City of Grandview Heights Fire Division is now a designated a Safe Place in the central Ohio community. The building will display the yellow and black Safe Place sign, which signifies immediate help and safety for youth.
It is estimated over one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn. Columbus’ Safe Place initiative, operated by Huckleberry House, is part of a national network of Safe Place programs in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 20,000 community businesses and organizations nationwide display the Safe Place sign, making help readily available for youth in need.
“By making their fire station a Safe Place, the city of Grandview Heights provides a safe alternative for runaway or homeless youth in their community,” states Becky Westerfelt, Executive Director of Huckleberry House.
Grandview Heights Fire Chief Steve Shaner states, “We are happy to collaborate with Huckleberry House to connect those youth that may need help with the services they need”.
Huckleberry House is central Ohio’s Safe Place® agency and has 134 partner sites, including all 33 locations in the Columbus Fire Stations. In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.
About Huckleberry House
Started in 1970 as a shelter for runaway teens, Huckleberry House serves young people and families in crisis. The organization’s four core programs include a 24-hour shelter for teens, an 18-month transitional living program for young adults who have experienced homelessness and are preparing to live independently in permanent housing, a youth outreach team that connects young people with resources and a family support counseling program with an expertise in adolescent cognitive behavior practices. To learn more visit: www.huckhouse.org.
About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally recognized programs Safe Place, HTR3, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC). To learn more, please visit www.nspnetwork.org.
About City of Grandview Heights Division of Fire
The City of Grandview Heights, Division of Fire has served the citizens of Grandview Heights, Marble Cliff and surrounding neighbors for over 85 years. In 2019, the department will respond to more than 2,000 calls. For more information go to www.grandviewheights.org.