Safe Place is a program that quickly connects runaway and homeless youth ages 12-17 to services, either by reuniting them with their family or providing them with emergency shelter. The program is run by YouthCare and Friends of Youth in partnership with local businesses and non-profit organizations that have volunteered to be “Safe Places” across King County.

How does Safe Place work?

  • Safe Place is a national program that began in 1983 at the YMCA of Greater Louisville; since then, it has grown to include nearly 140 programs in forty states.
  • In King County, metro buses, local businesses, and non-profit organizations have volunteered to be “Safe Places”—locations where youth can go and request assistance. Staff members at these locations are trained to respond to youth in need and immediately contact Safe Place. There are currently over 2,100 Safe Place sites in King County. Click here to see the Safe Place sites in King County.
  • Safe Place maintains a 24-hour hotline, 1-800 422 TEEN, where youth can directly connect with Safe Place staff.
  • Within forty-five minutes, a Safe Place coordinator meets with the youth, assesses the situation, and works with the youth to place them at a shelter or reunite with parents/guardians.

Why is Safe Place Important?

  • The average age of youth contacting Safe Place is 16. Safe Place gets youth off the streets by providing immediate access to community resources.
  • We know youth are most vulnerable on their very first night on the street. Safe Place prevents young people from experiencing that first night and connects them to immediate safety.
  • Families can be complicated. Safe Place intervenes during a crisis and provides a safe respite for youth and families in need of immediate support.
  • Safe Place sites engage the community in issues impacting youth in our local area. It allows community members to part of the solution in ending and preventing youth homelessness.

Interested in becoming a Safe Place site? Please Contact Benjamin Warren, our Safe Place Coordinator, or email safeplace@youthcare.org.