2012 National Safe Place Week aims to raise awareness - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2012 National Safe Place Week aims to raise awareness of endangered youth

Provided by National Safe Place Week

National Safe Place is pleased to announce March 18-24, 2012 as National Safe Place Week. The week serves to increase awareness about the importance of youth safety and the dangers young people face when they feel they have nowhere to go or are in crisis situations. It also highlights Safe Place, a youth outreach program that connects businesses and volunteers to provide help and safety to youth facing abuse, neglect, bullying or serious family problems.

"Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today's world and it's up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to get help," said Laurie Jackson, Executive Director for National Safe Place. "National Safe Place Week is the perfect opportunity for communities across the country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth."

Nearly three million teens run away from home each year and more than 50 percent have reported their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving but did not care, according to National Safe Place's 2009 Annual Report.

Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 19,000 partnering businesses and community buildings - such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries - that display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter the designated Safe Place locations and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to an appropriate local shelter for proper assistance. National Safe Place Week recognizes these participating Safe Place locations and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to the safety and well being of at-risk youth.

Locally, the Safe Place program is hosted by Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities partners with local businesses and community organizations such as (Citibus, City Fire stations and City Libraries) to provide Lubbock youth immediate safety and access to help in times of crisis.

The Safe Place program has helped more than 250,000 youth since its inception in 1983 and serves more than 1,500 communities across the country. It is managed by 143 youth-serving agencies in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Safe Place provides access to immediate help and safety for all young people in crisis. The Safe Place program was created by the YMCA of Greater Louisville in 1983. For additional information, visit www.nationalsafeplace.org.

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