Families to Freedom serves those taking refuge in a domestic violence shelter where transportation is needed to arrive, or to relocate after being a resident at the shelter. There are many reasons survivors may seek travel after spending time in a shelter. Whether for family support, job opportunities, affordable housing or distance from a stalking ex-partner, helping someone leave shelter before their exit date opens that space up for the next caller. When a shelter is able to help more people, there will be a stronger support in the community for that shelter. We see this as serving double!
Shelter clients seeking our service will need to be verified as current residents or program participants before service can be scheduled. This usually involves a conversation with a case manager or program personnel before or after your call.
Three Ways to Go
We primarily offer three options for long-distance travel:
- Car (or van) Ride to Safety for clients with children
- Ticket to Ride by bus, train, or airline
- Fuel Assistance for gas
Advocates & Case Managers
We welcome prescreening 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 (sometimes we do), 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.
We honor travel to shelter for up to 200 miles from Dallas. Our advocates will need to speak to a case manager from the departing shelter to confirm pickup arrangements, and to the arriving shelter to confirm they are aware and accepting of the client, and confirm the address for arrival. Requests for travel to a shelter beyond 200 miles from Dallas, regardless of whether the caller originates in a shelter or not, will not be honored.
Families to Freedom can arrange for travel to a family or friend’s home beyond 200 miles 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 housing as the destination, we’ll require to speak with the landlord or a neighbor. For travel to a job opportunity, we’ll require to confirm arrival arrangements with the company’s human resources department.
Travel by Bus
Callers without children requesting travel may be offered a bus pass. Bus passes are typically booked one week in advance of departure. A photo ID may be required. We currently do not offer bus passes for callers outside of the North Texas area. For callers who need to be in a safe place before travel by bus, we can provide a ride to a regional shelter then a ride for a bus departure as part of a survivor's overall plan. For a list of regional shelters in North Texas, see our directory here.
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 972-885-7020 M-F 8am-5pm CT to discuss travel needs.