Leaders urge more businesses to partner with Safe Place program to help vulnerable teens and young adults

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 10:57 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Washoe County leaders are noticing a rise in the number of youth requesting services at organizations like Eddy House, The Children’s Cabinet and the Regional Transportation Commission. Now those organizations are looking for more businesses to participate in the Safe Place program.

Kim Young, CEO of The Children’s Cabinet; Trevor Macaluso, executive director of Eddy House; and Philip Pumphrey, general manager Reno operations at Keolis, stopped by Morning Break to talk about the need for their services going up among teens and young adults, as well as each organization’s role in the Safe Place program.

Since the Safe Place program was started in 2003, the number of sites has grown. In 2022 alone, 17 locations were added. Also this year, The Children’s Cabinet trained 48 adults over the multiple Safe Place locations. Businesses can request regular training for their staff and each business has training supplies on hand for new employees. In the last ten years, The Children’s Cabinet has provided outreach and information to over 211,000 youth, counseled 689 youth by phone, and helped 875 youth at Safe Place sites.

The Eddy House, a youth homeless shelter and day center, is a Safe Place partner, meaning those who request safety may receive it at the location. The nonprofit recently noted a rise in constituents requesting services, citing they’ve experienced record breaking numbers of young adults accessing their services. In 2021 the Eddy House served an estimated 374 youth and in 2022 they’re expecting that number to rise to 500.

Keolis North America is the contractor for RTC. The bus system is a critical component of the Safe Place program because not everyone has a car or money to get a ride when they’re trying to get out of a dangerous situation. Bus drivers are given the training and tools to connect members of our community to the resources they need and help keep Nevadans safe.

Anyone who finds themselves in need of safety just need to look for the Safe Place logo, which can be found on RTC buses and in the windows of participating physical locations. Individuals can call 1 (800) 536-4588 or text “SAFE” and your current location to 4HELP (44357), or walk into a physical location where a staff member will then contact a Children’s Cabinet representative for further assistance.

To learn more about the Safe Place program, click here.