Through a partnership with Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, Phoenix’s Valley Metro designated four new light rail stations in central Mesa as safe places for teens that are homeless or wandering the streets with nowhere to turn.
“With the extension of light rail into central Mesa, Valley Metro is extending its commitment to the community through Safe Place,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta. “Light rail stations are a community asset that is designed to provide a safe space for everyone, most notably our youth.”
Two vulnerable teenagers recently received the assistance they needed at light rail stations in Phoenix. A 16-year-old Nevada runaway received much-needed help from a Valley Metro security officer. The pair called Safe Place from the light rail station at Thomas and Central, where the frightened teen connected with Tumbleweed and received support in less than one hour. The second teen connected to Safe Place through the emergency call box.
Valley Metro’s partnership with Safe Place began in 2013. Teens that are homeless, have left their homes because of abuse or neglect, or have been asked to leave by parents or guardians can seek help at any light rail station 24-hours a day.
With the opening of the Central Mesa light rail extension on August 22, a total of 32 light rail stations now serve as safe places. An additional three light rail stations will be designated Safe Place contact spots when the Northwest Extension opens in spring 2016.