What is a Safe Place? It's a local place that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that youth can go if they are being abused or if they have (or are tempted to) run away. Safe Place is a national program - visit their website at nationalsafeplace.org to identify local help in your area.
Due to Ronnie Dotson and his leadership, he and I and a group of foster youth visited Huckleberry House yesterday. This is where homeless and runaway youth in our area are transported to if they go to a Safe Place in need of help.
It matters that today's young people throughout Ohio know about available resources when they don't feel safe in their own homes - including unsafe foster homes. It made me incredibly happy that two of our youth participants have stayed at Huckleberry House before, and they both had very positive things to say about their experience. I still wish I had got a photo of their kitchen - it was awesome, but it was also being cleaned at the time.
What to expect:
- "Always have a nice meal"
- Xbox 1, PS4 and PS2
- School accommodations: COTA bus pass to district
- "Nice staff - friendly people"
- "Outings - fun weekend activities"
- "Somewhere to sleep"
- The TV room was very cozy, and youth looked very comfortable watching the movie together
- I really liked the chalkboard walls that teens could write on
- It was very touching that many of them signed their name: "_________ was here."
- The music room, with a guitar and piano, was a great creative touch