How to Navigate in the New Normal

By Marc Tannebaum, Associate Director of JEVS Independence Network 


Life changed quickly and drastically for all of us during the first few weeks of March 2020. It was no different…whether you were the members, staff or families within JEVS Philadelphia Independence Network program. We all had to endure major changes to our daily lives, as the landscape of life as we knew it continued to shift daily.

The program community as a whole, rose to the challenge in front of us. The staff pushed though their own fears and anxieties, to collaborate on how we could best help our members stay safe, prepared and connected during this time of unprecedented crisis. Whether members went home to stay with family or continued to live in their apartments, we made it a priority to check-in daily, make sure they had enough food and supplies, ensure they were being as safe as possible, and talk about any fears or concerns they had.

We quickly adapted to a virtual platform to stay connected and began creating a weekly calendar of activities to help members stay socially engaged. Our mission at Independence Network has always been to create a supported community for our members to live as responsible, productive and independent individuals. Many aspects that help define that independence have been put on hold for the moment. However, being independent means being able to take care of your own needs and to make and assume responsibility for your decisions, while considering both the people around you and your environment.

By staying safe, healthy, prepared and connected, our members are proving their independence more than ever.

For a group of individuals that have faced and overcome challenges their whole lives, they continue to amaze and inspire me with their strength and perseverance. I have never been more proud to be a part of such an amazing community. The future is uncertain, and there will be more challenges ahead. Of one thing I can be certain—our community will face any and all circumstances head on and persevere once again.

During some downtime, our staff, members and families have had time to jot down their thoughts, feelings and initial reactions to the pandemic. Click on the links below to read their perspectives and insights. 

>> We Are All in This Together…Program Members’ Perspective

 >> Lockdown and Lessons Learned…Program Mentors’ Perspectives

 >> My Thoughts as We Faced This Pandemic…Member Parent’s Perspective #1

 >> My Thoughts as We Faced This Pandemic…Member Parent’s Perspective #2



Posted in Blog JEVS Program: Independence Network