From the National Runaway Safeline: Kyle's Story

A young man running away.

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 families who contact the hotline. This installment is about Kyle,* a youth who called the hotline for help as he ran down the street.

After less than a year volunteering as an NRS frontline team member, Ken has noticed a pattern talking to runaway youth.

“In a lot of these cases, their best friend has moved away in the last year. It’s not an unusual conversation to have.”

That was the case when 14-year-old Kyle* dialed 1-800-RUNAWAY on a late Sunday night, the number a concerned school counselor had given him a few weeks previous after he expressed he might be going through a depression. That night, after messing up in a basketball game, Kyle’s older brother humiliated him during a nasty argument. For the teenager–a student already stressed about doing unusually poorly in school, missing his friend, and not being able to rely on his usual family confidante–being called “worthless” was the last straw.

“I’ve got Kyle on the other end, and he is literally breathless,” said Ken. “Sobbing, right? And he just says, ‘I’m running away, and I need help.” The teenager was running down a Santa Fe street and trying to hitchhike out of town with no destination in mind.

Read the rest of Kyle's story.

*Names and details have been changed to respect anonymity.

More About the National Runaway Safeline"

"1-800-RUNAWAY: New Public Service Announcements from FYSB and NRS (:60)"

Get the updated version of the National Runaway Safeline's Let's Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum.



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