From the National Runaway Safeline: Lily's Story

A young woman making a phone call.

The National Runaway Safeline serves as the Family and Youth Services Bureau's federally mandated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. The Chicago organization offers a crisis hotline and online services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to youth at risk of running away, those who have run away or are homeless, and their families. Runaway Reality, a regular feature on the National Runaway Safeline's blog, highlights the stories of young people and famlies who contact the hotline. This recent installment is about Lily, a 14-year-old caller who wanted to run away from home. Here's an excerpt:

Lily described her living situation as “a prison.” The rules in her home weren’t fair. Her mom was too strict and didn’t allow Lily to spend time with her friends. Lily wanted more freedom.

Lily planned to stay at her friend’s house down the block but she feared that her friend’s parents would let her own parents know that she had run away. She was feeling overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn. Lily felt alone in her frustration with her parents.

Bob, the NRS’ frontline team member, asked, “Have you ever told your parents how you feel?” Lily reluctantly replied, “Umm, I just figured Mom knew and didn’t care how I felt.”

While exploring this line of questioning, Lily realized that engaging her parents in a conversation might help. Bob suggested a conference call between Lily and her mom. And Lily agreed.

Read the rest of Lily's story.

*Names have been changed to respect anonymity

More About the National Runaway Safeline

Learn about the Safeline's decision to change its name in 2013.

Read about National Runaway Prevention Month hosted by the Safeline each November to raise awareness of youth homelessness.

9-5 pm Eastern