NSP, National Safe Place, Week is held each year during the third full week in March, with the 2022 NSP Week observed recently, March 20 through 26. This highly recognized week honors Safe Place, an outreach and prevention program for youth in crisis. In addition, it provides the opportunity to recognize and honor the valued partners who work together to provide immediate help and safety for all young people. It is also a time to acknowledge licensed Safe Place agencies, Safe Place locations, and community partners and volunteers. These individuals and groups are the pillars of strength that support the national safety net for youth.
Youth may experience difficult problems during their young lives, often leading them to make difficult, and sometimes dangerous decisions to escape their current situation. Sometimes, youth feel they don’t belong, and leaving home is often not a choice they want to make. Providing Safe Place as a resource for youth offers a safety net for them, thereby strengthening families and communities while preventing victimization and further injury.
Women’s Center – Youth and Family Services (WCYFS) is proud to be a licensed Safe Place Agency for San Joaquin County, and it is grateful to have RTD and Golden State McDonald’s as its Safe Place partners.
Safe House is the only emergency shelter in the county for youth ages 12 to 17 and a designated Safe Place. This program has a duration of 21 days and provides youth, and their families or guardians, with case management, clinical services and referrals. The goal of Safe House is to, safely, reunify youth with their parents or guardians.
The drop-in Center, The Spot, is also a designated Safe Place and provides a low barrier, safe space for any youth ages 12 to 25 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At the Spot, youth have access to three meals a day, shower, laundry facilities, hygiene packs, clothing, computers, Wi-Fi and charging station as well as access to case management and referral services.
As part of the National Safe Place Week observance, officials reminded youth that they are not alone, and that help is available.
To access Safe Place, youth in San Joaquin County can:
• Reach out to any RTD bus or McDonald’s employee and express their need to access Safe Place.
• Text TXT4HELP to get information about the closest Safe Place location.
• Call the 24/7 hotline: (209) 948-1911.
How Does a Community Benefit from Having a Safe Place Program?
• Youth can access help before their situation becomes a crisis
• Safe Place provides opportunities for unique partnerships and collaborations between businesses and social service entities
• Part of a national effort – a broad safety net for youth
• Provides a way for children and teens to access help when, and where they need it
• Sends a powerful message that young people are valued
Women’s Center-YFS is San Joaquin County’s only provider of free, confidential shelter and services specifically designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless and runaway youth. During the last year, WCYFS provided services to over 3,500 participants through its various programs.
The mission of Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services is to build a stronger community by fostering the strengths in individuals and by acting as a catalyst to end violence and youth homelessness.