“Every year, through our Home Free program, we help young people in need receive a free ride home,” said Dave Leach, President and Chief Executive Officer, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “I am both humbled and thrilled to be a part of the Greyhound team committed to providing young people the chance to reconnect with their families and return to a safe environment. It is our hope that the resources we provide runaway youth will bring comfort to those looking to safely reunite with their families.”
To extend the program and provide this service on a greater scale, Greyhound has partnered with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) since 1995. NRS, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is an organization that helps keep runaway and homeless youth safe.
According to the Voices of Youth Count from researchers at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, nearly 4.2 million youth experience some form of homelessness each year in America, leaving them at risk for exploitation, assault, illness and suicide. Home Free is designed to help make sure runaway young people between the ages of 12 and 21 have a ticket to get back home to their families or safe legal guardians.
In 2020, nearly 325 free bus tickets were provided to young people looking to be reconnected with their families. So far in 2021, Greyhound and the NRS have provided more than 230 free bus tickets, valued at nearly $42,000.
“The Home Free partnership between Greyhound and NRS continues to have a positive impact in providing a vital resource in helping address and resolve the growing number of homeless and exploited young people,” said Susan Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, National Runaway Safeline. “We are honored to be able to continue our partnership with Greyhound Lines and look forward to serving as their charitable partner for the Home Free program for many more years.”
If you or someone you know has run away or is experiencing homelessness and wants to return home or needs help, call toll-free 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or visit www.1800RUNAWAY.org. Click here to learn more about the program.