The mission of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is to help keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.

View our strategic plan for FY2011-FY2016: The NRS Five Year Strategic Plan


NRS provides education and solution-focused interventions, offers non-sectarian, non-judgmental support, respects confidentiality, collaborates with volunteers, and responds to at-risk youth and their families.


Metro-Help was established in 1971 to fill a need for comprehensive crisis intervention for young people in Chicago. It was conceived as a centralized organization with free 24-hour services, expertise in all youth-related issues and as an information clearinghouse of youth services. In 1974, the agency received an eight-month federal demonstration grant to establish a national hotline. During this time, 11,000 calls were received demonstrating the need for this type of service. Beginning as the National Runaway Switchboard, and now as National Runaway Safeline, NRS’ capabilities and services have grown considerably. NRS makes 250,000 connections to help and hope through its hotline, online and offline services. The 1-800-RUNAWAY hotline and 1800RUNAWAY.org online crisis services are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year throughout the United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.The organization serves as the federally designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. Our services are provided through funding from Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the generosity of private funders: individual donors, corporate partners, and foundation grants.