Crisis services volunteers, or “liners”, are the heart of National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We count on our volunteers to be there for youth in crisis.
What do NRS liners do?
The National Runaway Safeline’s 48-year-old hotline and online crisis services connect with runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families at their most vulnerable moments. We are able to provide this free, critical support because of our team of committed, trained volunteers.
NRS liners are available 24/7/365, utilizing state-of-the-art communication technology to offer a safe, non-judgmental space for youth to talk about the issues they face every day such as abuse, neglect, family conflict, mental health, bullying, and more.
So, when a 14-year-old boy calls our toll-free number seeking shelter from the cold, a trained volunteer listens and provides confidential, non-judgmental support, and together they devise a plan to ensure the teen’s safety and well-being.
Or when a 17-year-old girl sends a chat message explaining she is far from home and wants to be reconnected with family, but is penniless, our liners help by assessing the situation, contacting her parent or guardian, and possibly sending her home through the Home Free program offered in partnership with Greyhound Lines.
What is required of volunteers?
All NRS volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and make a one-year commitment to serve 2-4 hours per week. Volunteer opportunities are currently only available at our Chicago crisis services center.
I’m interested in volunteering, how do I start?
- Attend a volunteer orientation or take our online orientation. The mandatory orientation includes an introduction to runaway and homeless youth issues, our history, values, services, crisis intervention training program, internship and work-study opportunities, and expectations—not to mention free pizza and snacks. After orientation, a staff member will be available for a personal interview.
- Complete NRS’ 40-hour training program including classroom and experiential training. You will learn more about how to schedule your training at volunteer orientation.
- After successful completion of the training, you will be ready to answer calls, chats, and emails in the crisis services center with an experienced NRS supervisor always present, offering support and assistance when necessary.
Reach out to Jamin Draves, Volunteer Coordinator, with any questions at jdraves@1800RUNAWAY.org.
Get started by signing up for a volunteer orientation: