John Andoh

John Andoh

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) and The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) have expanded their partnership by welcoming John C. Andoh to its national advisory board. Andoh, The COMET’s executive director / chief executive officer (CEO), serves as one of twenty representatives to the board and will share his expertise regarding social service and transit partnerships. In January 2020, NSPN announced their partnership with The COMET who initiated efforts to bring Safe Place® services to youth in the Greater Columbia area. The COMET is the first independently licensed national transit partner, putting youth in need aboard COMET vehicles in contact with resources or organizations necessary to bring them out of crisis. In January 2021, QuikTrip (QT) announced its partnership with Palmetto Place Children and Youth Services to operate a shelter-based licensed Safe Place program and begin opening Safe Place locations.

“Unfortunately, in today’s world, young people face family problems, homelessness, bullying, neglect, abuse, and even human trafficking,” said Laurie Jackson, president and CEO of NSPN. “Contributions from community representatives such as John’s, is critical to achieving NSPN’s vision of a world where all youth are safe.”

“I am delighted to serve and further support this partnership. The collaboration is important to us because safety is a key part of our mission in our service to the people of the Midlands and we are dedicated to be a resource for those in need,” said Andoh. “Providing a safe, secure haven for our vulnerable youth is something that we feel called to do and in joining forces with NSPN, we join more than 12,000 other transit/mobile locations nationally.”

Efforts to keep youth safe in the Greater Columbia area have been strengthened by national and community partnerships with public and private sectors including The COMET, QT, Palmetto Place Children and Youth Services, and others. About National Safe Place Network National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training, capacity building, and technical support to youth and family service organizations across the nation. NSPN operates nationally-recognized programs, including Safe Place®. More than 20,000 businesses and community locations participate as Safe Place sites – such as restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses, and libraries. These locations display the Safe Place sign and connect youth in crisis with resources and supports. Safe Place also provides a national text-for-support program, TXT4HELP. Teens can text the word “SAFE” to 4HELP (44357) and access options to locate the nearest Safe Place and text one-on-one with a counselor. TXT 4 HELP is available 24/7/365. Learn more about NSPN and Safe Place at www.nspnetwork.org and www.nationalsafeplace.org.

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