Dear Friends and Colleagues:
On behalf of everyone at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, it is with a heavy heart that I offer my sympathy and support to the people who are affected by the tragedy that unfolded this weekend in Buffalo. We join with the people of Buffalo to mourn the loss of ten New Yorkers, and injuries to at least three others, all victims of a cowardly act of hate by a white supremacist who targeted people because they are Black.
OPWDD condemns racism and hatred in any form and joins with Governor Hochul and our colleagues in federal, state and local government in offering our sympathy and support for the victims of this senseless act, their families and their communities.
For the members of the OPWDD team who live and work in Buffalo, or for any of our employees who may have been affected, I encourage you to seek assistance from your local human resources departments or the Employee Assistance Program, or from wherever you are comfortable. The entirety of the agency supports you.
For anyone who is part of the larger OPWDD community who has been impacted by this shooting, I offer my deepest sympathies and encourage you to seek the help you need. The Project Hope line provides an Emotional Support Healthline at 844-863-9314 and is available 7 days a week from 8am-10pm.
This horrific act reminds us that we must commit every day to battling the scourge of racism and hatred in our communities. OPWDD stands together with the Governor and the people of New York as allies in the fight against racism and will do everything in its power to contribute to this fight.
With deepest sympathy –
Kerri E. NeifeldCommissioner