A Network of SafeSpots for Teens Located All Over The County

SafeSpots is a Franklin County youth connection and intervention program for young people under the age of 21 in need of immediate help and safety. As a collaborative community prevention initiative, SafeSpots  are businesses and organizations that make help readily available to youth in towns across the county. SafeSpot locations include: libraries, convenience stores , fire stations, restaurants, various businesses, and storefronts.

If you are having challenges at home, suffering from abuse or neglect, lost or in some dangerous situation, with a drunk or unsafe driver, or just need to talk about a problem, the nearest SafeSpot site can connect you directly with resources to help.

Homeless youth are young people who are often living on their own, without a permanent or stable place to call home. When some people think of homeless youth, they think of young people who live in shelters or on the streets. However, there are many other scenarios in which a youth might experience homelessness, such as staying in weekly or daily motels, living “doubled up” with another family, living out of their car, or residing with friends and sleeping on the couch. While there is no official count of the exact number of homeless youth, it is estimated that as many as 2.5 million children in the United States are homeless each year.

Franklin County’s Youth Connection Points

Youth become homeless for many reasons, but the most common causes are: Experiencing financial hardship, Being kicked out of their homes, Running away, Aging out of foster care, Being abandoned or neglected, Abuse, Substance abuse, Experiencing the death of a family member or guardian.

Many homeless youth become homeless suddenly. Homeless youth are different from homeless adults because they often have not learned the essential life skills needed to live on their own, like how to drive or ride a bus, get a job, or pay bills.

Homeless youth are at an increased risk of harm in comparison to other youth their age. They are more likely to experience mental illness, suffer poor health, drop out of school, and become involved with or become victims of criminal activity. Life on the streets is dangerous and unpredictable, leaving homeless youth vulnerable to being exploited, abused, or killed.

If you are a homeless youth, or know someone who is, here are some tips: You don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed —Whatever happened to put you in this situation was out of your control. You are not to blame., There are people who care—Tell a trusted adult, such as a teacher, pastor, or counselor, about your situation. Letting authority figures know you are homeless will allow people to help you and get you the support you need., Help is available—In your community there are places that help homeless youth stay in school, obtain services like access to food, showers, and medical care, and provide shelter and a safe place to sleep.

If you are a homeless youth in need of immediate safety, SafeKids of Franklin County or find someone of authority to connect you to help. You are not alone and there is a path out of homelessness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help is available!

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