Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center is now a designated Safe Place in Charlotte. The organization will display the yellow and black Safe Place sign, which signifies immediate help and safety for youth.

It is estimated over one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn.

In Mecklenburg County, “there is a grand total of 198 standing sites that are designated Safe Places, and 320 mobile sites,” said Chiquita Patterson, Safe Place Coordinator at The Relatives. “At these sites, any child or teen can ask for help and get connected to the Youth Crisis Center.”

Mecklenburg County’s Safe Place initiative, operated by The Relatives, is part of a national network of Safe Place programs in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 20,000 community businesses and organizations nationwide display the Safe Place sign, making help readily available for youth in need. Anuvia is the newest location to become a Safe Place site in Charlotte. Additional Safe Place locations include the Charlotte Transit System, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, QuickTrip and more.

“Anuvia takes pride in being a supportive resource and safe haven for our clients and participants,” said Larry Snider, Executive Director at Anuvia. “Naturally, we would like to provide that for the youth in our community, and graciously we are able to partner with Safe Place to extend our reach.”

Safe Place has helped more than 2,100 youth in Mecklenburg County since it was launched in 1988. In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.