Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people under 18 (up to 21 years of age in some communities) in need of immediate help and safety.
It is National Safe Place Week, which is celebrated during the third full week in March each year and honors Safe Place.
The 43 Charlotte Fire Department stations are a safe place for young people.
“The fire department is committed to ensuring safety for everyone in our community,” said Reginald Johnson, fire chief of the Charlotte Fire Department. “Being a safe place for children and young adults is critically important.”
Nationally, more than 12,000 young people per year have received direct help from Safe Place.
As a collaborative community prevention initiative, Safe Place designates businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to young people in communities across the country.
Safe Place locations include libraries, YMCAs, fire stations, public buses, various businesses, and social service facilities.
To find a Safe Place, text the word “safe” and your current location (city/state/zip) to 4HELP (44357).
Within seconds, you will receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number for the local youth agency. There is also the option to text interactively with a professional for more help. It’s quick, easy, safe and confidential.
Call boxes are set up outside at Charlotte Fire stations that connect directly to the fire call center, which alerts firefighters inside that someone is in distress. If the firefighters at the station are on an emergency call, firefighters at the next nearest station are alerted.
“The importance of a child in crisis cannot be understated,” Johnson said. “Firefighters are here to provide care to those kids in need.”
Designated Safe Place locations display the Safe Place sign, the universal symbol of youth safety.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.