Our Family Services operates local Safe Place program
TUCSON, ARIZONA 3/9/21 – National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 21-27, 2021 as National Safe Place (NSP) Week. The nationally-recognized week serves to raise awareness about the Safe Place program, a national program which brings together youth service agencies, businesses, volunteers and other community partners to help youth in crisis.
“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world, such as abuse, neglect, bullying and serious family problems,” said Laurie Jackson, President and CEO of NSPN. “It’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to get help. National Safe Place Week is the perfect opportunity for communities across the country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth.”
Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 22,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as convenience stores, public buses, and social service agencies, which display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter a designated Safe Place and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance.
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 4HELP (44357) to receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the phone number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a counselor for more help.
Safe Place, operated locally by Our Family Services, partners with businesses and community organizations to provide immediate safety and support for local youth (ages 12-17). Local Safe Place site locations include American Legion Post #36, Aviva Children’s Services, COPE Community Services, Pima Prevention Partnership, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, Tucson Preparatory School, Tucson Youth Development, Tucson City Council Offices for Wards 3 and 6, Youth on Their Own, and all 20 QuikTrip location in Tucson.
“It is so important, especially during this past year, for young people to have a place to go for immediate help. They need to know that people are here who care about them. We are some of those people and we are open 24/7 to help meet their needs.” notes Cindy McClain, Safe Place Coordinator and manager of the local Reunion House Shelter for youth.
Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,500 communities across the country. The program is managed by 140 youth agencies in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training, capacity building, and technical support to youth and family service organizations across the nation. NSPN operates nationally-recognized programs, including Safe Place®. More than 20,000 businesses and community locations participate as Safe Place sites – such as restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, and libraries. These locations display the Safe Place sign and connect youth in crisis with resources and supports. Safe Place also provides a national text-for-support program, TXT 4 HELP. Teens can text the word “SAFE” to 4HELP (44357) and access options to locate the nearest Safe Place and text one-on-one with a counselor. TXT 4 HELP is available 24/7/365. Learn more about NSPN and Safe Place at nspnetwork.org and nationalsafeplace.org.