Category: Breaking Barriers Newsletter

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Breaking Barriers Newsletter

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

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

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

Freedom House: Working With Children In Our Domestic Violence Shelter

July 17, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, 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 she worked with… read more

Freedom House Spotlight: From Domestic Violence Shelter Resident To Team Volunteer

June 27, 2018 Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter, Uncategorized 0 Comments
When Bethelihem and her family arrived at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter in 2014, the only thing on her mind was safety.  Not long into her stay, she discovered the power of helping others as part of her own healing journey.  Today, as a senior at  Hunter College of City University of New York (CUNY) pursuing a Sociology degree, Bethelihem decided that she wanted to give… read more

Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House: June Is Elder Abuse Month

June 15, 2018 Breaking Barriers in DV, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Contributor Sara Eldridge, LMSW, is a Senior Social Worker 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 she worked with youth in alternatives… 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

Breaking Barriers, May 2015

May 1, 2015 Breaking Barriers Newsletter Tags: 0 Comments
This month’s contributor, Thomas Obrzut joined the Barrier Free Living team this spring as Director of our newest vision: Barrier Free Living Apartments, a Supportive Housing Program for people with disabilities in the Bronx, NY. BFL Apartments will be an important step in filling a critical need in New York City. The program, slated to open summery 2015, will provide permanent housing to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities, homeless people who… read more

BFL’s Speaker’s Bureau Part of Ground Breaking Event

October 22, 2013 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Theresa MacIntosh, founder of BFL's Survivor's Speaker's Bureau, participated in artist Suzanne Lacy's Between the Door and the Street, a political performance that brought together close to 400 women in Brooklyn. "It was an absolutely awesome experience and the first time our Speaker's Bureau participants were able to speak. They made me so proud," said MacIntosh, pictured at center with her group. Barrier Free Living. Inc. Speakers Bureau was founded in May 2012 by… read more

Secret Garden Team Member’ s Journey to Healing

October 22, 2013 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
The following article will appear in Barrier Free Living's annual newsletter (Nov. 2013) Breaking Barriers.  To learn more, or receive the free newsletter, contact [email protected] Antoinette Calabretta, a Case Manager at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden Program, shares her personal journey dealing with a disability and becoming a powerful force of change in the lives of the people she works with.  Of note: Alejandrina Cruz, who Antoinette works with at the Secret Garden, was featured in a New York Times story… read more

City Must Help Domestic Violence Survivors Find Safe, Affordable Housing

September 10, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
New Destiny’s Executive Director, Carol Corden’s op-ed on the importance of addressing the crisis of homelessness for survivors of domestic violence was published this Sunday in the Daily News. She writes: Every day in New York City, the NYPD responds to over 700 incidents of domestic violence. It impacts every neighborhood of the city, and is currently the leading cause of murder for women in New York City. That’s why it’s important for the next mayor to have a comprehensive plan… read more

Disability and Abuse Project Releases Report on Abuse of People with Disabilities

September 4, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
The Disability and Abuse Project released a report that gives low grades to state and local agencies for failing to respond adequately to widespread abuse of children and adults with disabilities. The Report -- "Abuse of People with Disabilities: Victims and Their Families Speak Out" -- analyzes the results of what may be the largest survey of its kind in the nation.  More than 7,200 people took the survey which inquired into the experiences of people with disabilities as victims of abuse and bullying. Family… read more

Shine the Light on Domestic Violence

September 4, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities 0 Comments
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer commemorates Domestic Violence Awareness Month by joining with the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the Third Annual Shine the Light on Domestic Violence on October 7 at 6:30 PM, Duffy Square in Times Square (SW Corner of Broadway and 47th Street). Barrier Free Living joins a host of sponsors along with the Borough President to take a stand. Click here… read more

High School Football Player Inspiration for People With Disabilities

September 3, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events 0 Comments
The NY Daily News reports: less than a year after a rising high school football player's right leg snapped back during a game, which led to its amputation, the Montana senior is back on two feet and wiping the field with his competitors. In Koni Dole's first game of the season Friday, the Huntley Project high school senior snagged the ball and ran for two touchdowns on a prosthetic leg, helping lead his team to victory. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/high-school-amputee-amazing-football-comeback-article-1.1444572#ixzz2drHH5qZ6… read more

Picture This International Disability Film Festival Call for Entries

August 22, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter 0 Comments
The deadline for entries for the 2014 'Picture This International Disability Film Festival' is September 16th, 2013 The festival features films that are about disability and/or films on any subject that were produced, directed and/or written by people with disabilities.  To learn more click here. Last year's Best of Festival winner was Macropolis. MACROPOLIS, an animated film from Flickerpix Joel Simon, is the story of two toys with impairments discarded from a factory production line. Coming to life, they rebel… read more

Uncensored Magazine Features BFL’s Vibrant Beyond Freedom Group

July 19, 2013 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities Tags: 0 Comments
Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness reports in its Uncensored Summer Issue on BFL Freedom House's vibrant Beyond Freedom Group. In the article Pearl Brownstein writes about the post-shelter support group for DV survivors.  In the article “The Unlikely Homeless: One Woman’s Experience in a Domestic--violence Shelter,” published in the Fall 2012 issue of UNCENSORED, Brownstein wrote about what led her to seek shelter and about the value of her time there. Read the full article here.… read more

HSC’s New Radio Series “Voices of Human Services” on WWRL 1600 AM

July 2, 2013 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Shelter 0 Comments
HSC’s new Radio Series “Voices of Human Services” on WWRL 1600 AM debuted last week. Listen to the podcast here: http://www.wwrl1600.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=6441417 The show featured an interview by Allison Sesso of Thomas Krever, Executive Director of Hetrick Martin Institute, talking about the organization’s work with LGBTQ youth, followed by a discussion led by Michael Stoller on the disaster response efforts of faith-based human services programs in areas of New York devastated by Hurricane Sandy, with Peter Gudaitis, New York Disaster… read more

BFL’s Aeilushi Mistry Shines In New York Times

June 13, 2013 BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events 0 Comments
BFL Team member Aeilushi Mistry (pictured, JULIENNE SCHAER photo) was featured in a recent New York Times piece about the upcoming Hindu Lamp Ceremony. The New York Times Wrote: Why not wind down the season back where we started, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, with a pair of intriguing events in August. On Aug. 2, Aeilushi Mistry, a classical Indian dancer and arts educator, will conduct a Hindu aarti lamp-lighting ceremony, a traditional petition… read more

Alex Minsky’s Star Rises as He Continues to Inspire People with Disabilities

May 16, 2013 Advocacy, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events 0 Comments
First featured on our website last October, Alex Minsky, the Marine Lance Cpl. who lost his leg when his truck rolled over an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan, has gone onto become a sought after model and inspiration for people with disabilities world wide.  He has been featured this June on both ABC and NBC. See the ABC Good Morning America story click here. See the latest news story on NBC click here. Click here to… read more

Marine Alex Minsky Inspires People With Disabilities On NBC News Story

October 9, 2012 Advocacy, BFL News, Breaking Barriers Newsletter, Current Events 0 Comments
When Marine Lance Cpl. Alex Minsky (pictured) lost his leg when his truck rolled over an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan he had no idea how greatly his journey would end up empowering people with disabilities. View the latest NBC News story, click here. LA based photographer Tom Cullis first noticed Alex at his gym. "I saw him on a daily basis doing pushups with one leg or core… read more