Mission, Values, and History
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.
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 24 hours a day.
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. The 1-800-RUNAWAY hotline now handles more than 100,000 calls each year.
NRS’ 1-800-RUNAWAY crisis hotline is available 24-hours a day 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.