Press Releases

Washington, DC – The Senate has unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) that designates the week of March 16-22, 2008 as “National Safe Place Week.”

Safe Place is a nationally acclaimed program committed to protecting America’s youth for the past 25 years by making help readily accessible to those who might be abused, neglected, threatened or in immediate danger. More than 200,000 youth have received help at nearly 16,000 Safe Place sites or as a result of counseling by phone following Safe Place school education. This program is currently operated by 143 agencies serving 900 communities in 41 states, including in California.

“Today’s youth face growing pressures in their daily lives at school, at home, and in the community.  That is why it is so important that the National Safe Place program provides thousands of young people with access to counselors, legal services, and emergency shelters – keeping them out of trouble and off of dangerous streets,” Senator Feinstein said. “I am proud to be a part of the effort to commend this program. I hope this week of increased awareness will encourage more areas to establish Safe Place locations for our nation’s youth.”

The resolution recognizes the participating businesses, community organizations, youth service agencies and volunteers that are part of the YMCA National Safe Place program and work for the safety and well being of at-risk youth. They are commended for their hard work and dedication to helping the nation’s youth.

Cosponsors of the resolution included: Senators Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Jim Bunning (R-KY.), Thad Cochran (R.-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), James Inhofe (R-OK.), Tim Johnson (D-SD.), Mary Landrieu (D-LA.), Richard Lugar (R-IN.), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY.),


In California, there are nine designated Safe Place programs, with 1,738 Safe Place sites located in more than 65 communities, which have served more than 5,000 youths.

National Safe Place sites include fast food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, schools, libraries, office buildings or even a city bus and are marked by large, yellow Safe Place signs displayed prominently in front windows. In Fresno, California, for example, city buses are all designated as Safe Places. Any youth can walk into a Safe Place site and receive immediate help from a trained volunteer, and further help from a Safe Place staff person who can provide counseling, residential assistance or professional referrals, as needed.

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