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Our Stories

The End Of An Era: Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing Closes

May 1, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
After 28 years of operation, Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing program closed its doors on April 30, 2018. Barrier Free Living Founder, President/CEO Paul Feuerstein reflects on this ground-breaking program’s successes and challenges working with people with disabilities in New York City. The First Of Its Kind The ribbon cutting ceremony for Barrier Free Living’s Transitional Housing program. Paul Feuerstein, fourth from left . Our Transitional Housing Program opened in November of… read more

BFL Apartments’ Tenant Pursues Her Beauty School Dream

April 10, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
BFL Apartments' tenant Niasia signed on for the Assurant Financial Empowerment Scholarship program last year with a clear goal in mind: attend beauty school. Niasia, who completed the BFL Apartments' 8-week workshop and was awarded a financial scholarship, began classes at American Beauty School in the Bronx this month (photo above). Niasia is one of 8 workshop graduates who secured scholarships to pursue a career or educational goal… read more

BFL Apartments Young Tenant Pursues Bball Dream

March 13, 2018 Our Stories 0 Comments
A young tenant of Barrier Free Living Apartments received a scholarship grant to attend the Scout Focus Elite 80 basketball camp this March. BFL Apartments offers permanent homes with support services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families. ScoutsFocus is dedicated to identifying and providing a platform for underexposed players across the United States. Justin was awarded the funds, part of an Assurant sustainable living financial empowerment… 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

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

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

Go Pink Day At BFL’s Freedom House Shelter

October 25, 2017 Advocacy, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
The front desk staff of Barrier Free Living's  Freedom House program hosted its second annual Go Pink Day on Friday October 20. Resident Aide Manager Linette Holmes shares that "This is the second year Freedom House is remembering all those that are survivors of Breast Cancer and those that have lost the fight." Freedom House staff wore pink to commemorate this special cause and a GO PINK TABLE was the focal point of the celebration… read more

Staff Spotlight: Dwayne Jordan

October 25, 2017 BFL News, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
As the new nurse on staff at Barrier Free Living Apartments, Dwayne Jordan brings expertise, a keen focus on wellness, and even some experience as a power lifter to the supportive housing complex. BFL: What drew you to apply to Barrier Free Living? Dwayne: I grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Brownsville) during the 90s. I first-hand saw and experienced what many residents of BFL have gone through. I made… read more

BFL Team Member Felipe Sepulveda Honored With Lifesaver Award

October 10, 2017 Current Events, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Felipe Sepulveda, Director of Social Services at Barrier Free Living's (BFL) Transitional Housing program, was among those honored at the first ever Lifesaver Awards Ceremony in New York City on October 5. The awards, held by the Department of Health, honored 67 people who saved a collective 255 lives with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.  First Lady Chirlane McCray and Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett attended the ceremony. Felipe, who trained earlier in the year on… read more

Barrier Free Living Begins Work On Updated Mission Film

October 3, 2017 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living (BFL) has begun work on an updated version of its mission film, depicting the agency's growth and evolution since the original film debuted in 2012. The film, created in collaboration with DGNL , is a visual representation of the agency' s mission, vision and values. The new version will focus on the stories of the people that the agency works with in its programs, shelters… read more

Staff Profile: Linette Holmes, Freedom House

September 14, 2017 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
As the mother of a child with autism, Linette Holmes was drawn to the passionate mission of Barrier Free Living. She joined the Freedom House team as a per diem Resident Aide, then soon after became a Resident Aide manager. We caught up with Linette to chat about her journey at BFL, what she brings to the management team, and her goal to learn to surf. BFL: What first drew you to work at Barrier… read more

Barrier Free Living Communication Intern Shares Summer Highlights

September 5, 2017 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
 Liam Chan Hodges, a government major at Franklin and Marshall college, took on the role of summer intern in BFL’s Communication Department this year. Before heading back to campus he shared with us some highlights.  BFL: What was one particular highlight of your internship? Liam: Successfully creating an eye-catching and decently well visited Instagram page (check it out at  instagram ) that authentically portrayed the incredible work that BFL does. BFL: What is something that… read more

Ping Pong Champ Teaches Kids At BFL Apartments

August 18, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
Alexis Perez, a famed ping pong champ, is teaching the kids at BFL Apartments the art of the game. Perez has been meeting with the kids at the supportive housing complex in the Bronx three times a week since June. “The children have not missed a day of lessons and have been able to develop their own style of playing ping pong,” says Julie Pena, director at BFL Apartments. The kids received sports… read more

Community Building BBQ Summer Kick Off At BFL Apartments

June 15, 2017 Current Events, Our Stories 0 Comments
Tenants and staff gathered to celebrate the start of summer with a community building BBQ at BFL apartments in the Bronx. Staff worked the grill (social worker Sam Finan pictured above) and tenants from the single and family building enjoyed the meal and mingling. The complex has apartments for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities (including 91 kids) as well as veterans with disabilities.… read more

Playwright David Drake Brings Theatre Camp For Kids To BFL Apartments

June 8, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 2 Comments
This profile is by Liam Chan Hodges, a summer intern in BFL’s Communication Department. His writing has appeared in Study Breaks and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a government major at Franklin and Marshall college and will graduate in 2019. David Drake is a man of many talents. He has gained success as a playwright, a stage director, an actor and an author. His most acclaimed piece The… read more

Staff Spotlight: Tamar’s Story

May 25, 2017 BFL News, Our Stories 0 Comments
This Staff Spotlight is by Liam Chan Hodges, a summer intern in BFL’s Communication Department. His writing has appeared in Study Breaks and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a government major at Franklin and Marshall college and will graduate in 2019. Here at Barrier Free Living we have been blessed with a team of talented individuals who are passionate about the work we do. We decided to sit down with one of our… read more

El Poema de la Esperanza de un Joven Residente de Freedom House

May 9, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
Un joven residente en el refugio de violencia doméstica Freedom House, de Barrier Free Living, compartió un poema de esperanza y sanación para comenzar el nuevo año. La "Chica Silenciosa" es parte de una familia que experimentó violencia doméstica y abuso antes de encontrar refugio seguro en Freedom House en 2016. La familia recibió terapia y servicios de apoyo y espera mudarse a un hogar permanente en 2017.… read more

What Matters Most

April 27, 2017 Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Now that she’s living in a safe home of her own, BFL Apartments’ resident Shanika can focus on her most important life goal: strengthening her relationship with her 14-year-old daughter. A survivor of domestic violence, Shanika was living at a shelter in Brooklyn, working with her case manager to reclaim her life and find a permanent home back in 2014. In addition to healing from years of abuse and trauma, she was learning… read more

BFL Apartments’ Cherita’s Hope & Gratitude

March 23, 2017 Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Excerpt from the NYC News Service Project, Nowhere to Go By Christine Brink For the first time in a long time, Cherita Barbuto, who suffers from bipolar disorder, counts herself among the lucky ones. For years, she was homeless, bouncing between jail, shelters and the streets. Now she’s living in a modest Bronx apartment (*Barrier Free Living Apartments), part of a city, state, federal and privately financed program called supportive housing, designed to help get… read more

Pajama Program Donates PJS To Kids At BFL Domestic Violence Programs

January 27, 2017 Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
The Pajama Program donated over 50 pairs of pajamas to the kids living at Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs this winter. The Pajama Program sets a goal for "every child to feel the love and comfort that lets them escape into peaceful sleep, and to awaken empowered with the energy and resilience that can change every one of their days for the better. We accomplish this with the rather… read more

Programa de Pijamas Dona Pijamas a los Niños en los Programas de Violencia Doméstica de BFL

January 27, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter 0 Comments
El Programa de Pijamas (The Pajama Program) donó más de 50 pares de pijamas a los niños que viven en los programas de violencia doméstica de Barrier Free Living este invierno. El Programa de Pijamas establece un objetivo de "permitir a cada niño sentir el amor y la comodidad que le permite escaparse en un sueño pacífico, y despertar con el poder de la energía y la resistencia que… read more

Tenant Advisory Board Elected At Barrier Free Living Apartments

January 26, 2017 Current Events, Our Stories Tags: 1 Comment
Barrier Free Living Apartments elected the 2017 Tenant Advisory Board this January. "We want to bring our community together as a whole. Making our environment where we live a better place for all us moving forward. Somewhere we can feel safe and happy to come home to," said Gevenia Hernandez, the newly elected President (photo above). "I would like us to do more plays with the kids, more outings as a community and… read more

Junta Asesora de Inquilinos Elegida en los  Barrier Free Living Apartments

January 26, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Current Events, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living Apartments eligió la Junta Asesora de Inquilinos del 2017 este mes de enero. "Queremos reunir a nuestra comunidad en su conjunto. Haciendo nuestro ambiente donde vivimos un lugar mejor para todos nosotros de ahora en adelante. En algún lugar donde nos sentimos seguros y felices al volver a casa", dijo Gevenia Hernández, la Presidente recién electa  (foto arriba). "Me gustaría que hiciéramos más obras de teatro con los niños… read more

BFL Team Members Get Involved With Education

January 19, 2017 Our Stories Tags: , 1 Comment
Team members at two Barrier Free Living programs are adding educational related activities to their agendas this winter. LeShan Gaulman, program director at the agency's Transitional Housing program for formerly homeless people with disabilities, has begun teaching Introduction to Social Work at Lehman College. "It has always been my desire to teach on a collegiate level, it was all part of my career path, " says LeShan. "Time management will be an important factor in this process. I know that it… read more

Los Miembros del Equipo de BFL se Involucran con la Educación

January 19, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Our Stories Tags: , 0 Comments
Team members at two Barrier Free Living programs are adding educational related activities to their agendas this winter. LeShan Gaulman, program director at the agency's Transitional Housing program for formerly homeless people with disabilities, has begun teaching Introduction to Social Work at Lehman College. "It has always been my desire to teach on a collegiate level, it was all part of my career path, " says LeShan. "Time management will be an important factor in this process. I know that it… read more

Larry Wilson Joins Freedom House Team

January 13, 2017 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Larry Wilson, who recently joined the Freedom House team as a social worker, has always been keen on making a difference. Wilson, who started his journey with the agency as an intern at Freedom House, is excited to be pursuing his goals and to "learn about family dynamics in the context of trauma." When he's not working, Wilson loves to read, and hopes one day to make it to Burning Man. We caught up… read more

Larry Wilson Se Une al Equipo de Freedom House

January 13, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Larry Wilson, quien recientemente se unió al equipo de Freedom House como trabajador social, siempre ha estado interesado en hacer una diferencia. Wilson, quien comenzó su jornada con la agencia en su practica profesional en Freedom House, está emocionado de seguir sus metas y de "aprender sobre la dinámica familiar en el contexto del trauma". Cuando no está trabajando, a Wilson le encanta leer y espera un día llegar a ir a… read more

BFL Apartments’ Team Works With Tenants To Achieve Dreams

January 10, 2017 Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Social workers at the Barrier Free Living Apartments supportive housing complex in the Bronx continue to work with tenants to achieve new life goals in 2017. David Kwon worked with 4 tenants in 2016, using the crowd funding platform Benevolent. The goal of Benevolent is"to bring dignity and self-determination to both sides of the giving equation, illuminating the realities of life on the edge of sustainability." Cherita, a 56-year-old BFL Apartments tenant who has overcame the trauma of homelessness, domestic… read more

El Equipo de BFL Apartments Trabaja con los Inquilinos Para Lograr Los Sueños

January 10, 2017 BFL Blog en Español, Our Stories Tags: 0 Comments
Los trabajadores sociales del complejo de viviendas de apoyo Barrier Free Living Apartments en el Bronx continúan trabajando con los inquilinos para alcanzar nuevos objetivos de vida en el 2017. David Kwon trabajó con 4 inquilinos en el 2016, utilizando la plataforma de cooperación colectiva de financiación Benevolent. El objetivo de Benevolent es "traer dignidad y autodeterminación a ambos lados de la ecuación de las donaciones, iluminando las realidades de la vida al borde de la sostenibilidad". Cherita, una residente… read more

Young Freedom House Resident’s Poem of Hope

January 6, 2017 Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: 0 Comments
A young resident at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House domestic violence shelter shared a poem of hope and healing to start the new year. The "Silent Girl" is part of a family that experienced domestic violence and abuse prior to finding safe shelter at Freedom House in 2016. The family received therapy and support services and plans to move into a permanent home in 2017.… read more