Children’s Cabinet helps provide safe place for teens in crisis
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - This week is National Safe Place Week. A local nonprofit is spreading awareness to help keep our youth out of harm’s way.
“It allows them to advocate for themselves, their own safety, their own voice.”
Safe Place is a national program that provides teens in crisis with safe, temporary shelter to escape dangerous situations or homelessness. The Children’s Cabinet became a safe place agency in 2003. Since then, it’s gotten nearly 2,000 teens in crisis into a safer environment.
“Without the safe place program, where would they have gone? what would they have done?” Hargrove said.
Safe Place is vital for the safety and wellbeing of youth in our community as anyone can access help before their situation becomes a crisis.
There are currently 59 safe place sites in Washoe County, including the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. If you see a yellow diamond sign on the door, kids ages 12-17 can walk right in and ask for help if they feel their safety is threatened at home, school, or in the community.
Hargrove added, “The staff there has been trained to know how to respond to that youth by calling us the children’s cabinet and we would respond immediately and meet with the youth in person to find out what’s happening and what we can do to keep them safe.”
Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 22,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as fast-food restaurants (McDonald’s), convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, libraries, and churches including the Sparks United Methodist Church, which display the Safe Place sign in their windows.
No matter your age, Hargrove says they’ll do whatever they can to connect you to local resources. There’s no crisis too big or too small to seek this 24-hour support.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s so important to ask help, and we admire the courage you have to ask for help,” Hargrove said.
All you have to do is call the toll-free number 1-800-356-4588 or text “SAFE” to 4HELP (44357).
“It really is rewarding to your heart to know that you made a difference in this teen’s life.”
The Children’s Cabinet will also be handing out Safe Place materials, hygiene kits, and other necessities at homeless sites and Safe Place partner locations throughout the week.
Local businesses are encouraged to consider becoming a safe place site in Washoe County. For more information, click here or call the organization at 775-856-6200. You can also support The Children’s Cabinet’s efforts of keeping children safe and families together by donating to its cause.
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