NORTH TEXAS - In many movies, the highlight is the victim of domestic violence escaping the abuser, but they never really show the struggle after they become a survivor.
"A lot of survivors are running into, there`s not enough shelter all the time," said Families to Freedom Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Nejdl, "So it`s actually kind of frequent that a caller calls into a shelter and is told I`m sorry we don`t have any availability, we don`t have any space for you."
So there`s the problem, hundreds of callers get turned away monthly in DFW alone, and Sarah decided two years ago to be a part of the solution.
"So Families to Freedom is a new non-profit located in North Dallas serving all of North Texas. We`re helping victims plan their escape and we`re helping new survivors reunite with family far away."
This project is unique in that they’re the only one in the country that picks up victims and drives them to family or shelters thousands of miles away. They buy bus tickets, give fuel cards, and even rent vehicles and drive survivors and their children to open shelters or families - providing them comfort all along the way.
"It`s been growing. It was about 20 something travels per month, this month is more than thirty travels," Nejdl said. "January to present day we had 160 adult clients with 148 children."
With Families to Freedom in the picture, the victim is no longer fighting alone.
"My time on earth is limited, and if I have the ability to help others, then I ought to do that," Nejdl said."
"Without Families to Freedom, I wouldn't have found my way back, to a life of happiness," she says reading a note from a survivor.
- The caller needs to have been seen or verified by a civic professional (shelter manager, case manager, police, doctor, etc.)
- Caller has to have a destination and the person at that destination has to be willing to accept the caller
- Caller has to be a victim of domestic abuse - those trying to get away from a dangerous situation
- Caller pickup must be from North Texas
To become a volunteer, driver, or to donate supplies or money, visit this page or call 972-885-7020 Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.