Jonathan’s Place serves as Dallas County partner
DALLAS – MARCH 10, 2014 – Jonathan’s Place, Dallas County’s only emergency shelter for children aged newborn to 17, announces March 16-22, 2014 as National Safe Place Week. The week serves to increase awareness about the importance of youth safety and the dangers North Texas teens face when they feel they have nowhere to go or are in crisis situations. The week will also highlight the Dallas County Safe Place program, which brings together businesses and volunteers to provide help and safety for youth facing abuse, neglect, bullying or serious family problems.
“There is a tremendous need to help North Texas teens find a safe refuge when they face abuse or neglect at home,” said Allicia Graham Frye, CEO for Jonathan’s Place. “Studies reveal that one in seven teens will run away from home and when they do, one in three are lured into prostitution and human trafficking within 48 hours.”
The partnership for National Safe Place Week between Jonathan’s Place, based in Garland, and National Safe Place, based in Louisville, Kentucky, provides an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn. Safe Place consists of a national network of nearly 20,000 partnering businesses and community locations, including all QuikTrip convenience store locations across Dallas County.
As youth enter Dallas County Safe Place locations (those with a diamond-shaped yellow and black sign) and ask for help, trained Jonathan’s Place staff members counsel and connect teens with appropriate resources and shelter. National Safe Place Week recognizes participating Safe Place locations and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of at-risk youth.
“We are proud to support Jonathan’s Place and its partnership with National Safe Place,” said Thornton Hardie, president of The Trevor Rees-Jones Foundation. “Through this program, Jonathan’s Place provides a refuge for children and youth in crisis, giving them the time, services and tools needed to repair relationships at home or transition to a stable, safe, next place.”
“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world and it’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to get help,” said Laurie Jackson, President/CEO for National Safe Place. “National Safe Place Week is the perfect opportunity for communities across the country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth.”
Since Jonathan’s Place began its partnership with National Safe Place in January 2013, 27 Safe Place locations have opened across Dallas County and 2,897 teens received runaway prevention information. Jonathan’s Place also staffs a 24-hour phone hotline. Our on-call staff are available to receive calls from teens and Safe Place locations no matter the time of day.
Nationally, The Safe Place program has helped more than 300,000 youth since its inception in 1983 and currently serves more than 1,500 communities across the country. It is managed by 135 youth agencies in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
A 24/7 text-for-support service for Dallas County youth in crisis is available. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city or zip) to 69866 and receive an immediate message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the Jonathan’s Place Safe Place hotline. Teens also have the option to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.
About National Safe Place
National Safe Place provides training and technical assistance for youth service agencies and businesses interested in developing the Safe Place program. Across the U.S., nearly 20,000 businesses and community locations participate as Safe Place locations – such as fast food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries. These locations display the yellow Safe Place sign and connect teens in crisis with a partnering youth service agency. Safe Place was created as an outreach program of Shelter House by the YMCA of Greater Louisville in 1983 and remains a wholly owned subsidiary of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. Since its inception, Safe Place has helped more than 300,000 youth. For more information, please visit www.nationalsafeplace.org.
About Jonathan’s Place
Jonathan’s Place helps children who have been victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect. We offer a full continuum of care with specialized treatment for physical, mental and emotional healing. Our programs include (1) Dallas County’s only emergency shelter that welcomes newborns to 17 year old victims of abuse; (2) a residential treatment program for girls 10 to 17 years old in need of therapeutic residential care; (3) recruiting, training and supporting foster and adoptive families; and (4) an outreach program, National Safe Place, designed to educate youth about abuse and provide access to immediate help and safety to those in crisis. For more information about Jonathan’s Place call 972-303-5303 or visit www.jpkids.org.