Author: Barrier Free Living

Barrier Free Living Apartments Tenant Celebrates Son’s Success

August 6, 2019 Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living Apartments joined tenant Miss Carol in celebrating her son DaShawn's recent success working with the New Heights Youth Organization. DaShawn, age 23, led the girl's basketball team he coaches to a 1st place tournament win this summer. The six foot trophy honors the 2019 69th Annual HRCC Summer Tournament 1st Place award (7th and 8th grade team). Barrier Free Living Apartments, located in the Bronx… read more

Diana Turner: A Fierce Sense of Community At Barrier Free Living Apartments

August 5, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Growing up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1970s, Diana Turner (pictured above) most remembers the fierce sense of community. “I grew up across from Tompkins Square Park. Back then the neighborhood was called alphabet city,” says Diana, who joined the Barrier Free Living team this June (2019) as program director at our supportive housing program in the Bronx (BFL Apartments)*. “I saw the homeless problem. I also had a… read more

BFL Team Member Aeilushi Mistry Presents Aarti Hindu Lamp Ceremony

July 24, 2019 Current Events, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Aeilushi Mistry will be fostering community and encouraging harmony at a special event on August 3 at Brooklyn's Pebble Beach. Aeilushi is the Founder of the Hindu Lamp Ceremony,  which will be held on August 3 from 4-8pm at Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The ceremony encourages participants to decorate their own palm leaf lamp and release it in the East River as part of the traditional… read more

BFL Apartments’ Tenant Miss Flo Teams With Social Worker For Success

July 22, 2019 Our Stories 0 Comments
Miss Flo, one of the original tenants of Barrier Free Living Apartments in the Bronx, was an active part of the community from the start. She  was a founding member of the garden club, and was a regular attendee of Occupational Therapy groups and workshops.In 2017, however, two strokes that came only ten days apart, landed her in the hospital. “I was very close to death,” says Flo. Flo recovered and returned home to BFL Apartments, hoping to pick up where she… read more

BFL Honors LGBTQ+ Pride Month

July 22, 2019 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
June is Pride Month nationwide, which is an opportunity for the world and for members of the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate their identity and their relationships. Barrier Free Living is proud to provide services to members of the LGBTQ+ community. (view our BFLMinute honoring pride here.) Sexual orientation and gender identity are not barriers to accessing any of our programs, including our emergency domestic violence shelter … read more

Life Saving Moment: CPR In Action at BFL Apartments

July 1, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living apartment team members Irma Williams, Director of Social Services, and Jeffrey Hampton, Resident Aide Manager, put their recent CPR* training to the test in an emergency situation this summer, saving the life of a resident at the supportive housing program. After a tenant reported an unresponsive family member in their home, Irma and Jeffrey  rushed to the scene, called 911 then checked the person's breathing.  Jeffrey, who had… read more

Staff Spotlight: Marlow White

July 1, 2019 Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
When Marlow White joined the Resident Aide team at Barrier Free Living apartments a few years back, he didn't expect the job to change who he was as a person. But that's exactly what happened. Marlow, who since joining the agency has become active as a CPI Trainer and a member of the 2019 Communication Committee, says that the work he does at BFL has  "helped me to look at myself and… read more

Barrier Free Living Apartment’s Celebrates Father’s Day

June 18, 2019 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
The staff and tenants at Barrier Free Living apartments came together for a celebratory Father's Day celebration this month. The event included a BBQ, photo booth and a chance for community to gather and honor Fathers. BFL Apartments provides permanent homes with support services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and veterans with disabilities.… read more

Ali Stroker First Wheelchair User To Win A Tony Award

June 13, 2019 Current Events 0 Comments
Ali Stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to win a Tony Award at this year's ceremony in New York City. Her historical win was for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in the acclaimed Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!” There was one glitch.  No ramp had been built to connect the audience seating area to the main stage. In one instance, Ali had to wait in the wings on stage in case… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden Opens New Space, Unveils Historical Timeline

May 17, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Secret Garden domestic violence program welcomed staff and supporters to the grand opening of its new healing space this May. A historical timeline was unveiled (photo above) mapping the program's decades of providing services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. "This is a great new home where we can focus on our comprehensive services. We welcome all agency staff to attend our regular workshops and trainings, or… read more

Barrier Free Living Presents: Exploring the Intersection of Domestic Violence, Disability & Trauma

May 13, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Cynthia Amodeo, Chief Program Officer at Barrier Free Living and Jules Perkel, Program Director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden, will co-present this presentation at this year's conference.  According to the Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, research suggests that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer domestic violence and sexual assault than women without disabilities, and women with disabilities report abuse that lasts longer… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Launches Art Therapy Group

May 13, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Making art with others is an expression of hope. (Bruce L. Moon, art therapist. Above, art created as part of BFL's Transitional Housing program art group circa 1990.) This spring, Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter launched a new art therapy group for residents (watch a virtual tour of Freedom House here). The group, created by a current MSW intern at Freedom House hopes to “offer a space for residents to express themselves in a playful… read more

Debt & Domestic Violence

May 10, 2019 Advocacy, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
April was recognized as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S. and there were a roster of events shining a spotlight on the importance of economic and financial education. Barrier Free Living’s programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments) offer a variety of financial literacy workshops and educational forums throughout the year for our tenants, residents and participants who are survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. Our Freedom House domestic violence shelter works with The… read more

Barrier Free Living Celebrates Mother’s Day

May 10, 2019 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living celebrated Mother's Day with staff, tenants, residents and participants at our BFL Apartments, Secret Garden and Freedom House programs this May. "We honor the mother's at our program every day. We are taking this opportunity to serve lunch featuring poetry and unity (photo above)," says Irma Williams, Director of Social… read more

BFL Featured In Patch News

May 10, 2019 Current Events, Disability News 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is featured in Patch, an East Village news source this May. The Patch story focuses on the progress of the agency's new project at the site of the former Transitional Housing program in Manhattan's East Village. Read the article here… read more

BFL Apartments’ Tenant Miss Flo Teams With Social Worker For Success

May 8, 2019 Advocacy, Our Stories 0 Comments
Miss Flo, one of the original tenants of Barrier Free Living Apartments in the Bronx, was an active part of the community from the start. She  was a founding member of the garden club, and was a regular attendee of Occupational Therapy groups and workshops. In 2017, however, two strokes that came only ten days apart, landed her in the hospital. "I was very close to death," says Flo. Flo recovered and returned… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: Denise Survivor Spotlight  

April 2, 2019 Advocacy, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
An encounter with an occupational therapist during a hospital stay in 2017 was the first step in Denise’s journey to safety. “I was in the hospital for a multiple sclerosis flare up. I had a week before I had to go home. My living situation was toxic. Mental and psychological abuse,” says Denise. “I was scared and my blood pressure was going up. An occupational therapist asked me about my blood pressure and she ended up telling me she had been… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Cynthia Amodeo On Panel: Enhancing and Building New Approaches for Serving Survivors of Crime

March 26, 2019 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Chief Program Officer Cynthia Amodeo participated on a panel as part of the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII) Grantee Conference on March 22. Cynthia spoke on a panel of grantees about the Deaf Services Initiative, funded by the Manhattan District Attorneys Office (DANY). The conference was sponsored by DANY and the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, which is an administrator and technical assistance partner of the CJII grant program. Cynthia’s panel… read more

Staff Spotlight: Julissa Vasquez Freedom House Director of Social Services

March 21, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Julissa Vasquez joined Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter team this past year as Director of Social Services. Julissa has a Master's degree in Social Work from Hunter College and she’s been working in social services for the past decade. Currently, she is doing a research project for Stony Brook University about the intersection of domestic violence and disability.  Julissa takes a few moments to share her… read more

ReelAbilities Film Festival New York Tickets On Sale

March 14, 2019 Current Events 0 Comments
Tickets for the ReelAbilities Film Festival New York are on sale, and Barrier Free Living is proud to be an outreach partner of this dynamic event again this year. The Oscar® nominated and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky’s film “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, will open the 11th annual festival on April 2. The festival continues until April… read more

BFL’s Cynthia Amodeo Inducted Into Women In Human Services Hall of Fame

March 14, 2019 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Chief Program Officer Cynthia Amodeo was inducted this March into the Women in Human Services Hall of Fame. An event inside the Legislative Office Building near the state Capitol recognized more than 60 women.  It was noted that the human services workforce is 81% women. Read about the honorees here. … read more

Butler Street Coop Donates Toys & Books To Barrier Free Living Learning Center

February 22, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
  The volunteer-led Butler Street Coop had to close its Brooklyn based playground/pre-school this winter, but the silver lining came in the form of donations to the new Learning Center for kids at Barrier Free Living apartments in the South Bronx. The Coop donated books, toys and musical instruments to the center. Barrier Free Living apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic… read more

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Davis, Freedom House Social Worker

February 11, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
When Jennifer Davis took a leap to pursue social work in 2014, it was the voice of a Barrier Free Living resident that guided her. “My (graduate school) statement of purpose started with a quote from a resident at Barrier Free Living’s transitional housing program**,” says Jennifer. “Speedy (the resident) said to me that ‘sometimes the only reason I get out of bed in the morning is because I know Luca… read more

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February 8, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter. 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, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House… read more

V-Day February 14

February 7, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that occurs in February. Learn more about V-Day here.  V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers… read more

Inclusion Advocacy Training Series: Free Training For Women and Girls with Disabilities and their Allies

January 25, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Disability News 2 Comments
NYC Women & Teen Girls with Disabilities:  Upskilling Training Program Training program for women and teen girls with disabilities in NYC to advance skills in preparation for civic engagement RespectAbility is on the front lines of advancing the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities. We are passionate about bringing intersectionality into our work, and into the nonprofit sector at-large. We are excited to announce a new effort to raise the voices, lives and experiences of New York City’s almost 500,000 women and… read more

Staff Spotlight: Aja Ruffin

January 2, 2019 BFL News 0 Comments
Aja Ruffin, a Resident Aide at Freedom House, joined the team in 2016 with a drive to help others, and a desire to grow. She found both working with the team. BFL: When did you join BFL, and what drew you to apply? Aja: I joined BFL on February 24th, 2016. Having previously worked with children at The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, another non-profit organization, I wanted to continue to help people… read more

JCJ Architecture Tapped to Design New Building for Barrier Free Living

December 5, 2018 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
The new housing facility will be located in the heart of Manhattan and is designed to support survivors of domestic abuse NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- JCJ Architecture today announces the firm will design a groundbreaking new project for Barrier Free Living (BFL), a leading NYC community nonprofit that provides services and support for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The $30 million project is anticipated to break ground in Fall… read more

PopGym Self Defense Workshop At Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 16, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Working from a philosophy that takes both a physical and an emotional approach to self defense, PopGym held a workshop for the residents of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter this October. (Take a short virtual tour of Freedom House here.) We caught up with PopGym team member Grey to find out a bit more about this innovative organization in New York City. BFL: How did you get… read more