The residential program coordinator for the Helen Ross McNabb Center will discuss Safe Place outreach efforts of businesses and community volunteers during a Monday evening meeting in Oak Ridge.
Desiree Miller will be the guest speaker at a Monday evening meeting of Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, at the First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge, a press release said.
“Miller will share information about Safe Place outreach efforts of businesses and community volunteers in the Knoxville area seeking to establish a network of easily accessible places (schools, fire stations, libraries, youth-friendly businesses, etc.) to which children and teens can turn when they are in need of help,” the press release said.
According to the National Safe Place organization, there are between 1.7 and 2.8 million runaway and homeless youth living on the street each year, the release said. About 29 percent of this population has attempted suicide while living on the streets, and one in three young women will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.
The Helen Ross McNabb Center opened its own runaway shelter in 1978 and now partners with the National Safe Place organization. It has more than 90 Safe Place locations in the greater Knoxville area and provides care for more than 170 youths a year.
Organized two years ago under the name “Same Difference” and recently reconstituted as a chapter of the national PFLAG organization, PFLAG of Oak Ridge welcomes all who are interested in extending friendship and support to LGBT persons living in our community. Meetings take place on the first Monday of each month, beginning with a social time at 6:45 p.m., followed by a meeting at 7, the press release said. Meetings rotate between three churches: the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Grace Covenant Church.
The First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge is at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike.