News and Advocacy Alerts

National Volunteer Week – Together We Can

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is excited to celebrate National Volunteer Week (April 18-24). As shared by, 63 million volunteers across the nation hold up the foundation of civil society. Volunteers commit time and resources to programs across the country. Whether it is serving as a local Safe Place® volunteer, participating as a mentor, engaging in gathering needed items for homeless youth and families, or any other of a number of activities – those who volunteer make a positive difference every day.

Involving volunteers adds incredible value to youth and family service organizations. Volunteers support your efforts to:

  • Engage a more diverse range of skills, experience, and knowledge.
  • Increase service delivery quality.
  • Increase your reach to those you serve in your community.
  • Raise awareness about your efforts and garner additional support.
  • Build relationships within your community and strengthen your brand and reputation.
  • Inform the development of current and new opportunities including programming, activities, projects by bringing new opinions, ideas, and approaches.
  • Help your organization's efforts remain relevant by aligning services and approaches to community needs.
  • Help improve health and wellbeing for staff and community members.

Whatever your reason is for including volunteers in your organization, thank you for taking the time to recognize their efforts to support your organization's mission. 

NSPN Honors its Volunteers

NSPN would like to honor our volunteers who serve to help NSPN achieve its vision of a world where all youth are safe. Each of these individuals spend numerous hours each month helping our organization to develop new programs and to strengthen existing efforts. In addition, these individuals share their time to help increase awareness of services available to all youth in crisis.

Recognizing Volunteers Serving Your Organization

Do you have a volunteer you would like to honor? Submitting a nomination for the NSPN Helping Hands Award is a great way to thank someone who has served your organization by dedicating time and resources to enhance the lives of youth in your community. The Helping Hands award for outstanding volunteer achievement recognizes the valuable contribution of youth and adult volunteers who provide direct support and/or services to the organization, participate in fundraising, and/or engage in community awareness activities. You may nominate youth or adults and the award may be given to an individual or to a group of volunteers.


Maximizing the Impact of Volunteers: A Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations

NSPN has created a new resource for its members to help start or strengthen volunteer programs within nonprofit organizations. “Maximizing the Impact of Volunteers: A Handbook for Nonprofit Organizations” is available on the NSPN support center

If you are not an NSPN member and would like to join to access this and other resources, please join here.

This resource provides information on:

  • Volunteerism
  • Position development
  • Recruitment
  • Screening volunteers
  • Interviewing volunteers
  • Orientation and training
  • Supervision
  • Recognition

In addition, the handbook provides samples which NSPN member organization may adapt for their volunteer program.

These sample items include:

  • Position descriptions
  • Volunteer interest checklist
  • Application for volunteer services
  • Reference check for volunteers
  • Volunteer applicant’s statement
  • Drug free workplace consent
  • Commitment of confidentiality
  • Volunteer contract
  • Volunteer service record
  • Program director and staff training outline
  • Volunteer update meeting form

The pandemic has renewed interest in engaging individuals and groups who want to make a difference in their communities. This resource provides a solid foundation for building a new volunteer initiative and provides a tool for comparing existing volunteer recruitment and retention efforts to an existing program.

The NSPN team thanks all volunteers who are dedicated to local, state, and national efforts. You truly demonstrate the impact of, “Together we can!


Save the Date for Focus 2021

What happens when a conference turns into an exclusive convene? Magic! In the city of Las Vegas, National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is excited to reintroduce a new structure for Focus 2021.

Earlier this month, NSPN released a survey to determine if your national conference should be held in person or virtually. The results are in! Of those who responded, 60% indicated they are ready to venture out into the world to attend Focus 2021 as an in-person event. While some respondents did share concerns of whether safety measures would be in place, it is anticipated that states will continue re-opening and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases will decline. NSPN continues to monitor the status of the pandemic and is working with the venue to ensure safety measures are prioritized.

The magic begins Tuesday, July 27th and ends Thursday, July 29thClick here to view the schedule for Focus 2021.

NSPN is raising the stakes at Focus 2021 by bringing together a select group of professionals committed to the following values:

  •  Positive change,
  •  Systems engagement, and
  •  Meaningful collaboration.

This event will feature your voice, your experience, your knowledge, and your ideas. The NSPN motto of “Together we can” drives the foundational concept of doing better, together. Alone, you have an idea, and together, we turn the ideas of our network into a source of solutions for youth, families, organizations, and communities. 

NSPN is going all-in with you to help youth and families, build innovative programs, and develop community responses to unmet needs.

NSPN is working hard to help ensure you don’t have to gamble with your health and safety while attending Focus 2021. The planning team continues to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and is collaborating with the venue to ensure safety precautions are in place. 

Registration will open soon. Don’t get lost in the shuffle! The NSPN team is doubling down to raise the true odds for you, your organization, and the youth you serve.



Nominate a Colleague for a 2021 National Safe Place Network Award

Each year, youth service professionals, dedicated volunteers, and community organizations work diligently to strengthen youth and families in communities across the country. The National Safe Place Network (NSPN) awards provide you with an opportunity to celebrate colleagues who have made a difference in the youth service field and offer thanks by nominating them for an award. NSPN is honored to recognize those making a difference in the lives of youth. 2020 has been consistently identified as one of the most difficult years in recent memory. This is a perfect time to recognize those individuals and partners who went above and beyond to ensure available services to youth in crisis.

NSPN is accepting nominations for the following 2021 NSPN Awards:

  • Community Involvement Award
  • Culture of Respect Award
  • Executive Leadership Award
  • Helping Hands Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Model Program Award
  • Safe Place Coordinator of the Year
  • Youth in Action Award

Please visit to learn more about each award, view the 2020 NSPN Award winners, and to submit your nomination for the 2021 NSPN Awards.

Nominations deadline: April 23, 2021
Submit your nomination today:


National Safe Place Week Highlights Safe Place® Program for Youth

(Louisville, KY) March 21, 2021 – National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is pleased to announce March 21-27, 2021 as National Safe Place (NSP) Week. The nationally recognized week serves to raise awareness about the Safe Place program, a national program which brings together businesses, local organizations, emergency services, and volunteers to help youth in crisis.

“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world, such as abuse, neglect, bullying and serious family problems,” said Laurie Jackson, President / CEO for NSPN. “It’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to get help. NSP Week provides an opportunity for communities across the country to assess and strengthen their safety net for youth.”

Safe Place consists of a national network of more than 22,000 partnering businesses and community locations, such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries, which display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter a designated Safe Place and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance.

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” to 4HELP (44357) and follow the prompts to 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 counselor for additional help.

Since its inception in 1983, Safe Place has helped more than 383,000 youth and currently serves more than 1,500 communities across the country. The program is managed by 147 youth agencies and 1 transit partner in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) operates nationally-recognized programs, including Safe Place®, a youth outreach and prevention program for youth in need of immediate help and safety. More than 20,000 businesses and community locations participate as Safe Place sites – such as restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, and libraries. These locations display the Safe Place sign and connect youth in crisis with resources and supports. Safe Place also provides a national text-for-support program, TXT 4 HELP. Teens can text the word “SAFE” to 4HELP (44357) and access options to locate the nearest Safe Place and text one-on-one with a counselor. TXT 4 HELP is available 24/7/365. In addition to Safe Place, NSPN provides quality training, capacity building, and technical support to youth and family service organizations across the nation. NSPN Learn more about NSPN and Safe Place at and


National Network for Youth Hosts Free Summit Webinar

National Network for Youth (NN4Y) is hosting a free, two-hour webinar on March 24th that shares updates on the fight against youth homelessness. The webinar will include:

  • Remarks from Melinda Giovengo, CEO, YouthCare, and our Board Chair Can one person really make a difference?
  • Insight from Darla Bardine, Executive Director What can be done in your community to address gaps in services for youth? 
  • How you can engage young leaders who have experienced homelessness to define a policy agenda and educate the public? 
  • Ways to empower youth: learn directly from the National Youth Advisory Council members

To register for the webinar, click here. To read more information about NN4Y’s upcoming National Summit click here.

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