Student Tutors Work With Kids & Adults At BFL Apartments

January 26, 2018 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Student Tutors from Stuyvesant High School and Bronx Science High School are working with both children and adults this winter at Barrier Free Living apartments, a complex in the Bronx offering permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. The tutors meet weekly with elementary school kids, offering one on one work in areas like math and science. They also work with adults who are pursuing their high school equivalency… read more

Project Give Back At Transitional Housing Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 25, 2018 Current Events, Disability News, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Artist, Thomas Dreamer, a former resident at Barrier Free Living's Transitional Housing shelter for people with disabilities, shares how why he "Gave Back" by painting a dynamic mural at the shelter. The shelter works with formerly homeless people with disabilities to find permanent homes and thrive in their communities.… read more

The Unique Challenges Encountered By Deaf Survivors Of Domestic Violence

January 25, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Our blog contributor, Aida Colon, MSW, is a Social Worker at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter. She graduated from Lehman College with her Master of Social Work. Prior to Freedom House she worked with cancer patients and families with children at risk of foster placement. Kindness is a language which the Deaf can hear and the Blind can see. Mark Twain For many culturally competent advocates and service providers being kind is not… read more

Keys To Safety Planning At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 23, 2018 Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
As an Emergency Shelter for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, safety planning is a critical part of the mission of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House. Safety planning can range from learning about internet related safety for a resident of the shelter, committing to living in a confidential domestic violence location, or following an existing safety protocol so that staff and residents alike remain safe and supported. During Hurricane Sandy, the Freedom House staff was prepared to go above and… read more

Safety First: The Importance Of A Website’s Domestic Violence Related “Escape” Button

January 23, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: , 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living features a domestic violence related safety feature on our website. A purple “escape” button is located in the top right hand corner of every page of the site. The button conceals the fact that an individual is on a website offering services to domestic violence survivors. According to the team at our domestic violence counseling program, Secret Garden, the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor is when that individual attempts to leave the abusive relationship. The… read more

BFL’s Freedom House Reports On Traumatic Brain Injury As It Relates To Domestic Violence

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Traumatic Brain Injury and DV Freedom House looks at Traumatic Brain Injury as it relates to Domestic Violence. According to the Center for Disease Control a Traumatic Brain Injury is “a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” It is important as professionals working in the field of domestic violence (DV) that we understand Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as it relates to our work with survivors. Many domestic violence victims who… read more

Service Animals At Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter For People With Disabilities

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
According to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. There is another type of… read more

A Look At Purposeful Parenting: BFL’s Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter

January 22, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
July is National Purposeful Parenting month, which led to a flurry of articles, Facebook posts and Twitter bites regarding the concept. In general, Purposeful Parenting aims to build healthy relationships with children, to understand a child’s development and to help them grow in a way that emphasizes their potential. Being “purposeful” in parenting can include meeting a child’s essential needs (bathing, feeding) or involve more complicated issues of socialization, discipline, and communication. Purposeful Parenting concepts include: Structure and order Responsibility and… read more

BFL Apartments Team Member Shares His Journey

January 17, 2018 BFL News, Our Stories 0 Comments
Darique Ruiz joined the BFL Apartments team in 2015. When he's not working as a resident aide, Darique mentors kids in high school at a church downtown, and also has a keen interest in learning as many languages as he can. We caught up with Darique to talk about his journey with the agency, and his future goals.… read more

This Close Sundance Show

January 16, 2018 Current Events 0 Comments
Deadline Hollywood reports that Sundance Now has given its first straight-to-series order to dramedy This Close, billed as having been written, produced, and created by deaf people. The show features Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (Children of A Lesser God) set to recur, joining series regulars Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Zach Gilford (Kingdom, Friday Night Lights) and Colt Prattes (Dirty Dancing). It’s slated for premiere in 2018. Written by and starring Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, both of whom are deaf, This Close… read more

Pet Therapy For People With Disabilities & Survivors Of Domestic Violence

January 12, 2018 Advocacy, BFL News, Current Events, Disability News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: , 2 Comments
Barrier Free Living welcomes 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. I’ve always been a cat person. When I moved into my lower Manhattan apartment… read more

Barrier Free Living Continues Agency Wide Undoing Racism Workshops

January 12, 2018 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
BFL continues its commitment to “Undoing Racism” in 2018, holding two-day intensive workshops for all new agency staff led by David Peters of MPG Consulting.  The agency also continues to hold affinity groups at program locations, which were formed last year. “BFL has embarked on a deliberate process of introspection to promote racial equity in its delivery system. This is an example of transformative intent during a difficult social and political environment, to bring more humanity to all,” says Peters. MPG… read more

4th Grader Asks For Donations To Barrier Free Living Instead Of Birthday Gifts

January 10, 2018 Current Events, Shelter 0 Comments
When asked what she wanted for her 10th birthday, Pilar Keton didn't have a list of gifts. She asked instead that family and friends donate to Barrier Free Living. Pilar, a 4th grade student at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, which has an IB curriculum heavily focused on community service and involvement, was concerned that city shelters might not be designed to accommodate people with disabilities.  She… read more

DYCD Sexual Assault Awareness Month Youth Art Project

January 10, 2018 Advocacy, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Uncategorized 0 Comments
A call for entries is out for a DYCD Sexual Assault Awareness Month Youth Art Project. The contest is open to any teens across NYC, regardless of whether they attend a DYCD-funded after-school program or not.  New this year, DYCD will release limited edition t-shirts in April featuring youth artwork in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Teens can submit original artwork by January 26 for a chance to… read more

The Uncomfortable Conversation

January 10, 2018 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Uncomfortable Conversation grew out of the TEDx talk Sarah Beaulieu gave last year and long-time work with organizations supporting survivors of sexual violence. Since then, she's logged hundreds of hours talking to men and others and immersing herself in what makes sexual violence and harassment such a polarizing and uncomfortable topic. The most interesting discovery throughout this journey has been the realization that men and women alike have little idea how to talk about sexual… read more

Designing Accessible Resources For People With Disabilities And Deaf People

January 3, 2018 Advocacy, Disability News 0 Comments
Vera Institute of Justice offers a great tip sheet series, related to Designing Accessible Resources for people with disabilities and Deaf people. The sheet was created to help organizations plan print and digital resources that are accessible to people with disabilities and Deaf individuals. The series contains tip sheets on key aspects of materials and resources creation from beginning to end. Each tip sheet provides user-friendly information on creating accessible print materials, websites… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program Offers Specialized Trauma Reprocessing Therapy

January 2, 2018 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Contributor Gabrielle is a Social Worker (LMSW) at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Non-Residential Domestic Violence Program. Gabrielle began her work at Secret Garden as a social work intern in 2014. After graduating with her Master’s Degree she joined the team. Gabrielle is currently enrolled in the Trauma Studies Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and will soon be certified in the specialized therapy approach outlined in the article below.  It can be difficult… read more

Spread The Sparkle Hosts Event For Survivors Of Domestic Violence & Families

December 28, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
For the third year in a row, Spread the Sparkle hosted a spectacular holiday party for the residents and tenants of Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families. Dozens of kids received gifts from Santa and participated in games and activities, while adults enjoyed the photo booth and received gift bags.  Spread the Sparkle's team of volunteers provided a sumptuous buffet and entertainment… read more

Serving Male Domestic Violence Survivors In Shelter

December 28, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, LMSW, a Senior Social Worker at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter offers her insights on Freedom House's work with male domestic violence survivors. 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… read more

Disability Advocate Julia Alberino On Hilfiger Adaptive Clothing

December 14, 2017 Advocacy, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living welcomes 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. I’m as far from a fashionista as a person can be. Since I retired six years ago, my usual attire consists of jeans and… read more

Chefs Serve Up Joy, Unity & A Great Banana Pudding At BFL Apartments

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
A group of chefs brought food and joy to the tenants at Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments in the Bronx, NY last month. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, as well as to single adults. We caught up with Zack Pozzoboni, who organized the volunteer driven event, to find out what drew him to Barrier Free Living, and to ask… read more

Holiday Safety For Survivors of Domestic Violence With Disabilities

December 14, 2017 BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Holidays can traditionally be a time of family gatherings and celebrations. For individuals and families at Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House Emergency Shelter who have left an abusive situation, maintaining safety during the holiday season is crucial. As an agency, Barrier Free Living provides counseling, case management, shelter and housing to people with disabilities, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless individuals. Freedom House is our emergency domestic violence… read more

Governor Cuomo Unveils First Proposal Of 2018 State Of The State: Remove Firearms From Domestic Abusers

December 14, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled the first proposal of the 2018 State of the State: remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes. Given the inextricable link between domestic violence and lethal gun violence, this legislation will require all domestic violence crime convictions, including misdemeanors, to result in the immediate removal of all fire arms and will add measures to keep firearms out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence with the goal of preventing… read more

BFL Apartments Receives Community Capital Management Impact Award 2017

December 12, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Community Capital Management recently announced that Barrier Free Living Apartments is the winner of its first annual impact awards for 2017 and will receive a $10,000 donation. CCM’s “Impact Awards 2017” featured five impactful bond stories during the year with participants voting for their favorite over the last month. The contest recognizes fixed income impact investments and their multiple positive environmental and social outcomes. Barrier Free Living Apartments was designed and built for 50 families with a disabled… read more

People With Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ By Sarah Kim

December 8, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers in DV, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
People with Disabilities Experience Domestic Violence, Too: An FAQ Barrier Free Living welcomes writer Sarah Kim who will be contributing articles about domestic violence and disabilities. Sarah Kim: formerly a writer at @dosomething | now: graduate student at Columbia Journalism School | social media: @sarahskkim… read more

Kids Deliver Gift Bags To Families at BFL Apartments

December 8, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Shelter 0 Comments
For the holiday season, Dan Kimbers and his daughter Elina (pictured) wanted to find a way to spread joy beyond their own family this year. The Kimbers had heard about Barrier Free Living, and the agency's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families.  They reached out to BFL and asked if they could create small gift bags, and delivered them this December. Elina and a few friends created… read more

BFL’s Transitional Housing Thanksgiving Event

November 30, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Staff and residents at Barrier Free Living's Transitional Housing program gathered for a Thanksgiving feast this November. CEO Paul Feuerstein was on hand to wish the team and residents a safe and happy holiday.… read more

BFL’s Secret Garden At Barrier Free Justice Conference

November 30, 2017 Advocacy, BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden team members participated in this November's annual Barrier Free Justice Conference. The conference explored the intersection between disability and elder abuse, with a focus on victimization within the elderly population. Presenters and panelists discussed recognizing the signs of abuse, how to navigate and facilitate conversations about disabilities within the geriatric population, as well as the importance of caregiver support. Additionally, the conference explored the current misconceptions about elder abuse, what resources (social and legal) are currently in… read more

Toy Drive For BFL’s Freedom House Kids

November 27, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 2 Comments
The Church of the Holy Trinity is gathering toys and gifts for the kids at Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Freedom House emergency shelter in New York City again this year. The church has a sign up display (photo above, with the Rev. John Beddingfield) and is accepting donations this month. At its programs and shelters, BFL works with families and hundreds of children each year. Donations of toys and gifts from groups… read more

BFL Halloween Events

November 1, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living held Halloween themed events at its programs, drawing families, kids and staff in community building activities. At BFL Apartments, the tenant advisory group worked with the occupational therapy team to create a lively party space and spook house for dozens of kids living at the permanent housing complex in the Bronx. BFL works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, and their families as well as homeless individuals with disabilities.… read more