Greyhound offers free ticket home for runaway children

National

DALLAS, Texas (KNWA) — Greyhound Bus Lines teams with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) to offer runaway children a free ticket home to get back with their families or guardians, if they choose to do so.

Every year, nearly 400 children and teens who have run away from their homes, get a free ride with Greyhound — anywhere in the U.S. — it’s called the “Home Free” program.

Here’s how the eligibility works:

  • The child, or teen, calls the NRS helpline.
  • Must be between the ages of 12 and 21.
  • Be named on a runaway report and be willing to be reunited with their family (and vice versa).
  • Home Free can be used two times by the same person.
  • A free ticket is provided for the parent, or legal guardian, if the person is 15 or younger.

NRS phone hotline was founded in 1971 by a group of Chicago agencies and was originally called “Metro Help.” By 1974 the nonprofit opened a national hotline. It is based out of Chicago, Illinois and operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

NRS Mission: ‘To keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.”

Here is data from the National Runaway Safe Line Partial 10-year report:

  • Some youth contact NRS for support while living at home.
  • NRS has responded to nearly 90,000 calls, via 24-hour hotline, email, chat and online forums.
  • 85 percent who contact NRS are 18 years of age or younger; average age is 17.
  • 69 percent are women who connect with NRS.
  • Caucasians are the largest single group of youth in crisis reaching out to NRS, followed by African Americans and Latinos.

The toll-free number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).

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