News and Tribune

Clark County

November 27, 2009

To teens in need, send a text

National Safe Place launches ‘Txt 4 Help’ program









Teenagers in need can use a familiar tool to find safety — texting.

National Safe Place has launched its Txt 4 Help program, which allows teenagers to text the word “safe” 24-hours a day, along with their location, to find the closest safe place and contact information for the local youth shelter.

Safe place was created to provide easy access to help for young people in dangerous, threatening or vulnerable situations, according to the Clark County Youth Shelter’s newsletter.

The texting program is designed to allow teenagers greater access to services and provide another way to get in touch with youth shelters.

“The texting is not any faster than giving us a call, but [teens] may be more comfortable with it,” said Laura Fleming-Balmer, executive director of the Clark County Youth Shelter.

But, a bonus is the texting program is fast.

Fleming-Balmer said she tested Txt 4 Help and received information back in about 30 seconds.

The program is ideal for the amount of teenagers with cell phones today;

90 percent have regular access, according to the newsletter, and 66 percent prefer texting to calling.

In addition to reaching out to the technology generation via text, the youth shelter recently launched a Facebook page and also has an established Web site people can visit.

The multitude of ways in which teenagers can access information and learn about the youth shelter’s services are providing anonymous and noncommittal ways for those that are reluctant to go to the shelter.

Access is not limited to Southern Indiana.

The Txt 4 Help program has been implemented nationwide, so no matter where teenagers are, they will be able to find a refuge.

People wanting information should text the word “safe” and their location to 69866.



SO YOU KNOW

• WHAT: Txt 4 Help, a program which allows teenagers to text the word “safe” 24-hours a day, along with their location, to find the closest safe place and contact information for the local youth shelter.

• HOW: Text the word “safe” and location to 69866

• LOCALLY: There are 105 safe place locations in Clark and Floyd counties



CLARK COUNTY YOUTH SHELTER

• ADDRESS: 118 E. Chestnut St., Jeffersonville

• WEB — www.ccysfs.org; also there is a Facebook page

• E-MAIL — ccadmin@ccysfs.org

• PHONE — 812-284-5229



FLOYD COUNTY YOUTH SHELTER

• ADDRESS: 3505 Grant Line Road, New Albany

• PHONE: 812-948-5481

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