We Are All in This Together!

In their own words, JEVS Independence Network members in both Narberth and Collingswood share their perspectives on dealing with life during the COVID-19 lockdown starting March 15, 2020.


“I think I am more independent than before because my mom has had to step back a lot. My mom knows I am fine because I have the Independence Network for virtual support and virtual events, I also got used to my new apartment really quickly.”  – Shannon M.
“I have realized I am helping a lot of people out in the community by still working at Acme. I am not scared because I have faith in a higher power, and I believe things will get better”. “Zoom events are helping us because they bring us closer together and we get to hear from other members firsthand.”  – Zack P.
“What I have learned is all of my friends are right behind me and I am improving people’s lives everyday at my job at Acme.”  – Sean B.


“I have to be extra careful because of my immune system. I feel trapped. Without the Independence Network I wouldn’t be able to get through this. If we didn’t have Zoom calls, I would have no social contact because my mom is still working, I wouldn’t have anyone else.”  – Shawna D.

“When I was told I wouldn’t be working anymore, it wasn’t really a struggle, but it is the first time in my career that I haven’t been able to work on a regular basis. The Independence Network helped me to get an interview for a new job.”  – Mark C.


“Quarantine has taught me to be happy for what I have and to slow down. I like that I am still able to accomplish things I want to with virtual support.”  – Kelsey B.
“Being home, I have found myself doing more events with the Independence Network and it keeps my busy. Plus, with having virtual support I am not doing nothing for hours.”  – Ben R.
“The Independence Network has kept me busy, it is not the same as in person, but it has kept me in contact with the Independence Network members and staff.”  – Zachary S.
“I opened my heart in different ways. For me, when I first started, it opened a whole new world for me. I didn’t fit in with my friends from high school anymore because they were having babies and getting married. In the program, I now feel apart and feel whole again. You guys made me whole again. Now I have friends.”  – Sam O.


“I am staying at home with my parents and have been practicing my cooking skills a lot. The PIN team still reaches out to me even though I am not staying in my apartment in Narberth. Having the Zoom events has helped me to see and talk to my friends.”  – Chrissy B.
“I think people have become more patient. The PIN team has given me different support since my routine has changed so much. I am not working or volunteering, and I had to adjust to a lot of changes.”  – Jon S.


“People seem to be more “good” when something bad happens. The coronavirus seems that it has made people more sensitive and focused. It makes you think more about people you care about.”  – Dillon S.


“I prefer face to face interaction, but during Zoom I feel less distraction than when I am in person in a group.”  – John S.
“It is really interesting that when we are on Zoom we seem to connect more. In the past when we were in person, some people would be on their phones and others would be coloring or doing something by themselves… Now we all connect. I really appreciate that there is more attention to each other.”  – Ethan C.


“I do one day at a time. I like that every day there is something different to do through Zoom. I also really like how it connects us. I especially enjoy meditation.”  – Chrissy A.


“The PIN community is more than just a place or specific space. It’s the people that make it. As long as we have each other we are still a community. When this is over I plan to continue my participation in PIN both live and virtually.”  – Laura K.


“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. I think PIN can make it together. PIN members are tough and can get through this.”  – David M.


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. 

 >> How to Navigate a New Normal…Program Director’s 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