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 team, a talented social worker by the name of Tamar Carathers, to find out who she is and what inspires her. We asked her a variety of questions regarding her career in social work, her experiences with our agency, and her fascination with the pyramids. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did.

 What inspired you to take on the challenge of social work?

My inspiration to take on the challenge of Social Work began when I sat in Housing Court with a client from East Harlem. As a Case Aide at a non-profit organization, my role was to assist clients in rental arrears on the verge of eviction.  When I arrived I was completely shocked to see rows and rows of melancholy Manhattanites waiting for a Judge in an extremely warm courtroom to decide if they were granted an extension or if they will be returning to homelessness. At that moment, I knew I wanted to help change this situation. I realized that I wanted to assist families with managing their lives after a trauma.

What first drew you to work at Barrier Free Living?

One of my colleagues worked with the agency, and encouraged me to apply for the position as a Social Worker. She knew that I had experience at another Supportive Housing Program for adult 55+, and figured the New Program would a great opportunity for me.

What most inspires you about the work the agency does?

The agency has inspired me in many ways. What inspires me most about the work the agency does is working with the deaf tenants/residents. The agency does a phenomenal job at ensuring our deaf tenants/resident are involved, and their views heard. I actually have taken a few beginners classes to learn ASL as a result.

How has working at the agency changed the way you view your own life?

Prior to working at the agency I knew that everyone had their own set of challenges to overcome. Working at the agency helped to see that the men, women, and children are truly SURVIVORS.  The resiliency that our Veterans, survivors of child abuse, and domestic violence have is unparalleled. Everyone truly has more strength than they may know. It inspires me to tug at those strengths and assist my tenants with seeing them for themselves.

What hobbies or outside activities inspire you?

Outside of work activities like running, Yoga, and spending quality time with friends and family inspire me. Running is unbelievably therapeutic to the work I provide.

Given the chance where will you take your next vacation.

Given the chance, my next vacation would be….to Egypt in Africa. I’m fascinated by the Pyramids.

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