TOLEDO (WTOL) - The extreme cold temperatures and wind chills hitting our area are historically cold, and dangerous for those who are without shelter.
Safety Net is the only emergency shelter for youth in Northwest Ohio, and now they’re concerned that a lot of youth that could utilize their services are out there in the cold.
“Something may happen at home and they may take off and they’re out in the elements, not properly clothed,” Director Jennifer Tucker said.
Safety Net has housed almost 600 youth ages 12 to 17 since opening in 2016.
"They don't need a parent or guardian's permission to be here, this is a safe place where they can come for shelter or food," Tucker said.
She's is especially worried about youth living in places without heat.
"A lot of time we hear about kids hanging out in people's garages you know, they might have spare furniture in there or something and can go months literally living in someone's garage without maybe their friend's parent or guardian knowing," Tucker said.
Safety Net has 12 rooms available and right now only three are being used.
“Each resident has their own room so there’s a sense of privacy and safety,” Tucker said.
The building is open 365 days a year, 24/7 and staffed with professionals to help the residents.
The Zepf Center is urging teens who need a safe place to utilize their Safety Net shelter, located at 2005 Ashland Avenue.
Safety Net accepts teens ages 12 to 17 who:
- Are experiencing a family crisis to the point where safety, physical health or emotional health is at risk
- Have runaway
- Have been asked to leave their residence
- Are homeless or couch-hopping from place to place
- Are stranded in the area
- Are being sexually, physically or emotionally abused and need to get out for help
- Are in other situations that are a crisis, such as being lost or if their guardians can’t be located
Teens should call 419-206-0926 for more information or text SAFE to 555888 for directions.
The center says the entrance is located off of W. Woodruff under the mural pictured on the left.