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 1 Comment
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 4 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

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