Year: 2017

Spread The Sparkle Hosts Event For Survivors Of Domestic Violence & Families

December 28, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
For the third year in a row, Spread the Sparkle hosted a spectacular holiday party for the residents and tenants of Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. Dozens of kids received gifts from Santa and participated in games and activities, while adults enjoyed the photo booth and received gift bags.  Spread the Sparkle's team of volunteers provided a sumptuous buffet and entertainment… read more

Serving Male Domestic Violence Survivors In Shelter

December 28, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter offers her insights on Freedom House's work with male domestic violence survivors. Sara is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults… read more

Disability Advocate Julia Alberino On Hilfiger Adaptive Clothing

December 14, 2017 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living welcomes Blog contributor Julia Alberino. Julia retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. I’m as far from a fashionista as a person can be. Since I retired six years ago, my usual attire consists of jeans and… read more

Chefs Serve Up Joy, Unity & A Great Banana Pudding At BFL Apartments

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
A group of chefs brought food and joy to the tenants at Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments in the Bronx, NY last month. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, as well as to single adults. We caught up with Zack Pozzoboni, who organized the volunteer driven event, to find out what drew him to Barrier Free Living, and to ask… read more

Holiday Safety For Survivors of Domestic Violence With Disabilities

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Holidays can traditionally be a time of family gatherings and celebrations. For individuals and families at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter who have left an abusive situation, maintaining safety during the holiday season is crucial. As an agency, Barrier Free Living provides counseling, case management, shelter and housing to people with disabilities, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless individuals. Freedom House is our emergency domestic violence… read more

Governor Cuomo Unveils First Proposal Of 2018 State Of The State: Remove Firearms From Domestic Abusers

December 14, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the first proposal of the 2018 State of the State: remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes. Given the inextricable link between domestic violence and lethal gun violence, this legislation will require all domestic violence crime convictions, including misdemeanors, to result in the immediate removal of all fire arms and will add measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence with the goal of preventing… read more

BFL Apartments Receives Community Capital Management Impact Award 2017

December 12, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Community Capital Management recently announced that Barrier Free Living Apartments is the winner of its first annual impact awards for 2017 and will receive a $10,000 donation. CCM’s “Impact Awards 2017” featured five impactful bond stories during the year with participants voting for their favorite over the last month. The contest recognizes fixed income impact investments and their multiple positive environmental and social outcomes. Barrier Free Living Apartments was designed and built for 50 families with a disabled… read more

People With Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ By Sarah Kim

December 8, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
People with Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ Barrier Free Living welcomes writer Sarah Kim who will be contributing articles about domestic violence and disabilities. Sarah Kim: formerly a writer at @dosomething | now: graduate student at Columbia Journalism School | social media: @sarahskkim… read more

Kids Deliver Gift Bags To Families at BFL Apartments

December 8, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Shelter 0 Comments
For the holiday season, Dan Kimbers and his daughter Elina (pictured) wanted to find a way to spread joy beyond their own family this year. The Kimbers had heard about Barrier Free Living, and the agency's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families.  They reached out to BFL and asked if they could create small gift bags, and delivered them this December. Elina and a few friends created… read more

BFL’s Transitional Housing Thanksgiving Event

November 30, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Staff and residents at Barrier Free Living's Transitional Housing program gathered for a Thanksgiving feast this November. CEO Paul Feuerstein was on hand to wish the team and residents a safe and happy holiday.… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden At Barrier Free Justice Conference

November 30, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden team members participated in this November's annual Barrier Free Justice Conference. The conference explored the intersection between disability and elder abuse, with a focus on victimization within the elderly population. Presenters and panelists discussed recognizing the signs of abuse, how to navigate and facilitate conversations about disabilities within the geriatric population, as well as the importance of caregiver support. Additionally, the conference explored the current misconceptions about elder abuse, what resources (social and legal) are currently in… read more

Toy Drive For BFL’s Freedom House Kids

November 27, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 2 Comments
The Church of the Holy Trinity is gathering toys and gifts for the kids at Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Freedom House emergency shelter in New York City again this year. The church has a sign up display (photo above, with the Rev. John Beddingfield) and is accepting donations this month. At its programs and shelters, BFL works with families and hundreds of children each year. Donations of toys and gifts from groups… read more

BFL Halloween Events

November 1, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living held Halloween themed events at its programs, drawing families, kids and staff in community building activities. At BFL Apartments, the tenant advisory group worked with the occupational therapy team to create a lively party space and spook house for dozens of kids living at the permanent housing complex in the Bronx. BFL works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families as well as homeless individuals with disabilities.… read more

Freedom House Bake Off

October 25, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 1 Comment
Barrier Free Living's Freedom House team held a bake-off as a community building way to honor October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Staff members from various departments donated a freshly baked pastry, which was judged by co-workers. There were seven "delicious" entries, but the Sweet Potato Pie baked by Ashlee from Occupational Therapy took top honors.… read more

Go Pink Day At BFL’s Freedom House Shelter

October 25, 2017 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
The front desk staff of Barrier Free Living's  Freedom House program hosted its second annual Go Pink Day on Friday October 20. Resident Aide Manager Linette Holmes shares that "This is the second year Freedom House is remembering all those that are survivors of Breast Cancer and those that have lost the fight." Freedom House staff wore pink to commemorate this special cause and a GO PINK TABLE was the focal point of the celebration… read more

Staff Spotlight: Dwayne Jordan

October 25, 2017 BFL News, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
As the new nurse on staff at Barrier Free Living Apartments, Dwayne Jordan brings expertise, a keen focus on wellness, and even some experience as a power lifter to the supportive housing complex. BFL: What drew you to apply to Barrier Free Living? Dwayne: I grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Brownsville) during the 90s. I first-hand saw and experienced what many residents of BFL have gone through. I made… read more

Shine The Light On Harlem Oct. 23

October 23, 2017 Current Events 0 Comments
Join Manhattan Legal Services/Upper Manhattan Domestic Violence Services Collaborative to Shine the Light in Harlem, a march from a North, South, East, West point in Harlem at 5:30pm that meet at the State Office Building for a Speak Out, starting at 6:15pm Oct 23, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm 163 West 125th Street (Cross Street: Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)… read more

BFL Team Attends The Network Gala

October 19, 2017 BFL News, Current Events Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) team members were on hand at The Network's (Supportive Housing Network of New York) 2017 Network gala on October 18th at Capitale. BFL's  Paul Feuerstein (photo top right) and LeShan Gaulman, Program Director at BFL's Transitional Housing (photo top left) joined BFL colleagues Scott Hess, Director of Communications and Tiffany Williams, Housing Specialist at Transitional Housing (in photo below, at right). The Gala honored Commissioner & CEO RuthAnne Visnauskas of NYS Homes &… read more

Tommy Hilfiger Launches New Line For People With Disabilities

October 18, 2017 Advocacy 2 Comments
CNN reports on Tommy Hilfiger's new line of clothing for people with disabilities. The collection, which goes on sale Wednesday November 18, uses magnets and Velcro to make it easier for people to get dressed. The line has 37 styles for men and 34 for women -- shirts, pants, jackets, sweaters and dresses. "A lot of people with disabilities struggle with buying clothing that works," says Cara Liebowitz, development coordinator at the National Council on Independent Living. Read the story. … read more

How to Plan (& Provide) for a Child with Special Needs

October 16, 2017 Advocacy 0 Comments
Nobody likes to attach a dollar amount to the joys of raising a child, but the fact remains that it can be quite expensive. This is especially true when it comes to raising a child with special needs. In fact, one study funded by Autism Speaks estimated the average lifetime cost to be $1.4 million for a person affected by autism. And that’s to say nothing of the other forms of special needs, which can include blindness, Down syndrome and… read more

Domestic Violence Project Reading Series

October 12, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Domestic Violence project, an innovative public health initiative, presents a dramatic reading from Tennessee Williams' classic play A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Daphne Rubin Vega, Glenn Davis, and Marjolaine Goldsmith on Oct. 12, 7pm, Polo Grounds Police Athletic League Community Center at 3005 Frederick Douglas Blvd, NYC. The reading is a catalyst for a town hall discussion about the impact of domestic violence. Reserve seats for this free event at: streetcarplogrounds.evenbrite.com The reading is directed… read more

BFL Team Member Felipe Sepulveda Honored With Lifesaver Award

October 10, 2017 Current Events, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Felipe Sepulveda, Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Transitional Housing program, was among those honored at the first ever Lifesaver Awards Ceremony in New York City on October 5. The awards, held by the Department of Health, honored 67 people who saved a collective 255 lives with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.  First Lady Chirlane McCray and Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett attended the ceremony. Felipe, who trained earlier in the year on… read more

Todd Haynes’ Film Wonderstruck Features Deaf Actor Millicent Simmonds

October 3, 2017 Current Events 0 Comments
Wonderstruck, the 2017 film directed by Todd Haynes, features deaf actor Millicent Simmonds (photo above) in a lead role, along with a number of deaf actors in the film. The film is based on the 2011 novel Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, who adapted the novel into a screenplay. Deadline.com reported that Simmonds, a deaf actor  "will play Rose, whose half of Wonderstruck will be presented as a silent film in both… read more

Barrier Free Living Begins Work On Updated Mission Film

October 3, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) has begun work on an updated version of its mission film, depicting the agency's growth and evolution since the original film debuted in 2012. The film, created in collaboration with DGNL , is a visual representation of the agency' s mission, vision and values. The new version will focus on the stories of the people that the agency works with in its programs, shelters… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Wellness Group

September 25, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
This September, the occupational therapy team at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden held a "seeds of hope" creative therapy and wellness group. Attendees painted containers and potted seeds within them. These “seeds of hope” represent a source of inspiration. The members discussed ways in which they  can strive to grow alongside the plants they created, and how that relates to their aspirations for the future… read more

October Domestic Violence Awareness Month Wear Purple Day Oct. 19

September 25, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Every year the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence partners with NYC City Council to raise awareness about services and resources for victims and survivors of intimate partner violence on NYC GO Purple Day. This year’s statewide “Wear Purple Day” is Thursday, October 19. If you want to volunteer please contact the first district to join the effort in your community. Volunteers will: · Hand out… read more

BFL Team Presents At Institute On Violence, Abuse And Trauma Conference

September 22, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team members Cynthia Amodeo (Chief Program Officer) and Sara Eldridge (social worker, Freedom House, pictured) will present "Exploring the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Disability and Trauma" at the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma 22nd International Summit in San Diego, CA September 21-27, 2017. This year's summit is titled "Building Peace by Linking Policy, Practice, Research & Advocacy to End Violence." The Institute on Violence, Abuse and… read more

Barrier Free Living Presents At NY Association On Independent Living Conference

September 14, 2017 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living will be part of  the New York Association on Independent Living Conference in Troy, NY September 18 and 19. Paul B. Feuerstein, President/CEO, Barrier Free Living (pictured) and Cynthia Amodeo, Chief Program Officer, Barrier Free Living will present on Domestic Violence and Disability: The Threat to Parents with Disabilities.  The number one concern of women with disabilities nationwide is domestic abuse. One of the major reasons women stay… read more

INCLUDEnyc Launches Spanish-Language Website

September 14, 2017 Current Events 0 Comments
INCLUDEnyc launched a new Spanish-language website, INCLUYEnyc.org, for the disability community created by Spanish-speaking communications experts and disability advocates with the community’s specific needs in mind. The website contains original Spanish-language content and a wealth of never-before translated materials, says INCLUDEnyc. “Our mission is to provide young people with disabilities and their families in Spanish-speaking communities with high quality, relevant, and accessible information,” Executive Director Barbara A. Glassman explained. In New York City… read more

Staff Profile: Linette Holmes, Freedom House

September 14, 2017 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
As the mother of a child with autism, Linette Holmes was drawn to the passionate mission of Barrier Free Living. She joined the Freedom House team as a per diem Resident Aide, then soon after became a Resident Aide manager. We caught up with Linette to chat about her journey at BFL, what she brings to the management team, and her goal to learn to surf. BFL: What first drew you to work at Barrier… read more