YMCA provides safe place for teens and youth in Columbus

COLUMBUS Miss. (WCBI) – Just look for the yellow sign.

It’s the message the YMCA and other places in the Golden Triangle want kids and teenagers to see when they need someone to talk to.

These Safe Place signs are a beacon of hope.

The YMCA and other places in the community hope to let youth in need always have access to help.

“If there is a child who does not feel safe, or who feels like they are in a crisis situation, they can come to that safe place site and know that it is a safe place and we will know what to do,” said Mutch

Not all kids are sure how to reach out for help.

Columbus YMCA Marketing Director Cynthia Mutch is one reason they put up these signs.

“Well we would watch for a youth or a teen who seemed a little lost seemed a little out of place all alone didn’t have any friends or family with them.”

After finding out someone need help, the YMCA staff makes a call.

“Sally Kate Winters would send a person over here immediately. Of course, they are in West Point so it would take a few minutes for them to get her but the youth or teen would not be here that long before a representative from Sally Kate Winters would come to get them,” said Mutch.

Kids who are too afraid to speak out about their situation can also get help by just sending a text.

“There is a number they can text if they are in the bathroom and they couldn’t speak up and say anything up front,” said Mutch.

After sending a text with their location, help will be sent to the teen.

Most youth that reaches out to these places come from insecure households.

“Their usual place to be, home, begins to not feel safe anymore and it probably has to do with people who are in and out of the home,” said Mutch.

The program is for people under the age of 21.

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For more information on safe places, visit nationalsafeplace.org

Categories: Featured, Local News