Safe Place is a national initiative that provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need throughout the County.
Through Hillsborough County Children’s Services, many of the nearly 200 Safe Place locations throughout the County are open 24/7 for youth and teens who need a place to go, no questions asked. Whether it’s running away from home because they are mad at their parents or escaping a domestic violence situation, Safe Place locations are part of a safety net that is in place to make sure every kid and teen in Hillsborough County knows they have somewhere to go to – no matter when they feel the need to leave.
Need a Safe Place?
- Visit the Safe Place Map
- Kids and teens in crisis can also text SAFE with their current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) and, within seconds, receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number to Children’s Services. TXT 4 HELP is a 24-hour text-for-support service that can be used not only in Hillsborough County, but nationwide, and will provide the nearest resources for help.
How a Safe Place works
- Step One – A young person enters a Safe Place and asks for help.
- Step Two – The employee at the Safe Place location finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the licensed Safe Place agency.
- Step Three – Within 30 to 60 minutes, a qualified Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member will arrive to talk with the youth and, if necessary, provide transportation to the agency.
Once at the agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support. Agency staff makes sure the youth and their family receive the help and professional services they need.
How to become a Safe Place in Hillsborough County
To become a Safe Place site in Hillsborough County, interested businesses should contact the Safe Place Coordinator at Children’s Services to schedule an initial assessment.
Basic requirements include:
- Easily accessible
- Youth friendly - safe and comfortable
- Ideally open 24 hours a day/otherwise as many hours as possible
- Located in a high-traffic area
- At least two trained employees on duty
The Coordinator will detail the responsibilities and requirements to become a site. If requirements are met, the potential site will receive orientation and training by the Safe Place Coordinator at the local licensed Safe Place agency, Hillsborough County Children’s Services.
The Hillsborough County Children's Services Command Center line is open 24/7 by calling (813) 272-6606. For more information email Doris Gillette.