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National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place Program for Youth

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 18-24, 2018 as National Safe Place Week. The nationally recognized week serves to raise awareness about the Safe Place program, a national program which brings together businesses and volunteers 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 / CEO for 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.”

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 more than 21,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries, 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 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 Christian City Children’s Village, partners with businesses and community organizations to provide immediate safety and support for local youth. Safe Place site locations include QuikTrip convenience stores, local fire stations, law enforcement agencies and recreation centers throughout metro Atlanta.

“Our staff and volunteers help identify, recover, and restore children who have run away from home or have been forced from their home,” says Mark Andrews, Director of Safe Place at Christian City Children’s Village.
Statistics show that 30% of runaway children are lured into sex trafficking within 48 hours on the street. “We provide a safe haven for children who may otherwise become victims of human trafficking,” says Andrews.

“As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of the community to provide necessary funding to operate Christian City Children’s Village,” says LaVann Landrum, Chief Development Officer at Christian City. “When our donors support us with ongoing financial donations or by attending fundraising events like our annual Golf Fore Kids tournament in September or the upcoming Drive & Dine event at Porsche Experience Center on April 28, they are helping us rescue runaways and get to these children before human traffickers get to them,” says Landrum.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Safe Place as collaborative community initiative working to strengthen the safety net for youth. Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,400 communities across the country. The program is managed by 136 youth agencies in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

National Safe Place Week, March 18-24, 2018

  • This week is National Safe Place Week. Have you seen the yellow and black Safe Place signs on buildings around town? Ever wonder what they mean? The Safe Place sign indicates that any young person can enter the location and ask for help. Local Safe Place locations include QuikTrip convenience stores, fire stations, law enforcement agencies and recreation centers. If you visit a Safe Place location this week, please take time to thank the employees for strengthening the safety net for youth in our community.
  • March 18-24 is National Safe Place Week! Teens out there – If you ever find yourself in a tough situation and need help right away, look for the yellow Safe Place sign and tell an employee at the location you need help. Within minutes, a volunteer or staff member from Christian City Children’s Village will be there to meet you. If you’re struggling and need immediate help – Safe Place locations are there for you.
  • Have you ever seen the yellow Safe Place signs around town and wonder what they mean? Safe Place signs indicate that a community business or location is willing and able to help a young person in need. Many teens deal with troubling issues like abuse, neglect, bullying and family conflicts. We need to provide immediate options, places where young people can get help fast – that’s where Safe Place comes in. Make sure you know where the Safe Places are in metro Atlanta so the next time you or a friend needs help, you know just where to go.
  • Metro Atlanta is joining communities across the country to recognize the network of Safe Place locations and volunteers that respond to young people in need. Safe Place helps more than 12,000 youth a year connect to immediate help and safety. Metro Atlanta is proud to be a Safe Place community.
  • March 18-24 is National Safe Place Week! Did you know that Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth in crisis since it was created in 1983? Thanks to Safe Place, youth can access community locations that display they yellow and black sign and ask for help. But wait, there’s another way to get Safe Place help! Teens in crisis can text the word SAFE and their current location to 44357 to receive information about the closest Safe Place location. Youth will also be able to text live with a counselor for more help.
  • Are you between the ages of 12-18? If so, please listen up! Did you know you can access help 24 hours day via text messaging? That’s right! TXT 4 HELP is a 27/7 text-for-support service for teens in crisis. Here’s how it works – simply text the word SAFE and your current location to 44357 to receive information about the closest Safe Place location. You will also be able to text live with a counselor for more help. It’s quick, easy, safe and confidential. Don’t be afraid to help yourself or a friend.

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.

About Christian City

Christian City was established 53 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and older adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. The 500-acre campus in South Fulton County includes the Children’s Village, Safe Place program, Crossroads Foster Care program, patio homes and apartments for active seniors, a skilled nursing center, assisted living center, memory care, home health and hospice care. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-703-AMEN.