The COMET and National Safe Place Network (NSPN) are pleased to announce their new partnership to expand the safety net for youth in crisis, beginning January of 2020. Through the Safe Place transit model NSPN offers partial Safe Place services in the Greater Columbia area, where the resources for a full program are not currently available.
Safe Place programs offer a place to turn to for many youths who believe they have no other option. Because Columbia does not have a full, operating Safe Place program, The COMET has elected to partner with NSPN, helping bring resources and services to those in need.
“Unfortunately, in today’s world, young people face family problems, homelessness, bullying, neglect, abuse, and even human trafficking,” said Laurie Jackson, president and CEO of NSPN. “Each year, the Safe Place and TXT 4 HELP programs directly impact the lives of more than 12,000 youth by providing access to immediate help and safety. TXT 4 HELP has offered real-time assistance to youth in crisis by responding to more than 117,000 incoming text messages since its inception in 2009.”
“This partnership is important to us because safety is a key part of our mission in our service to the people of Columbia and we are dedicated to be a resource for those in need,” said John Andoh, Executive Director and CEO of The COMET. “Providing a safe, secure haven for our vulnerable youth is something that we feel called to do and in joining forces with NSPN, we join more than 12,000 other transit/mobile locations nationally.”
The Safe Place transit model will allow for a youth in need to reach out to The COMET and be put in contact with the resources or organizations necessary to bring them out of crisis. With a community of more than 21,000 partner businesses across the country, Safe Place seeks to expand its reach through partnerships similar to its relationship with The COMET.
About National Safe Place Network
National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally recognized programs Safe Place, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC) and Human Trafficking: Recognition, Respect, Response (HTR3). To learn more, please visit www.nspnetwork.org or www.nationalsafeplace.org.
About The COMET
The COMET is a service of the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority and provides countywide public transit services on 34 fixed routes, four ReFlex services, vanpool service for commuters, subsidy programs with Uber and Lyft and DART for transportation to grocery stores and at night, ADA complementary paratransit service throughout Richland and eastern Lexington Counties and eight Blue Bike bikeshare stations in Downtown Columbia. The COMET transports approximately 2.8 million passenger trips a year on a fleet of 81 buses and vans. Transit services are provided under contract with Transdev, Enterprise Holdings, Lyft, Uber and Bewegen. For additional The COMET information, please call (803) 255-7100, TDD/TTY: 711 through the relay service, email: [email protected] or visit www.catchthecomet.org.