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Safe Place Program a Community Resource for Vulnerable Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday October 18, 2022
Krystal Pyatt I
The Children’s Cabinet | 775-856-0123 I kpyatt@childrenscabinet.org
Jillian Keller I Eddy House I 775-384-1129 I jillian@eddyhouse.org
Lauren Ball I Regional Transportation Commission | 775-420-1727 I lball@rtcwashoe.com
Philip Pumphrey I Keolis North America

Safe Place Program a Community Resource for Vulnerable Youth
– Responding to data that indicate a rise in vulnerable youth populations, Children’s Cabinet, Eddy House, RTC and Keolis partner to remind the public of available support services –

RENO, Nev. (October 18, 2022) – Citing a rise in the number of youth requesting services, partners of the Safe Place program, managed by the nonprofit Children’s Cabinet in partnership with multiple northern Nevada locations to offer respite to those looking to extricate themselves from dangerous or compromised circumstances, united today at a press conference to remind northern Nevadans how to use the program. Representatives from Children’s Cabinet, Eddy House, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) and Keolis North America (Keolis), contractor for RTC, were on site at a press conference at RTC’s CENTENNIAL PLAZA station in Sparks. The Children’s Cabinet oversees implementation of the program in northern Nevada, which has more than 59 active locations for individuals to go to in addition to all McDonald’s restaurants in northern Nevada and the RTC’s 120 buses and vans and more than 1,100 bus stops, operated by transit contractor Keolis.

The Eddy House, a youth homeless shelter and day center, is a Safe Place partner, meaning those who request safety may receive it at the location. The nonprofit recently noted a rise in constituents requesting services, citing they’ve experienced “record breaking numbers of young adults accessing their services” in a press release dated August 30, 2022. The release also states that in 2021 the Eddy House served an estimated 374 youth and, in 2022, is expecting that number to rise to 500.

At the press conference today, Keolis General Manager Philip Pumphrey reminded individuals that the RTC’s bus system is a critical component of the Safe Place program.

“Not everyone has access to a vehicle, nor the money to get a ride when it’s time for them to leave an untenable situation,” said Pumphrey. “Our operators may not be first responders, but they are professionals with compassion and the tools necessary to – literally – connect members of our community to the resources they need to be the best versions of themselves. We are committed to doing our part when Nevadans need safety.”

Kim Young, Chief Executive Officer for The Children’s Cabinet highlighted that since managing the program’s start in 2003, the number of sites has grown. In fact, in 2022 alone, 17 locations were added. Adults at each site are trained on what to do when a youth comes in looking for assistance. Just this year, The Children’s Cabinet trained 48 adults over the multiple Safe Place locations, this counts adults receiving training for the first time. Businesses can request regular training for their staff and each business has training supplies on hand for new employees. In the last ten years, The Children’s Cabinet has provided outreach and information to over 211,000 youth, counseled 689 youth by phone, and helped 875 youth at Safe Place sites. Just nine months into 2022, we have already connected with more than 10,000 youth through street outreach and events.

“This program is so important because it provides youth in need with a number to text or call, 24/7,” said Young. “A trained case manager answers every call and provides youth with immediate assistance. Safe Place provides a safety for youth by addressing the immediate situation and empowers them to build connections to school, address their social and emotional well-being, and assists with building permanent connections. This directly represents the mission of The Children’s Cabinet.”

Partners reminded individuals to look for the Safe Place logo, which can be found on RTC buses and in the windows of participating physical locations. Individuals can call 1 (800) 536-4588 or text “SAFE” and your current location to 4HELP (44357), or walk into a physical location where a staff member will then contact a Children’s Cabinet representative for further assistance.

“The Safe Place Program is an important component of the everyday service we provide to Washoe County,” said Pumphrey. “We believe in being partners with the communities where we operate and our teams take pride in being familiar and helpful resources to their passengers and the broader community.”

Those who take advantage will receive counseling and case management services at no cost. Those individuals who leverage the Safe Place program are often dealing with:

  • Family issues, conflict with parents
  • Thoughts of running away
  • Foster care transitions
  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Depression or thoughts of suicide
  • Bullying
  • Violence, sex trafficking, and other exploitation
  • Any unsafe situation

“Our team is no stranger to helping compromised youth,” said Trevor Macaluso, CEO of Eddy House. “But these numbers illustrate that many youth in our area are seeking improved circumstances. Those of us who can serve roles in improving lives must recommit ourselves to those efforts.”

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About The Children’s Cabinet:

Established in Reno in 1985, The Children’s Cabinet exists to keep children safe and families together by offering services and resources that address unmet needs. The organization represents a unique and effective collaboration between the private sector and public agencies in Nevada. The Children’s Cabinet helps more than 10,000 families annually with a wide range of services: basic needs, child care resources, education, and work experience programs, crisis intervention, and family counseling. As a non-profit agency, The Children’s Cabinet relies on community support to provide programs and services at no charge to children and their families.

About Eddy House:
Eddy House is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency in Northern Nevada that serves any homeless and at-risk youth aged 18-24, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or race. Their goal is to provide clients with the life and job skills that will enable them to attain and sustain successful independent lives. They accomplish this by providing wrap-around services including emergency shelter, meals, clothes, food, hygiene items, access to health care, and residential programs. In 2021, Eddy House served 374 unduplicated youth and expects to serve up to 500 in 2022. Learn how to help at www.eddyhouse.org.

About RTC:

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada serves the citizens of Reno, Sparks and unincorporated areas of Washoe County. As the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the region, the RTC provides leadership in planning and implements quality transportation systems to meet the community’s present and future transportation needs. For more information about RTC projects visit rtcwashoe.com and sign up for email updates using MyRTC or call (775) 348-0400. Follow RTC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Keolis North America:
Keolis provides safe, reliable mobility services to millions of people every year. With the passenger experience at the forefront, Keolis safely carries over 121 million passengers each year on local, commuter, paratransit, and commuter rail services in North America. Keolis offers an innovative new product called Keolis Evolve to transit agencies to help identify innovative solutions that meet evolving transit demand. A company that strives to put employees first, Keolis employs over 6,300 people throughout the United States and Canada. Learn more at www.keolisna.com.

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