The Road Ahead: RTC Safe Place

Published: Oct. 11, 2023 at 11:59 AM PDT
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SPONSORED: The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County participates in the Safe Place Program. The youth outreach and prevention program targets minors in need of immediate help and safety. The RTC provides the service at its bus stations and on buses. If a situation occurs where a young person is facing a threat or danger, trained staff is on-hand to help them in any way they can.

“We think this is an important program because it gives us a better ability to help someone who is in a bad or vulnerable situation,” Taquan Jackson, Operations Manager at Keolis said. “We have yellow Safe Place signs on display to let them know that we have people who can help.”

If someone askes for help, a site employee finds a comfortable place for them to wait while they call a licensed Safe Place agent. Within a half-hour, a qualified volunteer or agency staff member will arrive to talk to them. They will provide transportation to an agency, if necessary. Once they arrive at the agency, counselors meet the young person, provide support and make sure the individual and the family involved receive help and professional services that they need.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is sponsoring a bill that would provide additional funding to transportation agencies to reduce human trafficking. Airports, bus stations and other transportation hubs are typical places where victims can seek help and where others might notice if something is wrong. Additional funding could increase training to help staff recognize a victim of human trafficking, so they can help to return them back to their families and out of harm’s way.