For the first time in King County, an entire municipal administration has been designated as part of the Safe Place network. Snoqualmie City Hall, Fire Station and Police Station, as well as all city Public Works and Parks & Recreation vehicles, now will be Safe Places for youth ages 12 to 17 to ask for help when they experience a crisis.
Officials from Safe Place partner agencies celebrated the second anniversary of the Safe Place program in King County at a morning press conference today while announcing the addition of Snoqualmie as a new partner to the collaborative effort to improve youth safety and prevent teen homelessness.
“The city of Snoqualmie is committed to providing resources and support for the growth and development of our young people,” said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. “Our city staff have demonstrated incredible caring and initiative in embracing the Safe Place method of reaching out to help youth experiencing a crisis.”
Larson unveiled the distinctive yellow diamond Safe Place logo that is displayed prominently at the entrance to Snoqualmie City Hall and other city facilities. Logo decals also have been added to all city maintenance and utility vehicles, and all city staff have been trained to respond to young people who approach them and ask for help. Joining Mayor Larson for the announcement were the three non-profit youth service agencies that serve as Safe Place responders in different areas of the county – Friends of Youth, YouthCare and Auburn Youth Resources.
“After two years, the Safe Place program here has proven to be an effective way to extend the front doors of youth shelters and counseling services into the community,” said Terry Pottmeyer, CEO of Friends of Youth in Kirkland. “Thanks to the leadership of the City of Snoqualmie, a whole city is embracing the Safe Place concept and reaching out to those youth who need help in a crisis.”
“Over its two years of operation, King County Safe Place has been able to help more than 100 young people, helping them find housing options, or reconcile with family, and most of all, letting them know that someone cares,” said Jim Blanchard, Executive Director of Auburn Youth Resources. “Safe Place now is available at many sites all over King County, including schools, community centers, municipal buildings and non-profit organizations.”