National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place Program for Youth
Tulsa, Okla. March 17, 2017 – National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 19-25, 2017, as National Safe Place Week. The nationally recognized week serves to increase awareness about the Safe Place program, which brings together businesses and volunteers to provide help and safety for youth facing abuse, neglect, bullying or serious family problems.
“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world and it’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to get help,” said Laurie Jackson, President / CEO for NSPN. “National Safe Place Week is the perfect opportunity for communities across the country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth.”
It is estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn.
Safe Place consists of a national network of nearly 20,000 partnering businesses and community locations – such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, and libraries – that display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter the designated Safe Places and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance. National Safe Place Week recognizes participating Safe Place locations and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of at-risk youth.
The Safe Place program, partners with businesses and community organizations such as to provide immediate safety and support for local youth. Safe Place site locations include QuikTrip stores, Fire Stations, EMSA ambulances, Tulsa Transit buses and Tulsa City-County Libraries.
“Last year, more than 2,700 youth learned about Safe Place through presentations in the community and at local schools,” says David Grewe, YST executive director. “More than 115 of those youth accessed a Safe Place and received the help they needed in a crisis.”
The Safe Place program has helped more than 330,000 youth since its inception in 1983 and currently serves more than 1,400 communities across the country. It is managed by 133 youth agencies in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.
About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally-recognized programs Safe Place, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), and Human Trafficking: Recognition, Respect, Response (HTR3). To learn more, please visit www.nspnetwork.org or www.nationalsafeplace.org.