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Donor Profile: Inspired To Give

February 23, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Larry and Lysa first became connected to Barrier Free Living through a touch of sparkle. The couple are members of Spread the Sparkle, a group which has created holiday events for the residents and tenants at Barrier Free Living's programs for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities for the past several years. In 2020, Larry and Lysa decided to step up their support of the agency, reaching out to friends and colleagues… read more

Fired Up! Zoom Cooking Show Debuts With Chef Steph

February 3, 2021 Uncategorized 0 Comments
In 2018, Stephanie decided to channel her love of cooking and her commitment to her roots into a winning recipe: PhanousKitchen. With a catering menu that offers everything from 5 cheese Mac and Cheese to Siracha Scotch Bonnet Wings or Rum Pineapple Cake Jars, Long Island NY based Chef Steph relies on old family recipes to keep things authentic. As the first guest star Chef in Barrier Free Living's new… read more

Former Freedom House Team Member Launches Self-Healing Journal

January 4, 2021 Uncategorized 6 Comments
Drawing on her rich experience as a Social Work intern at Barrier Free Living's Freedom House, Jessica Rios-Flores turned her love of journaling into a publishing venture in 2020.  A life-long believer that writing can help us "uncover truths" Jessica put out "My Self Healing Journal" on Etsy. We caught up with Jessica this month to talk about her time at Freedom House and her latest adventures (she also owns a… read more

New Donor Discovers Holiday Giving At BFL

December 14, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
In addition to collaborations with groups like Winter Wishes and The Church of the Holy Trinity  Barrier Free Living is grateful to individuals donating toys to the kids at our domestic violence programs this season. Jason recently learned of our mission - working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities - and decided to check out our amazon charity wish list, where he found toy suggestions. We reached… read more

Winter Wishes Toys Donated To Kids At BFL

December 14, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living team member Tony picking up donated toys to distribute to the kids at our domestic violence programs this month. BFL is grateful to our collaboration with Winter Wishes (part of NY Cares) who connected over 100 individual donors with gift requests from the kids living at our domestic violence programs this holiday season.… read more

BFL’s Paul Feuerstein Honored With NCDAV Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award

October 22, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living President/CEO Paul Feuerstein is being honored at this year's NCDAV Power Up National Conference on Domestic Violence (Oct. 25-28) with the prestigious Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award. "I am honored to be the recipient of the Recognizing (Y)Our Power Lifetime Impact Award, as a part of the NCADV 2020 Power Up National Conference on Domestic Violence. I am honored to have collaborated with so many wonderful staff members over… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: A Doula & Belly Dance Teacher, Karisma Brings Creativity & Vibrancy To BFL

October 20, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
With experience as a doula* and and a teacher of belly dancing, Karisma's love for working and writing about people in complex and creative situations led her to seek out a volunteer opportunity with the Barrier Free Living Communication Department. Karisma will offer support with social media messaging for the agency, as well as writing for the blog and being involved in events. We chatted with her as she began her… read more

In Conversation: A New BFL Series About Our Services

October 16, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sara Eldridge, Assistant Director at Barrier Free Living's Secret Garden domestic violence program is in conversation with Lucy Ayala, the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator at Secret Garden. They talk about the differences in the type of support they each offer to survivors… read more

Secret Garden Team Member Shares Poetry For Healing

August 10, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Marcus Clemons, bilingual (Arabic/English) case manager at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden, shared a poem (see below) inspired by his work with a survivor of domestic violence at the agency's recent Small & Mighty zoom event introducing the team. Marcus is creative in the work he does with survivors and considers himself a “partner on their journey towards well-being and security.” Learn more about Marucs and the team. View the recent… read more

Staff Spotlight: Tiffany Williams Bids BFL A Fond Farewell

August 6, 2020 Uncategorized 6 Comments
Tiffany Williams joined the Barrier Free Living (BFL) team in 2004 driven by a fierce determination to give back to a community that saved her life. “I was homeless from age 6 to 13. The Lower East Side (of New York City) is where I was helped. I wanted to give back to the community that gave me life,” says Tiffany, who is bidding farewell to BFL this month.  “It took six months… read more

Barrier Free Living Tenant-Led Garden Club Thrives

July 17, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
The Barrier Free Living Apartments' tenant-led Garden Club is thriving with a strong sense of community and an abundance of fresh vegetables this summer. Gigi, an original member of the club, says the roof top garden at the Bronx-based supportive housing program, which includes flowers as well as a host of vegetables, is providing a rich crop. More important, she adds, the club is making sure that members who… read more

Small & Mighty: Celebrating The Secret Garden Team Zoom Event Aug. 5 Noon

July 16, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
ZOOM EVENT August 5, Noon-1pm Join Zoom Meeting For over 20 years Barrier Free Living’s award winning Secret Garden program has provided one-on-one counseling, weekly support groups plus housing, legal and financial guidance to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities in the New York City area. We have a brand new team for 2020 and would love you to join us for this special event featuring poetry, live music and a chance to… read more

Sit Down With Sara: Domestic Violence & LGBTQ+ Relationships

June 24, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Sit Down With Sara: Domestic Violence & LGBTQ+ Relationships from barrier free living on Vimeo. Sara Eldridge, Assistant Director at Barrier Free Living’s Secret Garden domestic violence shelter shares insights and tips on topics related to domestic violence and the services and support offered at Barrier Free Living. Coming Soon: a special Zoom event celebrating the… read more

Still We Rise: Barrier Free Living Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month through Music, Literature & Performance

June 23, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Still We Rise: Barrier Free Living Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month through Music, Literature & Performance HOSTED by Scott Hess & Amanda Miller FEATURING: JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL John co-created Hedwig and the Angry Inch (two Tony Awards, Best Director at Sundance, Golden Globe nomination). He directed Shortbus (2006); Rabbit Hole (2010) (Oscar nom for Nicole Kidman) and How to Talk to Girls… read more

A Message From BFL’s Founder Paul Feuerstein

June 3, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
A message from Barrier Free Living CEO/Founder Paul Feuerstein For the past few months, we have focused so much time and attention on the COVID pandemic.  In the process, we have ignored other pandemics.  The executive director of UN Women has identified domestic violence as the shadow pandemic.  Victims forced to shelter in place with their abusers.  The other shadow pandemic that is presently writ large in our country is… read more

Sweating For A Cause: Friends Create Uplifting Fitness Event To Benefit Barrier Free Living

May 27, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
During the challenging and isolating COVID-19 crisis, three good friends decided they wanted to "virtually" come together and "sweat for a good cause." The women, Liz Barnet Simmons, Leanne Shear and Michelle Mason, put their heads together and landed on a virtual workout class that would build community and raise money for charity.  Led by their mantra  "Strong Women Uplift Each Other" they choose Barrier Free Living's domestic violence programs as… read more

Barrier Free Living Deaf Services Team ASL Video

May 20, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
Barrier Free Living Deaf Services Team member Allison offers a brief introduction to the services provided by the Deaf Services Team. Barrier Free Living’s Deaf Services team works with survivors of domestic violence at Secret Garden, our community based domestic violence program and Freedom House, our domestic violence crisis shelter. The Deaf Services team includes deaf, ASL fluent social… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: New York Artist Inspired By Barrier Free Living’s Mission

May 8, 2020 Our Stories, Uncategorized 1 Comment
John, a 34-year-old artist living in Chinatown, Manhattan, was searching for ways to be of service during the COVID-19 crisis when he read about Barrier Free Living and its work with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. "I came across your organization while looking for programs to plug into and contribute to during a vulnerable moment for our communities. I believe strongly in creating an environment free of abuse and bias… read more

Staff Spotlight: Family Law Attorney Nick Pedersen Joins The Team

May 6, 2020 Our Stories, Uncategorized 0 Comments
Nick Pedersen, Barrier Free Living Family Law Attorney  Having witnessed people with disabilities facing abuse in the court system throughout his career, attorney Nick Pedersen was grateful for an opportunity to support Barrier Free Living's mission, joining the team this past spring. What drew you to work with Barrier Free Living? "What drew me to the work with Barrier Free Living is that it is a very well-known and well-respected organization.  The organization has a… read more

Volunteer Spotlight: Sewing Masks Heals Emotional Wounds

April 17, 2020 Uncategorized 0 Comments
For Heejung, sewing and creating masks during the COVID-19 crisis isn't just service, it's a way to heal emotional wounds. "My mom’s first husband was a violent abusive alcoholic. She had to run away from him literally for her life," says Heejung, who works in New York City as a dental hygenist. "I feel like each stitch heals her physical and emotional wounds." Heejung began sewing a few years back as a hobby,  and… read more

A Message From Barrier Free Living Founder Paul Feuerstein

April 6, 2020 Uncategorized 2 Comments
As the global effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Barrier Free Living is firmly committed to the health and safety of our staff and the people we serve. We have been working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities for nearly 40 years.  We continue to work with survivors at our Freedom House domestic violence shelter, Secret Garden domestic violence program and Barrier Free Living Apartments supportive housing program. We are closely monitoring… read more