Author: Barrier Free Living

Sweating For A Cause: Friends Create Uplifting Fitness Event To Benefit Barrier Free Living

May 27, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
During the challenging and isolating COVID-19 crisis, three good friends decided they wanted to "virtually" come together and "sweat for a good cause." The women, Liz Barnet Simmons, Leanne Shear and Michelle Mason, put their heads together and landed on a virtual workout class that would build community and raise money for charity.  Led by their mantra  "Strong Women Uplift Each Other" they choose Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs as… read more

Barrier Free Living Deaf Services Team ASL Video

May 20, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living Deaf Services Team member Allison offers a brief introduction to the services provided by the Deaf Services Team. Barrier Free Living’s Deaf Services team works with survivors of domestic violence at Secret Garden, our community based domestic violence program and Freedom House, our domestic violence crisis shelter. The Deaf Services team includes deaf, ASL fluent social… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: New York Artist Inspired By Barrier Free Living’s Mission

May 8, 2020 Our Stories, Uncategorized 1 Comment
John, a 34-year-old artist living in Chinatown, Manhattan, was searching for ways to be of service during the COVID-19 crisis when he read about Barrier Free Living and its work with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. "I came across your organization while looking for programs to plug into and contribute to during a vulnerable moment for our communities. I believe strongly in creating an environment free of abuse and bias… read more

Staff Spotlight: Family Law Attorney Nick Pedersen Joins The Team

May 6, 2020 Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Nick Pedersen, Barrier Free Living Family Law Attorney  Having witnessed people with disabilities facing abuse in the court system throughout his career, attorney Nick Pedersen was grateful for an opportunity to support Barrier Free Living's mission, joining the team this past spring. What drew you to work with Barrier Free Living? "What drew me to the work with Barrier Free Living is that it is a very well-known and well-respected organization.  The organization has a… read more

Barrier Free Living Shelter Resident Featured In Vogue Magazine Story

May 5, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
A former resident of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter is featured in a Vogue magazine article exploring the reality of living in shelter during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the article.  Take a virtual tour of Freedom House.… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Sewing Masks Heals Emotional Wounds

April 17, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
For Heejung, sewing and creating masks during the COVID-19 crisis isn't just service, it's a way to heal emotional wounds. "My mom’s first husband was a violent abusive alcoholic. She had to run away from him literally for her life," says Heejung, who works in New York City as a dental hygenist. "I feel like each stitch heals her physical and emotional wounds." Heejung began sewing a few years back as a hobby,  and… read more

Critical Donations Support Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Programs

April 15, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
An outpouring of donations  for Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs has brought support and hope to the staff, residents and tenants. Heejung of New York City (a seamstress) and Malou of California (photo above) created dozens of masks for front line staff at Barrier Free Living Apartments in the Bronx, while organizations like the Supportive Housing Network of New York donated critical supplies. Supporters like Hearts of Gold as… read more

A Message From Barrier Free Living Founder Paul Feuerstein

April 6, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
As the global effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Barrier Free Living is firmly committed to the health and safety of our staff and the people we serve. We have been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities for nearly 40 years.  We continue to work with survivors at our Freedom House domestic violence shelter, Secret Garden domestic violence program and Barrier Free Living Apartments supportive housing program. We are closely monitoring… read more

Sit Down With Sara Episode 3

April 3, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, Assistant Director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence shelter shares insights and tips on topics related to domestic violence and the services and support offered at Barrier Free Living. Today, Sara guides us through a grounding exercise to help with anxiety. Sit Wo… read more

National Network to End Domestic Violence, Safety Net Project Communication Platform Comparisons

April 2, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
National Network to End Domestic Violence, Safety Net Project Video Conferencing & Digital Communication Platforms: Comparison Chart Below we provide information about each vendor’s features, accessibility, cost, and privacy protections. Please note, we do not endorse any one of these products. We cannot recommend software products or say if a product is or isn’t compliant with the federal confidentiality laws. A summary list below of some main points: Zoom: Online video for one-to-one or groups. • Access: o… read more

Barrier Free Living Featured In CNBC Article On Domestic Violence & Coronavirus

April 2, 2020 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is featured in an article this week on the CNBC site.  “Our concern at this point is that with shelter in place, with the kind of economic tensions that people are under, that domestic violence tends to go up threefold in these kinds of situations,” said Paul Feuerstein, BFL CEO. “We’re trying to find a balance between being safe, helping people get stabilized and at the same time… read more

Dealing With Anxiety During Challenging Times

March 31, 2020 Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Anne Markowitz, L.C.S.W., is a consultant for Barrier Free Living providing workshops around the topic of anger. She shares a few tips about dealing with anxiety  during this challenging period. We are going to be in this Coronavirus crisis for some time, and no one knows for how long. We are all used to crisis work—(at Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities it’s the nature of… read more

Sit Down With Sara Episode 2

March 26, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sit Down With Sara Episode 2 Sara Eldridge, Assistant Director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence shelter shares insights and tips on topics related to domestic violence and the services and support offered at Barrier Free Living.… read more

Structure & Goal Setting Tips During Challenging Times

March 23, 2020 Current Events 0 Comments
Anne Markowitz, L.C.S.W., is a consultant for Barrier Free Living providing workshops around the topic of anger. She shares a few tips about maintaining balance during this challenging period.  I hope everyone is well and taking care of yourselves and each other. We are living in extraordinary times, and have to act extraordinarily. With this in mind, I wanted to share a few ideas about getting through this experience, whether we are staying in… read more

Exhale To Inhale Free Yoga

March 20, 2020 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is working with our Occupational Therapy Team to develop online video resources, from yoga to guided meditation, which will be available on our website soon. Barrier Free Living is a collaborator with Exhale to Inhale which is offering remote Yoga! Starting on Monday, March 23rd they will offer one daily practice streamed two times per day over the course of six weeks. This free practice will air at 7:15am and… read more

Barrier Free Living: Committed To Health & Safety

March 19, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
A message from Barrier Free Living CEO/Founder Paul Feuerstein As the global effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Barrier Free Living is firmly committed to the health and safety of our staff and the people we serve. We are closely monitoring the changing situation, working with our partners in domestic violence field to comply with public health guidance and meet the requirements of our funding sources. All of our… read more

Barrier Free Living: 40 Years & Growing

March 19, 2020 Breaking Barriers in DV 0 Comments
Chief Program Officer Cynthia Amodeo shares her thoughts on where we have been, and where we are going. As we move into 2020, our team is both grateful and inspired by the fact that Barrier Free Living (BFL) is approaching our 40th year (2021) working with people with disabilities. Under the guidance of our CEO/Founder Paul Feuerstein, BFL began as a small NYC store front with a big… read more

Staying Safe During Uncertain Times: A Message For Survivors Of Domestic Violence

March 19, 2020 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assistant Program Director of Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence program. She is the host of Sit Down With Sara.  The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is increasing stress and anxiety for all of us. Unfortunately, for people who are experiencing domestic violence (and have a disability), this crisis can be especially dangerous. Shelters will remain open during this time, including Barrier Free Living's… read more

Staff Spotlight: Robert McKinzie Team Member Since 2000

March 11, 2020 Our Stories 0 Comments
After two decades as a dedicated member of the Barrier Free Living team, Robert McKinzie opens up about what led him to the agency and what keeps him here.  BFL: When did you first join BFL? Robert: I joined Barrier Free Living in 2000 as a volunteer at the facility on the lower east side ( 270). A few months after that opportunity ended, I was offered a part time position. I was very… read more

Vagina Monologue Performance Benefits Barrier Free Living

March 3, 2020 Current Events 0 Comments
Deaf Women of New York City will present Eve Ensler's iconic play The Vagina Monologues at the Wow Black Box Theater Thursday March 5 at 8PM. The show will benefit Barrier Free Living, and begins with a cocktail hour at 6:30PM… read more

Staff Spotlight: Vanessa Salazar Celebrates 19 Years At BFL

February 26, 2020 Our Stories 0 Comments
Vanessa Salazar first joined Barrier Free Living as a volunteer in 2001, working at the agency's former Transitional Housing program on the Lower East Side. Over the years, she has matured as a woman and a team member, giving birth to her first child in 2006 and shifting from administrative work to becoming a Housing Case Manager at Freedom House in 2016. We spoke with Vanessa about her journey at… read more

Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York

February 21, 2020 Advocacy 0 Comments
Nonprofit coalitions from across New York stand together in an historic coalition to call on the State to invest in a 3% increase on contracts and rates for the next 5 years for the survival of the sector. Human service nonprofits provide vital services, including after-school programs, supportive housing, homeless services, job training, substance abuse disorder/addiction and mental health services to millions of New Yorkers annually. Human services funding at the State… read more

Donated Coats & Scarves Bring Warmth To Barrier Free Living Programs

February 3, 2020 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Donated coats and scarves warmed the hearts of residents and tenants at our programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities this past week. New York Cares Coat Drive delivered 200 coats to adults and kids, and the Bryant Park Corp. donated just as many hand-knitted scarves to the people we serve. Learn how to make a difference and… read more

Barrier Free Living Staff Spotlight: Simone Allen, Occupational Therapy Manager

January 21, 2020 Our Stories 0 Comments
Simone Allen joined the Barrier Free Living team as the new Occupational Therapy (OT) manager this January, bringing with her a wealth of experience and a healthy dose of curiosity. Simone took over the role when OT manager Patricia Motus headed to the West Coast in December 2019, after 15 years of service. (Read Patricia's profile story.) BFL: What led you to apply to Barrier Free Living? Simone: My old… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: Domestic Violence Survivor Spotlight

January 14, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
"Working with Angela has given me a much greater awareness of the needs of a very under-served population.  Regardless of the roadblocks, she remains positive and optimistic, refusing to settle for anything less than her dreams." Larry Wilson (pictured above) MHC-LP, Social Worker, Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Barrier Free Living's team works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at our three programs through the year. Angela, a resident… read more

Staff Spotlight: Patricia Motus

December 11, 2019 Our Stories 0 Comments
Patricia at the 2010 Barrier Free Living Staff Appreciation Awards Patricia Motus, who joined the Barrier Free Living (BFL) team as director of the Occupational Therapy (OT) program in 2004, will be heading to the West Coast this month. Barrier Free Living has been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities for nearly 40 years, and has always considered the Occupational Therapy team’s work a great contribution to the mission. Motus began her career… read more

BFL Volunteer Spotlight: Sophie Horrocks

December 9, 2019 Our Stories 0 Comments
    After 40 years of working with survivors of domestic violence, the volunteer support for Barrier Free Living's programs is stronger than ever. Case in point: Sophie Horrocks, a student in Global Innovation Design who discovered our agency and wanted to use her skills to support our mission.  She signed on… read more