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July/August 2024Vol. 25, No. 6Getting to Know the National Runaway Safeline

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS), a service funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families, provides crisis intervention services to young people who are experiencing crisis, have run away or are at risk of running away, or need someone to talk to, as well as to their families. It also offers prevention and education tools and programs to build the capacity of service providers, educators, law enforcement, and communities to directly support runaway and homeless youth and raise awareness about the issues they face.

A colorful and engaging website connects youth and young adults to free and confidential 24/7 support via a variety of methods, including the 1.800.RUNAWAY hotline, live chat messaging on the website, text, email, and a discussion forum moderated by the NRS crisis services team. While the website is geared toward younger users, web sections are also dedicated to concerned adults, service providers, and prevention and education. Visitors to the website can also access the Let's Talk podcast and the NRS blog.

A recent NRS video presentation provides an introduction to NRS and its programs, services, and resources. The presentation provides an overview of the issue of youth homelessness, citing a Chapin Hall study that indicates more than 4 million young people will experience homelessness in the United States each year. It also explores the challenges and negative outcomes associated with homelessness and housing instability, such as inconsistent access to food, inability to attend or graduate from school, struggles with mental and physical health, substance use, unsafe or violent situations, and more. The presentation centers on the many services and programs NRS provides, including its crisis support services, prevention curriculum, education and outreach materials, National Runaway Prevention Month, Youth Ambassador program, Home Free program, and more.

Learn more by watching the hour-long NRS video presentation and visiting the NRS website.