For paramedics, assisting and intervening during times of crisis is part of the job.
For more than four decades, the dedicated men and women of the St. Charles County Ambulance District (SCCAD) have expertly handled thousands of calls to action for all variety of medical emergencies. And now, thanks to a partnership with Youth in Need, they are equipped to assist area youth facing different types of challenges entirely.
Youth in Need’s “Safe Place” network is a national youth outreach and runaway prevention program that works to provide immediate help and safety to young people in need.
Safe Place designates community businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to young people who need it.
With this partnership, all 15 SCCAD stations and 32 advanced life support units are designated Safe Place locations.
The Safe Place program is designed to provide young people access to immediate help, safety, and resources when they are facing challenges such as abuse, neglect, or homelessness.
“Safe Place partners like SCCAD truly open doors for children and teens to get help in times of crisis,” said Pat Holterman-Hommes, Youth in Need’s President and CEO. “Previously, we did not have Safe Place site in some of St. Charles County’s outlying areas, such as New Melle, Augusta, Defiance and Foristell. This partnership makes Safe Place accessible to all youth in our community.”
“It’s humbling to know that in times of crisis, young people in our community know they can turn to our paramedics and Battalion Chiefs,” he said. “By partnering with Youth in Need on the Safe Place initiative, we’ll be able to better link those facing challenges with the services they need.”
With more than 850 points of entry in the region for youth to seek immediate help, Youth in Need is the largest Safe Place provider in the nation.
In addition to SCCAD’s stations and ambulances, Safe Place sites include all Walgreens, QuikTrip and YMCA locations, as well as more than 300 Metro buses and trains. In 2015, a record number of young people accessed Safe Place help: 404 across Youth in Need’s Safe Place service area.
Around 162,572 youths have been connected to immediate help and safety across 37 Safe Place states since the program’s conception in 1983.