For 50 years, the National Runaway Safeline has been responding to youth and families in crisis, serving as the national communications system for runaway and homeless youth. We continually transform technology, training and services to meet the current needs of vulnerable youth and ultimately achieve an end to youth homelessness.
We envision an end to youth homelessness.
Founded by a group of Chicago agencies and originally named Metro Help, the hotline was established in 1971 to fill a need for comprehensive crisis intervention for young people in Chicago. It was conceived as a centralized organization with 24-hour services, expertise in all youth-related issues and as an information clearinghouse of youth services.
In 1974, the National Runaway Safeline received an eight-month federal demonstration grant to establish a national hotline. During this time, NRS received 11,000 calls, demonstrating the need for this type of service. Since then, NRS’ capabilities and services have grown considerably. Annually, NRS makes more than 125,000 connections to help and hope through hotline, online and offline services.
NRS’ services are provided through funding from and in partnership with the Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, private funding is raised from foundations, corporations and individuals.