The Healing Starts Here
Texas Veterans Ranch and Family Resort (TVRAFR)
brings together the healing power of nature, family, qualified therapists, and practical assistance to promote mental wholeness, family bonding, and spiritual rejuvenation for veterans and their families who have been impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other stressors such as military separation.
Current Program Offerings
As of the beginning of 2020, TVRAFR offers ranch retreat weekends to veteran families in distress. These retreats take place at leased ranch facilities in central Texas. A single veteran family is paired with a qualified therapist and provided with housing on the ranch property during the weekend. The retreat offers the family a respite from the ongoing stresses of everyday life, with a chance to deal with past trauma, reflect on unhealthy emotional dynamics, and learn new coping strategies and relational patterns. In the ranch environment, traditional talk therapy can be interspersed with therapeutic recreational activities such as equine therapy, camping, fishing, hiking, horticulture, pottery, needlework, and hobby model building. To reduce stress, families receive these services at no cost to them.
Vision for the Future
TVRAFR’s future vision includes acquisition of new resources and addition of new program elements:
Purchase of Dedicated Ranch Property – In the near future, the organization plans to purchase a ranch property in Central Texas of at least 500 acres. A portion of this property will provide a permanent home for the existing model of veteran family retreats, with sufficient space to allow multiple simultaneous retreats while still affording families a sense of space and privacy. This area should also include stable facilities to house horses for equine therapy. Another portion of the property will be set aside for a future veterans’ housing facility for veterans at risk of homelessness. A third area will be developed into a commercial campground, open to the public, to provide income to support the veterans’ program as well as a place for healthy family bonding.
Housing Program – The housing program will have two components. The Housing Advisory Service will help veterans understand their options for financing the purchase of a home, including Affordable Housing Programs, the First-Time Buyer Program, Disability Housing Assistance, VA Loans, and other assistance available to veterans and their families. The second component, Recovery Housing, will provide veterans in recovery with a safe place to live on the ranch property as they prepare to become self-sufficient to prevent them from becoming homeless.
Basic Needs Assistance – This program will help veteran families in financial distress on a short-term, emergency basis with basic needs such as food, clothing, furniture, rental assistance, and utilities out of cash and in-kind donations. It will also help families navigate social services to find other public and private sources of assistance as needed.
Women’s Empowerment Program – The Women’s Empowerment Program will follow a similar model to the therapeutic ranch retreats available to all veterans, but will focus on the unique needs of female veterans revolving around their all-too-common experiences of military sexual trauma, domestic violence, and abuse.
Work Participation Program – Since many veterans and spouses struggle with transitioning to civilian employment after separation from the military, the Work Participation Program will focus on helping them translate military experience into civilian terms, to match them with appropriate opportunities in the civilian workforce, and to receive necessary training for employment opportunities.
Re-Entry for Veteran Ex-Offenders – The sad reality is that too many veterans become involved in the criminal justice system, often due to behaviors resulting from PTSD and other military-related stress. TVRAFR’s re-entry program will provide these veterans with the supports they need to rebuild their lives, reconnect with their families and society, and avoid recidivism.
All of our work incorporates the following key values:
- Respecting veterans and their family members as unique, intrinsically valuable human beings worthy of care
- Providing sanctuary and security for families in need. This includes peaceful and safe physical facilities, as well as emotionally safe care that respects proper boundaries, confidentiality, and therapeutic best practices.
- Rebuilding healthy connection to God, country, and family for everyone we serve.
- Empowering those we serve for emotional and economic self-sufficiency within the context of a supportive family.