DALLAS (Oct. 30, 2008) – Approximately two million youth run away from home and try to make it on the streets every year. During National Runaway Prevention Month in November, Greyhound is renewing its commitment to help at-risk youth find their way home by launching two new elements of the company’s successful “Home Free” program: a new public service announcement (PSA) and Home Free kits.
This year, Greyhound partnered with the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) and The Ludacris Foundation to produce a new television PSA starring award-winning musician and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. In the PSA, Ludacris reminds young runaways and those contemplating running that they are not alone. They can call 1-800-RUNAWAY for support, mediated conference calls with their parents and a free ride home courtesy of Greyhound. The PSA will be distributed to broadcast media outlets across the country, as well as placed on partner organization Web sites and online community sites.
Also in November, Greyhound will begin distributing new “Home Free” kits when a runaway youth receives a free ticket home. The kits feature food vouchers redeemable at Greyhound terminals, a toiletry kit, journal and pen. Greyhound created the kits to help ease the transition for runaways and will be available in terminals nationwide starting in November.
“For 21 years, Greyhound has been committed to reuniting runaway youths with their families through the Home Free program,” said Dave Leach, president and chief executive officer, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “These two new program elements raise the visibility of the runaway issue and provide solutions to help keep youths safe.”
Since 1987, Greyhound has provided a free ride home to runaway youths with its Home Free program. In 1995, Greyhound expanded the initiative and began its partnership with the NRS which helps facilitate the screening process for transporting runaway youth between the ages of 12 and 20 back home or to a transitional living facility. The screening process is anonymous, confidential and free. Since the Home Free program began, Greyhound has reunited more than 13,000 young people with their families.
“This is another example of how both Greyhound and Chris Bridges continue to be socially conscience leaders in helping today’s young people,” said Maureen Blaha, executive director, NRS. “The PSA and Home Free kits will help us in our mission to keep America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.”
For more information on the Home Free program and to view the PSA, visit www.1800RUNAWAY.org.
# # #
EDITORS NOTE: Pathfire subscribers can begin downloading the PSA following the Nov. 4 presidential election. Limited hard copies of the PSA also are available. To request one, please contact (212) 684-8910. To request a sample of the Home Free kit, please contact Greyhound Media Relations (972) 789-7204.
Greyhound is the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, serving more than 2,300 destinations with more than 10,500 daily departures across the continent. The company also provides Greyhound PackageXpress and charters. For fare and schedule information or to buy tickets, call 1-800-231-2222 or visit the Web site at www.greyhound.com.
About the National Runaway Switchboard
NRS serves as the federally designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. Recognized as the oldest hotline of its kind in the world, NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, handles an average of 100,000 calls annually. NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NRS crisis hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY. For more information, visit www.1800RUNAWAY.org.