March 14, 2006

Craig, Crapo Celebrate National Safe Place Week

Senate sets aside March 13-17 to honor program

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo joined together in recognizing the week of March 13th as National Safe Place Week. S. Res. 390, which designated this week National Safe Place Week, passed the Senate unanimously on March 9, with 23 bipartisan cosponsors. â??I am very happy to once again sponsor this legislation that honors Project Safe Place with some well-deserved recognition,â?? Craig said. â??This is a project that continues to expand its reach into new communities across the country, and provide assistance to children who are at risk, and Iâ??m proud of the good work they are doing. Because I believe in the value of Safe Place, several of my regional offices across Idaho are designated Safe Places, including Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Twin Falls and Coeur dâ??Alene.â?? â??It is important to recognize annually the Safe Place designations and remind our children help is available in public places,â?? Crapo said. â??I commend Senator Craig for taking the lead on this important recognition in Congress.â?? Beth Barclay of Volunteers of America in Coeur dâ??Alene, Idaho, said â??Safe Place makes help readily available for any young person in our county. By understanding that the Safe Place sign is a symbol of immediate help and safety, it is possible for youth traveling from one community to another to easily get help at one of the designated locations. We have had kids come into our program from as far away as New Mexico, Alaska, and Missouri, as well as all over the Northwest. Because I-90 goes through our community, when kids have problems as they are traveling, they recognize the sign and know they can get the help they need.â?? Safe Place is a unique public-private partnership that helps troubled youths by offering them a place to go in their community where they can talk to trustworthy adults who act as a link to help. The program works by creating a network of businesses and public locations that display the bright yellow, diamond-shaped Safe Place logo in their windows or a highly visible place on the front of their buildings. The employees at locations where a Safe Place program is in effect have been trained to handle emotionally distressed people and refer them to the services they need. When a troubled youth requests assistance, an employee will provide the youth with a secure place to wait while he or she contacts the local Safe Place headquarters. If necessary, the headquarters will dispatch a trained volunteer to the Safe Place site to offer assistance and provide transportation to a shelter if necessary. [30]