ReelAbilities Film Festival New York Tickets On Sale

March 14, 2019 Current Events 0 Comments
Tickets for the ReelAbilities Film Festival New York are on sale, and Barrier Free Living is proud to be an outreach partner of this dynamic event again this year. The Oscar® nominated and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky’s film “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, will open the 11th annual festival on April 2. The festival continues until April… read more

BFL’s Cynthia Amodeo Inducted Into Women In Human Services Hall of Fame

March 14, 2019 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Chief Program Officer Cynthia Amodeo was inducted this March into the Women in Human Services Hall of Fame. An event inside the Legislative Office Building near the state Capitol recognized more than 60 women.  It was noted that the human services workforce is 81% women. Read about the honorees here. … read more

Butler Street Coop Donates Toys & Books To Barrier Free Living Learning Center

February 22, 2019 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
  The volunteer-led Butler Street Coop had to close its Brooklyn based playground/pre-school this winter, but the silver lining came in the form of donations to the new Learning Center for kids at Barrier Free Living apartments in the South Bronx. The Coop donated books, toys and musical instruments to the center. Barrier Free Living apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic… read more

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Davis, Freedom House Social Worker

February 11, 2019 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
When Jennifer Davis took a leap to pursue social work in 2014, it was the voice of a Barrier Free Living resident that guided her. “My (graduate school) statement of purpose started with a quote from a resident at Barrier Free Living’s transitional housing program**,” says Jennifer. “Speedy (the resident) said to me that ‘sometimes the only reason I get out of bed in the morning is because I know Luca… read more

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February 8, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is the Assisstant Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter. Sara 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… read more

V-Day February 14

February 7, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that occurs in February. Learn more about V-Day here.  V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers… read more

Inclusion Advocacy Training Series: Free Training For Women and Girls with Disabilities and their Allies

January 25, 2019 Advocacy, Current Events, Disability News 2 Comments
NYC Women & Teen Girls with Disabilities:  Upskilling Training Program Training program for women and teen girls with disabilities in NYC to advance skills in preparation for civic engagement RespectAbility is on the front lines of advancing the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities. We are passionate about bringing intersectionality into our work, and into the nonprofit sector at-large. We are excited to announce a new effort to raise the voices, lives and experiences of New York City’s almost 500,000 women and… read more

Staff Spotlight: Aja Ruffin

January 2, 2019 BFL News 0 Comments
Aja Ruffin, a Resident Aide at Freedom House, joined the team in 2016 with a drive to help others, and a desire to grow. She found both working with the team. BFL: When did you join BFL, and what drew you to apply? Aja: I joined BFL on February 24th, 2016. Having previously worked with children at The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, another non-profit organization, I wanted to continue to help people… read more

JCJ Architecture Tapped to Design New Building for Barrier Free Living

December 5, 2018 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
The new housing facility will be located in the heart of Manhattan and is designed to support survivors of domestic abuse NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- JCJ Architecture today announces the firm will design a groundbreaking new project for Barrier Free Living (BFL), a leading NYC community nonprofit that provides services and support for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The $30 million project is anticipated to break ground in Fall… read more

PopGym Self Defense Workshop At Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 16, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Working from a philosophy that takes both a physical and an emotional approach to self defense, PopGym held a workshop for the residents of Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter this October. (Take a short virtual tour of Freedom House here.) We caught up with PopGym team member Grey to find out a bit more about this innovative organization in New York City. BFL: How did you get… read more

No Barriers Summit: Innovation For People With Disabilities

November 13, 2018 Current Events, Disability News 4 Comments
Blog contributor 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. “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” That’s the motto printed on the tee shirt given to all participants in… read more

Unique Issues Face By Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Survivors of Domestic Violence

November 8, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
This month's contributor,  Nicolyn Plummer is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House to enhance accessibility in serving Deaf victims. Sexual assault victims who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing face unique issues compared to those who are hearing when it comes to reporting the assault. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reports that approximately one in five hearing women have been raped in their lifetime… read more

Insights From Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Program

November 8, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Since 1990, Barrier Free Living’s community-based Secret Garden program has been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities providing counseling, support groups, occupational therapy and case management services. During October’s Domestic Violence Awareness month, the team is busy with outreach, events and presentations. They also offer domestic violence related trainings year-round (view a short film about the trainings here). We touched based with the team, to take a closer look at what makes this dynamic program so unique and valuable. What… read more

Spread The Sparkle Fund Raiser Benefits Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Programs

November 6, 2018 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Spread the Sparkle hosted an event this November, raising funds to produce an annual holiday party for the families at Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs. Below is a message from the Spread the Sparkle team, and information on how to volunteer to support this incredible annual event. Spread the Sparkle Writes:  To all of our talented practitioners, dedicated donors, interested and inspired ticket buyers… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Attends Undoing Racism Workshop

November 6, 2018 Advocacy 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team members turned out for the monthly Undoing Racism workshop this November held in New York City, led by MPG Consulting. BFL continues its commitment to “Undoing Racism” and continues to hold regular two-day intensive workshops for all new agency staff led by  MPG Consulting.  “BFL has embarked on a deliberate process of introspection to promote racial equity in its delivery system. This is an example of transformative intent… read more

A Fair Shake For Youth At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

November 6, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
A Fair Shake for Youth, a New York City based organization that helps kids build social and emotional skills through a hands-on therapy dog program, held workshops at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House Domestic Violence shelter this October. Freedom House offers crisis shelter to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. (Watch a virtual tour of Freedom House here.) Fair Shake works with therapy dog teams… read more

Yueqin Li Named Barrier Free Living’s Chief Fiscal Officer

October 30, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
Joining Barrier Free Living in 2004 as an accounting intern, Yueqin Li has risen through the ranks to become the agency's Chief Fiscal Officer by keeping a steady eye on both the mission and the bottom line. "I realized early on that my job (in accounting) is very important because the services we provide can really change people's lives," says Yueqin. For nearly 40 years Barrier Free Living has been working with people with… read more

Advocate Spotlight: Vangie Leon

October 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
After over a decade at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter for people with disabilities,  Family Associate/Board of Education liaison Vangie Leon is still driven by the spirit of love and compassion that she discovered when she started the job. We caught up with Vangie to talk about the work she does with children, the challenges she faces and the lessons she continues to learn. BFL: Tell us how you first became familiar… read more

Insights From Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Team

October 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Since 1990, Barrier Free Living's community-based Secret Garden program has been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities providing counseling, support groups, occupational therapy and case management services. During October's Domestic Violence Awareness month, the team is busy with outreach, events and presentations. They also offer domestic violence related trainings year-round (view a short film about the trainings here). We touched based with the team, to take a… read more

Survivor Spotlight: Olivia At Freedom House

October 17, 2018 Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Last summer, after a domestic violence incident, Oliva was feeling emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually unsafe. She needed to find a way up and out for herself and her children. “The (domestic violence) incident that took place on June 5th turned everything upside down for me,” says Olivia. “I needed to get away from this abusive relationship with my children’s father. (Barrier Free Living’s) Freedom House (domestic violence shelter) has been the catalyst… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Hosts Domestic Violence Awareness Month Dinner

October 16, 2018 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter held a Domestic Violence Awareness Month dinner for residents and their children this month. Celebrating 12 years in New York City, Freedom House is a domestic violence shelter (90-180 day stay) for women, men and children. We serve both families and single individuals with or without disabilities. We have worked with people from 40 states and internationally and we welcome all members of the LGBTQ… read more

Survivors Art Workshop Part of Barrier Free Living Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 9, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
During October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, residents and participants at our domestic violence programs will be sharing their work, created during art expression workshops at Freedom House and Secret Garden. We will be posting the art through the month to celebrate their strength and courage. At top art by EA. Below, first image, art by EA, second and last image art by CA, "building blocks of love" from CC… read more

Advocate Spotlight: Irma Williams

October 9, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
When Irma Williams joined the Barrier Free Living apartments (BFLA) social work team this past year, she brought a skill set she’d developed over a decade. Originally from Guatemala, Irma grew up in lower Manhattan and started out as a peer program assistant at Boom Health (formerly citywide harm reduction.) During her time at Boom, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College and was promoted to the social work… read more

Barrier Free Living At NYC Stock Exchange Closing Bell For Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 4, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Disability News 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living attended the closing bell at the NY Stock Exchange on October 3, 2018 as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Cynthia Amodeo (photo above) Barrier Free Living's Chief Program Officer was on hand at the closing bell. The NYSE welcomed Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to ring The Closing Bell in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The agency joined a host of other agency's and individuals for the… read more

Barrier Free Living Team Walks In Bride’s March 2018

September 28, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Team members of Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs walked in this year's Bride's March on September 26. Check out our march coverage on instagram: bfl_newyork The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides’ March is an annual event which was started in New York City in 2001 to remember Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, who was murdered in New Jersey on September 26, 1999, by her abusive former… read more

September Is Deaf Awareness Month

September 14, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Deaf Awareness Month began in September 1958 as International Week of the Deaf, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf. Barrier Free Living (BFL) has a long history of working with Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients and residents at our three domestic violence programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments). For many years, Freedom House had hearing social workers and… read more

Harlem Independent Living Center Releases Videos On HIV For Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing

September 5, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
The Harlem Independent Living Center, with support from the AIDS Institute, recently completed production of five brief videos on HIV specifically for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  These landmark videos are the first of their kind, developed in sign language by and for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. https://vimeo.com/274758309 Each video is available for viewing or downloading by clicking below. The video series covers the following topics: 1.HIV: Know Your Rights… read more

Freedom House Shelter Kids School Of Rock Outing

August 23, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
The kids at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter took a special trip to see Broadway's School of Rock, thanks to support from The East Harlem Community Partnership Program/Union Settlement. Staff and 18 kids took in the sites of Time Square and enjoyed a matinee performance of the musical extravaganza, which is about a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school who discovers his students musical… read more

Angela’s Journey: Working With The OT Team At Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden DV Program

August 14, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories 0 Comments
Angela began counseling at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden community-based domestic violence program in 2014, and soon after began exploring the rich opportunities offered through the agency’s Occupational Therapy (OT) department. “Through the help of the occupational therapy team I gained courage and became more open to change,” says Angela, who has a visual impairment. “They provided a safe zone for me to be around people who have the best interest for my… read more