Imagine being 20 years old, spinal cord injured (SCI) due to a catastrophic accident and finding yourself surrounded by death every single day! That is the tragic fate of thousands of young people across America.
Very often, after a person becomes injured and is discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility, the family may be unable to care for them because of inaccessibility issues in the home. In addition, and sadly, the person with the spinal cord injury becomes a financial and emotional burden to the family.
Because of such circumstances, every day, a young American with a spinal cord injury is placed in a senior nursing facility because there are no other options! Across the nation, there are more than 44,000 young people with disabilities who are forced to live in institutions. If this continues, the spinal cord injury association estimates that by 2015 the number of young people in nursing facilities will have risen to almost 50,000!
At present, supportive, affordable, and accessible housing designed for young persons with disabilities simply does not exist. The combination of all these factors often leaves this segment of society with no other option than to live out their youth in the confines of institutions alongside frail, aged, and dying residents who have reached the final stages of life.