The Collector's Box, in Huntington, recently became the 48th Safe Place site to serve Huntington County's youth.
Owner Todd Nightenhelser stated, "I wanted to open a place where kids could have a safe place to have fun. Growing up I always wanted some place to go where I could have fun and be with my friends, so when I started my business I wanted to make sure this would be that type of place."
He added that on average 40-45 youth visit his business at 515 N. Jefferson St., daily.
"Becoming a Safe Place site is really only an extension of what we are already doing," Nightenhelser noted.
The Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County (YSB) has been offering Safe Place since 1987.
The program provides youth 18 years of age and younger with immediate crisis intervention, although older youth would not be turned away.
The primary goals of the program are to reduce the incidences of youth homelessness and acts of delinquency, as well as a suicide prevention program. By utilizing one of the 48 local businesses that have partnered with the YSB, youth can seek assistance during times of conflicts.
Each site displays the large yellow and black Safe Place sign along with the after hours phone number posted.
Last year, 72 youth utilized the Safe Place program during times of crisis. In addition, 600 students received life skills, including suicide prevention, drug and alcohol education through the Safe Place program.
For more information about the Safe Place program, youth homelessness, suicide prevention or other services offered by the Youth Services Bureau visit www.ysbofhuntingtonco.org , call 356-9681 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
There is also a crisis hotline for those in need, 530-7676.