelistening to the radio, they’ll be able to download and listen to many of the service’s most popular programs on their favorite podcast platform. Did they the miss the live reading of the morning paper? Pull down the podcast and catch up!

The new online functionality will also allow the organization to round out its reading list by adding new publications to its portfolio.

The Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service has served tens of thousands of listeners since it was founded in 1987. But that number has always been limited by the number of radios it had available to loan. No longer.

There are an estimated 20,000 people in WNY who are blind or have low vision. There are another 40,000 who have a cognitive impairment or a physical disability that makes reading difficult or impossible. Although its unlikely that every one of them will tune in, many now can.

The new online Podcasts & Streaming Initiative was made possible through a seed grant from the James H. Cummings Foundation that helped open the door to a major grant from the Facebook Journalism Project. Support from the Christos Foundation, the East Hill Foundation, the Erie-Niagara Sunshine Exchange Club, and Ingram Micro rounded out the funding.

Links, feeds and more information for the expanded service can be found on the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service’s website at www.nfradioreading.org.

Among the station’s program schedule are live readings of the Buffalo News six days a week and USA Today five days a week. The station also airs the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Niagara Gazette, Dunkirk Observer, weekly newspapers like the local Bees and Business First, a variety of magazines, and books curated from the NY Times Best Seller list.

The broadcast is carried over a subcarrier frequency provided by Buffalo Toronto Public Media through WNED 94.5 FM.

Niagara Frontier Radio Reading is an affiliate of Western New York Independent Living, a community-based nonprofit organization that serves more than 7,000 people with disabilities annually through peer counseling, support for independent living, transitional services, advocacy and information & referrals.

The agency is primarily funded through philanthropic contributions and donations, grants, and special events. The organization currently receives no government funding. Major supporters include the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, Nascentia Health, WNY Independent Living, the WNY Lions Clubs, and the United Ways of WNY.

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