The national organization, SafePlace works with communities and neighborhoods to create safe places for kids at risk. Signs placed a restaurants, buses, youth centers, recreation centers and more indicate to young people that this is a safe place to go when in crisis. They can request help from an employee at the designated safe place who will contact SafePlace. A SafePlace staff person or volunteer will meet the young person and help them find help and resources.
SafePlace works with all youth and youth issues and can help in setting up safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to find help. Bullying, harassment and homelessness hit all youth and impact LGBTQ youth particularly hard. Efforts to create safe spaces for youth must include youth seeking help with sexual or gender orientation.
The Ames Tribune printed an excellent article on the effectiveness of safe space in schools in reducing harassment and bullying of LGBTQ youth in schools.
What is important about this is that it doesn’t take large amounts of money or time to set up a safe place in your community. Simply indicating to youth that you or your organization is a place to go to obtain help gives youth a way to obtain help that they may not be able to access at home. This is grassroots assistance at its best. Visit SafePlace’s website for more information on setting up safe spaces for all youth in your community. See GLSEN for information on safe space in schools for LGBTQ youth specifically. See their “safe space kit” to get started.