(Video) Busses, Light Rail Offer Safe Place for Homeless Youth

(Video) Busses, Light Rail Offer Safe Place for Homeless Youth

Valley Metro has partnered with Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development to designate all Valley Metro buses and rail stations as safe places for youth in crisis.

More than 600 teens sleep on the streets of Maricopa County each night. Others are escaping abuse or neglect or have been forced to leave their homes by their parents. Safe Place connects them with safety, shelter and support.

What is Safe Place?

Safe Place is a national youth outreach program designed to provide immediate help and safety for teen ages 12-17 who are in crisis. The program is managed locally by Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development. Teens can go to any Safe Place location and immediately get in contact with a crisis responder. They are transported to a Tumbleweed location where they have access to shelter, counseling and family reunification services.

Valley Metro Bus and Rail

All 900 Valley Metro and city of Phoenix buses, which serve 100 routes across 512 square miles, serve as Safe Place locations. Teens in crisis can request Safe Place assistance on board any bus by notifying the operator.

Valley Metro has designated all 35 light rail stations in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa as Safe Place locations. Teens can seek help at any station 24-hours a day, seven days a week by pressing the emergency call box button located on each station platform.

Safe-Place-explain-signAre there other Safe Place locations?

Yes. There are stationary Safe Place locations across the Valley at Quik Trip convenience stores, libraries, fire departments and local businesses. The locations are marked with easy to see yellow signs. With a push of a button, teens 17 and younger who need help use the callbox to be connected to a Tumbleweed employee 24/7. Tumbleweed will arrange for prompt transportation to a safe, secure residential location… off the streets. To find the nearest location, teens can text “Safe” and their address to 69866 or call 602-841-5799.

Young people alone and away from home experience many unfamiliar dangers. Often they left home for reasons equally upsetting, such as domestic abuse, eviction from their families, or other problems at home or school. Many times leaving home is not a choice they want to make.

Once at a safe location, Tumbleweed youth care workers provide food and a chance to talk and rest. Families or guardians will be contacted to let them know their youth is safe.

From there, the young person, youth care workers, families and other agencies as appropriate will work to provide the support and resources needed.

Source: Valley Metro and Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

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