Some Chicago Real Estate Locations are Designated Safe Places for Kids

July 17, 2011

On any given night, thousands of troubled teens roam Chicago-area streets with nowhere to go.

A new campaign launched this week targets those youth in crisis. The campaign explains the Chicago Safe Place program, which focuses on kids ages 11 to 17 who have problems at home, are homeless, have runaway or just need to talk to someone.

safe place logo

This logo designates that building as a Safe Place for teens.

The outreach program has created a network of Safe Place sites that are marked by a distinctive yellow and black diamond-shaped Safe Place logo.

Those sites include such locales as restaurants, small businesses, convenience stores and community-based organizations. When a youth sees that logo, he or she will know that it is a place that can offer immediate help.

The teen should identify her/himself as a youth in crisis at a Safe Place site and a youth worker will be dispatched to meet with the young person. An assessment will be made and available options and services will be determined.

Youths can also get immediate help by calling a 24-hour toll-free hotline at (888) 816-3264 or by texting the word “SAFE” and their current street address, city and state to 69-8-66.

one of the campaign messages

According to the 2010 National Runaway Switchboard Call Statistics, more than 2,000 calls were made from Chicago’s 773 and 312 area codes in 2010. In addition, on any given night there are an estimated 2,000 youth on Chicagoland streets according to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Illinois: 2005 report.

“Our young people are dealing with a myriad of issues and crisis situations,” said Susan Cowen, CEO of Youth Network Council, one of four agencies that directs the Chicago program. “The Safe Place program provides options to seek help and provides a safety net for youth in Chicago.”

Chicago Safe Place is currently operating in 24 city neighborhoods from the North to the South Side and is seeking enough funding to cover all 77 neighborhoods in the city of Chicago.

Out of the more than 1,500 nationwide communities with a Safe Place program, Chicago is the largest city.

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I salute programs like this that would greatly help kids feel that they are not alone. Two thumbs up for Chicago Safe Place program and to all the people behind it. Moreover, kids boot camp is all an option for troubled kids.

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