Every day, more than 3,500 kids will leave home due to a variety of reasons, including abuse, neglect, family conflict, homelessness, and more. Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates thousands of young people every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own.
Safe Place creates a network of Safe Place locations — schools, fire stations, libraries, grocery and convenience stores, public transit, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings – that display the yellow and black diamond-shaped Safe Place sign. These locations extend the doors of the youth service agency or emergency shelter throughout the community. Youth can easily access immediate help wherever they are.
Since 1991, QuikTrip has been a designated Safe Place, where runaways and at-risk youth can come in off the street, receive food and drink, and wait for a volunteer from a Safe Place agency partner to connect them with professional help or a place to stay until their situation is resolved. Another location near N 32 neighborhood is Mesquite Library at Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix. Teens can look for the bright yellow sign and wait there until a Safe Place worker can assist them.
Should a youth need assistance, they can depend on any location with the Safe Place sign. The following steps describe how Safe Place is intended to work:
Step One – The youth arrives at a designated Safe Place location (identified by a Safe Place sign or decal) and tells the first available employee that they need help.
Step Two – The employee finds a quiet, comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the local Safe Place agency.
Step Three – The Safe Place agency calls the location back to identify a trained representative who will come to meet the young person at the location.
Step Four – Within 20-30 minutes or less, the Safe Place volunteer or staff member will arrive to talk with the youth and transport them to the agency, if necessary, for counseling, support, a place to stay or other resources.
Step Five – Once at the Safe Place agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support, resources and help. Family members or guardians are called to let them know that their child is safe. Agency staff make sure the youth and their families receive the help and professional referrals they need.
For more information about Safe Place or how you can help visit nationalsafeplace.org.