Freedom House

Every family deserves
a safe home.

Freedom House Celebrates 10 years, April 2016. Photo circa 2006 by Paul Feuerstein.

Who We Are

Nationally recognized as the first fully accessible emergency shelter for disabled victims of domestic violence and their families

How We Help

State-of-the-art programming, safety planning, parenting skill building, advocacy.

Working with people with physical and emotional disabilities and those recovering from substance abuse.

A dynamic staff (fluent in English, Spanish and American Sign Language) of social workers, creative arts therapists, case managers, and occupational therapists dedicated to creating a safe and accessible space for families.

How To Reach Us

» Call (212) 400-6470
email us:

Our Stories

Shine Foundation Financial Fair At Freedom House

Shine Foundation held a Spring Soirée / financial fair at Freedom House on April 25 to culminate its month long Financial Engagement workshop for residents at the emergency domestic violence shelter. In addition to celebrating and reaffirming goals set during the 4 week workshop, Shine set up an “Aida’s Dare [...]

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Shine Foundation Kicks Off 4-Week Financial Engagement Workshop At Freedom House

Shine Foundation kicked off a new 4-week Financial Engagement workshop for residents at Barrier Free Living’s  Freedom House  emergency shelter this March. The goal in the next 4 weeks, says Shine coordinators, is to “have clients set and achieve their savings goals for housing.” The mission of Shine Foundation is [...]

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Freedom House Staff Participates In ASL Training

About a dozen Freedom House team members participated in a 4-week ASL workshop this spring. Caelan Manning, a Barrier Free Living case manager, ran the workshop. The goal was to educate and inform staff about working and interacting with the Deaf community. Manning hopes that “staff will be able to [...]

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Freedom House Launches Robust Training Roster For Staff

Freedom House launched a training roster through the spring of 2016 to educate and empower staff at the domestic violence program. Trainings range from  DV 101, to Child Abuse Reporting Training to a presentation on deaf history.The staff also attended a Demystifying ACS presentation this spring.  

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Freedom House Book Fair: Today's Readers,Tomorrow's Leaders

Freedom House Emergency Domestic Violence shelter hosted a book fair for young residents in January, trumpeting the call that “Today’s Readers will be Tomorrow’s Leaders.” The fair, which drew shelter residents aged 4 to 12, was made possible due to an In-Kind donation of dozens of  books, workbooks and other [...]

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New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray Visits Freedom House Domestic Violence Program

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray visited Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence program today, speaking with residents of the shelter and touring the facility. Freedom House is nationally recognized as the first fully accessible emergency shelter for disabled victims of domestic violence and their families. Paul Feuerstein, [...]

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Freedom House Holiday Event With Mrs. New York

Mrs. New York Alison Trenk made a surprise call to Freedom House Emergency Shelter on the day of the holiday party, offering to supply the domestic violence shelter with bags of toys for the children residing there. Yenely Gomez, Director of Child Care/Recreation at Freedom House, was thrilled to receive [...]

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BFL Part Of Initiative Fighting Poverty to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

To fight both domestic violence and poverty and homelessness, HRA has partnered with nine community-based organizations to provide a wide variety of services to help survivors rebuild their lives. The organizations involved are Barrier Free Living, HELP USA, New York Asian Women’s Center, Sanctuary for Families, the New York City [...]

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Toy Donations Brighten Holiday At Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Shelter

December toy donations from both individuals and agencies like the FPWA and Second Chance Toys brighten the holiday for the 144 children living at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter and BFL Apartments as well as our Secret Garden program. Learn more about donating a toy, your time [...]

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Pet Therapy For Kids At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

A Fair Shake For Youth has launched a 4-week pet therapy program for the children living at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter. There are over 50 children living at the shelter.  Pet therapy is used as a tool to build esteem and foster confidence in the youths, [...]

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ABC News Story BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter (Broadcast Jan. 2013)

Berkeley Carroll School Costume Drive Benefits Kids In BFL Domestic Violence Shelters

The Berkeley Carroll School held a Halloween costume drive October 26, collecting trick or treat outfits to donate to the children living at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter. Heather Borstein, who helped organize the drive says “We love the work that BFL does. It’s our privilege to [...]

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The Giving Group Hosts Holiday In July At Freedom House

Inspired by “A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World” Julie Pasqual and some friends created “The Giving Group” and set out to turn their compassionate energy outward. Their generosity found a home at BFL’s Freedom House this summer, where the group created a “Holiday in July” [...]

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Handprints Of The Heart At Freedom House

The 7th Annual Handprints of the Heart sponsored by Goldman Sachs took place this month at Freedom House. The event is a celebration of Mother’s Day and includes activities and a lunch with the families at the shelter. The volunteers worked with young shelter residents to create ceramic handprints, t-shirts [...]

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NAP0-NY Takes On Freedom House Pantry Project

NAPO-NY choose Freedom House emergency shelter for its Go Month Project, tackling the overflowing donation clothes pantry area. Check out the amazing Before and After pictures. NAPO-NY is a chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers, founded in 1985, the only non-profit national association of and for organizers, with over [...]

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Peace Of Heart Choir Brings Music & Joy To Freedom House Shelter

The Peace Of Heart Choir performed for the families residing at BFL’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter this past holiday season, raising their voices in joyful song. Read the Peace Of Heart Choir story here.

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Purge4Peace Donates Toys and Holiday Items To Freedom House Shelter

Purge4Peace, a family fair collection drive organized by Heather Borstein and held at the Barrow Street School this December, donated toys, piggy banks and holiday items to the children and families at Freedom House Emergency Shelter this holiday season. “It is through the generosity of groups like Purge4Peace that we [...]

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Goldman Sachs Impact Report, Volunteers Support BFL's Freedom House

Goldman Sachs’ Community TeamWorks (CTW) supported Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House emergency shelter this past year through a variety of volunteer initiatives, including a summer BBQ and  trips to the Bronx Zoo, Victoria Gardens, and the Natural History Museum. CTW released its 2014 Impact Report, thanking the “nearly 900 community [...]

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Dare To Dream

Dare To Dream, a Spring Boutique showcasing products created and sold by Freedom House Emergency Shelter Residents drew an overflow crowd of supporters on April 17. This special invite only event, attended by residents of the domestic violence program as well as BFL Board Membes and Community Partners, was the [...]

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Kessler Foundation Coat Drive for Freedom House Emergency Shelter

Kessler Foundation sponsored a coat drive for BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter, donating warm coats to the families at the facility. Several hundred coats were received, said Occupational Therapy Coordinator Patricia Motus, who added that “It was amazing. Residents came and everyone found a coat that fit them perfectly. It [...]

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Winter Wonderland Party for Children at Freedom House Shelter

A Winter Wonder Land event, funded by Events by Secrets catering and the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) was held at BFL’s Freedom House emergency shelter. Events by Secrets provided Freedom House families brunch, a  hot dog cart,  popcorn cart and gifts. Harlem Children Zone provided gifts,a  cookie decorating table and [...]

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Hearts of Gold Ribbon Cutting Kick's off Sponsorhip of Freedom House

A special ribbon cutting ceremony was held at BFL’s Freedom House program to kick off Heart’s of Gold sponsoring the shelter for the next year. The Hearts of Gold mission is to “foster sustainable change in lifestyle and levels of self-sufficiency for homeless mothers and their children. ” Hearts of [...]

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RPG Volunteers Create Bold New Play Area At Freedom House Shelter

Volunteers from Manhattan’s RPG firm will transform the Freedom House Emergency Shelter child care area into a joyful jungle this fall. Lead by Ellen L. Friedman, Executive Vice President at RPG (Ellen is a member of AWARE which took on Freedom House last year as a partner program) the volunteers [...]

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Hearts of Gold Donates Gifts to Children of Freedom House Shelter

Hearts of Gold, in conjunction with The Thrifty Hog boutique, sponsored an end of summer event to benefit homeless mothers and children, donating gifts to the kids of Freedom House Emergency Shelter. “The children each received a backpack with supplies, a new pair of sneakers, an outfit, and gift card [...]

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Freedom House Resident Flees Abuse, Shares Gratitude

A resident of BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter shares gratitude and hope. “As many of our families, I came from a place of despair, my children and I unsure of what would happen next, had to flee for our lives.  When I came to the pick up location, I was [...]

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Uncensored Magazine Features BFL's Vibrant Beyond Freedom Group

Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness reports in its Uncensored Summer Issue on BFL Freedom House’s vibrant Beyond Freedom Group. In the article Pearl Brownstein writes about the post-shelter support group for DV survivors.  In the article “The Unlikely Homeless: One Woman’s Experience in a Domestic–violence Shelter,” published in the [...]

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AWARE Hosts Carnival at Freedom House Emergency Shelter

AWARE organized and hosted a Family Carnival for the residents of Freedom House, the country’s only domestic violence shelter for disabled residents. The Carnival featured face-painting, glitter tattoos, a photo booth, basketball, live music, cotton-candy and even an appearance by Elmo.  The event hosted nearly 135 residents and approximately 35 [...]

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Handprints of the Heart at Freedom House

BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter held the annual Handprints of the Heart event this May, working with volunteers from Goldman Sachs. Resident families and children took part in crafts, empowerment activities and enjoyed a live performance.

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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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Freedom House Poetry Club

Freedom House Emergency Shelter launched a vibrant new Adult Poetry Club.  The club allows residents to “express themselves through creative writing in order to promote positive mental health while sharing their creative writing with…

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AWARE Hosts Carnival at Freedom House Emergency Shelter

AWARE organized and hosted a Family Carnival at BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter on April 13, bringing hope and laughter to survivors of domestic violence and their families.   The Carnival featured face-painting, glitter tattoos, a photo booth, basketball, live music, cotton-candy and an appearance by Elmo.  AWARE’S  Ellen L. [...]

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Freedom House Residents Graduate From EASE Program

Residents of BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter graduated from the EASE program this April. The ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT (EASE) PROGRAM, created by Robert Hawkins and Alisha Ali of New York University, helps to equip survivors of domestic violence with resources to secure sustainable employment. Pictured at the graduation are: [...]

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Freedom House Resident: Strength Through Obstacles

A Resident at BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter sent a letter to staff expressing gratitude about her healing journey and how she gained  strength as she moved through obstacles. Click here to read the inspiring letter.

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Kids Wish Network Heroes at Freedom House

Since 2010 the Kids Wish Network has honored more than 30 children at Freedom House Emergency Shelter with a Hero of the Month award. The honorees of this program are children between the ages of 3 and 18 who have faced and overcome difficult circumstances, often enduring a great deal of pain [...]

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Beyond Freedom Group Continues to Empower

Created in 2012, Beyond Freedom is a transitional support group that grew from the agency’s mission to guide people with disabilities to lead dignified lives free of abuse. It was spearheaded by BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter team. The idea was to create a dynamic group where current and former [...]

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Job Readiness Workshop Launches at Freedom House Emergency Shelter

A program to equip survivors of domestic violence with resources to secure sustainable employment launches this month at Freedom House Emergency Shelter. The EASE Program (Economic and Social Empowerment) presented by Dr.  Robert Hawkins and Alisha Ali of New York University helps shelter residents to understand the importance of of [...]

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Project Papillon's Spa Day at Freedom House

Project Papillon NYC brought Spa Day to BFL’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter in February, working with women at the shelter in line with Papillon’s mission which is to “rebuild the self-esteem and confidence of homeless women that are victims of Domestic Violence by transforming their outer appearance to match their [...]

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Pajama Program for Freedom House Kids

The children at BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence emergency shelter took part in a special pajama party this month, thanks to a donation from the nationally known Pajama Program. The Pajama Program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need.

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BFL Team Member Attends State of the Union

Congressman José E. Serrano announced that he has invited Bronx anti-gun violence activist Gloria Cruz (and Barrier Free Living Freedom House staff member)  to be his guest for the State of the Union. Since losing her niece to gun violence in the Bronx in 2005, Ms. Cruz has worked to [...]

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Half the Sky Movement Highlights AWARE & Freedom House

The Half the Sky Movement, which is ‘cutting across platforms to ignite the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide’ highlighted the work of AWARE: Assisting Women Through Action, Resources and Education in a recent blog post. The article points out that AWARE  [...]

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Freedom House Resident Shares Gratitidue

In a letter to Freedom House Program Director Isa Martinez and her staff, a resident recently shared her gratitude at being safe and on the path to a renewed life as the holidays approach. The mother of two wrote: “Since I have been here at Freedom House I have accomplished [...]

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Beyond Freedom

Freedom House’s new weekly Beyond Freedom Group (pictured at right) brings together current and former residents to discuss experiences, progress and shared challenges around issues relating to domestic violence. Former Freedom House resident Miss G. attends the group to continue her education around safety planning.
“We all go through  the same thing but you can have a mental block to progress,” said Miss G., who had fled her abuser to find safety at Freedom House with her six children last year. “Continuing to get support at Freedom House after I left has made a big difference.”


Big Apple Circus

Freedom House's Children's Services Department provides therapy and healing for children and families. “We use play, art and talk therapy to help children and adolescents process their feelings related to transition to shelter and trauma experienced,” said Cynthia Amodeo, Coordinator, Family Services.


AWARE Benefit for Freedom House Success

The AWARE October 18th fundraiser at NYC Bar 13 to benefit Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House raised over $25,000 for disabled domestic violence victims and their families. Pictured, Paul Feuerstein, President/CEO BFL and Isa Martinez, Director, Freedom House. Visit AWARE to view event photos, donate or learn more.

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More BFL Stories

dare to dream shine foundation event
children's book fair
mrs america 2016
pet therapy
Handprints of the Heart At Freedom House
Purge For Peace donated items to Freedom House this holiday season
flower fh
dare to dream 2
handprintsofheartvolunteers1 5-11-13
Picture 149
Our Stories Freedom House


Freedom House's Children's Services Department Outings include visiting the Big Apple Circus

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