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The Crisis Center’s Safely Home started in 2007 to offer alternatives to boys and girls who are discovered by law enforcement on the streets, who may have voluntarily left home or who have been pushed out, asked or forced to leave. They are provided immediate safety, shelter, food, clothing plus counseling by M.S.W. counselors at Alternative House aimed at resolving problems and getting them safely back home.

Family dynamics such as divorce, remarriage, economic stress, parenting issues, physical or sexual abuse or other high conflict issues are some of the characteristic reasons for leaving home. Once on the streets, youth are in danger of abuse or exploitation.

Working closely with police in Lake and Porter counties, at the town, city and county level, the Crisis Center’s Safely Home program offers youth an alternative by providing immediate shelter, counseling and resources to reunite the family and overcome the obstacles that led to leaving home.

How does the program work?

Safely Home works at getting kids home quickly. Safety is a primary concern. Out on the streets for any time, youth are in danger.

Safely Home provides early intervention because of a perceived threat, endangerment, bullying or relationship problem.

The early intervention promotes the efficacy of programs and services by coordinating available resources to help families resolve problems.

The programs quick response increases the likelihood of youth being reunited with family, reduces the number of youth removed from their parents/guardians and reduces the overall cost to families and communities by quickly providing services.

How the program started.

In 2007, Lake County Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura called upon the Crisis Center and law enforcement to help runaway, pushed out and homeless youth and provide alternatives to juvenile detention.

Police committed to the Crisis Center’s Safely Home program which quickly provides safety and resources for youth. Officers transport boys and girls to Alternative House open 24 hours a day, every day.

Each youth sheltered at Alternative House receives an assessment, individual and parent/family counseling by M.S.W. counselors aimed at resolving conflicts and reuniting families.

For a year, calls are made to youth’s family to determine the success of the intervention. Indications are that 75-80% report their youth is doing well. 80-83% of youth are in school. Almost 200 youth each year are served at the Crisis Center’s Safely Home program.


Are you a law enforcement officer in Lake or Porter County, or interested in learning more about 'Safely Home'
please contact us at (219) 938-7070

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