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Access for All - National Safe Place


We believe that all teens have potential, and that a successful future is fostered by caring adults who make teens feel valued, capable and safe. When a teen is in crisis, it is important that they know where to go to get help. Thanks to Safe Place and the Y, help is always close at hand.  

A Sign of Hope

Safe Place is a national youth program for teens in need of immediate help and was created as an outreach program of the YMCA of Greater Louisville in 1983. Businesses and community locations that display the yellow and black diamond Safe Place sign are committed to connecting young people in need of help with local youth services agencies.

How Safe Places Works

Most teens learn about Safe Place at school. A teen can enter any designated Safe Place site and request assistance when faced with a threatening situation. Safe Place partners in Mecklenburg County include Bojangles, CATS buses, QuickTrip locations, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Charlotte Fire Department. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte became an official designated Safe Place in 2010.

When a young person enters a Safe Place seeking help, an employee provides a comfortable place to wait and contacts the local Safe Place agency. Quickly, an agency team member arrives to talk with the youth and, if necessary, provide transportation to the agency. There, counselors meet with the teen and provide appropriate support.

Teens in Crisis

When Teens in crisis come seeking help at one of our YMCA's, we connect them  to The Relatives, the Safe Place agency and youth shelter for Mecklenburg County. The Relatives is a co-ed emergency shelter for local runaways, homeless and other youth in crisis and gives aid to thousands of youth each year with referrals from hundreds of Safe Place locations across the community.

To connect with The Relatives, please call (704) 377-0602