Families To Freedom Inc

Transportation for Victims of Abuse

aka Families to Freedom   |   Addison, TX   |  https://www.familiestofreedom.org/index.php

Mission

Our mission is to transport victims of domestic abuse to safety. We provide one-way transportation to reunite with family far away or get to shelter.

Notes from the nonprofit

Access to transportation is the single most important factor in a victim's ability to escape. In Texas and much of the US, it is impossible to get between cities without a car. Families to Freedom transports victims of domestic abuse to safety. We provide long-distance travel to available emergency shelter, and to family or friends far away. Donations to support our mission are entirely put towards direct program expenses for our transportation costs. State funding only supports administrative costs such as wages, insurance, office rent and office equipment.

Ruling year info

2015

Executive Director

Mrs. Sarah Nejdl

Co-Chair

Ms. Oweida Carter

Main address

PO Box 1226

Addison, TX 75001 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-3184478

NTEE code info

Victims' Services (P62)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Victims of domestic and family violence across Texas, and especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex and Greater Houston area, frequently face barriers to accessing safety after domestic violence shelter due to a lack of shelter capacity. Compounding the problem, when available space is found, such as in a small town facility in another county, victims often have no means of transportation to get there. Rideshare service and taxi rides are too expensive for victims with no money, and public transit is not a safe option for victims to wait for a bus where their abuser may see them from the road. Access to transportation is the single most important factor in a victims' ability to escape.

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?

Fuel Assistance

Fuel cards are issued to victims leaving in their own vehicle to support gas purchases for travel to another state, or far across Texas.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Adults

We purchase bus and train tickets for survivors leaving shelter to family far away.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Adults

We provide car/van rides to a domestic violence shelter, or to family far away.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

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.

Our vision is to make it possible for victims and new survivors to get away from domestic abuse situations. By helping them break free from domestic abuse, we can stop the cycle. The children we travel with have the most to gain through living in a more loving, supportive environment so they can get counseling, support and modeling for a normal adult life. This breaks the cycle of abuse for them. Our goal is to reduce child abuse, reduce hospitalizations, reduce homelessness, and reduce fatalities resulting from victims who are unable to get away. We enable disappearance from stalkers, a return to the workforce, healthy homes for children, and life-long freedom from abuse.

Families to Freedom fills the lack of transportation gap by providing Rides to Safety for victims to get to a domestic violence shelter anywhere in North Texas, East Texas, and the Gulf Coast, and shelter survivors to get to a family home far away for long-term safety and support. In 2021 Families to Freedom transported over 550 victims and children to arrive at emergency shelter or family far away. Victims do not pay anything for their car ride to shelter or road trip to a family home or Greyhound bus ticket to another state or fuel to drive to family in another state. Transportation services provided by Families to Freedom are tailored to each caller’s safety plans and needs based on their circumstances. We remove barriers by providing car seats for those with young children, animal crates for those with pets, and flexibility to go when the client is ready. We strive to reduce the rate of domestic violence victims who cannot find shelter or get far away from their abusers by expanding their search for facilities located across Texas, whether it's merely a ten minute drive or up to three hours drive and several counties away. By helping shelter survivors leave for a family home far away, we make it possible for survivors to receive long-term support and we make that space open for the next crisis hotline caller who needs it.

Since starting free transportation services for domestic violence victims in October 2015, Families to Freedom has embarked on over 3,000 trips long and short. Families to Freedom employs hotline advocates who are specially trained to assist with safety planning for a victim's exit from an abusive home, to provide emotional support for callers in distress, and gather necessary information needed for transportation. We also employ operations specialists who are specially trained at executing each victim's travel. They are trained at installing child car seats, monitoring all travel progress, communicating with the drivers and victims for ease at pick-up, and evaluating a variety of ticketed travel for those going by bus or flight. We employ program managers to oversee hotline and operations roles to perform at high standards, to handle escalated calls and situations, to onboard and train volunteer drivers, and assist victims with applying for crime victims compensation when able. Our volunteer team is strong enough to handle the increasingly high demand for transportation service needed by victims. Before accepting any volunteer or committing to a new hire, we thoroughly vet applicants’ backgrounds with the required criminal background checks. Volunteer drivers must also submit to a background check of their driving records. Finally, Families to Freedom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 35 Texas domestic violence shelters. These agreements ensure that both agencies will communicate under mutual confidentiality, in a joint effort, to ensure victims’ arrival and departure from their respective shelters. The MOU also guarantees that each agency agrees to provide services to the victims in our care.

In five years of starting service, we have driven, bused, flown, and given fuel cards to over 2,500 victims and children. Our annual average has become serving over 550 victims and children each year. As of 2022, we have completed transportation over 2,200 times, gone to shelters 1,500 times, driven to family homes 300 times, bought 250 bus and commercial flight tickets, and given away 180 fuel cards for victims with a vehicle. We provide more direct service to victims and at risk children than some of the domestic violence centers in our area that claim a greater impact on solving the regions domestic violence issues. While Families to Freedom has current limitations in the services we can provide, such as our inability to provide in-person counseling and direct legal guidance, we remain nimble enough to adapt to victims’ needs and dedicated to filling the transportation gap the leads towards a lifetime of freedom of abuse. Strategic growth is aimed at opening more offices and launching service in other regions of Texas over the next ten years. This dream and goal to expand service to all Texas victims, and beyond, depends greatly on community support from donors, from corporations, from grantors, and from you wherever you are reading this. With a spirit of full transparency in all that we do, our website will remain loaded with financial and travel data for supporters to track our progress, and with announcements of our growth over time as we do grow.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve victims of domestic abuse, family violence, and sex trafficked adults. We give the people we serve the opportunity to write down how they feel, and we conduct phone calls following up after travel to gauge how they are doing after receiving service.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Phone,

  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We received feedback on phone calls that some of the survivors we served felt frustrated that their ride to shelter took such a long time to arrive. Our response was to solicit for more volunteers to assist in serving in order to reduce this wait time.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We share aggregated data from the outcome calls we make to survivors with some volunteers, our staff, our board, and a summarized highlighted view on social media for survivors to discover. An example of this data based statement on social media is, "95% of new survivors we helped get away had a mixed- or all- positive experience after leaving." Collecting feedback reveals what is working after our team is directly involved.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Families To Freedom 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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  • 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.

Families To Freedom Inc

Board of directors
as of 07/17/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Oweida Carter

Families to Freedom

Term: 2015 - 2023

Russell Nejdl

Families to Freedom

Oscar Mary

Families to Freedom

Sue Gibson

Families to Freedom

Oweida Carter

Families to Freedom

Sarah Nejdl

Families to Freedom

Melinda Bogoslavsky

Families to Freedom

Jerry Powlen

Families to Freedom

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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 7/17/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/17/2022

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 ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • 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 disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.