INDIANAPOLIS – For more than six years, IndyGo has served as a Safe Place location and assisted children in crisis. Safe Place Network is a national outreach program which educates youth about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult or threatening situations on their own and provides immediate help to support the child. IndyGo is currently exploring the opportunity to make the Downtown Transit Center a Safe Place location this June.
Safe Place has created a network of “Safe Place locations” including businesses, schools, fire stations, libraries, YMCAs, and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign. IndyGo has designated its facility headquarters as well as 150 buses as mobile Safe Place sites. IndyGo has reported at least three cases in the last 6 months where a young adult or child has come to the IndyGo facility, stepped on a bus, or waited at an IndyGo bus stop, looking for help.
“It is National Safe Place Week and I am happy to highlight IndyGo as a great partner. They take care of the kids who need help when they get on the bus and work with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) to get the child to the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), where I pick them up and determine if they should be taken home or to a shelter,” stated Safe Place Coordinator, Jonathan Young.
“The IMPD, IndyGo, and IFD work together to keep our youth safe. This is a perfect example of the “Together We Can Thursday” theme,” he continued. Safe Place is able to provide access to prompt help and safety to youth at risk of abuse, neglect, or serious family problems. The program offers kids and their families’ access to counseling to resolve to their conflicts before their situation escalates beyond their control.
“IndyGo’s protocol is to make sure the child is safe while waiting for authorities and Mr. Young to assess the situation and determine a solution, we are happy to be a location for children to go to when they need help,” stated IndyGo Director of Safety, Security, and Training, Mark Emmons.
To celebrate National Safe Place Week, it is encouraged to increase awareness about the program by sharing information on social media, educating family and friends about the issues that impact kids (homelessness, abuse/neglect, bullying, human trafficking, etc.), raise funds for the cause, and consider opportunities for more Safe Place locations and partnerships throughout the community.
IndyGo, the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, provides public transit service throughout Marion County. In 2016, IndyGo will open the Downtown Transit Center at the corner of Washington and Delaware and make system-wide route changes. Visit IndyGo.net, follow @IndyGoBus on Twitter, or call (317)635-3344 for more information.
About National Safe Place:
National Safe Place provides training and technical assistance for youth service agencies and businesses interested in developing the Safe Place program. Businesses and community locations that appeal to youth – such as fast food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries –connect kids looking for help with a partnering youth service agency. Safe Place was created as an outreach program of Shelter House by the YMCA of Greater Louisville in 1983 and remains a wholly owned subsidiary of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. Since its inception, Safe Place has helped more than 270,000 youth. For more information, please visit our website.