Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program that provides youth immediate help and safety. (Photo Credit: Henryk Sadura)

March 21-27 is National Safe Place Week. According to the official Safe Place website (nationalsafeplace.org), this annual commemoration will allow for members of every community across the United States to participate in a multitude of events.

Supporters of Safe Place are encouraged to make donations, organizations are encouraged to become certified as official Safe Places, and webinars are being created by nonprofits and agencies across America.

The Relatives is one such Safe Place that operates in Charlotte and includes a Youth Crisis Center as well as an On Ramp Resource Center.

The Youth Crisis Center was founded for young people between the ages of 7-17 who are homeless. This location is also a hub for local resources, including The Relatives’ own parenting support classes. The organization’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline provides aid over the phone for youths who have either run away from home or are awaiting placement by the Department of Social Services. The Relatives’ website (therelatives.org) also demonstrates the utility of the On Ramp Resource Center. This particular location offers resume’ building, mock interviews, GED tutoring, money management workshops and several other educational resources and events.

Working in tandem with Safe Place, The Relatives has been a resource for the LGBTQ community in Charlotte for many years. Listed as a housing alternative to members of Time Out Youth, The Relatives has also created a specialized program for young adults who are transitioning into independent lifestyles. This program, dubbed the Journey Place Transitional Residence, serves individuals 18- 24.

Throughout Safe Place Week, The Relatives will be monitoring an event known as Robert’s Walk. Those participating in this journey will be asked to walk from Freedom Park to The Relatives’ East Boulevard Crisis Center. This trek may be completed anytime during Safe Place Week and may be posted on social media with the hashtag #WalkAMileWithRobert. Participants are also encouraged to post photographs of themselves doing this in order to raise awareness for the program.

The Relatives’ are hosting this event as an homage to a young man who walked from East Boulevard to The Relatives’ Youth Crisis Center.

To participate in the fundraiser can sign up here and receive a complimentary tee-shirt: bit.ly/2NnKrF1.

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