Since 1974, YMCA Safe Place Services, based in Louisville, KY, has been the only place a youth can initiate free 24-hour help by themselves. They serve those in the Metro Louisville area, including Jefferson, Oldham, and Bullitt counties, with a philosophy that youth and families are the experts of their own strengths, needs, and aspirations. Their programs include Shelter House, Project Safe Place, Street Outreach, Truancy Diversion, and Y-NOW Mentoring. These programs provide individual and family mediation and case management support, a community based safety network of over 300 access locations, emergency shelter for 12-17 year old youth, emergency shelter referrals for 18-21 year olds, youth leadership development, mentoring, and 24-hour hotline assistance. Through the myriad of services provided to youth and teens, they directly helped over 1,500 teens and their families in 2012.
Their mission is “to accept, affirm and advocate for teens and families in crisis through programs which empower youth to reach their full potential in spirit, mind and body.” They want to ensure that no youth facing a crisis is turned away – that all teens find the support they need in order to resolve their problems and lead a healthy and safe life. By giving teens and their families an alternative to state or court placement, they avoid the costly and damaging effects of these systems. Safe Place sees their community responsibility being realized through their commitment to serving young people who are not in the care of the state and to their mission.