By Kevin Riordan, Philadelphia Inquirer
Like other young people, Michael Franolich and Zack Pastore enjoy Collingswood’s welcoming vibe, lively downtown, and convenience. They like walking to work, catching a PATCO train to check out the scene in Center City, and hanging out with friends.
“It’s pretty interesting…to not live with my parents!” said Franolich, 25, who grew up in Moorestown and works at the Wawa on Haddon Avenue.
“He’s a comedian,” said Pastore, a 23-year-old Monmouth County native. He’s employed at the Tortilla Press restaurant, also on Haddon.
The two friends, who are neighbors, have been living with housemates in Collingswood for nearly a year as members of the Independence Network program offered by JEVS Human Services, a well-regarded Philadelphia nonprofit.
The network provides mentors, job coaches, and other services to disabled young adults, many of whom have been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum.