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The Rare Breed, a part of the humanitarian organization The Kitchen, has announced a new program which will expand the potential to reach youth in crisis. KSMU’s Theresa Carter spoke with local organizers and files this report.
The Safe Place Program is a nation wide outreach program that partners with over 15,000 businesses and agencies across the county.
This 25 year-old program seeks to provide easily recognizable safe locations for youth in crisis situations. The Rare Breed, in conjunction with The Kitchen, will be implementing this program in Springfield beginning this fall.
Todd Duncan, Coordinator of Youth Services for the Kitchen, said that steps are already being done to work with the city’s transit system for providing mobile assistance.
Duncan explains, "We are working with partnering with traditional Safe Place partners, such as City Utilities buses, so as to provide mobile assistance to youth in times of crisis."
Several local businesses and community agencies, have already joined the program as approved Safe Places sites. However, many more are needed.
Approved participants will be identified by the large yellow and black Safe Place diamond-shaped signs to be displayed in participating windows of these locations. Youth in crisis can go to these locations to seek shelter and further assistance.
Duncan, "This will expand the shelter's 3 existing doors, to over 100 doors, within the community so that youth can access these services."
Support for this program comes from a variety of sponsors, as well as the proceeds raised from the yard sale which was held on May 23rd by the Senior Democrats of the Ozarks.
The Safe Place Program is projected to begin in August of 2009. For KSMU news, I’m Theresa Carter.