Paulo Guerrero was 19 years old when a motorcycle accident left him paraplegic due to a spinal cord injury in 2018. He now uses a manual wheelchair indoors and outdoors. When he was discharged from GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Guerrero did not have an accessible home so he moved to his sister’s place and then lived with his parents, in a basement. The unit was small, dark, and had a set of stairs leading down to the entry. This challenging living situation started taking a toll on Guerrero’s mental health.
He began searching for an accessible home and found out about the Right Fit program through a staff member at GF Strong.
After an 18-month search for a wheelchair accessible unit, Guerrero moved in June 2020 into a two-bedroom apartment located in North Vancouver, close to his family. The unit has a fully accessible kitchen and a step-in shower. His move was made possible through a rental supplement provided by BC Housing. Right Fit navigator Dalton Finlay helped Guerrero obtain the rental supplement and supported him in all aspects of the housing search.
“As a wheelchair user, I often did not think of what I needed so the Right Fit was a huge help because they offered suggestions on what the unit should have, like adequate room width or kitchen counter height,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero, who recently celebrated his 22nd birthday in his new home, is now putting his life back together, taking steps to get his driver’s licence re-issued and looking for a job. “I love living here. It is a positive change.”