3ABF envisions that all families will have the ability to provide a respectful
burial for their loved oneS
Funerals are the beginning of healing for the living. According to the Center for Loss & Life Transition, "The funeral ritual . . . is a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about the death of someone loved . . . [it] helps us acknowledge the reality of the death, gives testimony to the life of the deceased, encourages the expression of grief . . . provides support to mourners, allows for the embracing of faith and beliefs about life and death, and offers continuity and hope for the living."1
3ABF serves impoverished bereaved families within the Houston Metropolitan Area who have suffered through the ordeal of long-term illnesses or are shattered by unexpected losses. Financial assistance for funeral services is available on an as-needed basis. To qualify for financial services, a family must meet the following criteria:
- Deceased lived in Harris County or Fort Bend County
- Provide documentation that verifies financial status
- The deceased must not have had sufficient life or burial insurance to cover funeral and/or interment expenses
Determination of Cost minus Family Contribution equals Need.
Determination of Cost is the amount required by the funeral home selected by the family to cover funeral, cremation, burial and other necessary expenses.
Comprehensive services are freely rendered without regard to ethnic, religious or cultural background to indigent or low-income families that lack the financial means for a funeral service.
Family Contribution is the amount the bereaved family is able to provide toward meeting these expenses. 3ABF is a payer of last resort; however, we embrace the core value that families should be able to provide a respectful burial for their loved ones. Thus, while we encourage and require families to do all they ethically can to raise the necessary funds, we do not encourage begging or require that outreach goes beyond the immediate and extended family. Our primary intent is to ensure that families assume their responsibilities for their loved ones and that services are not delayed due to a sincere lack of funding availability.
Need is the amount remaining after the family contribution has been applied toward cost. This generally equates to the balance due to avoid any delays in funeral and/or burial services. 3ABF provides funds directly to the funeral home.
3ABF is a nonprofit organization that receives its funds through grants and public donations; therefore, even if all the above criteria are met by the family, a financial donation is not a guarantee because support is also based on funds availability.
1. WHY IS THE FUNERAL RITUAL IMPORTANT, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., Center for Loss and Life Transition