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As of January 15, 2013, the National Runaway Switchboard begins doing business as the National Runaway Safeline.
As the go-to hotline for America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families, why would they change their name? Here's how they put it on their website:
Simply put, the word "switchboard" no longer resonates with today’s youth. When we were founded over 40 years ago as Metro-Help, operating out of a tiny storefront in Chicago, it wasn’t uncommon for telephone operators to manually connect calls using switchboards.
However, when we asked today's teenagers what they thought a switchboard was, the responses were varied, from "DJ board" to "1920s telephones" to "outdated". The word loses its meaning in a world where technology allows humans to connect with others around the globe with the press of a button.
In addition, "switchboard" no longer reflects the various ways youth in crisis can connect with our services. Since our founding, we grew into a national organization and expanded our crisis intervention offerings to include bulletin boards, crisis emails, and live chat.
The new name reflects the 21st-century ways that the organization, which has been the federally designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth since 1974, helps young people in need.