National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place® Program for Youth

The Center for Youth operates a local Safe Place program with 60 locations throughout the greater Rochester region.

[ROCHESTER, NY] National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 15-21, 2020 as National Safe Place Week. The nationally recognized week serves to raise awareness about the Safe Place program, a national program which brings together businesses and volunteers to help youth in crisis.

“For nearly 50 years, The Center for Youth has put keeping young people safe as its core mission.  It was for that reason that more than 10 years ago, with its first partners RTS and Tops Markets, we introduced the Safe Place program to our community.  Safe Place, which originated in Louisville Kentucky, is a model program that insures that those youth in need, in danger or in uncertainty, have a place to start. It has been our honor to work with our partners across this county to give our youth the safety net they deserve.”

Dr. Elaine Spaull – Executive Director, The Center for Youth

It is estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn.

Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 21,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries, which display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter a designated Safe Place and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance.

In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) to receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a counselor for more help.

The Center for Youth has 340 active Safe Place locations throughout the greater Rochester region. This includes over 280 busses in the Rochester Transit Service fleet. Additional sites include Tops Markets, Rochester City Fire Departments, Recreation Centers, YMCA’s and more. In the last six months we have received nearly 20 calls from Safe Place partners in response to young people in crisis.

Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,400 communities across the country. The program is managed by 140 youth agencies in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

About National Safe Place Network

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally recognized programs Safe Place, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), and Human Trafficking: Recognition, Respect, Response (HTR3). To learn more, please visit or

About The Center for Youth

Started by youth for youth in 1971, The Center for Youth delivers a continuum of services to homeless and runaway youth and families in crisis, including emergency shelter, transitional housing programs and Crisis Nursery, which provides temporary childcare during emergencies. The Center’s school-based, counseling and community awareness programs aim to educate, engage and empower young people. All services are delivered with the knowledge that youth want to and can take responsibility for their life choices.


For more information, visit or find us on social media: Facebook (Center for Youth) and Twitter (@center4youth).

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