When a crisis occurs, it can be hard to know where to turn; as a young adult, this situation can be even more puzzling. With American teens running away by the thousands year after year, often escaping problems only to meet with new ones, the need for a solution is apparent. This is where National Safe Placesteps in.
Created in 1988 in Louisville, KY, National Safe Place is comprised of a network of buildings, ranging from fast food joints to local banks, where youths can safely go for help. With over 16,000 sites across the country, NSP has been effectively aiding youths in finding mentors and assistance in hundreds of American communities.
NSP’s latest program, Txt 4 Help, hopes to make seeking help even easier. Launched on Oct. 15, this initiative allows teens in crisis to text the word “safe” along with their current location to 69866. Within seconds they will receive the address of the closest Safe Place as well as either the local youth shelter’s contact number or the number for a national-hotline number.
With Txt 4 Help, NSP expects to reach more youths than ever before. With so many teens preferring text messaging over all other modes of communication, this program should increase NSP’s overall effectiveness by encouraging those in crisis to seek help rather than running away.
As Linda Rutherford, chair of the National Safe Place board of directors, points out “by communicating to youth in a way that they’re comfortable with, we will reach thousands more youth needing help than we have in the past.”
If you would like to become a part of this important resource volunteer opportunities in Philadelphia are available through Youth Service Incorporated.
Whether you would like to become involved in the Youth Emergency Shelter, organize a food and clothing drive for the families YSI serves or lead a Group Service Project at one of YSI’s Crisis Nurseries, any level of participation is welcome and appreciated.
Contact Erin Kane (firstname.lastname@example.org or at 215-222-3262 x 19) for more information.
You can contact Samantha Ronan at email@example.com