The Synergy Spotlight
Shining a light on the people and programs powered by your support.
Safe Place Provides Help & Hope for Kids in Crisis
"When I see the Safe Place sign, I know everything is going to be ok and I'm going to get the help I need." 
-A.L. Safe Place Participant
On any given night in Greater Kansas City there are 2,000 "unattached"  teens living on the streets, sleeping in cars, or "couch surfing" with friends because they do not have a safe place to live. Many are abused and neglected kids who have run away from home or been thrown out by their family. In fact, a  2015  national study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services'
Administration for Children and Families showed that 51% of youth become homeless for the first time because they were asked to leave by a caregiver.

The Safe Place program, operated locally by Synergy, partners with businesses and community organizations to provide immediate safety and support for local youth. Safe Place locations throughout the metro include QuikTrip, branches of the Kansas City, MO and Mid-Continent Public Library, metro buses, fire stations and YMCA facilities. Each site displays the Safe Place sign, and staff members are trained to call Synergy when a young person communicates they don't have a safe place to stay. Synergy then dispatches a staff member to the site to provide crises intervention and transportation to shelter if needed.
 
"Last year, almost 300 young people found safety and support through our local Safe Place sites," said Cynthia Hoffman, Youth Street Outreach Program Manager and Safe Place Coordinator. "We are so grateful to our community partners as they provide a friendly face in time of crises and help connect the youth with the resources they need."

Learn more about  Safe Place and the youth services Synergy provides. 
Kevin's Story
The number of young people utilizing Safe Place locally increased by 46% in 2017.
This past December, Kevin, a typical looking 17-year-old, spent the day reading magazines and trying not to be noticed at the Kansas City Public Library. However, at closing time one of the librarians noticed him lingering just outside the door. After a brief conversation, it became clear that he had nowhere to go that night. Knowing how to help, the librarian offered to call Synergy's Street Outreach team.

The librarian knew how to help because the Kansas City Public Library is one of Synergy's Safe Place partners - a collaboration between Synergy and local organizations to provide immediate safety for youth in danger including teens that may have been kicked out of their homes or are running away from abuse, or young people escaping gang violence.

Expanded outreach efforts, long-standing community partners and positive experiences with the program are translating to even more utilization of Safe Place locally. Last year more metro teens utilized Safe Place than at any other point in since the program began in Kansas City in 1996.  Kids like Kevin are more common than we'd like to believe.  Thanks to Safe Place, they have many places to access help and stay out of harm's way.  
News & Events

Oprah Explores Trauma Informed Care for 60 Minutes
Synergy has been on the forefront of trauma informed care for the last decade--it is the foundation of every service we provide. It's exciting to have a new high profile supporter to help broaden community understanding of this key component to creating long term solutions. Check out Oprah Winfrey's 60 Minutes story on trauma informed care, and her reaction to this "life changing" story in this interview on CBS This Morning

We Felt the Love @ Cupid Run
Our hearts were warm despite the frigid temps at the 2018 Cupid Run, which benefited Synergy this year! Thanks to all the runners and  The Running Well Store for their support and to Parkville Coffee for providing hot chocolate to help keep participants warm on a frosty morning!

Youth Creating Change
We're so proud of Youth 4 Change KC--a group of caring and motivated young people using their experiences with homelessness to create positive change in Kansas City. We're excited to play a part in this collaboration and appreciate the support of local businesses like Walnut River Brewing & Bier Station
Kindness Gone Wild
An old favorite is back and better than ever at the Kansas City Zoo!
Join us on Friday, May 4 for the 28th Annual Kindest Kansas Citian Awards...w
ith special thanks to presenting sponsor DST Systems !

Sam's Club Supports Synergy
Our thanks to Kansas City Sam's Club on North Oak Trafficway for their generous support of the children, adults and families Synergy serves!

Art Soup Success 
Huge  thanks to all the sponsors and restaurants that supported Art Soup; to Synergy's junior board for excellent planning and organization; and to everyone that bought a ticket and joined us for the evening! You each played an important role in this year's amazing success! Read this great article from KC Studio to learn more about the art therapy program funded by Art Soup or check out event photos!
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