A Safe Place

Troubles at home? Have a plan.

If you have spent any time reading my blogs or listening to my radio show, I hope you know, beyond anything else, that I care deeply for teens and young adults. I have made it my life’s work to share the message that there is HOPE no matter what struggle you may be facing. I want you to know that your life matters, people do care and help is available.

Because we want to be sure that every teen and young adult gets the help they need, we partner with many other organizations. We know we can’t help every hurting teen and young adult on our own, but together we are stronger and we can reach more people.

One of the organizations we have partnered with is Safe Place They are a national program for young people who need immediate help and safety. I share their Text4Help information on my radio show. Take a listen.

If you or anyone you know ever needs to get out of an unsafe situation, you can text the word “SAFE” to 69866 and within seconds you will receive the address of the closest Safe Place.

Every year 1.6 to 2.8 million runaway or homeless youth live on the streets. TheHopeLine® and Safe Place simply want to give these teens a safe place to go.

Here’s how Safe Place works:

Safe Place designates businesses and organizations within a community as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to youth across the country. Locations include: libraries, YMCA’s, fire stations, public buses, various businesses, and social service facilities. Safe Place locations are designated with this sign.

And remember you can always text SAFE and your current location to 69866 to find the location nearest you.

Step One – A young person enters a designated "Safe Place" and asks for help.

Step Two – The site employee finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the licensed Safe Place agency.

Step Three – Within 20-30 minutes or less, a qualified Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member will arrive to talk with the youth and, if necessary, provide transportation to the agency. Going to the agency is not required and is voluntary. The choice is yours.

Step Four – Once at the agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support. Agency staff makes sure the youth and their families receive the help and professional services they need.

There are many difficult problems that teens face in their life that may cause them to seek a safe place such as: abuse, neglect, family troubles, dangerous dating situations, bullying, homelessness, drug abuse, etc.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, you have some crucial decisions to make. Unfortunately, many times to escape one bad situation you can end up in another by making dangerous or unwise decisions. That is why I promote Safe Place. They will help you navigate your next steps in a safe environment before you end up in a worse situation. You deserve a chance to work through your problems with the support of a caring adult.

Your safety is of utmost importance, but running away carries a whole set of issues on its own. Issues you need to think through.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a place to stay?
  • What about school? Would I continue to get an education?
  • Am I going to be gone awhile or coming back in a few days?
  • What would I do for money? Shelter? Food? Transportation?
  • Who can I depend on if I leave home?
  • Do I have a safe, solid plan?
  • What is my plan B in case my first plan doesn’t work?
  • What have I done to make things better at home?
  • What can I do to make things better at home?
  • Who have I reached out to make things better at home?

You are not alone as you make these decisions. Stay safe and don’t hesitate to Text4Help or Chat with TheHopeLine®.
Remember – there is HOPE.

Check out the sites of our partner organizations:
Safe Place - https://nationalsafeplace.org/
National Runaway SafeLine - https://www.1800runaway.org/
Covenant House - https://www.covenanthouse.org/about-homeless-charity

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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