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National Safe Place Week (March 20-26) is a time to raise awareness of Safe Place as a critical connection for youth in crisis to supportive resources. It is also an opportunity to recognize the many valued Safe Place partners committed to serving young people.The program helps youth who are 12 to 18 years old and face struggles such as abuse, neglect, bullying, and homelessness. It can connect them with a network of businesses and volunteers to provide help, safety, and resources. 

Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services has administered the Safe Place program locally since 1998. Sanctuary Director Misty Gattie-Blanco said, “Youth deal with crises every day for various reasons, and Sanctuary and Support Services, through the network of Safe Place sites, are available to assist them.”


Sanctuary and Support Services maintains a network of 25 partners with 162 physical site locations, including schools, businesses, and city parks. One of those sites is the Sanctuary Youth Shelter at N Street and Calaveras in downtown Fresno. There are also more than 100 mobile sites, including the Fresno Area Express (FAX), City of Clovis Transit, and Fresno EOC’s Urban and Rural Food Express Buses. You can easily recognize a safe place because they all display the black and yellow Safe Place signs.


Here’s how Safe Place works:

  • Text the word “safe” and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357).
  • Within seconds, you will receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number for the local youth agency.

For immediate help, reply with “2chat” to text interactively with a trained counselor.


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About Safe Place at Fresno EOC

Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services operates a network of more than 260 Safe Place sites throughout Fresno County, including all schools in the Fresno Unified School District, select Walmart stores, Boys and Girls Clubs, neighborhood resource centers, City of Fresno Parks and Recreation Centers and United Way.

About Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services

Sanctuary and Support Services has been serving homeless individuals and families since 1992 and currently operates two emergency shelters, bridge housing, and multiple permanent housing projects, as well as street-based outreach services. In 2009, the program expanded to provide comprehensive case management services to victims of human trafficking in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties. In response to community needs, the program continued to expand and in 2019 opened an LGBTQ+ Resource Center in downtown Fresno providing drop-in services and activities to members of the LGBTQ community.


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