Wheeling City Council recognized last week as National Safe Place Week. A formal unveiling of the new Safe Place logo took place at the council meeting on Tuesday. The yellow and black symbol represents safe havens for youth in crisis in communities across the country.
Youth Services System Inc. operates the Safe Place program locally.
"It is crucial for youth in dangerous or threatening situations to know there are trusted people in their communities that can help," said Sondra Jackson, the Youth Services Safe Place outreach coordinator. "The new Safe Place logo aims to stand out in local communities as a trusted source for immediate assistance."
Helping more than 270,000 young people since its inception in 1983, National Safe Place's yellow and black diamond-shaped logo has been the distinguishing symbol for the organization. By preserving the yellow and black diamond shape and incorporating simple imagery, the new look evokes feelings of security and protection. Jackson said the logo's rebrand is highly significant to the organization as the image is one that should be nationally recognizable amongst youth as place to go for immediate help. With this new design, NSP can ensure that their message will remain clear and its purpose easily comprehensible nationwide.
"We work with schools, at public events, and with youth groups, to make sure that if a young person needs help, they can recognize our Safe Place sites. This new logo should help us make that connection," Jackson said.
Safe Place sites in Wheeling include the seven fire stations of the Wheeling Fire Department, Laughlin Memorial Chapel, Tim Hortons, Duggar's Market, the Ohio County Public Library, the West Liberty University Campus Police and the Wheeling Police Department. In Marshall County, sites participating in Safe Place include the Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department, CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates), both Starting Points Centers, the Benwood-McMechen Housing Authority, the Moundsville-Marshall County Library and Grand Vue Park. Youth Services System's shelters - Samaritan House in Wheeling and Helinski Shelter in Moundsville - are Safe Place locations, as are all of the buses of the Ohio Valley/East Ohio Regional Transit Authority and its administration office on Wheeling Island.
National Safe Place provides training and technical assistance for youth service agencies and business interested in implementing the Safe Place program. Safe Places provide access to immediate help and safety for all young people in crisis. In 2011, 6,275 youth received immediate help at a Safe Place location. Another 6,414 youth contacted a Safe Place site or partnering youth shelter for help and were counseled over the phone. The Safe Place program was created by the YMCA of Greater Louisville in 1983.
For more information, visit www.nationalsafeplace.org.