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Getting to Know Your NSPN Family: If you were in a band, what kind of music would you play and what would your name be?

The best thing about music is the fact that there is something for everyone to enjoy! With so many different genres and sounds, it’s impossible to meet someone who doesn’t have at least one song they love. Additionally, the kind of music people enjoy can say a lot about them. For this month’s staff question, we asked the NSPN Family: If you were in a band, what kind of music would you play and what would your name be?

Shauna Brooks, Performance and Evaluation Specialist: "My wife is a singer-songwriter.  If we got to make music together, we’d have 2 bands.  The first would have a quiet coffee shop vibe – just the 2 of us singing warm harmonies with an acoustic guitar.  The other would be a collaboration with other musicians - lead guitarist, bass player, and drummer - playing blues and southern rock." 

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Be Kind to Humankind Week

By Shauna Brooks, Performance and Evaluation Specialist, National Safe Place Network

This past weekend, I was moved by the words of Billy Porter’s character, Pray Tell, speaking to his friend Blanca’s brother, “Kindness costs you nothing,” in season 1, episode 5 of Pose.  If you haven’t experienced the show, I encourage you to do so.  I will caution that this show should be viewed by adults only as the content is not appropriate for children. It is nothing short of extraordinary, but not the subject of this writing so I’ll return to the purpose at hand.  What is noteworthy about that particular utterance of the phrase is its distinction from understanding. 

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Getting to Know Your NSPN Family: What is your favorite memory from your time in school?

As August starts again, a new school year follows shortly behind. Though it’s been some years since, grade school and high school are huge chunks of our lives that began the mold of who we are today. This month, we wanted to reflect on your NSPN Family’s studious times for the back-to-school-season with the question, what is your favorite memory from your time in either grade school or high school?

April Carthorn, NSPN Membership Manager & T/TA: Winning my first crown! I won a popularity contest and was elected Miss 7th Grade. I absolutely loved being a crossing guard too!

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To Intern, or Not to Intern, That Was the Question

by Sophia Mastropaolo, Marketing and Communications Intern, National Safe Place Network

One month to summer break, I didn’t have an internship or summer job lined up. One week to summer break, I still didn’t have an internship or job. It wasn’t until almost two weeks of summer break had passed that I managed to secure something to do for the summer, a position as a Marketing and Communications Intern with National Safe Place Network.

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Getting to Know Your NSPN Family: What Is the Best Thing That Happened to You During This Past Week

July is often a leisurely month with vacations to the beach, cookouts with the family, and more than enough sunshine. Unfortunately for us, work and stress don’t always take vacations. For businesses, any time of the year can mean deadlines, planning, and even more deadlines. For day to day life, it can seem like there’s always something new that needs to get done.

During times like this, it’s important to take a step back and appreciate the silver lining! Seeing the good in just one thing can lead to more positivity in your life, all around. That’s why this month, we asked your NSPN family: What is the best thing that happened to you during this past week? 

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LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth

 By Sophia Mastropaolo, Marketing and Communications Intern, National Safe Place Network

 June is a month of celebration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+), and others community. Celebrating the identity and achievements of the community allows for individuals to feel pride in who they are, during a time they still need to often fight for basic needs and equality. Though this is often a joyous time for the community, it is important to acknowledge troubles that continue to plague many members. One such plague is the rate of homeless youth in the LGBTQ+ community.

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I Matter: Struggles and Triumphs with Mental Health

Written by: Autumn Sandlin, Communications Manager, National Safe Place Network

TW: Suicide 

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Earth Day

Written By: Susan Harmon, Director of National Safe Place Operations

April 22, 2019, is Earth Day.  You’ve probably heard of it, but do you know what it is, and how it came about?  Earth Day began in 1970 at a time of great citizen engagement and call to action.  Individuals were very concerned about the use and misuse of natural resources and the effects on the environment. Gas-guzzling vehicles were the norm, and gas shortages were beginning to become commonplace.  Air and water pollution were in the spotlight, and litter on the roadways was a national eye sore.  Earth Day was one response to this growing crisis.  To learn more about the history of Earth Day, visit

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Employee Appreciation

Written by Mark Wolf, Director of Training and Technical Assistance

I was recently made aware “Employee Appreciation Day” is the first Friday of every March.  I was also recently a part of a discussion with runaway and homeless youth (RHY) grantees on staff recruitment and retention challenges. The two, employee appreciation and staff recruitment/retention, are certainly related. We are in a very competitive job market, and RHY programs are not always able to offer comparable wages for staff. This makes it very difficult to recruit and retain good staff.  In addition, youth care work is one of the most demanding fields. Youth care workers are required to have a special set of skills, knowledge, and abilities they need to be able to recognize and assist with challenges youth face.

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Black History Month: Remembering The Green Book

Written by: Kim Frierson, Training Specialist, National Safe Place Network

How do we provide support to youth and families and also promote self-sufficiency?  What are the ways that service providers give support?  How do we drive young people to move from ‘surviving to thriving?’ Providing opportunities for success for young people is essential to building their resilience and confidence.  As young people navigate new experiences, service providers look to provide resources that will support their exploration.

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Written by: Tammy Hopper, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer, National Safe Place Network

By definition – thankful is easy to understand.  “Thanks” is an expression of gratitude – gratefulness – for something we have or have been given. It seems as if this would be simple and yet for some it is one of the most challenging concepts of all.

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Getting to Know Your NSPN Family: Ways to Combat Boredom

Written by: Eric Peterson, Communications Intern, National Safe Place Network

With how hectic and complex our lives can be on a regular basis, even the basic idea of “free time” can get left behind and covered up as we deal with the various tasks and obligations that take up our waking moments. That said, when we do get time to ourselves, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do with it, and when boredom sets in, it can be hard to free yourself from it.

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