News and Advocacy Alerts

COVID-19 Resources

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) recognizes the many challenges and tribulations that organizations are facing in light of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. NSPN and its partners have provided resources for youth-serving agencies navigating the impact of COVID-19. NSPN hosted a discussion for Safe Place Coordinators on responding to COVID-19 and collaborated with our partner agencies, National Network for Youth (NN4Y) and National Runaway Safeline (NRS), to facilitate an exchange among executive leaders across the country on the impact of COVID-19 on homeless youth and how the field is responding. We appreciate all who have contributed to the conversations thus far and recognize that our work is far from over. Below are a few ways you can keep up with NSPN, and our national partners, during this global pandemic

Join the Conversation at the NSPN Connect Forum

NSPN has opened up the Connect Forum to the public in order to share resources, advice, and best practices in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the resources currently available on the forum include:

  • Using Community Meetings to Meet the Needs of Your Organization During Crisis (A trauma-informed approach),
  • Ideas and Resources for Families When Schools are Closed,
  • Covenant House Alaska's COVID-19 Response Plan,
  • Virtual Learning Enrichment Activities,
  • COVID-19 Resources for Youth and Family Service Providers,
  • and many more.

 

Share NSPN's COVID-19 Infographic

In response to many providers who indicated youth were not practicing proper social distancing and were not taking the pandemic as seriously as they should, NSPN created a COVID-19 Infographic that can be shared with youth.

Join NSPN, National Network for Youth (NN4Y), and National Runaway Safeline (NRS) for Virtual Office Hours

NSPN, with national partners NN4Y and NRS, are hosting Weekly Virtual Office Hours every Wednesday through April 29th. These Virtual Office Hours are intended to bring providers together to discuss topics like:

  • Changing how we engage with young people (e.g. using remote-based platforms or using social media);
  • Adapting strategies for street outreach or drop-in centers;
  • Partnering creatively with community-based organizations and merchants to increase support;
  • Assisting collaborative partners during this crisis;
  • Changing your teams, meetings, and communication (e.g. having more virtual meetings, etc.); and
  • Working with funders to change grant requirements.

If you're interested in joining the discussion, register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1588706746964361483

Available Resources for Youth

TXT 4 HELP and NRS continue to provide support to youth 24/7. TXT 4 HELP is a nationwide, 24-hour text-for-support service for teens in crisis. TXT 4 HELP works anywhere in the US and extends access to safety for teens. TXT 4 HELP can be used for the same reasons a young person may go to a Safe Place site - abuse, bullying, family problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, and others. TXT 4 HELP counselors can provide support via text and can offer additional suggestions for immediate help regardless of where youth are.

Here’s how it works:

  • Text the word “safe” to 4HELP (44357).
  • Within seconds, you will receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number for the local youth agency.
  • For immediate help, reply with “2chat” to text interactively with a trained counselor. 

It’s quick, easy, safe, and confidential. TXT 4 HELP is a free service offered to all youth in crisis.
*Messaging/data rates apply.

NRS provides crisis intervention, support, and connections for youth ages 12-21 and their families to resources such as food banks, shelters, counseling, etc., through their 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) hotline and through their live chat, emails, and forums at 1800RUNAWAY.org.  All services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Your NSPN team continues to work through this pandemic. If you are in need of support, please contact us at [email protected] for the quickest response. We will get through this. Together We Can!

 

Looking on the Bright Side

Amidst the pandemic affecting our nation, many youth service providers and community agencies may be looking for ways to reinvigorate their space. Many individuals in the Network are familiar with artwork by George Miller. George has attended Focus and the National RHY Grantees Training as an exhibitor to sell his artwork. George is now offering artwork via his website. Not only is George’s amazing artwork available for purchase, but George’s services are also available as a visiting artist and artist-in-residence program. George has worked with young people to create murals at shelters and has also provided instruction to youth to enhance their own skills and talents. Feel free to take a look at George’s artwork and services at www.gemartstudio.com.

 

March is National Social Work Month

There are more than 700,000 social workers in the United States. Healthcare, schools, child welfare, advocacy and community organizations, and clinical settings are just a few of the industries where social workers may be found. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has announced that the theme for this year's National Social Work Month is "Social Work: Generations Strong!" This theme was chosen to recognize that the field of social work is made up of professionals who span different generations but who all work together for the betterment of society. Don't forget to thank the social workers in your life and take some time this March to recognize the work they put in every day. For more information on ways, you can participate in, and promote National Social Work Month please visit: www.socialworkers.org/News/Social-Work-Month.

 

Black History Month: Social Service Pioneers

After the Industrial Revolution, people were migrating to cities for work in numbers that were previously unseen. The field of social work began to carve itself out in the late 1800s to early 1900s as city populations boomed and the need arose for supports around poverty and advocacy for changes in legislation were now in the forefront of people's minds. As February is Black History Month, it's important to recognize the pioneers in the field that eventually evolved into social work, and how they worked around and through any obstacles that stood in their way. Mary Church Terrell, George Edmund Haynes, and Thyra J. Edwards were early pioneers in the emerging field of social work. Mary Church Terrell was one of the first Black women to earn both her bachelor's and master's degree, the first Black woman appointed to the school board, and an early and lifelong advocate for women's suffrage and civil rights. George Edmund Haynes co-founded and was the first executive director of the National Urban League, becoming one of the first Black men to have influence at the cabinet-level and advocated and taught well into his retirement. As for Thyra J. Edwards, she began her work in Chicago before working on a national level after WWII when she organized the first child care program in Rome that assisted Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. These few events were merely highlights in the lives of Mary Church Terrell, George Edmund Haynes, and Thyra J. Edwards, who devoted their time, energy, and lives to expanding the field of social work and bettering the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Pictured from left to right: George Edmund Haynes, Thyra J. Edwards, and Mary Church Terrell)

 

Words of Wisdom and Hope from a Survivor and Advocate

As we reflect on the many conversations, increased awareness, renewed ideas, and tools to help end and prevent human trafficking, it is clear we still have work to do. NSPN recognizes the importance of survivor’s stories in the work we do. Lynn Caffery, Executive Director of Safe Harbor Youth, Inc., shared her perspective as a survivor of human trafficking who now serves at-risk youth. In addition, Lynn uses her story to educate and spread awareness, provide training to law enforcement, and advocate for legislation to help end human trafficking.

Read the NSPNsights blog post to find out what wisdom she shared with us.
 
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