BUFFALO, N.Y. — People Inc. is celebrating the grand opening of The People Shoppe — a new storefront that supports people with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to gain work experience and build social skills.
It's inside the Tri-Main Center, located at 2495 Main Street in Buffalo.
Their business slogan is "every purchase has a purpose."
"It's really important, and it's a sense of pride that it gives them too. To really own something and [have] something that is theirs. [Something] to be proud of and make it their own," said Lindsey Rosenberg, program director for People Inc.
The store sells a little of everything — toiletries, gum and candy, small gifts, and ice cream.
The employees are salespeople and also serve as People Inc. ambassadors. There are informational brochures on display, so customers can learn more about the organization.
Once the bills are paid, profits go back to People Inc. to support their various programs and initiatives. The nonprofit works with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Rosenberg hopes this work experience serves as a springboard for future opportunities.
"If they want to someday get a job, work in a store or in any competitive employment or community setting, it's a great start. It's a great way for folks to feel a part of the community, something bigger," said Rosenberg.
The People Shoppe is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The store caters to people to work inside of the Tri-Main Center, but anyone is welcome to shop there. Transactions are credit/debit card only inside the store, but they also sell artwork and crafts on a table outside the store. Those are made by people in People Inc. programs and are cash only.