Denim Day Is April 27

April 25, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Demin Day is April 27th - taking place during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. People are encouraged to wear denim to combat victim blaming and educate others about sexual violence.⁠ The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying… read more

BFL Team Members Present At International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Reimagining Justice

April 20, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team members Erika Calderon, director of Secret Garden and Cynthia Amodeo, Chief Program Officer presented at the International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Reimagining Justice in San Francisco April 19-21. The annual conference focuses on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, human trafficking and elder abuse. Barrier Free Living presents on topics of domestic violence at events throughout the year and offers trainings.  … read more

City Gardens Club Grant Awarded To Barrier Free Living

April 20, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The City Gardens Club of New York City has awarded a $1,000 grant to Barrier Free Living in support of the tenant rooftop garden at the agency's supportive housing program in the Bronx. "We are so grateful to have the support of City Gardens again this year. Our tenant-led garden club is excited to start planting flowers and vegetables this spring," says Scott Hess, BFL Director of Communications. The garden fosters community building and tenants use produce in cooking classes led… read more

April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month – A Focus On Safety & Consent

April 14, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Lucrecia Ayala, LMSW is a bilingual Social Worker (Spanish and English) and the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden program. She has 10 years’ experience working with teens and adults in community and clinical settings, specializing in crisis services, housing and sexual & public health. She provides individual sexual violence counseling as well as group education. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month* and this year the theme… read more

Donor Profile: Nina Inspired By BFL’s Commitment To Community

March 29, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The success of Barrier Free Living's (BFL) recent 40 years of Firsts fundraiser was due in great part to the support of the dedicated fundraising committee. Committee member Nina-Marie Scalera contributed not only dynamic, creative ideas but offered her skills as a bartender/mixologist at the event. We caught up with her to find out what initially drew her to the organization and its mission. BFL: Tell us about what drew you to… read more

Diane Finds Freedom At Barrier Free Living

March 18, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Diane (on the right, 2022) with Simone BFL Occupational Therapy Director Diane will always remember Christmas Day 2016. It was the day she lost her sight. She will also never forget June 19, 2020 - the day she found safety from abuse at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter. “My children lived with me, and when I lost my sight they took… read more

BFL Team At City Hall Rally

March 10, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
BFL team members gathered to raise their voices at the NYC City Hall #justpay rally on March 10, 2022. Banners depicted messaging that current NY City & State contracts have resulted in the #AlwaysEssential human services workforce being some of the lowest paid workers in New York’s economy. This MUST end! #JustPay… read more

BFL Awarded State Funds For Supportive Housing

March 10, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $17.3 million in state funding was awarded to six projects in four counties that will provide emergency and permanent supportive housing to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. Barrier Free Living, Inc. was awarded $6 million to construct a 13-story building with 44 units of permanent supportive housing that will be part of a larger 75-unit project with 30 units set aside for frail elderly individuals in Manhattan. Learn more about Barrier Free Living and its programs.… read more

Valentine Community Project Delivers Heart-Felt Gift Bags To Survivors

February 14, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
For the second year in a row, survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at Barrier Free Living's programs received gorgeous gift bags prepared by the Valentine Community Project. The project delivered 604 gift bags to various agencies including "residents of shelters for people fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking." Emily Valentine Sottile shares how the project came to be: "The Valentine Community Project is a community response – I never would have… read more

Donor Profile: Anne Markowitz Consultant Turned BFL Champion

January 21, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Anne leading a workshop at Barrier Free Living.  In 2000, while working in Victim Services at Harlem Hospital, Anne Markowitz did a presentation at Barrier Free Living (BFL).  That was the beginning of a rich collaboration that continues to this day. "I did that presentation at BFL and was asked to work as a consultant. I was so impressed with the work and mission at the different sites (BFL Programs), I… read more

High School Kids Inspired To Donate To BFL

January 20, 2022 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The "Drivers" club at New York City's Grace Church High School discovered Barrier Free Living online and knew it was the cause they were looking to support. "We collect needed items from our student body and donate the items to organizations and shelters around the city. I stumbled upon your (Barrier Free Living's) website and I found the mission of your shelter to be very impactful and meaningful," says Bella, the leader of the… read more

Riverdale Country School Kids Deliver Halloween Joy to Barrier Free Living

October 27, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Students preparing Halloween goodies.  This October, a group of students at Riverdale Country School decided they wanted to share their Halloween joy. The kids, ages 11-13, discovered Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. They were particularly drawn to the fact that over a hundred children live at the agency's shelter and supportive housing program. The students organized a drive, under the guidance of Nelson Arroyo (English Department, MS Community of Learning… read more

Barrier Free Living’s 4th Annual Clothesline Project!

October 5, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) will hold its 4th annual Clothesline Project 2021 the week of October 18. This year the event is virtual, and will kick off on Instagram live (@bfl_newyork) at noon (EST) on Oct. 18 from our supportive housing program in the Bronx. The BFL Clothesline will be on display, featuring t-shirts created by tenants, residents and participants from our domestic violence programs, along with staff and supporters. Each shirt is hand-made and features a heart-felt message about ending domestic violence. The… read more

CODA Screening In Honor of Deaf Awareness Month

September 16, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
MOPD Night at the Movies! - CODA Enjoy a screening of CODA in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Monday, September 20. The event starts at 7 pm. Plan to arrive by 6:30 pm to claim your spot on Pier 1’s Harbor View Lawn.  Bring a blanket! Hosted by the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in honor of Deaf Awareness Month, CODA is a new coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows a hearing teenage girl who is a child of Deaf adults. Rain… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Intern To Intern

September 9, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
In October 2020, Karisma signed on as a Communication Department intern at Barrier Free Living (BFL). In addition to contributing to the agency New Visions blog, she also ran workshops on belly dancing (photo above) and shared her rich experience as a doula.   This summer, Karisma helped the agency welcome a new communication intern, Austen, taking a moment to chat with him about what drew him to BFL for his… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Maurine With Saori Arts

August 3, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living’s (BFL) summer Communications Department intern Austen Bird not only spoke with Saori Arts volunteer Maurine Packard, he also stopped into the zoom workshop! The special weaving class ran for the month of July  and drew BFL program residents, tenants and participants along with agency staff. "I learned a lot from Maurine and how weaving can be a relaxing activity that can let your creativity flourish. Maurine shares… read more

ReelAbilities Summer Events: Love Is In The Air

July 19, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Shorts Program: Love is in the Air In celebration of July's Disability Pride Month, enjoy short films shedding new light on dating and relationships. Films streaming Jul 16–30 Virtual filmmaker panel Thu, Jul 22, 7 pm Tickets:… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Photographer Erica Lansner Creates New Campaign

July 6, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
An award-winning photojournalist, Erica Lansner - born on the Upper West Side of New York City - has traveled to more than 35 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa on assignment for leading international magazines and corporations.   This July, thanks to her incredible generosity and dedication to “making a difference” in the world - she took up her camera (as a volunteer) to create portraits… read more

Identity Theatre Company Celebrates Ten Years With Zoom Show

May 13, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The Identity Theatre Company celebrates its 10 year anniversary this June with a show taking a unique twist on the famed Vagina Monologues. The Vaginal Penologues "gives voice to the human condition as it relates to sexuality" featuring a cast of actors from New York , Los Angeles and Ohio, says Dr. Nick Linnehan of Identity. "Just as diverse as the content is, the actors follow suit giving unique perspectives on many topics that are often hard to… read more