What Matters Most
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 to understand and manage her life as a bi-polar person.
“It was challenging living in the shelter,” she says. “I am a very private person. At times I felt like I was spiraling. My case worker helped me focus on my goals.”
In 2015, Shanika learned about the soon-to-open Barrier Free Living apartment complex in the Bronx and felt it was going to be the next right step for her.
“It was new. I was so excited, thinking I’d love to live in a building like this,” Shanika says. “I was like wow! When I saw the front desk security I felt good, to know safety is important here. Even when you don’t think you need it, that is when you need it most.”
Shanika moved into her new home at BFL Apartments in 2015. Since then she has joined the BFL Apartments’ tenants advisory committee and plans to work with the garden club this summer, which is led by tenants. She also wants to work in real estate and is preparing this spring to take the licensing exam.
“I work with the psychiatric nurse here to feel my feelings and I use art therapy. I wrote an article for the tenant community newsletter about mental health and that’s coming out soon,” says Shanika. “And now my main goal is to really work on my relationship with my daughter. That’s what matters most.”