WHITLEY COUNTY — In their time of need, sometimes a young person needs a place that can offer help, a place they can turn to where they feel safe.

Throughout Whitley County are bright yellow signs, and on them are the words “Safe Place.” These are located at libraries, businesses, medical buildings and others, and the purpose is to let the youth in the community know they can go there for help and safety.

“Safe Place sites are businesses who support young people and are willing to open their doors to youth during difficult times,” said Jan Williams, administrator for the Youth Services Bureau in Huntington who helps lead the local program.

This national program found its way to Whitley County in 2017, but its success and community support means the program is expanding.

Williams and others from the Youth Services Bureau wish to offer their thanks to the community, highlighting Jingoes and the Old Fort Motorcycle Clubs, as well as the many sponsors who offered their support to the program after the Third Annual Suicide and Bullying Awareness Banquet.

“This event was a big success raising not only awareness, but also $12,469.21,” said Williams. “Whitley County is so fortunate to have such caring people who are invested in the lives of today’s youth and want to take an active role protecting and supporting our most vulnerable population — our youth.”

The money will support Safe Places as well as the agency’s Host Home program, which also began in Whitley County in 2017.

“Host Homes are families who open their home for a short-term placement by a youth when all other options have been exhausted,” said Williams.

Williams added the organization also offers free suicide prevention education for youth and adults, education of human trafficking and so much more, each offering different support to members of the community.

To learn more about these programs, visit www.ysbofhuntington.com.

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