Who We Are
BFL’s award winning* program for people with disabilities who have experienced domestic violence.
How We Help
Innovative Support Groups
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operating Hours Weekdays, 9am-5pm. After operating hours, calls are forwarded to Safe Horizon hotline.
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 [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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, [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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: [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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. [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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. [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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. [...]» Read More
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.”» Read More
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. [...]» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
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…» Read More
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 [...]» Read More
Thanks to a generous donation from the 13th Step Group, the children of the Secret Garden program received backpacks.» Read More
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.”
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)…» Read More