REELABILITIES FILM FEST OPENING NIGHT AT QUEENS DRIVE-IN

April 5, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Who doesn't love a drive-in movie! The ReelAbilities Film Festival kicks off the 2021 Festival with a showing of Best Summer Ever at the Queens Drive-In. Barrier Free Living is a participating partner of the Festival. Founded in 2007 by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and… read more

Three Jewels Brings Yoga To Barrier Free Living

March 15, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
It was during a particularly rough period of her life that Jeanine Cahill Jackson first connected to the healing practice of yoga. An attorney by trade, Jeanine found comfort in the ancient practice, and eventually decided to study. Today, she is Director of the Outreach Department at Three Jewels, a New York City based center offering yoga and meditation. (Read Jeanine’s bio* and view her class welcome video below.) This month, Three… read more

Deaf is Not a Dirty Word: VM Expressions ASL Improv Benefits BFL

March 3, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Deaf is Not a Dirty Word: VM Expressions ASL Improv See Deaf Women share their trials and tribulations, inspiration, and humor. This show is inspired by The Vagina Monologues and Ihollaback! This show provides ASL with voice interpretation. Benefitting Barrier Free Living. Tickets: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:00 PM 10:00 PM Streaming online… read more

Donor Profile: Inspired To Give

February 23, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Larry and Lysa first became connected to Barrier Free Living through a touch of sparkle. The couple are members of Spread the Sparkle, a group which has created holiday events for the residents and tenants at Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities for the past several years. In 2020, Larry and Lysa decided to step up their support of the agency, reaching out to friends and colleagues… read more

Slick Chicks Connects With BFL Mission

February 18, 2021 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
When Slick Chicks founder Helya Mohammadian learned about Barrier Free Living's work with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, she knew it was a mission-match. Helya wanted to connect to and support a non-profit by donating her product - patented underwear "designed with side fasteners that make it easy for someone to put on or take off whether they are sitting, standing, or laying down." "We learned about BFL from (former… read more

Valentine Community Project Delivers Joy & Gift Bags to Barrier Free Living

February 8, 2021 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
What began as a close-knit effort to give a few dozen gift bags to survivors of domestic violence on Valentine's Day has bloomed into a community-driven project delivering nearly 600 bags to 5 different shelters. This year, Barrier Free Living is the latest recipient of beautiful, bountiful gifts (photo above) prepared by the Valentine Community Project, bringing joy to the residents and tenants at our domestic violence shelter and program. We… read more

Barrier Free Living Receives 100 Scarves At Bryant Park Event

February 3, 2021 BFL News 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) received nearly 100 gorgeous hand-knitted scarves at an event at New York City's Bryant Park today, as part of the annual Found But Not Lost Program. BFL Director of Communications Scott Hess spoke at the event, expressing the agency's gratitude. "We are incredibly grateful to Bryant Park Corp. for the scarf donations again this year. Receiving a beautiful new scarf means so much to the residents and their kids… read more

Fired Up! Zoom Cooking Show Debuts With Chef Steph

February 3, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
In 2018, Stephanie decided to channel her love of cooking and her commitment to her roots into a winning recipe: PhanousKitchen. With a catering menu that offers everything from 5 cheese Mac and Cheese to Siracha Scotch Bonnet Wings or Rum Pineapple Cake Jars, Long Island NY based Chef Steph relies on old family recipes to keep things authentic. As the first guest star Chef in Barrier Free Living's new… read more

Queen’s Daily Eagle: Stalking Awareness Month

January 29, 2021 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
A powerful article from the Queens Daily Eagle, ENDGBV Voices Committee posted Jan. 28. 2021. Dana thought that once she left her abusive ex-husband, she and her young son would be safe. Instead, her ex began calling her hundreds of times a day, driving by her house regularly, and showing up unexpectedly to threaten her and her son. She had to move twice, and both times her ex found her again. Sadly, Dana’s experience isn’t unique — over 6 million men and women… read more

Mels’ Story: Finding Safety & A Rich New Life

January 26, 2021 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Leaving a toxic 15-year relationship behind, Mels found safety and support at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Now settled in a home of her own, she curates a successful blog #thehalpernproject whose mission is community empowerment. Big fans of Mels, we caught up with her to talk about her journey. BFL: How did you find Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter and what brought you there? Mels… read more

Disability Insider Reports: 80% of women with disabilities suffer violence during pandemic

January 19, 2021 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
An article in Disability Insider states that 80% of women with disabilities suffer violence in Spain, 8 out of 10 during the COVID lockdown – a shocking fact. According to the experts, this situation has intensified during the coronavirus confinement. Read the full article here.  Barrier Free Living works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and is celebrating it's 40th Anniversary this year. Learn more. … read more

Former Freedom House Team Member Launches Self-Healing Journal

January 4, 2021 Uncategorized 6 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