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Updated Sep 18, 2013 - 12:57 pm

Valley teens have 'Safe Place' at light rail stations

PHOENIX -- With the push of a button, Valley Metro is providing a safety zone for teenagers in crisis, either at home or on the streets.

The cities of Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe announced on Wednesday a partnership with Valley Metro and Safe Place, a national youth outreach program that provides support for young people facing homelessness, abuse and other dangers.

Teens who feel like they're in trouble can go to any of the 28 light rail stations across the Valley and use an emergency call box to get in contact with Safe Place.

"Our youth use public transportation, so we can hit a big piece of the Valley with this system," said Cynthia Schuler, CEO of Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development in Phoenix.

Schuler said the Safe Place program brings vulnerable youths to their shelter, where they can provide housing, education and other resources.

Valley Metro's light rail system is the second in the country to collaborate with Safe Place.

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