Safe Place sites extend the doors of youth service agencies throughout the community, allowing youth to access help where they are.
Are you interested in becoming a Safe Place site? We are seeking youth-friendly businesses and organizations within our service area that can provide a public space where youth can seek help. Email Youth Network Council if you are interested in becoming a site.
National Safe Place is a youth outreach program that involves the whole community by creating a network of Safe Place sites. Sites include youth friendly businesses, libraries, nonprofit organizations, and other appropriate public buildings that display the yellow and black Safe Place logo.
When a youth enters a Safe Place location and asks for help, a trained site worker calls the Safe Place toll free number which connects the young person to a crisis worker. Once the worker has established where the youth is and the current situation, they meet with the young person to determine best steps moving forward.
Chicago Safe Place is a collaboration between Youth Network Council, Alternatives, Inc., Universal Family Connection, Inc. and Westside Youth Network, Inc. Chicago Safe Place strives to make access to services easier and more youth friendly for young people in crisis.
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
City of Chicago Family and Support Services
Chicago Youth Centers
Illinois Department of Human Services
National Runaway Switchboard
Teen Living Programs
Universal Family Connection, Inc.
Westside Youth Network
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Task force led by Youth Network Council
The dangers of being homeless or living on the streets for a youth are extremely high. According to a study done through the University of Illinois at Chicago, 3 in 5 youth experiencing homelessness said they had been the victim of violence during the previous 12 months.
The National Runaway Switchboard reported over 2,000 calls made from Chicago’s 773 and 312 area codes during 2009. Chicago Public Schools reported 2,916 unaccompanied homeless youth for the school year ending June 2009 and 3,682 unaccompanied homeless youth for the school year ending June 2010.
Stats accurate as of August 2010.
If you are having problems at home,
are dealing with homelessness, have run away, or just need to talk about a problem, you can:
To speak to someone who can help you get reconnected to your family, find somewhere to stay, or help work through a problem call 877-870-2663. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Use the auto-repsonse text messaging service to be given the address of the nearest Safe Place site.
Use the online map to find the nearest Safe Place sites.
Questions about Chicago Safe Place? Find the answers here.
Safe Place is a community program in which public locations are set up as a network of places where youth in crisis can get immediate help.
How can I recognize a Safe Place?
Safe Place sites are identified by the yellow and black diamond-shaped “Safe Place” sign, like the one to the right.
What types of places are Safe Place sites?
Fast food restaurants, neighborhood organizations, libraries, convenience stores, and other businesses all serve as Safe Place sites in different communities. Look for the sign!
Who should use Safe Place?
Any youth age 11-17 can get help at a Chicago Safe Place site. If you are having problems at home, dealing with homelessness, have runaway from home, or just need to talk about a problem, go to the nearest Safe Place site.
What happens when I go to a Safe Place site?
Just tell an employee, “I need a Safe Place.” The employee will find a safe and comfortable spot where you can wait while he or she contacts the local Safe Place agency. The agency will then send someone to talk with you.
Will I have to wait long at the Safe Place site?
A staff member will come as soon as possible – no longer than 60 minutes.
What if I go to a site that isn’t open?
Safe Place sites that close have a decal that says, “If Closed Call” with a toll free number to contact.
What happens when the Safe Place worker arrives?
The youth worker will talk with you and help you figure out what you should do. If you would like further assistance they will be happy to provide additional resources or set up a time to meet at the youth agency.
Will my parent or guardian be told where I am?
Yes. The agency must contact your parent/guardian to let them know you are safe. Remember that the worker will be there to help work through things if your parent/guardian arrives.