BFL’s Freedom House: Guiding Families To Heal

May 9, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, Assistant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter is a licensed social worker who received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2015.  Sara has been a social worker at Freedom House since 2015, where she provides individual and group counseling to adults, children and adolescents. Prior to Freedom House she worked with youth in alternatives… read more

BFL Apartments Kicks Off Garden Club With City Gardens Club Grant

May 2, 2018 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Members of the BFL Apartments' community garden club kicked off the planting season, supported in part by a grant from the City Gardens Club of NYC. BFL Apartments is a supportive housing complex in the Bronx, providing permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, as well as veterans with disabilities. The club was created with the Barrier Free Living occupational therapy team in 2017, as a… read more

NJ Coalition To End Sexual Assault 5K in Asbury Park

May 2, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is hosting a 5K event in Asbury Park, NJ Saturday May 5, 2018 as a way to support statewide social change efforts to ensure survivors are supported and affirmed. Check-in begins at 8:00 AM in Asbury Park at Convention Hall; corner of 5th and Ocean Avenue. Event begins at 9:00 AM. Info.… read more

The End Of An Era: Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing Closes

May 1, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
After 28 years of operation, Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing program closed its doors on April 30, 2018. Barrier Free Living Founder, President/CEO Paul Feuerstein reflects on this ground-breaking program’s successes and challenges working with people with disabilities in New York City. The First Of Its Kind The ribbon cutting ceremony for Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing program. Paul Feuerstein, fourth from left . Our Transitional Housing Program opened in November of… read more

Barrier Free Living At Silent Tears Event

April 25, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living was part of the  Silent Tears: Disability, Violence And Resilience of Women Survivors Globally multi-media exhibition and panel on April 24 at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Barrier Free Living Apartments resident Gigi spoke at the event, and Barrier Free Living Secret Garden program director Jules (in photo above) was on the panel of speakers. Read more about the event here.  View the BFL Minute with Silent Tears… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden At St. John’s Turn Off The Violence Week

April 24, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program will be participating in the Next Steps Fair on Thursday, April 26, part of Turn Off The Violence Week at St. John's University.  Turn Off the Violence Week includes the Clothesline Project, and is a week of empowerment and awareness regarding sexual violence in the community. The Clothesline Project started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It… read more

Autism Awareness Month, Deej Documentary A Winner

April 23, 2018 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Blog contributor Julia Alberino. Julia retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. We’re a little more than halfway through Autism Awareness Month, and I’ve been thinking about a remarkable young… read more

Denim Day NYC April 25

April 23, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
A host of events are planned for Denim Day in New York City Wednesday, April 25th.  Denim Day NYC is a coalition of community agencies, elected officials, students, and volunteers united to promote awareness around the issue of sexual assault. Denim Day grew out of a case in which a rape conviction was overturned because the judge reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that… read more

Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter 11 Year Anniversary Film

April 20, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter celebrated it’s 11th year anniversary by honoring staff and celebrating the program’s mission. Staff members were presented with awards during the event as the agency honored the program’s past decade working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. View the ten year anniversary celebration video highlights.… read more

Secret Garden Attends End Violence Against Women Conference

April 10, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
This past April 3-5, two staff members from Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program attended the End Violence Against Women International Conference On Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Gender Bias in Chicago, IL. The annual conference focuses on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking and elder abuse. The conference brought together international members of law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates, judges, and health care professionals to collaborate on… read more

BFL Apartments’ Tenant Pursues Her Beauty School Dream

April 10, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
BFL Apartments' tenant Niasia signed on for the Assurant Financial Empowerment Scholarship program last year with a clear goal in mind: attend beauty school. Niasia, who completed the BFL Apartments' 8-week workshop and was awarded a financial scholarship, began classes at American Beauty School in the Bronx this month (photo above). Niasia is one of 8 workshop graduates who secured scholarships to pursue a career or educational goal… read more

Secret Garden Domestic Violence Support Group In Spanish

April 9, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence (DV) program is launching a new support group for DV Survivors to be conducted in Spanish. Potential participants should identify as immigrant women from Latinx countries, be over 18 years old, and speak Spanish. The group will be running from April 9-June 25, once a week, Mondays from 4:30pm-6pm at the Brooklyn Legal Services office, 105 Court Street in downtown Brooklyn. Service providers should refer clients to… read more

About Those New Emojis For People With Disabilities

April 2, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Blog contributor Julia Alberino. Julia retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. It’s been a little over a week since Apple announced that it has developed a series of accessibility Emojis to… read more

33rd Annual New York Crime Victims Candlelight Vigil April 8

April 2, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The 33rd Annual New York Crime Victims Vigil is scheduled for this Sunday, April 8, 2-4pm at West End Collegiate Church, 245 West 77th St. NYC The event honors survivors from all types of crimes, along with family members of homicide victims. There are speakers, musical performances, and lighting of candles to remember loved ones affected by violence. Families may also bring photos to display during the ceremony. The event is sponsored by : The Office of the New York State… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part Three Of A Three Part Article

March 28, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and Barrier Free Living Apartments) through safe shelter and housing, trauma-informed counseling, and advocacy. In this three part article, we will explore: why people with disabilities are at a higher risk of abuse;  the likelihood of negative trauma reactions to… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part Two Of A Three Part Article

March 27, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and Barrier Free Living Apartments) through safe shelter and housing, trauma-informed counseling, and advocacy. At our Transitional Housing program, we provide shelter to adults with disabilities. In this three part article, we will… read more

Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes: Part One Of A Three Part Article

March 27, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Trauma Disables and Disability Traumatizes A three-part article exploring the insidious intersection of disability and domestic abuse (originally published in BFL's Breaking Barriers in Domestic Violence April 2018 E-newsletter).  Barrier Free Living is dedicated to helping people with disabilities thrive in their communities, at our programs and shelters in the New York area. We address the issues facing survivors of domestic violence with disabilities across our programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House and … read more

Barrier Free Living On Panel “Homelessness and Housing Insecurity: Challenges and Solutions” At Lehman College

March 22, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
LeShan Gaulman, program director at Barrier Free Living's Transitional Housing shelter, will be a panelist on the “Homelessness and Housing Insecurity: Challenges and Solutions” presentation Friday, March 23 at Lehman College. The conference addresses the challenges and solutions related to homelessness  and has been coordinated by the Department of Social Work through a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. LeShan received the 9th Annual Emerging Social Work Leader Award of the National… read more

High Schoolers Bring Chess To Kids At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

March 19, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
High school students are bringing the magic of chess to the young residents at Freedom House this spring. Marco Ramdas, a junior at Brooklyn Technical HS, and Andreas Ramdas, a senior at Beacon HS, are offering a chess workshop at Freedom House, a place for the kids to learn and also to engender a sense of community. Their goal is to "teach chess to as many children as possible and hope to impart their… read more

Freedom House Program Director Honored Part Of Women In Human Services Hall Of Fame

March 13, 2018 Current Events, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Myra Ricard, Program Director at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House emergency domestic violence shelter was one of the women honored at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agency's (FPWA) Women in Human Services Hall of Fame ceremony on March 13, 2018 in Albany. "I am very honored," says Myra. "I have been doing this work for many years. It's a passion for me and I will continue to do work with domestic violence survivors for years to come,." FPWA… read more

Barrier Free Living At Lehman College Career Fair March 13

March 13, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Aeilushi Mistry, HR Manager at Barrier Free Living, will be on hand today at the Lehman College Career and Internship Fair from 11am-3pm. Lehman College is located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West - Bronx, NY. Learn more about the fair here.  Learn about Barrier Free Living job openings here. Lehman College students and alumni interested in exploring internships, career and post-graduate opportunities in diverse industries can connect with Barrier Free… read more

BFL Apartments Young Tenant Pursues Bball Dream

March 13, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
A young tenant of Barrier Free Living Apartments received a scholarship grant to attend the Scout Focus Elite 80 basketball camp this March. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes with support services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families. ScoutsFocus is dedicated to identifying and providing a platform for underexposed players across the United States. Justin was awarded the funds, part of an Assurant sustainable living financial empowerment… read more

Blogger Julia Alberino Muses On The Paralympics, And That Google Doodle

March 12, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
Guest Blogger Julia Alberino retired in 2011 after more than thirty years as a health care administrator in both the public and private sectors. She was a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and co-founder of an advocacy group that worked to maintain and improve services for Medicaid beneficiaries, including elderly and disabled individuals. The first time I signed onto my search engine on Monday March 9, 2018, it thrilled me to see the… read more

NYC School Chooses BFL Apartments For Community Service Competition

March 9, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Students from New York City's Convent of the Sacred Heart school have chosen Barrier Free Living Apartments for a school wide community service project competition. BFL Apartments offers permanent housing with support services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The students were drawn to the program's mission and are competing with other classmates in the school's project for a $5000 grant. The students toured BFL Apartments this March, meeting a few young residents.… read more

10th Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York MARCH 8-14

March 8, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
The ReelAbilities film festival will open on March 8 at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street, with the previously announced 2017 Tribeca Film Festival-winner Keep the Change and will close with the New York Premiere of Matan Yair’s Scaffolding, which took the Best Israeli Feature and Best Actor awards at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival. Other film highlights include Mad to Be Normal starring Elisabeth Moss, David… read more

Secret Garden: Preventing Cyberstalking For Survivors of Domestic Violence

March 7, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Blog contributor Kaylen is a social worker and the assistant program director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden program. She has been with the agency for over 5 years. During a recent Special Topics workshop held at the Secret Garden, Jerome Greco, an attorney from the Digital Forensics Unit at the Legal Aid Society presented on suggestions for preventing cyberstalking. Some of his suggestions included: If possible, set up two factor… read more

BFL Apartments Black History Month Event With DJs Kool Herc & Spazecraft One

February 27, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments celebrated Black History Month at its supportive housing complex in the Bronx with an event featuring legendary DJ Kool Herc and Hip Hop Producer/DJ Spazecraft One. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, as well as to veterans with disabilities. The community event featured food, music… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden: Know Your Rights with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Blog contributor Jules is a social worker and the program director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden program. She has been practicing trauma-informed therapy with the agency for nearly 7 years. In a recent Special Topics workshop hosted at the Secret Garden, criminal defense and immigration attorneys from New York County Defenders Services provided a rich discussion around what it means to Know Your Rights around arrest and immigration. Discussion highlights and… read more

Financial Empowerment Tools For Survivors of Domestic Violence

February 22, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
Approximately 94-99% of domestic violence survivors experience economic abuse (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Economic abuse occurs when an abuser controls a victim’s access to economic resources, forcing the victim to rely on the abuser for financial support. This includes interfering with a victim’s ability to obtain or keep a job, stealing paychecks or benefit checks, refusing to provide a victim with access to cash or credit cards, or opening bank accounts… read more