National Runaway Safeline

Program Type: 

National Runaway Safeline
Chicago, IL

Katy Walsh
Director of Development and Communications

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS), formerly known as the National Runaway Switchboard, established in 1971, serves as the federally-designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth.  Annually, NRS, with the support of more than 120 volunteers, makes 250,000 connections to help and hope through hotline, online and offline resources.  Through its crisis hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY) and online ( services, NRS provides crisis intervention for youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. NRS also provides the free, evidence-based Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum in English and Spanish for schools and youth-serving organizations.  More than 15,000 youth have been reunited with their families through NRS’ Home Free program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc.  For more information, visit

After thirty years in the same building, NRS moved down the street to more effectively provide services to youth in crisis.  On October 29, 2015, NRS began serving families in crisis from our new Chicago home at 3141 B N. Lincoln Avenue. The new space has allowed us to increase from eight to 12 crisis hotline and online stations.  We now have a dedicated training center for over 120 volunteers.

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) and National Network for Youth (NN4Y) announce that November is National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM). The goals are twofold: 1) to raise awareness of the runaway and homeless youth crisis and the issues that these young people face;  2) to educate the public about solutions and the role they can play in ending youth homelessness.

Wednesday, November 2nd: Facebook Profile Picture. Lately, the trend on Facebook is to add a filter to your profile picture to show that you support a certain cause and spread awareness. This year, we are creating a filter that we will share closer to the date in order for you, your organization and followers to be able to participate.

Wednesday, November 9th: ‘Wear Green’ Day. Most people have something green in their closet; whether it be a t-shirt, tie, pair of socks, etc. Coordinate a ‘wear green’ day with your friends, coworkers, students, and/or classmates on November 9th. This is a fun and easy way to get people to learn more about NRPM. For added impact, take a photo of your group wearing green and post it to social media with the hashtag #NRPM2016. Tag NRS and we will share your photo!

Wednesday, November 16th: National Candlelight Vigil. Youth service agencies, community groups, and individuals will be hosting candlelight vigils to show solidarity with youth in crisis. Host your own candlelight vigil in your neighborhood, at your school, your workplace, your place of worship, etc. This event is low cost and high impact.

Wednesday, November 23rd: Selfie Sign Day. On this day, our website, will have a ‘Selfie Sign’ available for agencies to download. The sign will show you are supporting NRPM 2016, but we are also encouraging everyone to use the caption “This is how I have helped a friend...” and have everyone share a story of how they have helped a friend.