DENVER (KDVR) – Young runaways and homeless across the country and Colorado are being offered free Greyhound bus tickets home to see their families and loved ones this holiday season.
“Home Free,” a Greyhound program entering its 35th year of existence offers “runaway, homeless and exploited youth” the chance to reunite with their loved ones via the gifting of a free bus ticket home, or to a stable and safe place.
Back in 1987, Greyhound launched the free program to help those between the ages of 12 and 21 avoid homelessness across the nation.
“Holidays are about family coming together, and our Greyhound family is devoted to providing young people the chance to reconnect with their families and return to a safe environment,” Director of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility with Greyhound Lourdes Brown said.
To aid in this mission, the National Runaway Safeline partnered with Greyhound to support the “Home Free” program.
According to data from the NRS, there is an average of 4.2 million young people experiencing some version of homelessness, which can contribute to exploitation, illnesses, assault and an increase in the suicide rate.
“Together we can continue to have a positive impact in providing a vital resource for youth and their families, and we look forward to serving as their charitable partner for the Home Free program for many more years,” NRS Chief Executive Officer Susan Frankel said.
So far for this year alone, there have been nearly 600 requests from people trying to take advantage of this free program, resulting in the issuing of 220 free tickets which is roughly equivalent to $48,000.
If you or a loved one is interested in inquiring about getting one of these free tickets home to see your loved ones, you can visit NRS’s homepage or simply call 1-800-RUNAWAY, or 1-800-786-2929.
NRS offers critical crisis intervention 24 hours a day, every day of the year, so reach out any time.
Mental health is difficult to talk about and address, even at the best of times, so if you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please consider reaching out to the National Suicide Hotline simply by dialing 988.