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THE NATIONAL RUNAWAY SWITCHBOARD BECOMES THE NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE
(Extensions of Remarks - February 14, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E158]
 THE NATIONAL RUNAWAY SWITCHBOARD BECOMES THE NATIONAL RUNAWAY SAFELINE

                                 ______
                                 

                       HON. JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY

                              of illinois

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 14, 2013

  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the National 
Runaway Safeline, which changed its name last month from the National 
Runaway Switchboard.
  The NRS 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 free 24-hour services, expertise in all 
youth-related issues and as an information clearinghouse of youth 
services.
  In 1974, NRS received an eight-month federal demonstration grant to 
establish a national hotline for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. 
The need for the service was clearly demonstrated over the eight-month 
period, during which time 11,000 calls were received. Since then, its 
capabilities and services have grown considerably, now handling over 
100,000 calls each year.
  Since its founding, NRS grew into a national organization and 
expanded its crisis intervention offerings to include bulletin boards, 
crisis emails, and live chat. Recognizing that the term ``switchboard'' 
does not reflect the various ways youth in crisis can connect with its 
services, the organization has changed its name to the National Runaway 
Safeline.
  The organization maintains its holistic and expert crisis 
intervention model focused on addressing at-risk issues immediately. 
Its services remain confidential, anonymous, and available 24/7, 
providing a comprehensive connection to more than 10,000 different 
organizations and resources for at-risk youth and their families. The 
organization continues its service as the federally-designated 
communication system for runaway and homeless youth.
  As a strong advocate of helping homeless individuals and as a long-
time supporter of the organization, I am pleased that the NRS will 
continue its mission to help keep America's runaway, homeless and at-
risk youth safe and off the streets. We are proud to have this 
nationally-recognized effort housed in Chicago, and I congratulate 
Maureen Blaha and her staff for their vision and leadership.
  I welcome this opportunity to celebrate the growth, progress and 
impact that the National Runaway Safeline has had in the last 42 years 
and will continue to have in the decades to come.

                          ____________________




    

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