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National Runaway Safeline

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Human Services, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention

Mission: The National Runaway Safeline's mission is to keep America's runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.

Target demographics: keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.

Geographic areas served: Serving the lower 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S territories.

Programs: In 2007, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) handled a record-breaking 176,609 calls through its call center. A complete list of services NRS provides: Crisis Intervention: NRS operates a crisis hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All calls to the crisis line are confidential. The front line team of staff and volunteers receive 40 hours of training to provide non-judgmental and non-directive support. Information & Referrals: A database of more than 16,000 youth and family agencies provides countless options for callers to access counseling, basic center/shelter services, alcohol/drug treatment and child protective services. In addition, NRS maintains a hard copy library of reference materials to supplement the database. Conference Calls: When youth request assistance contacting their family or an agency that can help them, NRS will facilitate a conference call. The front line team member remains on the line with the youth, helping to advocate on their behalf. Message Service: NRS maintains a message service for youth who want to relay a message but are not ready to communicate directly with their parent. NRS' message service is a less intimidating means for a youth to reestablish contact with their parent/guardian and often serves as the first step toward reunification. Home Free: In partnership with Greyhound Lines Inc., NRS helps reunite runaway youth with their families through a free bus ticket home. Over 10,000 youth have been reunited with families through the Home Free Program since 1995. Let's Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum: NRS has produced a new 14-module curriculum for youth to develop life skills. Complete with an eight-minute film, 1-800-RUNAWAY, this free curriculum is available on a CD or for download at 1800RUNAWAY.org. Prevention and Educational Materials: NRS provides educational and promotional material free of charge to individuals, schools and organizations to distribute within their community. Kids Call: Through this innovative program, teens and pre-teens can openly discuss issues and challenges of youth. Kids Call provides trained NRS staff via teleconference to talk about alternatives to running away. www.1800RUNAWAY.org: NRS' website has three main goals: to direct calls to the hotline so that youth and families can receive individualized attention and support; to engage youth and families so they can access critical information before a runaway episode occurs; and to disseminate information about NRS, youth and runaways to the community.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

donausten@thursdayschild.org

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Horrible organization that wound up with a million-dollar federal contract. They will not work with other organizations that have runaways in their custody, but have demanded that Greyhound only allow then to issue bus tickets for runaways to get back home. They, including those i9dentifying themselves as supervisors, just hang up the phone, unwilling to answer the most basic of questions. Years ago, we waited 58 minutes for someone to answer their "hotline" stuck on their hold, till we just hung up and bought a ticket for the runaway ourselves.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

For the past 10 years, I have worked with many youth-serving nonprofits and have found the National Runaway Switchboard as one of the best. They provide critical help to missing and runaway youth who are amongst the most vulnerable. NRS provides invaluable services and expertise to the youth and families experiencing "major gaps" in communications.