Families to Freedom honors travel to shelter located up to 150 miles, or about 2 hours driving time, from Dallas or Houston. For a list of domestic abuse and family violence shelters in the region, see our directory here. Requests for travel to a shelter that is not listed on our Directory of Shelters may not be honored. We must verify by a 3-way call that the receiving shelter accepts you before travel can be scheduled. Clients arriving to a domestic violence agency will be driven directly to the shelter's property or to an attended counseling or administrative office. Families to Freedom drivers will not drop-off at a police station for police escort, nor to hospitals or other public places for a taxi or rideshare service for arrival to shelter.
We also serve those taking refuge in a domestic violence shelter who need to go farther with their long-term safety plans. There are many reasons survivors may seek travel after spending time in a shelter. Whether for family support, affordable housing or distance from a stalking ex-partner, our service helps survivors continue to rebuild their life after abuse, and it makes the shelter space available for the next crisis caller. We see this as serving double!
Shelter survivors seeking our service will need to be verified as current residents or program participants before service can be scheduled. This usually involves a phone conversation with a case manager or program personnel before or after your call.
Advocates & Case Managers
Victims referred by a domestic violence program, law enforcement, or CPS social worker take priority for service. We welcome prescreen calls to ensure your client is a good fit for travel before introducing the topic of transportation. Considerations to know ahead of time is whether we'll have a bilingual driver available, whether we'll have a child car seat available, timing to depart, and if your client meets our criteria for travel. We generally offer car/van rides to clients with children, and for clients with a significant impairment or disability.
Families to Freedom can arrange for travel to a family or friend’s home outside of Texas regardless of whether the caller originates in a shelter or not. We will require to speak to the receiving family member or friend to confirm arrival arrangements. For transitional housing as the destination, we’ll require to speak with a program representative to verify acceptance directly into a housing facility. We may honor travel to transitional housing located outside Texas. Timing to depart may take a few days or longer depending on a distance and volunteer availability. We advise that you plan ahead.
Travel by Bus
Callers without children requesting travel may be offered a bus ticket. Bus tickets are typically booked up to one week in advance of departure. We currently do not offer bus tickets for callers outside of our service area. For callers who need to be in a safe place before travel by bus, we can provide a ride to a shelter then a ride for a bus departure as part of a survivor's overall travel plan. For a list of shelters in the region, see our directory here. Train or airfare may be offered if the cost and timing is better than travel by bus, and it is at our discretion to offer this option.
Baggage restrictions may apply for how much luggage is allowed. Any single suitcase, bag or box must weigh under 50 lbs. Families to Freedom is unable to pay for travel costs with excess baggage and unable to ship items left behind. We will make arrangements for a ride to the bus station.
Call 833-903-SAFE M-F 8am-5pm CT to discuss travel needs