national safe place week
Updated: Aug 23
This month, Friends of Youth and National Safe Place Network announce March 19 – March 25 as National Safe Place Week. This nationally recognized week serves to raise awareness about Safe Place, an early intervention and homelessness prevention program designed to support young people through any crisis, such as problems at home, mental health emergencies, abuse, or other situations leading them to feel unsafe.
National Safe Place is managed by 137 youth agencies in 38 States. In King County, Safe Place is locally run by Friends of Youth to quickly support runaway and homeless youth ages 12 - 17 years by connecting them to services; often by helping them find emergency shelter or when appropriate, reuniting them with their family or caregiver. Throughout the community, Friends of Youth partners with various organizations, businesses, social service agencies, and other community partners who have volunteered to be designated Safe Place “sites,” where local youth are provided with immediate safety and support through intervention, advocacy, and safety planning.
At these sites, designated by the yellow Safe Place sign, a youth can ask for help and be connected to Friends of Youth. More than 22,000 community partners have volunteered to be designated Safe Place sites. This service operates 24 hours a day, and youth are able to connect with Safe Place in the following ways; they can either approach an established Safe Place “Site,” call 1.800.422.TEEN (8336), or text “SAFE” with their current address, city, and state to 44357.
When young people believe they have nowhere else to turn, they may run away from home, begin couch surfing or live on the streets. Becoming homeless increases their risk of dropping out of school, mental health crises, incarceration, or becoming victims of human trafficking and other violent crimes. Awareness of the needs of youth in crisis and the importance of effective community responses have been foundational to the expansion of Safe Place.
Each year, National Safe Place Week is held in hopes of increasing awareness of Safe Place and demonstrating that there are various agencies including Friends of Youth that are available to connect youth with the care they deserve.