LONG ISLAND - It’s a new beginning for Anthony and Michael. The two were friends from the neighborhood who just moved into an apartment together in East Islip and now they’re roommates.
The young men in their twenties are on the autism spectrum and it’s the first time they moved out of their homes.
The move was made possible thanks to the nonprofit Autism Communities. Founder Charles Massimo has two sons with autism and wanted to help facilitate a way for others like them to live, grow and prosper.
“Long Island has the largest population of autistic children in the country,” Massimo said. “First we want to provide a solution for affordable and sustainable housing and then hopefully from there branch out and help as many families as we can.”
Anthony and Michael split the rent which is $1800 a month. But their parents say you can’t put a price tag on independence.
“Doing his own laundry, he has to make his breakfast, take his medication, shower, everything we take for granted on a daily basis he’s going to do,” said parent Paula Prestia.
Even though the boys are living independently they still receive around-the-clock support from their staff to make sure they’re safe and staying on track.
Autism Communities hopes to work with other developers to find many more apartments to house adults with autism.
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