Authored by Khanh Tong, Youth Services Outreach and Prevention Team
National Safe Place Week is March 16-20! Here’s some information about Safe Place which has been part of the community in Salt Lake County since the 1990s.
If you’ve been to a Library, Recreation Center, Fire station or a Boys and Girls Club in Salt Lake County, you probably have seen the yellow and black diamond-shaped Safe Place sign. The sign means that they are part of National Safe Place and coordinated by Salt Lake County Youth Services to ensure that teens in crisis can get immediate help. Youth Services Outreach and Prevention team will train a variety of businesses (noted above) to be ready if a youth in crisis appears while they are at work.
Who Uses Safe Place?
- Teens in difficult situations such as a problem at home with neglect or abuse, having to deal with parents who abuse drugs and alcohol or a teen being told to “get out”
- Teens in a dangerous situation while on a date, or riding with an unsafe driver and is told to do something they don’t want to do
- Teens that are locked out of the house and do not have anywhere to go
No matter the reason, if a teen is in need of help they can be directed to one of the 88 sites throughout Salt Lake County.
- Teens can text “help” to 69866, it’s a 24/7 service
- Teens are then given the nearest Safe Place site location. Once at the location a Safe Place representative will come out and meet with them to assess their problems
Teens can go to at any Safe Place location and say “I need a Safe Place.” If the location is closed, there is a number (385 468-4500) on the front door to call. The teen can wait there while a Safe Place representative comes out to help within 30 minutes. Teens will be transported to Salt Lake County Youth Services where a teen will receive the appropriate help or service needed.
- Click here to see a list of Safe Place locations in Salt Lake County.
- When youth are transported from a Safe Place site they come to a Juvenile Receiving Center at Youth Services either in South Salt Lake which is open 24/7 or Riverton open 8am-5pm M-F. Once at Youth Services the youth are assisted by professional counselors and offered assistance to help their situation. An example of this is when a child showed up at a Murray Fire Station at 10PM and asked “Is this a Safe Place?” The firemen called Youth Services, staff then arrived within 15 minutes and brought the youth back to the Juvenile Receiving Center. It turns out the child was a runaway from Idaho and somehow made his way to Utah. After processing with staff, he wanted to return home and staff were able to provide a bus pass to ensure he made it home to Idaho. This is just one example of what Safe Place can do for teens in need of help. Click here to watch a local FOX13 News story about National Safe Place and Youth Services.
For more information about Safe Place or if you’re organization is interested in becoming a Safe Place please contact Anne Schmidt (Outreach and Prevention Supervisor) at 385-468-4500.