Nowhere Else to Turn
Nowhere Else to Turn, a program offered by CDS’s Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative through a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, provides financial support to individuals with paralysis-causing conditions who need home modifications but couldn’t secure funding. Learn here how the program helped Nancy Lemus and her son Christopher Garcia remake Christopher’s room.
The modifications that made Christopher Garcia’s room safer and easier to navigate might seem small, says his mother Nancy Lemus, but “they make a huge difference.” Christopher’s room was remade with financial support from Nowhere Else To Turn, a program offered by CDS’s Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative and funded by a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Before the makeover, spare floor space in Christopher’s room was scarce. Lemus worried that her 14-year-old son would need larger furniture and medical devices as he grew, making the room even harder to navigate.
Through Nowhere Else to Turn, which offers financial support to people with paralysis-causing conditions like Christopher who need home modifications, Lemus green-lighted the demolition of Christopher’s closet, near the foot of his bed. It freed up about 100 cubic feet of space in the corner of his room.
When Christopher outgrew his old power wheelchair earlier this year, the family got a nasty surprise: the new wheelchair couldn’t fit through the door to his room. Christopher, who has cerebral palsy and is Deaf-Blind, loves spending time at the mall. For his mom and nurse to get him there and elsewhere, the narrow door would somehow need to accommodate the larger wheelchair.
Nowhere Else to Turn financed the widening of the door to Christopher’s room. Without the program, this relatively simple carpentry job could have cost the family more than $1,000. Nowhere Else to Turn applicants must show that they would have difficulty paying for home modifications on their own and that they have been turned down by other agencies and organizations that help individuals with paralysis-causing conditions afford home modifications.
Christopher faced another problem in his room: one of its two windows was barred and obscured, making it hard for sunlight to get through and impossible to install an air conditioner.
“I wanted Christopher to feel natural light,” Nancy Lemus says. Nowhere Else to Turn funded the removal of the window bars, ensuring Christopher gets light from two sets of windows.
“The whole ambiance is changed,” says Lemus. The remade room “is functional. It gives Christopher space. And he’s a teenager – he needs his privacy. It’s his little man-cave.”