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Greyhound Giving Free Bus Tickets for Runaway Youth to Go Home

People logo People 1/1/2020 Steve Helling
a passenger bus that is parked on the side of a building © Jeffrey MacMillan/For Washington Post

Greyhound Bus Lines is continuing its partnership with the National Runaway Safeline to reunite families by giving endangered children a free bus ticket home.

According to a press release from the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), the Home Free Program, established in 1995, “helps runaway, homeless, and exploited youth return home safely or get to a safe and stable place to stay where they can receive appropriate services.”

To be eligible for the program, recipients must be between the ages of 12 and 21 years old. They must self-identify as being homeless, a runaway, or a victim of human trafficking.

Recipients must also be willing to be be reunited with their families.

“Youth must also agree to complete the necessary steps to obtain a ticket through the Home Free Program,” the press release reads. “On occasion, parents, guardians, or another adult family member designated by the parent or guardian may also receive a round-trip ticket to travel to the youth’s location, so they can accompany the youth home.”

Endangered youth must initiate the process by calling NRS’ hotline. They will speak privately with NRS staff about their situation. They will be screened for signs of human trafficking.

The NRS will help the youth find local safe place, such as a police station or homeless shelter. Once the youth is in a safe place, the Home Free application process will begin.

Greyhound tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that approximately 400 youth use the program each year.

For more information on the Home Free Program, visit the NRS website, or call their hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

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