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Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Empowerment Groups Thrive In 2017

January 6, 2017 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
The Occupational Therapy team at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program kicked off 2017 with a host of weekly empowerment groups for consumers, from Money Matters to Self Care. The monthly cycle of groups include Creatively Empowered, Money Matters, Beauty and Self Care, and Movement and Fitness. The groups provide a "safe and open environment for participants to learn steps to improve self-esteem and stress management skills. It allows clients to gain… read more

Poet/Educator Cathryn Ana Glenday

November 10, 2016 Advocacy, BFL News 0 Comments
Cathryn Ana Glenday, MPH, MA, LMHC, is a psychotherapist and health educator focusing on disability mental health in Albuquerque. She has  been writing poetry since grade school. She is also working on a memoir about her own life and the lives of other disabled women she has  encountered as a medical student and grad student in clinical psychology. She shares a poem, below. Desert Fortress High above Albuquerque, behind the barbed wire fence, The isolated desert… read more

Hearts Of Gold Donates Gift Bags To Freedom House Pregnant Moms

November 3, 2016 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Hearts of Gold donated bath and shower gift bags to the pregnant moms at Barrier Free Living Freedom House domestic violence shelter. The mission of Hearts of Gold, which has supported Freedom House in various capacities over the past few years, is "re-imagining the future of homeless mothers and their children, together by helping them to become confident and self-sufficient as they prepare to transition out of New York City shelter… read more

BFL Apartments Community Halloween Party Draws Kids, Parents, Staff

October 27, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
BFL Apartments held a fun and festive community Halloween party for tenants and staff on October 25. The event included lunch, a costume contest and activities for the kids. BFL Apartments in the Bronx offers permanent homes for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and veterans with disabilities and includes on site counseling, skill-building… read more

Surviving & Thriving Domestic Violence Awareness Event Oct. 21

October 18, 2016 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Photo: BFL's Aeilushi Mistry (at left) with Diana Reyna , Deputy Brooklyn Borough President The Second Annual Surviving & Thriving event took place Friday October 21 from 10AM to 4PM at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Jeralemon St., Brooklyn NY. The event was a "celebration of courage, resilience, and strength from survivors and organizations that are thriving in our communities." The day included breakfast, relaxation and rejuvenation activities and a host of domestic violence organizations… read more

Art By Kids Of Freedom House Shelter Featured At TD Bank’s Bring Change Event

October 14, 2016 BFL News, Current Events Tags: 0 Comments
Art made by the kids from Barrier Free Living's (BFL) domestic violence programs was on display at the TD Bank's Bring Change Event Friday Oct. 7 in NYC. BFL works with people with disabilities — both survivors of domestic violence and homeless men, women and children — to thrive in safe, supportive communities. Team members from BFL were on hand to talk about the agency's work, as the bank staff encouraged patrons to… read more

ABC’s Speechless Highlights Teen With A Disability

October 4, 2016 BFL News 0 Comments
While able-bodied actors portray 95 percent of actors with a disability, such is not the case with ABC’s new comedy “Speechless”. The show follows a family of five with a special needs child, and Micah Fowler, a teen who has cerebral palsy, plays the character in the comedy. Show creator Scott Silveri loosely based “Speechless” on his experience growing up with an older brother with a disability. The first episode features… read more

Barrier Free Living Honored With Caritas Medal

October 3, 2016 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living was one of the honorees at St. John's Universities' Vincentian Convocation, held on September 22 in St. Thomas More Church at the Queens campus. Each year, the event honors people and organizations whose lives and work mirror the University’s mission. The Caritas Medal was presented to Paul Feuerstein, the President/CEO of  Barrier Free Living, for the agency's powerful work assisting those with disabilities. “As I listened to the citations… read more

BFL’s Paul Feuerstein Joins HSC Emergency Preparedness Panel Aug. 3

August 4, 2016 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Paul Feuerstein, President/CEO of Barrier Free Living was part of a panel on emergency preparedness for NYC Vulnerable Populations hosted by the Human Services Council (HSC). The panel was part of the August 3 forum -- “The Human Services Sector and the Next Big One: Are We Ready for Disaster!?,” --  which included  discussions on how human services organizations can get prepared to coordinate with each other and government to provide services to communities immediately in response to disasters and what… read more

BFL CEO Paul Feuerstein Featured On Encore

July 8, 2016 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
My “encore”€ work is expanding our focus into assisting disabled victims of domestic violence with emergency and permanent barrier-free housing. Thirty years ago, I had no clue that the #1 issue facing women with disabilities nationwide is domestic abuse. Once I realized that the city had no services for this population, I worked to build a totally accessible domestic violence shelter for severely disabled women and their children, as well as victims… read more

National Housing Conference Mobile Workshop Visits BFL Apartments

April 28, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments welcomed participants of the  National Housing Conference's (NHC) Solutions for Housing Communications conference Mobile Workshop on April 28. Paul Feuerstein, BFL President/CEO welcomed the group along with Thomas Obrzut, BFL Apartments Director and Lenore Warren, Director of Social Services. Mega Construction was also on hand. The group took a tour of a resident apartment and had a Q&A with the BFL Apartments' team. NHC's Solutions for Housing Communications 2016 Convening connects affordable housing developers, advocates, funders… read more

BFL Board Member Malcolm Wattman: A Commitment To Service

April 25, 2016 BFL News 0 Comments
For over two decades, Malcolm Wattman has been a powerful presence on Barrier Free Living’s board of directors, offering his insights and expertise as well an unshakeable commitment to the agency’s mission. With a career spanning 52 years, including work as an engineer and as a corporate and securities lawyer at Cadwalader, Wickerhsam and Taft, Malcolm officially retired in January of 2015, but his boundless energy and philanthropic commitment to charity… read more

Barrier Free Living Apartment Staff Attends NASW Conference

March 29, 2016 BFL News, Current Events Tags: 0 Comments
Tom Obrzut, Director of Barrier Free Living Apartments (photo, at right)  and Jonathan Berkley, Social Worker at BFL Apartments (at left), attended Social Work in the City, the 2nd Annual National Association of Social Workers Conference held March 14 in New York City. The conference enables licensed social workers to obtain 6 continuing education contact hours while sharing in a collective experience with a large gathering of colleagues, peers… read more

Second Chance Toys & Teens With Hatch and SheKnows Media Donate Toys to BFL Apartments Kids

March 21, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Shelter 0 Comments
Second Chance Toys & a group of teens with Hatch and SheKnows Media delivered toys to the kids of BFL Apartments this March. The teens brought pizza and cupcakes and delivered the toys to children living at the complex… read more

BFL Leadership Team Engaged In Anti-Racism Workshops

March 11, 2016 BFL News 0 Comments
The Barrier Free Living Leadership Team is engaged in a curriculum of Anti-Racism workshops led by MPG Consulting in 2016. MPG Consulting presents workshops which address the impact of structural racism as well as racial/cultural/gender identity and sexual orientation on the relationship between worker and client. The trainings, workshops and supervision are organized for professionals at various stages of their careers and with varying understanding and experience working with diverse racial, cultural and ethnic groups. More about MPG.… read more

Edward Solis: New Accounting Team Member Staff Spotlight

February 23, 2016 BFL News 0 Comments
Edward Solis, who originates from Lima, Peru brings a wealth of business and personal experience to his new position as bookkeeper at Barrier Free Living. We had a chat with Edward about what attracted him to BFL and what he hopes to achieve at the agency. BFL: What were you doing prior to working at Barrier Free Living? Edward: I worked in a small accounting firm. I took care… read more

David Kwon: Empleado Destacado de Barrier Free Living Apartments

February 9, 2016 BFL Blog en Español, BFL News, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
David Kwon recientemente se unió al equipo Barrier Free Living Apartments. Originario de Seúl, Corea, David comparte con nosotros lo que lo atrajo a la agencia, sus metas como trabajador social frente a la falta de vivienda y su amor por los videojuegos. BFL: Gracias David por tomarse el tiempo para platicar. ¿Puede decirme un poco sobre su historia, qué le llevó a trabajar en servicios sociales? David: Nací en… read more

David Kwon: Barrier Free Living Apartments Staff Spotlight

February 9, 2016 BFL News, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
David Kwon recently joined the Barrier Free Living Apartments team. Originally from Seoul, Korea, David shares with us what drew him to the agency, his goals as a social worker addressing homelessness, and his love for video games. BFL: David thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell me a bit about your history, what led you to work in social services? David: I was born in Seoul… read more

Domestic Violence 101 Training Empowers Freedom House Team

January 25, 2016 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Freedom House Emergency Domestic Violence shelter continues its ongoing commitment to increased education and awareness around Domestic Violence issues with a roster of  DV 101 Trainings this winter. "It's a rich curriculum that focuses on the basics including types of domestic violence, understanding power and control, and the psychology of a domestic violence survivor," says Cynthia Amodeo, Director of Social Services at Freedom House.  "It has been great for staff on many levels. We will be providing a DV 102 class as… read more

BFL’s Nicolyn Plummer Testifies At Council Committee Hearing On Technology And Safety

January 15, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Nicolyn Plummer, Social Worker at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden Domestic Violence Program, was one of three Deaf/Hard of Hearing advocates who testified on communication access for the Deaf/Hard of hearing at the council committee on technology and public safety on 1/14/2016 in New York City. Plummer says part of the mission is "making text to 911 accessible for everyone." View testimony video here.… read more

Independent Care Systems Article Asks: Why Barrier Free Living?

January 14, 2016 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
In the thought provoking article, Why Barrier Free Living,  Christofer Pierson, Director of Member Communications at Independent Care Systems offers insights into Barrier Free Living's long, successful history working with people with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. Read the article here.… read more

La Historia de Olga: De la Casa de la Libertad a los Apartamentos BFL Un Camino de Esperanza

January 5, 2016 BFL Blog en Español, BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: , 0 Comments
El día en que Olga encontró un resguardo seguro para ella y sus tres hijos en el refugio de Violencia Doméstica Freedom House de Barrier Free Living, es un momento que ella siempre apreciará. Ese momento, sin embargo, fue sólo el comienzo de una camino que tomaría varios giros en los próximos años. "Mi abusador me golpeó muy mal en la calle. La policía vino y lo llevó a la… read more

Olga’s Story: From Freedom House To BFL Apartments A Journey Of Hope

January 5, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: , 0 Comments
The day Olga found safe haven at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House Domestic Violence Shelter for herself and her three children is a moment she will forever cherish. That moment, however, was only the beginning of a journey that would take several twists over the next several years. "My abuser beat me up very bad on the street. The police came and took him to jail. That was in 2012,"… read more

Barrier Free Living Apartments Holiday Event

December 29, 2015 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
  Barrier Free Living Apartments, which opened summer of 2015, held its first tenant holiday event this December. Families who attended made holiday cards and other crafts before food was served. A volunteer singer performed. The room was decorated by the Tenants Association and the event was made possible in part due to a generous GoFundMe campaign coordinated by a… read more

Freedom House Holiday Event With Mrs. New York

December 29, 2015 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Mrs. New York Alison Trenk made a surprise call to Freedom House Emergency Shelter on the day of the holiday party, offering to supply the domestic violence shelter with bags of toys for the children residing there. Yenely Gomez, Director of Child Care/Recreation at Freedom House, was thrilled to receive the call and even more excited after they arranged for Alison to personally deliver the toys. Alison even allowed several of the kids to wear her crown. The event, which… read more

Spread The Sparkle Holiday Event For Barrier Free Living Programs

December 29, 2015 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
Spread The Sparkle hosted a spectacular holiday event for all of Barrier Free Living's programs this December 25 at a beautiful loft space in Manhattan. Barrier Free Living works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities (men, women and children) as well as formerly and currently homeless people with disabilities. Led by Spread the Sparkle founder Abbey LeVine and over 30 volunteers, the afternoon featured singing, a face painter, a… read more

BFL Part Of Initiative Fighting Poverty to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

December 11, 2015 BFL News, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
To fight both domestic violence and poverty and homelessness, HRA has partnered with nine community-based organizations to provide a wide variety of services to help survivors rebuild their lives. The organizations involved are Barrier Free Living, HELP USA, New York Asian Women’s Center, Sanctuary for Families, the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the Urban Justice Center, Seamen’s Society, Edwin Gould Services, and the Violence Intervention Program. In addition to standard services like safety planning and counseling, all nine of these organizations… read more

Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Features Deaf And Hard of Hearing Actors On Broadway

December 10, 2015 BFL News, Current Events 0 Comments
Deaf West’s innovative new production of Spring Awakening on Broadway features Deaf and Hard of Hearing actors. The show also includes the first actor (Ali Stroker) who uses a wheelchair to appear on the Great White Way. The Tony winning musical revival has choreographed sign language into the production. The show runs through January 24. Read more.… read more

Celebrate #GivingTuesday Support Kids Like Danielle At Our Domestic Violence Shelter

December 1, 2015 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
SUPPORT #GIVING TUESDAY Support Barrier Free Living this year. We work with over 140 kids like Danielle, age 13, who did our holiday card art at left. Danielle is a resident at our Freedom House domestic violence shelter. We also work with current and formerly homeless men and women with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. DONATE NOW… read more