Our city is expanding and growing, and with expansion comes an increase in crimes and safety risks, especially for our youth. Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that provides help and safety to young people in need of immediate assistance. Valley Metro exists to connect communities and enhance lives. With that responsibility in mind, Valley Metro has partnered with UMOM New Day Centers to designate all Valley Metro light rail stations and buses as “Safe Places.” This means teens ages 12-17 who are experiencing a crisis, can request assistance 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, from any light rail station by pressing the emergency call box button. When they are on a Valley Metro bus, they can notify the operator of the bus to request Safe Place assistance. Valley Metro staff cannot interfere if a parent or legal guardian arrives. If teens are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they cannot be transported by the Safe Place responder.
An overwhelming number of teens sleep on the streets each night in Maricopa County and that’s why this program is crucial for the safety of Maricopa youth. There are many other locations designated as a “Safe Place” around the Valley, including Quick Trip stores, libraries, fire departments, and youth-friendly organizations. When teens reach out for help at a safe place, they are provided immediate contact with a crisis responder. They are transported to a UMOM location and are provided with safety, shelter, and support.
If you are a young person and need immediate assistance, you can find the nearest Safe Place by texting the word “safe” and your current location (city/state/zip) to 4HELP (44357). You will receive a reply immediately with the closest “Safe Place” location and number for a local youth agency. You will also have an option to text with a professional. Safe Place is a voluntary program, so you may leave at any time. If you are 18 years of age or older, please call 211 for social services information.
Valley Metro provides a safe place for teens, so they can receive immediate assistance when in a crisis. See how you can help by visiting https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/