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Safe Place returns to OKC for youths who need immediate help

Post Date:03/21/2019 12:59 PM

Black and yellow diamond-shaped signs on Oklahoma City fire stations and OnCue stores will mark the return of the National Safe Place Network to help young people who need immediate safety.

“Safe Place gives an option to young people who feel they have no place to turn,” said Fire Chief Richard Kelley. “We want them to know that if they come to a fire station or an OnCue store, we’ll put them in touch with people who can help them.”

The signs resemble one you’d find on a street and say “Safe Place,” with the image of a house taking the place of the “a” in Place. They’ll be affixed to the exterior of every Oklahoma City fire station and OnCue store. Find a list of fire stations at okc.gov/fire, and a list of OnCue stores at oncueexpress.com.

Be The Change will be the lead local agency for the national program, which left about 10 years ago after the previous local agency lost its certification. Be The Change is partnering with Pivot and SISU Youth Services to lead the program in Oklahoma City.

“About a million young people run away from home every year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues,” said Be The Change Executive Director Jonathan Roberts. “A Safe Place is the perfect place to go to get help, and because there will be one in every fire station and OnCue store, there will be one close to every kid in Oklahoma City. We’ll help get what they need and keep them safe.”

The National Safe Place Network has helped more than 330,000 young people since its inception in 1983, serving more than 1,400 communities across the country. It operates TXT 4 HELP, a 24/7 text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location, the number for a local youth shelter and an option to text interactively with a mental health professional.

Be The Change, Pivot and SISU Youth Services are local social service groups that help young people who need it, especially those who are homeless or otherwise at high-risk.

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Media Contact
Jonathan Roberts, Be The Change
(405) 634-5337
jonathanroberts@bethechangeok.org

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