National Safe Place Announced A New Columbia Location

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COLUMBIA - The National Safe Place program announced today that the Rainbow House at 1611 Towne Drive in Columbia meets the requirements to be a safe haven for youth in the community. This is the second "safe place" in Columbia. The other location is the Youth Community Coalition. 

"This is something that has been on our radar for a few years now and one of the requirements of the program nationally is to have an emergency teen shelter for youths," said the Director of Homeless Youth Programs Claire Slama. "We opened ours about a year ago so then we met the requirements to be able to bring this wonderful program to our city."

The director hopes the announcement will spread the word to youth aged 12 to 17. It will let youth know where to go when they need extra help and resources. 

"What it does is really just involves the community in helping prevent abuse and neglect, to intervene in abuse and neglect and keep kids safe," Slama said.

The National Safe Place's website said between 1.7 and 2.8 million runaway and homeless youth live on the street each year. Safe places are implemented nation-wide to reduce this number and become a resource for youth in need. 

Adding the Rainbow House location provides teens a closer location for those who may live too far away from the Youth Community Coalition.

To learn more about Rainbow House and it becoming a National Safe Place, visit Rainbow House's website.