Who We Are

BFL’s award winning* program for people with disabilities who have experienced domestic violence.

How We Help

Innovative Support Groups
Safety Planning

Services in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, Italian, French, Haitian-Creole.

How To Reach Us

» Call (212) 533-4358

Video Phone  (646) 350-2662

Callers with hearing loss can use the State Relay Service at 711 or (800) 421-1220

email us: info@bflnyc.org

Operating Hours Weekdays, 9am-5pm. After operating hours, calls are forwarded to Safe Horizon hotline.

*Mary Byron Project Celebrating Solutions Award 2009


Our Stories

Georgette Delinois, Director of BFL Secret Garden Program, Retires

Georgette Delinois, Director of Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence program has retired. “After nearly 14 years of service at Barrier Free Living (BFL) as the director of the Non-Residential Domestic Violence Program, AKA Secret Garden, I am happily retiring to be with my family.” says Delinois. “I would be remiss if I [...]

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Barrier Free Living Secret Garden Case Manager Caelan Manning IRCares Scholarship Grant Winner

Caelan Manning, a case manager at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden program,is one of three IRCares Scholarship Grant award winners for 2016. The IRCares Scholarship Grant is an award of $1,000 in unrestricted funds. Three winners are chosen, based on a nomination for the award by another employee from his/her [...]

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BFL Beading Group Launches At Domestic Violence Programs

Barrier Free Living’s Occupational Therapy team launched a beading stress management group at the agency’s domestic violence programs this May. The group explores “the functions and value of beading as a stress management coping mechanism, to foster creativity, improve communication skills, practice/enhance/develop fine motor-visual perceptual-and cognitive skills, and build a [...]

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Secret Garden & Freedom House Teams Outreach At Hunter College Community Fair

Team members from Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden and Freedom House programs participated in the Department of Women & Gender Studies at Hunter College’s  Grassroots Democracy & Community Fair on March 29. The Fair introduces the Hunter community to progressive community organizations  that aim to transform the lives of people, [...]

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Poet Felicia Ridges Performs Knock Knock At Event Honoring The Life Of Theresa McIntosh

Barrier Free Living honored the life of Theresa McIntosh (pictured here) at a special event that drew friends and supporters on January 12, 2016. Read about Theresa here. At the event, poet and tenant of Barrier Free Living apartments Felicia Ridges performed her moving poem, Knock Knock. View a performance [...]

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Secret Garden Presents At Domestic Violence Conference

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden will be presenting at the The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) Annual Domestic Violence Conference November 2-3, 2015 in Columbia, SC. Secret Garden Team member Jules Perkel, LCSW will be part of a roundtable covering “Perspectives of Disability & Domestic Violence: [...]

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BFL's Secret Garden Debuts Domestic Violence Informational Video In American Sign Language

Barrier Free Living’s (BFL) Secret Garden domestic violence program teamed with filmmaker Blake Drummond to create an American Sign Language (ASL) video to share information with Deaf and Hard of Hearing victims of domestic violence. Supported by the 2012 Office on Violence Against Women Disabilities Grant Program, BFL collaborated with its four grant-funded partners [...]

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Secret Garden Caregivers Celebration

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence program held a Caregivers Celebration on June 18. The event was to honor “all caregivers–parents, family, friends and foremost all the people who have cared for us and our ability to care for ourselves.” Program Director Georgette Delinois (pictured at far left) kicked [...]

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Michelle Reyes Joins Secret Garden

Born and raised as part of a large deaf family in Brooklyn, Michelle Reyes set her sights on giving back to the community after graduating from Gallaudet University. This year, she joined Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence program as a social worker, counseling both Deaf/HOH and hearing individuals. [...]

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BFL Speakers Bureau Moving Beyond Shame Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event

The  BFL Speaker’s Bureau held its  Moving Beyond Shame special Domestic Violence Awareness Month event on Oct. 7, celebrating survivors of domestic violence who have moved beyond shame and found hope. Spearheaded by Speakers Bureau founder Theresa McIntosh, special guests included  Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities;Rosemonde [...]

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Secret Garden Director Joins Mobile Mission 4 Haiti

In March, Georgette Delinois, Program Director at BFL’s Secret Garden, was part of a group from St. Anastasia church in Teaneck NJ that joined the Mobile Mission 4 Haiti on a Medical/Dental/Mental Health mission. The group delivered adult and children’s underwear, dolls, Enfamil, Ensure, Similac, vitamins and energy bars. The [...]

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Drumming Workshop At Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program

Grace Drums began a four-part drumming workshop for participants of Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence program this March. Gabriella Dennery, Founder and Artistic Director of Grace Drums,  (pictured) along with Arlene Hall, facilitate the workshop where participants  learn about drums, rhythm and ultimately provide an outlet for expression. [...]

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BFL Secret Garden Holiday Event Features Singer Michelle Burke

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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BFL Secret Garden Director Georgette Delinois Honored with Leadership Award

Georgette Delinois, Director of BFL’s Secret Garden Program was honored with the Francoise I. Casseus Community Leadership Award at this June’s Haitians Unified for Development and Education (HUDE) 2nd Annual Benefit Gala. Proceeds of the HUDE Gala go to a scholarship fund for high school graduates of Haitian descent to [...]

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Secret Garden Program Celebrates Women's Day

BFL’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program held its annual Women’s Day Celebration this month. The event heralded the courage and triumphs of survivors who have grown and healed through the program. The celebration included a poetry reading, piano recital and lunch. Special gift bags were provided by The Body Shop. [...]

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Secret Garden Guides Woman to Freedom

Miss M., a woman who found safety and healing at BFL’s Secret Garden domestic violence program, shared a letter of gratitude with staff, thanking them for “giving me back my life.”  Miss M. said the program helped her to change her “destiny forever.”

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Codes of Hope Inspires Healing

CODES OF HOPE, an  innovative six-week curriculum highlighting the aspects of inter-generational trauma and its relationship to domestic violence, is working with participants at BFL’s Secret Garden and Freedom House programs. Activities include inventive approaches to healing, such as a dinner party theater game exploring the dynamics of power and control. [...]

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BFL Speakers Bureau Update and Newsletter

Barrier Free Living. Inc. Speakers Bureau was founded in May 2012 by Theresa A.H. Macintosh.  Ms. Macintosh, a survivor of Domestic Violence and an amputee, is a Mayoral Appointee of the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and is a Trustee on the Board of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House. To [...]

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BFL’s Domestic Violence Program Secret Garden Offers Reiki

Barrier Free Living’s Domestic Violence Program Secret Garden Offers Reiki Sessions for consumers with Practitioner Antoinette Calabretta. Certified in Reiki, Anotinette is also a Case Manager at Secret Garden…

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BFL Kids Create Holiday Greetings

The kids of BFL’s Secret Garden and Freedom House programs created cards to thank supporters, friends and donors to the agency this season, like the one pictured by Emily, age 9.  BFL friends who post a message on our holiday page with their contact information receive a reply card from [...]

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13th Step Group Provides Backpacks to BFL Kids

Thanks to a generous donation from the 13th Step Group, the children of the Secret Garden program received backpacks.

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Annabelle Finds Hope at Secret Garden.

After years of psychological, financial and sexual abuse, Annabelle (pictured at right with Secret Garden Director Georgette Delinois) developed a safety plan with her Secret Garden counselor, and was able to get away from her abuser and out of the dangerous situation.
“It seemed like I was in a truly hopeless situation. My husband was my green card sponsor and my abuser and I was afraid of being separated from my son, who was a baby,” she said. “I found hope at the Secret Garden.”
Working with VAWA (Violence Against Women Act of 1994) and legal counsel, she became a permanent resident of the USA. She is currently living in a safe home and working in administration at an investment bank. She is very present in her son's life although he does not live with her. “I was able to build a life for myself and my son. Secret Garden was an invaluable part of my journey.”


Secret Garden Money Matters Group Empowers Survivors

BFL’s Secret Garden is holding its winter Money Matters group weekly on Mondays. The group guides survivors to learn strong habits and empowerment tools around issues involving finance, credit and money management (video clip at right)…

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More Stories

georgette retires
caelam 2016 award
Secret Garden Event 2015
photo (23)
Gabriella Dennery PIc
BFL Secret Garden Annabelle Favet
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Click escape button if your abuser enters the room