Programs at Barrier Free Living
» Freedom House Safe Shelter
» Secret Garden Counseling
» BFL Apartments Permanent Homes
Every family deserves a safe home.
Take a virtual tour of Freedom House, view the video below.
What We Do
Opened in 2006 in New York City, Freedom House is a domestic violence shelter (90-180 day stay) for women, men and children. We serve both families and single individuals with or without disabilities. We have worked with people from 40 states and internationally and we welcome all members of the LGBTQ community.
Our safe, confidential and fully accessible shelter (the first in the nation) offers private living spaces of various sizes to accommodate both singles and larger families. We are equipped to serve all survivors and their children with disabilities including (but not limited to) wheelchair users, people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing and blind or visually impaired.
Our staff consists of both hearing and D/deaf social workers, mental health counselors and case managers who are fluent in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. We also have occupational therapists, emergency childcare, and family services to assist individuals and families to begin healing from the violence they experienced and to prepare for the future.
How to Apply
We assist people locally (New York City), nationally and internationally. Call (212) 400-6470 for more information and availability or email [email protected]
Empowerment. Advocacy. Hope.
What We Do
BFL’s award winning* program for people with disabilities who have experienced domestic violence. We began our domestic violence work in 1986 and opened our city-wide non-residential program Secret Garden in 1997.
How We Help
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counseling, Innovative Support Groups, Advocacy, Safety Planning.
Services in English, Spanish, American Sign Language.
Who is Eligible?
Any survivor of domestic violence who has a disability (a documented or undocumented disability). Prospective clients please call our hotline: (212) 533-4358 to schedule an intake session. Mon-Fri 9am–5pm.
Deaf Services team at our Video Phone number 646-807-4020. All calls outside these hours will be forwarded to Safe Horizon.
How to Apply
Call (212) 533-4358
email us: [email protected]
Download a PDF of the Secret Garden brochure here.
Download a PDF of the Deaf Services Team palm card here.
*Mary Byron Project Celebrating Solutions Award 2009
A new start.
What We Do
Barrier Free Living (BFL) Apartments opened in the summer of 2015 offering permanent homes with support services.
How We Help
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.
Who is Eligible
Potential tenants must be referred through a social worker and complete a 2010E application.
Barrier Free Living strives for excellence in all of our services.
If you have an issue or complaint please see our Statement of Tenant’s Rights on how to file a grievance here.
You can fill out our Tenant Grievance form by downloading the PDF here and emailing it to [email protected] or by dropping it off at the Barrier Free Living Apartment’s social work suite at 637 E. 138th Street, basement.
Email us: [email protected]
“My family feels safe. We are learning to be strong and to love ourselves. I am so glad we are here”
– Olga | Read Olga’s Story
Safe Shelter for people with disabilities.
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. Read his letter here.
Domestic Violence and Disabilities Training
Barrier Free Living offers a full roster of trainings related to domestic violence and disabilities. Find out more about our seminars or trainings and fill out our training request form to be contacted by our team.
Looking for More Information?
Do you want to collaborate, learn more about our domestic violence & disabilities programs or receive information about what we do? Contact Us!