Answers to Questions

General

Our primary service is providing one-time one-way transportation.

We serve victims and emergent survivors of intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, and family violence.

We do not pick up from a client’s home. All clients need to be in a safe location for pickup such as a counselor’s office, police station, fire station or busy public store. See our list of safe places for ideas.

Travel originates from inside the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex area going to a location more than 50 miles away to outside of the metroplex. See our map of service area for departures for specific questions on that.

We currently do not offer local travel across the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. For example, we don't accommodate travel from a hospital to a local shelter or from a local shelter to appointments inside the metroplex area (our purple zone).

Traveling clients must be 18 years or older. We cannot travel with children without a parent.

We can travel with pets, but they must be crated.

We provide fuel cards for those using their own vehicle to leave the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. This must be requested at least one-day in advance.

For liability and logistics purposes, our volunteers cannot ride in or drive a client’s personal vehicle.

We may offer a bus pass for shelter survivors traveling without children. Tickets are booked at least one week ahead of departure. Due to costs, we do not reserve tickets to depart on short notice.

Timing for highway travel is based on volunteer driver availability; therefore, we are unable to provide same day service. The farther the distance for travel, the longer it may take to find more than one driver with time for that trip.

Due to costs and logistics, we do not provide commercial flights.

We ask callers who will be traveling with children if they are aware of their custodial or parental rights.

Services are offered to men and women equally.

Clients traveling by car should expect a compact car similar to a Ford Focus, Kia Soul, Honda Civic, Chevy Impala, etc. We only use SUV and minivans for those with more children than can fit in the backseat of a car.

We do not help trafficked or sex crime victims at this time.

We do not relocate furniture.

We do not support travel to be with or near an abuser.

We do not offer travel to Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico. We can help a client get to a US border but our volunteers cannot cross that border. Clients intending to cross a US border need to study the requirements and laws regarding border crossing with children.

Meals for clients being driven are paid for and limited to $10/person per meal.

Time for deprture varies. A ride to regional shelter is typically honored the same day. A ride to a destination in another state may take days before departure pending volunteer availability. Bus passes are typically booked one week in advance. Fuel cards need to be reserved at least 1 day before departure.

Fuel assistance clients have no limit to fuel amount used to arrive at a destination. Fuel transactions are monitored. Misuse of a fuel card is a crime.

Shelter Clients

Our focus on shelter clients is to help parents traveling with young children and clients with mobility challenges. Shelter clients without children and capable of independent travel may be offered a bus pass. Outreach clients and non-sheltered victims take priority for service.

We recommend bringing up the topic of travel early in a shelter client’s stay to avoid waiting past an exit date.

Advocates and case managers may call ahead to inquire about qualification and scheduling for a client before formal intake.

Going from a DFW shelter to another shelter outside of the metroplex is limited to a 200 mile radius to ensure we arrive before the receiving shelter's space becomes unavailable. Exceptions may be granted if a receiving shelter further away accommodates additional travel needed to arrive. Bus pass clients to another shelter still need a 1 week wait for departure.

We must hear the client’s voice requesting service. An advocate’s request on behalf of a client is insufficient.

We can pick up your shelter client directly from the shelter or a mutually agreed public location.

Clients arriving at your shelter can be driven directly to the shelter or to a mutually agreed public location.

Shelter personnel will be notified at least 30 minutes in advance for pickup or arrival.

Organizational

We are primarily funded by community donors such as friends, neighbors, family and contributing volunteers. We also seek grants from various sources.

Currently there is no paid staff, only volunteers with a heart for service.

We serve and collaborate with all major Dallas-Ft. Worth area shelters, a major hospital and other organizations serving victims of domestic violence.

We have a small office in the North Dallas area.

Any donated item that cannot be used for the direct benefit of a traveling client is passed on to another local organization with a need for that item.

Donors of Families to Freedom support all costs of travel such as fuel, food, motel and vehicle costs. Clients do not pay for travel.

Volunteers

Volunteer drivers must: pass a criminal background check, pass a driving background check, have a valid driver’s license, be 21 years of age or older, and be comfortable with driving.

Volunteers may use their own personal vehicles to travel with a client locally or across Texas. We provide vehicles to be used for multi-state travel.

There are volunteer positions available that do not require passing a background check. Email volunteer@familiestofreedom.org to inquire about your options.

We provide hands-on training.

There are some volunteer positions that can be done from home.

Volunteer orientation may be conducted in a group setting or by private meeting. In-person orientation is a requirement.

Orientation typically takes 90 minutes. Driver training takes up to 2 hours.

Due to the need to make secure outbound calls related to travel and client needs, phone advocates take calls from the office.

Volunteers may serve as a Committee Member and/or attend a committee meeting to contribute to strategies, growth and organizational improvements.

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