Barrier Free Living: 40 Years & Growing
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 mission – to support individuals with disabilities who were being denied critical services and who deserved respect. These voices need to be heard now more then ever.
Over the years, we moved into working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at our three programs, Freedom House domestic violence shelter, Secret Garden, and Barrier Free Living Apartments.
This year, we have nearly 100 employees serving approximately 1,500 adults and children. Our teams provide counseling, case management, financial empowerment, and wellness programming.
However, BFL is more than just direct services. We support our participants, tenants and residents so they can reclaim their voice which someone may have shut down (view our BFLMinute Ebony Finds Safety & Hope At Freedom House here)
BFL has grown in so many ways, thanks to the support of our wonderful investors from the city, state, and federal government as well as an ever-growing roster of volunteers and champions (see our stories about supporters Youtube sensation Lucie Fink and Sophie Horrocks).
Currently, we have a small group of donors who give yearly and we are very grateful to them. These small investments have made big changes in people’s lives. Donors have helped buy plane tickets for survivors to move out of state and create new homes free of violence, purchase accessibility equipment such as a wheelchair that the abuser destroyed, and replace documents such as birth certificates and social security cards.
At Barrier Free Living we are always striving to do better. We are at a place where traditional city, state, and federal funds cover the day to day costs to run our programs but there is little room for program innovation and professional staff development which are key values of the organization and our mission.
As we look towards our future and continued growth, BFL is asking you think about financially investing in our cause and mission to help individuals with disabilities to live lives free of abuse and bias. This year we have a goal to raise $100,000 to support the people we serve with innovative programming and our staff in their professional growth.
To learn more about us, or how to support our mission visit out make a difference page here.