The Relatives’ Family Update – March 2019
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Safe Place saves the lives of youth in Charlotte!
Through Safe Place, a national program The Relatives manages in Charlotte Mecklenburg county, youth and young adults are able to find safety at 680 locations in Charlotte. Our youth crisis center has been providing shelter, safety, and hope for youth in Charlotte for 45 years.
National Safe Place Week
National Safe Place (NSP) Week is celebrated nationally during the third full week in March each year. This recognized week honors Safe Place, an outreach and prevention program for youth in crisis. NSP Week serves to recognize the many valued partners who work together to provide immediate help and safety for all young people.
Safe Place was able to save Steven and Lisa’s life. Steven and Lisa were 12 and 16 when they were trying to enroll in a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school and a counselor noticed they needed a safe place to stay. The counselor called The Relatives and we wrapped our services around them to ensure they felt protected. Most times, kids in crisis are scared, alone, and most importantly do not know where to go to find help.
For Steven and Lisa, Charlotte was supposed to be a fresh start. After multiple cross-country moves, their mom was able to escape an abusive relationship, and they were hopeful to get settled in a new city. But, when they got here, they were faced with several obstacles – they had no resources to find housing and realized that all of the shelters at the time were full. Luckily, a Safe Place partner recognized their need and we were able to relieve their fears and provide a sense of security. Even though things weren’t perfect, their family was able to get on the right track to independence and they finally felt a sense of belonging.
Last year, 31 kids in our community relied on the Safe Place program for help because they were homeless, had runaway, or were experiencing family conflict which put them in crisis. Robert was one of those kids and now each year we end Safe Place week with a walk in his honor.
Just like Steven and Lisa, Robert was another youth who found hope all because of Safe Place. Robert found himself sleeping on a bench in Freedom Park after being abandoned by his parents. He had no family or friends to turn to and ended up homeless and fending for himself. One day, he was making his way up East Blvd. when he noticed the Safe Place sign outside of our youth crisis center. He recognized what the sign meant from a presentation done in his school. Recognizing the Safe Place sign changed the course of Robert’s life.
Safe Place provides a way for youth and young adults to move out of the crisis they are facing with love and hope on their side. When a child is homeless, runaway, or escaping a dangerous situation, they can seek help at 680 locations in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. We hope you can help us grow awareness about the yellow signs spread throughout our community and how they can empower our most vulnerable youth. Scroll down to learn more.
Safe Place Week Events
We have lots of exciting things happening during National Safe Place week!
Monday: Make sure you look out for the Wells Fargo-Duke Energy building to be lit up in The Relatives’ colors.
Wednesday: Watch our social media for a 10% off registration code for the upcoming Strides for Shelter 5K in June.
Thursday: We will be at CATS Transit Center to unveil which of our crisis center kids have won an art contest – the winning selection will be displayed on all of the CATS buses and trains for up to one year!
Safe Place Selfie Contest
To help grow awareness, enter our Safe Place Selfie Contest! Find a Safe Place sign in our community, take a selfie with it, then tag The Relatives and 5 friends. The winner will receive a $100 QuikTrip gas card and will be chosen on Saturday, March 23rd! #NSPWeek2019.
Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend
We are completely humbled by the love we received as a beneficiary of this year’s Ballantyne Ball and are thrilled that so many opened their hearts to our youth. Thank you so much to Ballantyne Ball for believing in the work we do and helping us grow our family so we can help more youth in crisis!