Barrier Free Living, Inc.

Helping People with Disabilities Help Themselves

aka Barrier Free Living Inc.   |   BRONX, NY   |  https://www.bflnyc.org

Mission

Mission Barrier Free Living supports individuals with disabilities to live dignified lives free of all forms of abuse and bias. Vision Our vision is a barrier-free world. We strive for a world free from abuse and bias, where people with disabilities live in a supportive environment. In this world, society values all its members, and individuals with disabilities are free of any barriers preventing them from reaching their fullest potential.

Notes from the nonprofit

Barrier Free Living Inc. is part of the Barrier Free Living Family of Companies, one of two operating corporations under the umbrella of the Holding Company. We have three Housing Development Fund Corporations whose sole purpose is the ownership of buildings and properties used for our mission. The BFL Inc. board are the elected officers of the Holding Company which has a larger more diverse board. For the past 8 years, Barrier Free Living has been engaged in undoing racism work. Undoing Racism Training is mandated for all staff members. BFL leadership participates in monthly Executive Undoing Racism forums as well as smaller support groups that meet more than once a month to bring not-for-profit leaders together to support each other in the quest for racial equity. In 2018, BFL closed its homeless shelter when our old building was deemed unsafe for continued use. It has been demolished. We are developing 74 units of permanent supportive housing in its place.

Ruling year info

2004

President/CEO

Mr. Paul B Feuerstein

Main address

637 EAST 138 STREET

BRONX, NY 10454 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3059155

NTEE code info

Independent Housing for People with Disabilities (L24)

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Victims' Services (P62)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

National surveys have documented that the number one issue of women with disabilities is domestic violence. When we started our work in 1986, Berkeley Research Associates had done a survey of 200 women who were leaders in the independent living movement. They identified domestic violence as their number one priority. A few years ago, Unites Spinal did a national survey of the women in their program and again found domestic abuse to be their number one issue. A recent report by the VERA Institute of Justice's Center on Victimization and Safety stated From 2010 to 2014, for example, the rate of serious violent crime—rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault—against people with disabilities was more than three times higher than the age-adjusted rate for people without disabilities. From 2010 to 2014, only 13 percent of violent crime victims with disabilities received assistance from non-police victim services agencies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Barrier Free Living Apartments Supportive Housing Program

Barrier Free Living is the service provider for 120 units of supportive housing in the South Bronx. Fifty family units serve heads of household with a disabling medical condition who are survivors of domestic violence. 70 family units for individuals with mental health issues most of whom are victims of intimate partner violence.
Barrier Free Living is a member of the Barrier Free Living Family of Companies. Financial information for the organizations can be found under Barrier Free Living Holding Corporation 54-2082229.

Population(s) Served
Families
Victims and oppressed people

The Secret Garden provides hotline services, counseling, advocacy, Innovative Support Groups, Independent Living Skills Training,
Safety Planning, and public awareness campaigns and trainings on domestic violence and people with disabilities.
Services in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, Italian, French, Haitian-Creole.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Awards

Celebrating Solutions Award 2009

Mary Byron Project

Affiliations & memberships

Mary Byron Project Celebrating Solutions Award 2009

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Barrier Free Living is committed to providing the most comprehensive interventions both residential and non-residential to support people with disabilities in breaking away from victimization. Barrier Free Living through its program development, research, and thought leadership is working to raise up the issue of domestic violence and people with disabilities nationally.

Barrier Free Living's non-residential domestic violence program has grown from a staff of two to a staff of 14 providing counseling, advocacy, case management and public education. Our sister program, Freedom House for People with Disabilities Inc., was the first totally accessible shelter in the United States presently licensed to serve 95 residents at a time.

Barrier Free Living Apartments has 50 family supportive housing units for families with a head of household with a disabling medical condition. 100% of our families survived domestic violence. 85% of our 70 studio supportive housing units are survivors of intimate partner violence. Barrier Free Living is presently developing a 74-unit building with 44 units for domestic violence survivors and 30 units for seniors transitioning our of nursing homes under New York State's Emire State Supportive Housing Initiative.

BFL staff have presented and national and regional conferences on aspects of domestic violence and people with disabilities. This past year, BFL did a series of webinars for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.

BFL is collaborating with Stoneybrook University on a number of research projects delving into the dynamics of the intersection between disability and domestic violence.

The Barrier Free Living Family of Companies is already the largest provider of domestic violence intervention services for people with disabilities in the United States. With 34 years of experience in the field, we have a team of individuals that have worked with us for over ten years. We internally train staff to facilitate trauma-informed care with a multi-disciplinary approach. We are the first domestic violence program in the country to engage occupational therapy and the focus on evaluating Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and providing individual and group training to improve ADL skills. We have a full-time nurse to facilitate navigation of the medical needs of residents who have to move their care to safer locations. We have a team of social workers and case managers to provide trauma-informed counseling as well as assistance in accessing housing and other supports necessary for an individual or family to live successfully in the community. We have developed a trauma-informed model for permanent supportive housing. We have just put a legal team in place to work with individuals in all of our programs that need representation in family court.

Key staff members have published papers about their work, made presentations in local, state and national conferences on domestic violence and people with disabilities.

We have established a city-wide non-residential domestic violence program that serves hundreds of people a year through a domestic violence hotline, virtual and face-to-face counseling, case management services, and advocacy.
We created the first totally accessible domestic violence shelter in the country (under a sister corporation Freedom House for People with Disabilities). Freedom House has served victims from 40 states, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Ghana.
We have created 50 units of supportive housing for families with a head of household who has a disabling medical condition and is a survivor of domestic violence. We have created 70 studio units primarily for survivors of intimate partner violence.
We are in process of developing another building which will have 74 units of supportive housing (studios, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units) for survivors of domestic violence (44 units) and seniors transitioning out of nursing homes (30 units)

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

Barrier Free Living, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Barrier Free Living, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/16/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gerald Francese

Locke and Lord

Term: 2014 - 2024

Randolph Mowry

New York University

Robert Foote

Private Practice Lawyer

Malcolm Wattman

Retired

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/27/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.