Safe Place

Access to immediate help and safety for young people at risk of abuse, neglect or serious family problems.


Communities all share a concern about the safety and welfare of their youth and search for ways to keep their young people safe. Safe Place is a program designed to provide access to immediate help and safety to young people at risk of abuse, neglect or serious family problems. It is a cost-effective program offering youth and their families access to counseling and effective resolution to their conflicts before their situation escalates beyond their control. Businesses, community buildings and buses are designated as Safe Place sites and prominently display a distinctive yellow and black Safe Place logo. Any youth can walk into a Safe Place and let an employee know that they need help. They are quickly connected with a youth serving agency that can provide the help they need.


All programs and all Safe Place staff, volunteers, and site personnel share and uphold a general statement of purpose and philosophy that includes:

The provision of immediate access to help for youth; this short-term crisis-oriented assistance will stress a healthier living environment for youth.  It provides help within the youth’s own neighborhood 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on a non-discriminatory basis.  Safe Place reaches youth at an early preventative stage before problems escalate. Services are youth-initiated and responsive to the needs of youth as determined by the youth themselves. Confidentiality of each youth is maintained at all times, at all levels of the program.

This model of standard operating procedures was developed by the YMCA Center for Youth Alternative in Louisville, KY.

For more information on the Safe Place program you may call the Indiana Youth Services Association at 1-317-238-6955 or you may contact National Safe Place in Louisville, KY at 1-888-290-SAFE or online

National Safe Place Week

March 21-27 2021

National Safe Place (NSP) Week will take place on March 21 – 27, 2021. This nationally recognized week highlights Safe Place®, an outreach and prevention program which brings together youth agencies, businesses, public organizations, and volunteers to provide immediate help and safety for youth in crisis. In the last year, it has become even more evident how critical it is to have a strong safety net for youth and families. Communities across the nation have been impacted by a variety of challenges, including the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), social isolation, systematic racism, wildfires, political division, economic crisis, increased rates of familial violence, and a need for many to shift to working and learning from home. With all of these various challenges, it is even more crucial young people can easily access support through essential services provided by licensed Safe Place agencies.
Unfortunately, youth continue to face additional dangers in their lives, including abuse, neglect, bullying, homelessness, human trafficking, suicide ideation, and other situations leading them to feel unsafe. NSP Week is a time to raise awareness of Safe Place as a vital connection to supportive resources for youth. It is also a chance to recognize the many valued Safe Place partners committed to serving youth in crisis and ultimately strengthening the safety net for youth. This upcoming NSP Week provides an opportunity to reconnect and broaden connections with care, uniting communities in the vision of a world where all youth are safe.
Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 22,000 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.
Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 359,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,500 communities across the country. The program is managed by 140 youth agencies in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Indiana has been operating Safe Place programs since 1987. Since that time, nearly 15,000 young people accessed immediate safety and were connected to resources to keep them off the streets. Safe Place is driven by the support of the surrounding community. Whether it’s a business who decides to come onboard as a site, a youth who has been informed of Safe Place and seeks out critical support from the program, or a volunteer who coordinates transportation from a site to an agency—the program is a community effort. This year, these efforts are even more critical as youth have faced greater challenges and may require additional support. Connecting with care expands the safety net for youth, ensuring everyone has access to information, resources, and services. Find out how you can help your Indiana program at https://indysb.org/safe-place-program/