Convenience Store Provides Safe Haven For At-Risk Runaways

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

QuikTrip, a convenience store and gas station chain based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is working to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youths who need help. 

Since 1991, the QuikTrip has partnered with Safe Place, a nonprofit that provides security to threatened young people.

According to QuikTrip’s website, all of its stores have a designated Safe Place, “here runaways and at-risk youth can come in off the street, receive food and drink, and wait for a volunteer from a Safe Place agency partner to connect them with professional help or a place to stay until their situation is resolved.”

According to Safe Place’s self-reported numbers, in 2014 a total of 7,050 young people received aid at a Safe Place site, of which there are 19,463 around the country.

For many of those who run away, a haven is exactly what they need. Every year, about 1.6 million youths run away, according to the National Runaway Safeline.

Of those who leave home, 80 percent of runaway and homeless girls reported having ever been sexually or physically abused. Overall, 34 percent of runaways, regardless of gender, report being sexually abused and an additional 43 percent of those who leave home report being physically abused.

Sources: Safe Place, QuikTrip, National Runaway Safeline / Photo credit: Pamela Ashe Hester/Facebook