January 5, 2016 BFL News, Current Events, Domestic Violence and Disabilities, Our Stories, Shelter Tags: , 6 Comments

olga story pic 2

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,” says Olga who is legally blind. “I went to Freedom House that year and that was the best thing I ever did.”

By 2014 Olga had rebuilt her life piece by piece, and her family had moved into their own home. That was also the year her abuser was released from prison.

“He followed us and one day he stabbed me in the chest and tried to kill me,” says Olga.

Her abuser again landed in jail, but Olga was left with a strong desire to not only find safe haven for her family, but also an opportunity to strengthen her commitment to an empowered life.

“I had a call from Paul (Feuerstein, President/CEO of BFL) and Cynthia (Amodeo, Director of Social Services, Freedom House) and they told me about the agency’s new Barrier Free Living apartments. They had a place for me and my family. I was so excited,” says Olga.

Barrier Free Living Apartments opened the summer of 2015, and Olga and her family are one of the families residing there living as tenants and receiving such support services as counseling and occupational therapy.

BFL Apartments offer fifty family units for families with a disabled head of household who is a victim/survivor of domestic violence and seventy studio apartments for disabled victims/survivors of domestic violence, people with disabilities who are being diverted from possible nursing home placement and veterans with disabilities.

“My family feels safe. We are learning to be strong and to love ourselves. I am so glad we are here,” says Olga, who plans to enroll in a computer class and pursue job related courses.

“I would also like to work with people with a disability and people who have been through things like I went through,” says Olga. “I want to send a strong message to people like me. So they can feel what I feel now. That is my goal. To help others.”



  1. Candice Burton 3 years Reply

    This testimony is beautiful! Thank you for sharing !!

    • Barrier Free Living 3 years Reply

      Thank you!

  2. Ines Bloise 2 years Reply

    I want to know how you can help me with some situations that I got and I am calling and reporting but my phone call are reendirect to another places.
    I made a Human Right in 2014 with Elizabeth Ortiz Feliciano regarding phone, computer hack and also people in the community was harassing that is a secret organization call RHIO, someone is playing sabotaging me social life, since 2003 also that was suspicious for me that I never got a permanent job, when I got fees training but always people was around like making comments like my body is like computer games, I catched I am target using medical and hospitals facilities after my son had an accidents.
    I am requesting transfer but in this housing they are denying it, how you can help me with it ?
    Also I had a HPD section 8 and I lost it because I couldn’t get an apartment.

    • Barrier Free Living 2 years Reply

      Your message has gone to our team. Thank you for reaching out.

  3. Indydehoney 2 years Reply

    I would like to go to a woman’s shelter and y’all got the closest one

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