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Forging new frontiers

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BFL Apartments Construction Continues

 

Our newest vision, Barrier Free Living Apartments is slated to open in 2015.

View a video of the progress here.

 

News & Events Read More »

October:

14th Annual Matthew Sapolin Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

The 14th annual Matthew Sapolin Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (formerly the Mayor’s Cup) will bring the nation’s best wheelchair basketball teams to New York City for two days of non-stop action on October 11 & 12. The tournament, held at Horace Mann School in the Bronx, is one of the largest of its [...]

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The National Network To End Domestic Violence Urges NFL Commissioner Goodell To Deliver On His Pledge To “Get it Right”

The National Network to End Domestic Violence reports: In a press conference today, Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the need for the NFL to “get it right” and work to shift how society responds to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. In response to media inquiries about the National Football [...]

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Miss America 2015 Platform Is Domestic Violence

CNN Reports: The 23-year-old Miss American 2015 Kira Kazantsev’s platform is domestic violence. During the question and answer portion of the pageant — held Sunday at its birthplace of Atlantic City, New Jersey — she said sexual assault in the military is a problem that needs the attention of lawmakers. [...]

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BFL Staff Appreciation Awards 2014

Barrier Free Living is holding its annual Staff Appreciation Awards Friday Sept. 12. Staff are honored for outstanding work. Categories range from Best Leadership to Best Sense of Humor. Members of all BFL programs gather for the celebration, which culminates with a special rendition of Family Feud.

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Alex Minsky Wearing UNYQ Prosthetic Cover - New York Fashion Week

UNYQ reported: “It’s been crazy,” said Minsky. “People are starting to recognize me so this was the best possible opportunity to show off my freshly designed fairing.” Retired Marine Cpl. Alex Minsky’s life took a surreal and unexpected turn this year as he sat on a couch next to Barbara Walters , Sherri [...]

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CVS Launches #OneGoodReason Quit Smoking Campaign

CVS Health (BFL’s Freedom House Program is a CVS Caremark Community Grant program participant) has announced the end of tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy as of September 3, nearly a month ahead of the previously targeted date of October 1, making CVS/pharmacy the first and only national pharmacy chain to take [...]

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Cadwalader Jeans Day to Benefit Barrier Free Living

Cadwalder, Wickersham & Taft announced: This Friday, September 5, donate $10 to wear jeans to work to benefit Barrier Free Living (“BFL”). Barrier Free Living, one of the Firm’s longstanding pro bono clients, began its groundbreaking work with people with disabilities in 1978.  Since then, BFL has gone on to work with [...]

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Out Magazine Feature On Veteran Alex Minsky

First featured on the BFL New Visions Blog in October 2012 Alex Minsky (image by Tim Cullis) is featured in the August 2014 issue of Out Magazine. Out Reports: Alex Minsky was just a young Marine, less than a month into his first tour in Afghanistan in 2009, when his body [...]

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Workplace Domestic Violence Legal Standards Continue to Develop

The Huffington Post Reports: On August 8, 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts signed into law a statute that, among other provisions, allows an employee of an entity having 50 or more employees to take up to 15 days of leave from work in any 12-month period due to enumerated domestic violence issues. [...]

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Artist With A Disability Draws With Success

CBS8.com reports: One very talented artist inspired fans at Comic-Con by drawing comics with a pen in his mouth. Larime Taylor is the creator of “A Voice in the Dark,” a dramatic comic book series that follows a college girl born with the urge to kill. The series debuted in November, [...]

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Innovation Award Winners At BFL Town Hall Meeting

During the 2014 summer all agency Town Hall meeting, Innovation Awards were presented to Aida Colon (Freedom House, pictured) for her creation of the Dare to Dream Event, and Aaron Scott (Transitional Housing) for his out of the box thinking during recent corporate volunteer days. CEO Paul Feuerstein presented the [...]

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NYC Clothing Donation Bins Hit LES

DNAInfo NY Reports: New Jersey-based for-profit company deposited a collection of bright pink clothing donation bins across the neighborhood in the past few days — including on properties where owners said they didn’t give permission. About half a dozen Our Neighborhood Recycling bins appeared on East Broadway, Rutgers Street, Norfolk [...]

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NY Times Reports On Domestic Violence and Two-Parent Households

The New York Times reports: AFTER spending two years studying services for domestic violence survivors, I was surprised to realize that one of the most common barriers to women’s safety was something I had never considered before: the high value our culture places on two-parent families. Read the article.

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50 % New York City Cabs Wheelchair Accessible By 2020

Today, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to enact a 30 cent surcharge in a plan to make 50 percent of all New York City cabs wheelchair accessible by the year 2020. The surcharge will apply to all taxicab rides beginning in the year 2015 in [...]

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Human Services News and Views Returns 5/8

After a brief hiatus, HSC’s weekly radio show, Human Services News and Views will return onThursday, May 8 at 5:30 pm on a new station, WVOX 1460AM. The series will be hosted by HSC’s Allison Sesso and Michelle Jackson. Fred Scaglione of the New York Nonprofit Press will be joining weekly to discuss the latest [...]

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April Is Fair Housing Month

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) celebrates Fair Housing Month every April to mark the passage of the Fair Housing Act. This law prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex,disability and family status. This year’s theme is “Fair Housing Is Your Right: Use It!” HUD [...]

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State Budget Includes Salary Adjustment For Direct Care Workers

The Human Services Council Reports:  The State budget includes funding and language for salary adjustments for direct care workers for the first time in six years. The Budget includes $13 million growing to $122 million to support a 2% salary increase on January 1, 2015 and another 2% salary increase on April 1, 2015 to [...]

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Missouri Store Offers Hope, And Warm Coats, to Homeless

Good News Network Reports: A little store in a Hollister, Missouri shopping center is offering the basic needs — clothing, hygiene items and baby supplies — at incredible prices. They’re all free. The shop, called Selfless Blessings, was started by Andrea Berdine after she witnessed a thrift store turning away [...]

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Human Services Council Announces Change in Executive Leadership

The Board of Directors of the Human Services Council of  New York (HSC) has announced that Executive Director Michael Stoller is stepping down as of  March 3, 2014. Deputy Executive Director Allison Sesso has been appointed as the new  executive director of HSC, a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for [...]

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Sally Hershberger Salon Donates To BFL

Sally Hershberger Downton NYC Salon donated hair products to the residents and consumers at Barrier Free Living’s (BFL) Transitional Housing and Secret Garden programs. BFL works with severely disabled homeless people and survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. Famed colorist Marko Tomassetti, who has donated color services to BFL, was [...]

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An Accidental Doctor: A Profile of B.J. Miller, MD

Profiled in the Feb. 2014 Princeton Alumni Weekly, Dr. B.J. Miller is a triple amputee who was injured by an electric current from a trolley car when he was in school at Princeton. Because of his accident and a team of incredible caregivers, he recovered and went into medicine. He [...]

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BFL Reacts To Cuomo Proposing Flat Pay For Caretakers Of Disabled

Barrier Free Living is featured in the Feb. 12 Wall Street Journal article, Cuomo proposes flat pay for caretakers of disabled. The article focuses on the fact that the Cuomo administration has proposed keeping pay flat for the sixth straight year for caretakers of the disabled and others at state-funded [...]

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Wounded Warrior Walking Tall

CNN Reports:  On Veterans Day, former Army special ops officer Gary Linfoot took a brisk stroll around the Statue of Liberty. That’s remarkable because Linfoot is a paraplegic — injured while on one of his many tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s been wheelchair-bound and paralyzed below the [...]

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Soul Food Truck Feeds Homeless

DNAInfo New York  reports: A food truck fit for the Midtown lunch crowd has started feeding the homeless and hungry in the East Village. Soul Food Truck, a new initiative of Middle Collegiate Church on Second Avenue and East Seventh Street, serves savory free meals including fried chicken and collard greens to [...]

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Documentary Explores People With Disabilities In The Work Force

NY1 reports about an award-winning new documentary exploring the challenges people with disabilities face in the work force, and the growing movement to get companies to employ them. The documentary “A Whole Lott More,” which won the audience award at the Hot Docs Film Festival, is a rare look inside [...]

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Feds Report Boost In Disability Hiring

Disability Scoop reports: The number of federal workers with disabilities is on the rise, with a new report finding that such employment has reached its highest level in more than three decades. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management said in a report released Thursday that the nation’s largest employer added [...]

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BFL's 25 Videos of Hope Featured in Crain's New York Article

Barrier Free Living’s 25 Videos of Hope Campaign is featured in the Oct. 20 Crains New York article  “Making the holidays count”. The article notes that: Overall, the Internet has been a major boon to holiday fundraising, especially for smaller organizations that can’t afford to host big galas and lack [...]

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A Whole Lott More Looks at Employment Issues For People With Disabilities

A Whole Lott More : Lott Industries in Toledo, Ohio, employs more than 1200 workers, all with developmental disabilities. For decades the company excelled in assembling car parts. However, with the decline of the auto industry in neighboring Detroit, Lott is threatened with closure. The company has twelve months to [...]

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Roadmap to Ending Homelessness Report

The 130-member United to End Homelessness coalition released its “Roadmap to Ending Homelessness,” which “lays out the reforms necessary to stamp out homelessness in New York City.” The coalition was featured in the media, including the New York Times Opinion Pages stating: “More than 50,000 New Yorkers slept in city [...]

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AWARE Health Fair at Freedom House Emergency Shelter

AWARE (Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education) hosted a Family Health Fair at Freedom House Emergency Shelter on September 28. The group  also donated a new baby stroller to a consumer at BFL’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence program this month (picture above). The Freedom House event, CARE FOR YOURSELF, [...]

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Give Voice Give Peace Event Features Savion Glover

In celebration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2013  The Maria Project will be hosting a GIVE VOICE and GIVE PEACE Benefit with Tony Award Winner and Tap Dance Sensation – SAVION GLOVER.  Click here to get tix. The event is Tuesday, October 8 at New York Live Arts / 219 [...]

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United to End Homelessness Tweet Gains Traction

A tweet from United to End Homelessness has gained attention. UEH tweeted: More people were homeless last night than voted in the Republican primary. Please RT if you think 57,000 homeless NYers is unacceptable. View the tweet, click here. UEH is a coalition of advocates, homeless and formerly homeless individuals, [...]

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City Must Help Domestic Violence Survivors Find Safe, Affordable Housing

New Destiny’s Executive Director, Carol Corden’s op-ed on the importance of addressing the crisis of homelessness for survivors of domestic violence was published this Sunday in the Daily News. She writes: Every day in New York City, the NYPD responds to over 700 incidents of domestic violence. It impacts every [...]

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High School Football Player Inspiration for People With Disabilities

The NY Daily News reports: less than a year after a rising high school football player’s right leg snapped back during a game, which led to its amputation, the Montana senior is back on two feet and wiping the field with his competitors. In Koni Dole’s first game of the [...]

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Shine the Light on Domestic Violence

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer commemorates Domestic Violence Awareness Month by joining with the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the Third Annual Shine the Light on Domestic Violence on October 7 at 6:30 PM, Duffy Square in Times Square (SW Corner of Broadway and 47th [...]

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Fashion Week Event Benefits Hope For Them Charity

Hosted by MTV, funds will be raised for Hope for Them Charity during NYC Fashion Week 2013. The MTV charity event will be at the  Highline Ballroom – and will feature a swimwear fashion show, music by world renown DJ Sak Noel and a one hour sponsored open bar. Starting [...]

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Be A Light for Peace Event in NYC Sept. 22

Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace will hold a special ‘Be A Light For Peace’ event Sept. 22 at Trump Rink in New York City’s Central Park. For more info. click here.

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Picture This International Disability Film Festival Call for Entries

The deadline for entries for the 2014 ‘Picture This International Disability Film Festival’ is September 16th, 2013 The festival features films that are about disability and/or films on any subject that were produced, directed and/or written by people with disabilities.  To learn more click here. Last year’s Best of Festival winner [...]

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Popular Community Bank Donates Cyclone Tickets to Shelter Residents

Popular Community Bank donated Brooklyn Cyclones Aug. 31 game tickets to the residents of BFL’s Transitional Housing shelter, and to the agency’s Secret Garden program for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities.  

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App Aims to Help Wheelchair-Using New Yorkers Navigate City

DNAInfo New York reports that: Inspired by her wheelchair-using brother, a Lower East Side woman is developing a website and smartphone app to help people with disabilities make the most of New York City. Jennifer Feinberg, 24, is raising money to developWheel New York, a trip-planning app and site that [...]

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Working with Deaf Survivors of Domestic Violence

The New York State Office for the  Prevention of Domestic Violence  OPDV Bulletin/Summer 2013 reports on working with Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence. The story notes that while limited research exists regarding the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence within the Deaf community, agencies that provide Deaf services [...]

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BFL Codes of Hope Graduation Event

CODES OF HOPE, an  innovative six-week curriculum highlighting the aspects of inter-generational trauma and its relationship to domestic violence, held a graduation event for participants from BFL’s Secret Garden and Freedom House programs. Marcella Goheen and Thea Martinez are co-facilitators of CODES OF HOPE.  Activities include inventive approaches to healing, such [...]

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Workshops planned for people with developmental disabilities

A free training and workshop addressing attitudes about human sexuality and healthy relationships for people with developmental disabilities will be offered at three different locations on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 28. Supporting Healthy Sexuality of Persons with Developmental Disabilities meets from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27 [...]

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OT + Yoga Joins BFL Wellness Fiesta as a Sponsor

Lulu OT+Yoga joined BFL’s Wellness Fiesta this August as a sponsor, and will lead a chair yoga workshop at the vibrant event made possible by a grant from Moody’s. Laura Staton of Lulu OT + Yoga will run the workshop. She is a Senior Occupational Therapist at Staten Island University [...]

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IWD Blogs Nigeria Trip Looking at Health Care for Disabled

Suzanne Hurwitz, Project Coordinator at Initiative for Women with Disabilities (IWD) will be blogging on Tumblr  during her August Trip to Nigeria.  IWD is a Multi-Disciplinary Women’s Center: Empowering Women to Pursue a Healthy Lifestyle Suzanne writes: Greeting from Lagos, Nigeria!  I have been warmly welcomed by our partners from [...]

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New Jersey Law Requires Covered Employers to Provide Domestic Violence Leave

On July 17, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act).  New Jersey joins 15 states, the District of Columbia, and a handful of local governments in providing victims of domestic violence or sexual assault with the right to take [...]

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Career Expo for People With Disabilities July 19 NYC

CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine’s Career Expo For People With Disabilities brings industry and government together with people with disabilities who are entry level and professionals in all career disciplines on July 19, 2013 at: 10:00AM – 3:00PM The New Yorker Hotel 481 8th Ave. & 34th Street New York, [...]

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HSC Launches Voice of Human Services Radio Show June 26

The Human Services Council of New York (HSC) premieres its new weekly, hour-long radio series, Voices of Human Services, on WWRL (1600 AM) on Wednesday, June 26, from 11 pm to 12 midnight. Co-moderated by HSC Executive Director Michael Stoller and Deputy Executive Director Allison Sesso,  the weekly broadcast will [...]

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Project Open House for People with Disabilities

Project Open House (POH), administered by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), removes architectural barriers in the homes of people with permanent disabilities. This program is designed to increase independence in the activities of daily living, thus helping people with disabilities remain a part of their communities. POH [...]

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National Council on Disability Celebrates LGBT Pride

This June, the National Council on Disability joins the world in celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month by celebrating their commitment to advancing the rights for all Americans, including LGBT Americans, and LGBT Americans with Disabilities. …

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Barrier Free Living Apartments Ground Breaking News

The Ground Breaking for BFL’s $42 million two building apartment complex in in the Bronx on June 4 drew supporters, officials and was covered by several news networks in NYC including WNBC…

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Alex Minsky's Star Rises as He Continues to Inspire People with Disabilities

First featured on our website last October, Alex Minsky, the Marine Lance Cpl. who lost his leg when his truck rolled over an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan, has gone onto become a sought after model and inspiration for people with disabilities world wide.  He has been featured this [...]

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MasterChef Inspires People with Disabilities

Known as The Blind Cook, Christine Ha was the first blind contestant on MasterChef and the winner of the third season. An inspiration to people with disabilities, she also had a new cookbook,  Recipes from My Home Kitchen.

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Blessed Night Out Housing Justice Vigil

Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing will hold its 28th Annual Interfaith Convocation Walk & Overnight City Hall vigil for Housing Justice, Blessed Night Out, starting at 6:30PM on May 31 at St. Paul’s Chapel, 209 Broadway at Fulton St. There will be a candlelight procession to City Hall Park [...]

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10 Things to Never Say to a Person in a Wheelchair

The Mobility Resource offers insight into communicating with wheel chair users, and things not to say like: Slow down there. You might get a speeding ticket. Read the article here.

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Prince Harry Cheers on Warrior Games

Prince Harry of Wales attended a recent Warrior Games exhibition volleyball match between the U.S. and U.K. Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor, Missy Franklin and Paralympic medalists Kari Miller and Brad Snyder were in attendance to support the wounded athletes. From May 11-16, more than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members [...]

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Transitional Housing Program Celebrates Mother's Day

The residents of  BFL’s Transitional Housing program, formerly homeless men and women with disabilities, were treated to a sumptuous May Day feast this month. The 24 women of the shelter received special Mother’s Day gift bags courtesy of The Body Shop. BFL’s Occupational Therapy team coordinated the event, which included [...]

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The Changing Image of Who’s Homeless

After a career as a decorated Marine then working for the Federal Aviation Administration, Dr. Young suddenly went from actively thriving to barely surviving while living out of his car in metro Atlanta. Moving in and out of extended stay motels, and navigating throughout the sometimes dangerous streets of metro [...]

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Body Shop Chooses BFL Transitional Housing as Mom Day Charity

The Body Shop at New York City’s Grand Central (420 Lexington Ave) has chosen BFL’s Transitional Housing program as its charity partner for Mother’s Day. The Transitional Housing Program is a shelter for formerly homeless men and women with disabilities who are forging  a new life. Body Shop’s “Another for [...]

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One Billion Rising Video

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013,  the worldwide phenomenon One Billion Rising was kicked off. ONE BILLION women and those who love them joined the call to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to domestic violence.The Washington Square Park, NYC rising supported by Barrier Free Living, [...]

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BFL Featured in NY Times Article Part of Neediest Cases

An article in today’s NY Times, about Secret Garden consumer Alejandrina Cruz. ..

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ABC News Story on BFL’s Freedom House

ABC News’ Lauren Glassberg reports on the journey of a resident at BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter for survivors of domestic violence….

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BFL Speakers Bureau Newsletter

Barrier Free Living Survivors Speakers Bureau, which started in May 2012, ended 2012 with the third edition of its  newsletter.  The Bureau looks  “forward to meeting your speaker needs for women with Disabilities. Our founding organizers Theresa McIntosh and Patrice C. Queen encourage your inquiries and opportunities to educate your [...]

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HSC Honors BFL's Scott Hess With Leadership Award

BFL’s Organizational Development Manager Scott Hess (pictured fourth from left) was honored on Dec. 12 with the Human Services Council’s Next Generation Leadership award at the annual awards reception on the stunning 35th floor of Manhattan’s Mutual of America. Honorees were noticed for advocacy, influence and community service. Click here [...]

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Redeeming the Past Memoir Launch

Institute for Healing of Memories Founder Father Michael Lapsely had a launch event for his stirring new memoir, Redeeming the Past, at the United Nations Church Center in Manhattan on September 27. The Keynote Speaker was Helen Clark: Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. Lapsley, born in New Zealand, [...]

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More Than 1 In 4 Kids With Disabilities Abused

Children with disabilities are four times more likely than typically developing kids to be victims of violence, according to a first-of-its-kind global analysis, reports the disability scoop…

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Former BFL Resident Miss Wheelchair NY

Pam Hall, a former resident of BFL’s Transitional Housing program, won Miss Wheelchair NY 2012 and is set to compete in the nationals, Miss Wheelchair America…

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3 Things You Can Do
To Make A Difference

1. Tune In

Human Services News and Views is on, WVOX 1460AMBFL's Scott Hess will be a guest on the Sept. 4 show at 6pm, discussing the agency's new Project Give Back where former shelter residents give back through community projects.

2. Give Back

Support BFL's new Project Give Back (video at right), where former shelter residents "give back" by doing a project for the shelter. Learn more.

3. Surf

Life Rolls On is hosting a "They Will Surf Again" adaptive surfing clinic this summer around the nation for young people affected by spinal cord injury, including: August 9 ‐ Virginia Beach, VA     Registration is Now Open; August 23 ‐  Huntington Beach, CA    Registration is Now Open September 20 ­‐  Martinique Beach, Nova Scotia   Registration is Now Open
 

 

Info. 

 



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