Safe Place Celebrates 35 Years

2018 is full of opportunities to celebrate, including the 35th anniversary of Safe Place. Safe Place started out in 1983 in Louisville, KY as an outreach program of the YMCA Shelter House. Just three years later, at National Safe Place Network’s (NSPN) Focus 1986 conference (Formerly the Southeastern Network's (SEN) Regional Conference) in Atlanta, GA, the YMCA Shelter House presented their idea to expand the program nationally. NSPN members loved the idea and started opening Safe Place programs across the country – one of the first was in Knoxville, TN. That same year, the Department of Health and Human Services provided a small award to develop a model package for replication. In 1988, YMCA of Greater Louisville launched a separate program called National Safe Place, developed to operate Safe Place nationally and dedicated to providing support and new initiatives for licensed agencies across the U.S.

NSPN has grown immensely, and the Safe Place team is proud to celebrate this tremendous milestone with licensed agencies who have worked together to keep youth safe for 35 years. Through these years, licensed agency staff have become family – some have started their career of serving youth through Safe Place and others have dedicated their entire career around the program. One individual shares her story of how she started a life-long career of serving youth in crisis as a Safe Place volunteer and now is a leader of a national youth service organization. These heroes have made a difference for young people through the Safe Place program for 35 years… and counting! Congratulations, licensed Safe Place agencies!

We’re Safe Place and we want to help.

When teens find themselves in crisis or need a place to stay, they should know how and where to get help. Our nation’s young people deserve safety and shelter, and many youth feel they don’t have either. Thanks to Safe Place, immediate help is never too far away.

Safe Place provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. As a community initiative, the program designates schools, fire stations, libraries, and other youth-friendly organizations as Safe Place locations, which display the yellow and black sign.

Safe Place locations extend the doors of the local youth service agency or shelter to support teens in crisis situations, creating a safety net for youth.

Connect with others at Safe Place Connect!

Safe Place Connect is a community forum where licensed Safe Place agencies and sites can discuss topics of interest, share resources, and connect to access a strong network of support. Log in now through the Support Center to join a discussion!


Where did you learn about Safe Place?

We'd love to hear how you learned about Safe Place. Participate in this Safe Place poll and see how the news is spreading to others across the country.

Is your community safe for young people?

We can't deny our world is growing.  With growth comes increased opportunity, such as technology (both platform and skill), larger communities, and creative new ways to make our world easier and more convenient. However, these new opportunities and ways of living also increase the risk of unsafe situations and environments for young people. Technology provides a platform to make bullying and stalking easier.  Larger communities and faster paced life-styles can create stress on families – even increasing the potential for drug and alcohol abuse. As we continue to open ourselves up to what the world has to offer, youth continue to be faced with more and increasingly difficult challenges. It's a critical time to ensure every young person has someplace to go and someone to help. Help make sure youth in your community aren’t facing these challenges alone. Make your community a Safe Place community. Learn more today

Find a Safe Place

There are more than 20,000 Safe Place sites across the U.S.

Click now to locate the site nearest you.


TXT 4 HELP is a nationwide, 24-hour text-for-support service for teens in crisis.

If you’re in trouble or need help, text SAFE and your current location (address, city, state) to 69866 for immediate help.


Click to learn more.