Greenbriar Children's Center to Celebrate Safe Place Week

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Greenbriar Children’s Center is observing National Safe Place Week, which is March 19-25, this month. Safe Place is a national program that is implemented and rolled out at the community level in participating cities across the nation.

In 1996, Greenbriar established Project Safe Place, which focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect by partnering with local businesses to provided safe havens for children in need. Current Safe Place sites include convenience stores, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, fire and police stations, Chatham Area Transit, the public and private school systems, and recreational facilities. When a child seeks help at one of these sites, a trained volunteer or staff member responds immediately and offers services that may include emergency shelter, individual or family counseling, or other referrals as needed. Designated sanctuaries display a recognizable black and yellow “Safe Place” sign. The Safe Place Program also includes presentations at schools and community centers to educate children about child-abuse prevention and available assistance. For a full list of Greenbriar’s established Safe Places in Savannah, go to http://www.greenbriarchildrenscenter.org/index.php/project-safe-place.html

To commemorate this special week, Greenbriar is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Berean Missionary Baptist Association of Savannah. Nine of the association’s 52 network churches have agreed to become certified Safe Places and complete the training necessary for the designation.

Berean Association Moderator Rev. Dr. Clarence Williams Jr. sees the commitment as beneficial for the community.

“It’s good because everywhere in our community, there are churches. They help make up a community. One of our main emphases is to bring about public awareness and, in doing so, we already do a lot of training. So, moving into this initiative with Greenbriar and our churches across the community just correlates well,” Williams said. “We’re going to do a great job. It’s time for our churches to become an voice instead of an echo, so we’ve been forging partnerships and trying to have a positive impact on the community.”

The nine churches poised to join Greenbriar’s Safe Place network are Zion Hill Baptist, Mt. Moriah Baptist, Historical First African Baptist, First Evergreen Baptist, Connor’s Temple Baptist, Second Ebenezer Missionary Baptist, First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist, Mount Zion Baptist, and First African Baptist Church of East Savannah.

If a juvenile who is in trouble or needs help cannot reach a Safe Place, they can also text the word SAFE and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 for immediate help. To learn more, visit http://nationalsafeplace.org/find-a-safe-place/?state=Georgia

“Project Safe Place tackles the extremely important issue of providing safe havens for children in need,” Greenbriar Children’s Center Executive Director Gena Taylor said. “We could not make the impact we do in our community without the help of these local businesses and emergency stations. It’s been over 20 years since we rolled out Project Safe Place locally, and throughout March, we’re celebrating the numerous children who have been saved or helped in some way thanks to this initiative.”