8 Quadriplegics Living in Special Granada Hills Home Face Eviction

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Eight quadriplegics who live in a Granada Hills home that has been fixed to be wheelchair accessible are now facing eviction.

Juan Elisarras goes down a ramp inside a Granada Hills home that has been renovated to fit his needs and those of other paraplegics on March 8, 2017. (Credit KTLA)

The residents live in the specially equipped home thanks to Freedom to Live, an organization that helps people with spinal cord injuries. The nonprofit spent more than $50,000 revamping the home.

The residents also receive peer guidance and learn how to live as a quadriplegic and among others like them.
Juan Elisarras, the victim of a gunshot wound, said that without Freedom to Live, he would have ended up in a convalescent home or on the street.

He said he was devastated when he was told he had to move out.

"I don't want to see this end. I want somebody to help us out, we need help," Elisarras said.

"We can't just go to an apartment complex and rent an apartment. We can't just go to a regular house and rent a house, we have to have things done to that house first for it to be handicap accessible," said Nathan Lehmann, a resident who was injured five years ago while surfing.

Sian Welch, the executive director of the organization said she was served a 60-day notice to move out with no explanation. KTLA attempted to contact the owner, but did not hear back Wednesday.

Welch is an Ironman triathlete who became well known for crawling across the finish line in Kona Hawaii 20 years ago. At the age of 50, she is returning to Hawaii for her final Ironman race, not to win, but to raise awareness for the Freedom to Live recipients.

"I believe it would be over $1 million to buy this house and it's laid out perfectly for our needs," Welch said.

She added that the thought of moving eight residents out of the home in 60 days is shocking and she doesn't know if it can be done.  Welch has started a campaign to buy a new house for the residents.

Click here for more information on how to help the residents, or text "KONA" to 41444.

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