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Public Notice:

At Familylinks, our priority remains the health and safety of our clients and our team, and we continue to take measures to protect against the spread of the COVID-19. Last week we made the decision to cancel all events and suspend volunteer activities until further notice. This week we have made the necessary modifications to our programs and services, in accordance with guidelines set by local and state government, so we can continue to serve individuals and families in western Pennsylvania.

As public health officials assess the risk, we are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and evaluating potential implications. We will continue to share all updates on our website and social media pages.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has created a support and referral helpline for COVID-19. To review the details click here.

For the most up to date information regarding COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.

  

National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place® Program for Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Diane Balcom
Familylinks Development Manager
412-942-0495
DBalcom@familylinks.org

National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place® Program for Youth

Familylinks operates local Safe Place program

Pittsburgh, PA (March 2) – National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 15-21, 2020 as
National Safe Place Week. The nationally recognized week serves to raise awareness about the Safe Place
program, a national program which brings together businesses and volunteers to help youth in crisis.
“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world, such as abuse, neglect, bullying and serious
family problems,” said Laurie Jackson, President / CEO for NSPN. “It’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places
where youth can go to get help. National Safe Place Week is the perfect opportunity for communities across the
country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth.”

It is estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family
conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to
turn.

Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 21,000 partnering businesses and community locations,
such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries, which display the Safe
Place sign in their windows. As youth enter a designated Safe Place and ask for help, trained staff members
connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance.

In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for
youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) to
receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have
the option to text interactively with a counselor for more help.

Safe Place, operated locally by Familylinks, partners with businesses and community organizations to provide
immediate safety and support for local youth. Safe Place 26 Familylinks-sponsored site locations throughout the
region.

“Our staff is available 24/7/365 to assist homeless and at-risk youth by providing a safe and compassionate
environment for them,” said Dr. Marianne DiMatteo, Familylinks Chief Operations Officer. “Our continuum of care
for this population remains a top priority for Familylinks to ensure youth can access the help they need at any
level.”

Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,400
communities across the country. The program is managed by 140 youth agencies in 36 states and the District of
Columbia.

About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service

organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored
organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally
recognized programs Safe Place, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center
(RHYTTAC), and Human Trafficking: Recognition, Respect, Response (HTR3). To learn more, please visit
www.nspnetwork.org or www.nationalsafeplace.org.

About Familylinks
Familylinks is a nonprofit organization committed to building healthy communities by strengthening individuals
and families through the provision of comprehensive, quality services. By believing in the worth of those served,
Familylinks assures that all children, families and seniors in western Pennsylvania have the tools they need to be
healthy, happy and strong for life. To learn more, visit www.familylinks.org.