Author: Barrier Free Living

Former Freedom House Team Member Launches Self-Healing Journal

January 4, 2021 Uncategorized 4 Comments
Drawing on her rich experience as a Social Work intern at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House, Jessica Rios-Flores turned her love of journaling into a publishing venture in 2020.  A life-long believer that writing can help us "uncover truths" Jessica put out "My Self Healing Journal" on Etsy. We caught up with Jessica this month to talk about her time at Freedom House and her latest adventures (she also owns a… read more

New Donor Discovers Holiday Giving At BFL

December 14, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
In addition to collaborations with groups like Winter Wishes and The Church of the Holy Trinity  Barrier Free Living is grateful to individuals donating toys to the kids at our domestic violence programs this season. Jason recently learned of our mission - working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities - and decided to check out our amazon charity wish list, where he found toy suggestions. We reached… read more

Winter Wishes Toys Donated To Kids At BFL

December 14, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Tony picking up donated toys to distribute to the kids at our domestic violence programs this month. BFL is grateful to our collaboration with Winter Wishes (part of NY Cares) who connected over 100 individual donors with gift requests from the kids living at our domestic violence programs this holiday season.… read more

BFL’s Paul Feuerstein Honored With NCDAV Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award

October 22, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living President/CEO Paul Feuerstein is being honored at this year's NCDAV Power Up National Conference on Domestic Violence (Oct. 25-28) with the prestigious Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award. "I am honored to be the recipient of the Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award, as a part of the NCADV 2020 Power Up National Conference on Domestic Violence. I am honored to have collaborated with so many wonderful staff members over… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: A Doula & Belly Dance Teacher, Karisma Brings Creativity & Vibrancy To BFL

October 20, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
With experience as a doula* and and a teacher of belly dancing, Karisma's love for working and writing about people in complex and creative situations led her to seek out a volunteer opportunity with the Barrier Free Living Communication Department. Karisma will offer support with social media messaging for the agency, as well as writing for the blog and being involved in events. We chatted with her as she began her… read more

In Conversation: A New BFL Series About Our Services

October 16, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, Assistant Director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program is in conversation with Lucy Ayala, the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Secret Garden. They talk about the differences in the type of support they each offer to survivors… read more

Exhale To Inhale Week Of Courage Features Secret Garden Team Member

October 1, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Secret Garden team member Sara Eldridge will be featured on the Exhale to Inhale mental health panel on Sunday Oct. 18 at noon. Sara's participation is part of Barrier Free Living's Domestic Violence Awareness month outreach efforts through October. The panel is part of Exhale to Inhale's Week of Courage which includes Trauma-Informed Yoga Classes, a DJ Dance Party, a Meditation and a Sound Bath. Each event will provide a unique opportunity… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: One Year Later Catching Up With The Amazing Sophie

September 14, 2020 Our Stories 0 Comments
When Barrier Free Living first connected with Global Innovation Design student Sophie Horrocks in December 2019, we had no idea what an impact she'd have on the work we do. At the time, Sophie was finishing up her studies in New York and wanted to "give back" in a useful way before heading back to London.  After reaching out as a volunteer, she signed on to spruce up the… read more

Surviving Trauma: Secret Garden’s Lucy Shares A Lesson Learned From The Tragic Death Of Daisy Coleman

August 31, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 2 Comments
Lucrecia Ayala, MSW is a bilingual Social Worker (Spanish and English) and the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Secret Garden. She graduated from Stony Brook University, School of Social Welfare as a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Integrated Health, including a certification in Trauma Informed Care & Crisis Response. She has 10 years’ experience working with teens and adults in community and clinical settings, specializing in crisis services, housing… read more

Staff Spotlight: Lucrecia Ayala Joins The BFL Team

August 26, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 2 Comments
Lucrecia (Lucy) Ayala joined Barrier Free Living (BFL) this summer as the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at our Secret Garden program, a brand new position at the agency. We touched base with Lucy to find out what drew her to the work, and what she hopes to achieve.  BFL: What drew you to apply for this new position at BFL? Lucy: I recently graduated from my Master's of Social Work program… read more

Secret Garden Team Member Shares Poetry For Healing

August 10, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Marcus Clemons, bilingual (Arabic/English) case manager at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden, shared a poem (see below) inspired by his work with a survivor of domestic violence at the agency's recent Small & Mighty zoom event introducing the team. Marcus is creative in the work he does with survivors and considers himself a “partner on their journey towards well-being and security.” Learn more about Marucs and the team. View the recent… read more

Staff Spotlight: Tiffany Williams Bids BFL A Fond Farewell

August 6, 2020 Uncategorized 6 Comments
Tiffany Williams joined the Barrier Free Living (BFL) team in 2004 driven by a fierce determination to give back to a community that saved her life. “I was homeless from age 6 to 13. The Lower East Side (of New York City) is where I was helped. I wanted to give back to the community that gave me life,” says Tiffany, who is bidding farewell to BFL this month.  “It took six months… read more

Barrier Free Living Tenant-Led Garden Club Thrives

July 17, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The Barrier Free Living Apartments' tenant-led Garden Club is thriving with a strong sense of community and an abundance of fresh vegetables this summer. Gigi, an original member of the club, says the roof top garden at the Bronx-based supportive housing program, which includes flowers as well as a host of vegetables, is providing a rich crop. More important, she adds, the club is making sure that members who… read more

Small & Mighty: Celebrating The Secret Garden Team Zoom Event Aug. 5 Noon

July 16, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
ZOOM EVENT August 5, Noon-1pm Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86961852721 For over 20 years Barrier Free Living’s award winning Secret Garden program has provided one-on-one counseling, weekly support groups plus housing, legal and financial guidance to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities in the New York City area. We have a brand new team for 2020 and would love you to join us for this special event featuring poetry, live music and a chance to… read more

Sit Down With Sara: Domestic Violence & LGBTQ+ Relationships

June 24, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sit Down With Sara: Domestic Violence & LGBTQ+ Relationships from barrier free living on Vimeo. 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. Coming Soon: a special Zoom event celebrating the… read more

Still We Rise: Barrier Free Living Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month through Music, Literature & Performance

June 23, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Still We Rise: Barrier Free Living Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month through Music, Literature & Performance HOSTED by Scott Hess & Amanda Miller FEATURING: JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL John co-created Hedwig and the Angry Inch (two Tony Awards, Best Director at Sundance, Golden Globe nomination). He directed Shortbus (2006); Rabbit Hole (2010) (Oscar nom for Nicole Kidman) and How to Talk to Girls… read more

BFL Team Member Part Of Text To 911 Accessible Service

June 3, 2020 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer joined city officials and The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) in celebrating the launch of text to 911 (TT911) accessibility for d/Deaf blind and hard-of-hearing communities. "This is one of the biggest accomplishments that I advocated (for) to create opportunities for the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing community to have equal access to 911. I truly enjoyed working with the city officials and DoITT team," says Nicolyn. Text-to-911 is a… read more

A Message From BFL’s Founder Paul Feuerstein

June 3, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
A message from Barrier Free Living CEO/Founder Paul Feuerstein For the past few months, we have focused so much time and attention on the COVID pandemic.  In the process, we have ignored other pandemics.  The executive director of UN Women has identified domestic violence as the shadow pandemic.  Victims forced to shelter in place with their abusers.  The other shadow pandemic that is presently writ large in our country is… read more

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