Safe Place program helps teens call for help

It's a program aimed at getting teens off the streets called Safe-Place. "Safe Place" installs special phones at light rail stations across the valley and at some convenience stores.

Teens in trouble, homeless teens, runaways, and abused teens can use the phone to call for immediate help.

Last year Safe Place responded to 300 teens who pushed the button and asked for help. 

"I aged out of Child Protective Services, and I didn't have any resources to get back on my feet," said teen helped.

"I never knew how many homeless teens there were until I was in this situation," said another teen.

It's a desperate situation for those at the Tumbleweed Youth Center. 

Valley Metro and Valley QT stores are trying to help provide a remedy for teens in trouble.

"600-800 young people are looking for a place to sleep in Maricopa County, and a lot are fleeing abuse, and domestic violence," said Ken Lynch with the center.

A year ago the Safe Place project was launched at Light rail stations around the valley and several QT stores. The phone line is manned 24/7 and if a teen 17-years-old or younger calls and someone will come pick them up.

"The Safe Place program is a way for them to get immediate assistance and get off the streets right away, we take them to a place where they can get clean, have a clean bed, some clothes, and something to eat," said Lynch.

Tumbleweed then uses its resources to try and stabilize these teens lives and put them on a better path.

"Safety first, after safety it's stability, after stability it's success," he said.

The National Safe Place Foundation uses donations to fund these Safe Place phones. Tumbleweed also has several programs that helps teens get off, and stay off the streets.

And it's not just the teens, but their pets can get help too. Tumbleweed has discovered the teens won't go anywhere that their animal is not going to be taken care of too.
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