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.

  • Youth who face dangers in their lives, such as abuse, neglect, bullying, homelessness, human trafficking, suicide ideation, and other unsafe situations, can access Safe Place resources. As they 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.
  • National Safe Place (NSP) Week (in March) highlights the many valued Safe Place partners committed to serving youth in crisis and ultimately strengthening the safety net for youth.
  • 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.


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


To request a free training for your organization or community, please contact Brigitt Nasby, State Safe Place Director, at bnasby@indysb.org for more information and scheduling

In 2022, suicidal thoughts became the main reason youth used Safe Place in Indiana. IYSA brought additional funding to the Safe Place programs across the state to address this issue. Today Indiana Safe Place programs utilize and train communities on how to support youth in crisis. The trainings below are offered to any community across the state.

  • Question, Persuade, Refer ™ (QPR)

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid 

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Indiana Youth Services Association is committed to proactively working to advance racial equity, focusing on eliminating inequities and increasing success for all in our agency and our community!

Indiana Youth Services Association
303 N Alabama St., Suite 210
Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317) 238-6955