Home Free Program Expands to Serve Trafficking Victims, 21-Year-Olds

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A young woman riding the bus home.

We’ve often talked about Home Free, a program run by the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) to help runaway and homeless youth reunite with their families or another safe living arrangement.

Now, we’re pleased to announce that NRS has expanded service eligibility for the Home Free program to include youth victims of sex and labor trafficking, as well as 21-year-olds.

Since first launching Home Free in 1995, NRS has helped more than 15,000 young people through the program. An ongoing partnership with Greyhound Lines, Inc. ensures that qualifying youth receive a free bus ticket to get home safely. Trained hotline volunteers also provide youth with trauma-sensitive, solutions-focused guidance before and after their return.

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) supports NRS as the federally mandated communication channel for runaway and homeless youth, a group of young people who face a higher risk of being trafficked than their peers. Helping youth return home safely makes them less likely to encounter potential traffickers when seeking resources to meet basic needs like food and shelter. Additionally, expanding eligibility through age 21 further aligns Home Free with the service eligibility age ranges of many state and federally funded housing programs for homeless youth.

Learn more about Home Free and its recent expansion on the NRS website. You can also call the NRS hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and ask to speak to a crisis services supervisor.

See how Home Free positively impacts family dynamics and communication.

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