Young people in need of help can now find it at Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities, which have joined King County’s Safe Place program. Youth 12 to 17 who are experiencing a crisis will find assistance at 26 community centers, eight indoor pools and three teen life centers operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation. These places are marked by yellow, diamond-shaped decals.
The goal is to halt youth homelessness by preventing a young person from spending a first night on the streets, and to help youth who have been on the run for some time to reconnect with family and other services.
Staff members at Seattle Parks and Recreation have been trained to offer the young person a safe and quiet place to wait and rest. Then they call the Safe Place hotline to notify a coordinator of the situation. Within 45 minutes, a Safe Place coordinator will arrive to assess the teen’s needs, helping the teen either return home or go to a youth shelter.
The program in King County is run by YouthCare, Auburn Youth Resources and Friends of Youth in partnership with local businesses and nonprofits that have volunteered to be Safe Places.
Teens in crisis can call 800.422.TEEN to connect directly with a Safe Place Coordinator.