National Safe Place Network, locals hail recent National Safe Place Week

Huntington Mayor Richard Strick signs a proclamation naming the week of March 15 through March 21 as National Safe Place Week. The week raises national awareness about the program, which partners with businesses and volunteers to help youth in crisis situations.
Huntington Mayor Richard Strick signs a proclamation naming the week of March 15 through March 21 as National Safe Place Week. The week raises national awareness about the program, which partners with businesses and volunteers to help youth in crisis situations.

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) has announced March 15 through March 21 as National Safe Place Week.

The nationally recognized week served to raise awareness about the Safe Place program, a national program which brings together businesses and volunteers to help youth in crisis.

“The Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County is the Safe Place provider in Huntington County and we are pleased to be a part of this worthy effort, “says Crystal Kish, Safe Place coordinator.

 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, especially in rural communities.
 
“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 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. There are 58 sites throughout Huntington County who are trained and available to provide immediate support to youth.

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.

“The Youth Services Bureau is proud to be in its 30th year of providing Safe Place to Huntington County youth and families. Hundreds of youth have accessed immediate support during times of crisis since it began in 1990,” says Jan Williams, executive director of the Huntington County YSB.

To learn more about the Safe Place program or the Youth Services Bureau contact the office at 356-9681, email questions to adm@ysbofhuntingtonco.org or visit the website at www.ysbofhuntington.co m.