North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

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'Safe Place' helps local teens in crisis

 

Christopher Andersson

The yellow diamond "Safe Place" sign seen here now welcomes people at the Marysville YMCA.

Teens in crisis will have another local resource to get immediate help as the YMCA of Snohomish County is partnering with Cocoon House's "Safe Place" program.

Safe Place is a national organization that works to provide around-the-clock assistance to teens dealing with problems.

Cocoon House, a Snohomish County organization that focuses on reducing teen homelessness, brought the Safe Place program to the county in 2013.

"We need resources for teens that are going through major life challenges out there," said Julio Cortes, public relations manager for Cocoon House.

Teens can face problems like being kicked out of the home and being on the edge of homelessness or having a "creepy person following them around," said Cortes.

If facing problems like those or others, they can call Cocoon House's Safe Place line at 425-877-5171 or go to one of Safe Place's partners for help.

In Marysville, that includes the Marysville Library and now the Marysville YMCA. In Arlington, that includes the Arlington Library.

After calling or going to one of those locations, the person will be put in contact with a Cocoon House official.

The young person will then be picked up by Cocoon House and brought to either their home or a Cocoon House shelter. Cocoon House's trained specialist will assist with the young person's problems and connect them with other needed services if necessary.

The assistance is available at any time. "Homelessness doesn't just happen Monday through Friday, 9 to 5," said Cortes.

The program receives around 10 to 12 calls each month from teens across the county, said Cortes.

To expand the reach of the program Cocoon House has recently partnered with the YMCA of Snohomish County.

Cortes said it was a "natural partnership" because "they're already a safe, well-known and trusted place."

Executive director of the Marysville YMCA JJ Frank also thought Safe Place was a good fit with the YMCA.

"Once we were able to hear the presentation from Cocoon House we realized they had many of the same values that we hold," he said. Especially "the focus on young people. We have a long history of helping young people be safe in our facilities," said Frank.

Frank said that the partnership will help the Safe Place program reach more teens in trouble.

"The YMCA has always been about how we can best partner with our community in order to help people," he said.

He thought the program was great and was happy the YMCA was able to contribute.

"Cocoon House has been a leader in Snohomish County in helping young people recover their lives," he said.

Cortes wanted to thank various community organizations for their help with Safe Place.

"They are instrumental in getting the message out and supporting us for this program," he said.

For more information on Cocoon House go to cocoonhouse.org. For more information on the YMCA of Snohomish County go to ymca-snoco.org.

 

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