GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Soon, there will be more Safe Place signs in Guilford County.
The yellow signs are located outside of public buildings and some businesses to let youth in crisis know they can go into those places and ask for help.
From there, someone contacts Act Together Crisis Care, an emergency housing facility, to take care of any immediate and in some cases long-term needs a child may have.
There are currently 120 sites in Guilford County that are designated as a Safe Place including every fire department, public library and Greensboro Transit Authority bus.
However, there’s a need for more signs, and therefore, more partners.
“Youth need help all over our county and not just in the high-traffic areas,” Youth Focus Supportive Housing Program Director Sarah Roethlinger said.
Youth Focus, which houses Act Together Crisis Care, has partnered with Family Service of the Piedmont to designate four of its locations as Safe Place sites.
Those locations include the Families First Center, Slane Center, Fairview Family Resource Center and High Point Center for Child Wellness.
“We want to ensure the safety in Guilford County and the surrounding counties for both children adolescents and adults, so the mission and vision is similar and aligned with each other,” Family Service of the Piedmont caseworker Shaquita Joyner said.
Other recent partners include The Kellin Foundation, One Step Further and the Guilford Green LGBTQ Center.
Ty Gibson says Act Together Crisis Care helped her during her senior year in high school.
She stayed in that program for 90 days before moving into the Transitional Living Program.
Gibson is now in her freshman year at Winston-Salem State University and credits the connections and resources she received for helping her stay focused.
“If I didn’t have this, I feel that I wouldn’t have went to college, honestly,” she said.
Act Together Crisis Care served 185 children last year from ages 11 to 17.
This week is the 35th anniversary of National Safe Place Week.