What is NRPM?
NRPM is spearheaded each year by the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) and National Runaway Safeline (NRS). The goals of NRPM are:
- To raise awareness of the runaway and homeless youth crisis and the issues that these young people face
- To educate the public about solutions and the role they can play in ending youth homelessness
Why Support NRPM?
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. If all of these young people lived in one city, it would be the fifth largest city in the United States. These numbers are unacceptable, particularly when you consider the fact that many of these young people will end up on the streets. These are not bad kids; they are good kids in bad situations. By supporting NRPM, you are showing America’s runaway and homeless youth that they are not invisible and they are not alone.
The theme of NRPM 2016 is Friends Helping Friends. This theme was designed to communicate how youth, parents, family members and educators are hearing about the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). While the majority of NRS callers do hear about us online, there is a large portion of callers that hear about NRS through a friend or an acquaintance, who is assisting the youth through their situation. A youth will typically trust a friend enough to talk about their problems. A friend is there to support, listen and care.
⇒Download our NRPM 2016 ToolKit and Messaging Guide which includes information on easy ways to get involved, event planning, fundraising, and getting the word out.
⇒Spread the word about NRPM through a media press release with our Sample Press Release
⇒Make a request to your local elected official to sign a proclamation for NRPM. Sample Proclamation Request
The History of NRPM
In October 2002, President Bush hosted the landmark White House Conference on Exploited and Runaway Children where leaders from across the country convened to discuss challenges related to runaway youth that our nation must face today. What once was known as National Runaway Prevention Month Week was expanded into a month long prevention and awareness campaign.
Over the years, members of Congress have taken steps to commemorate National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM); supporting and recognizing its goals and ideals by introducing both House and Senate Resolutions. Proud sponsors of NRPM resolutions have included Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV), Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Susan Collins (R- ME), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- UT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK).
Also, in October 2005, England’s Children’s Society invited NRS to speak with members of the British Parliament. Spurred by the priority the United States has placed on the needs of runaway and homeless youth, the Children’s Society called on the British Government to set up a national network of shelters for runaway children—similar to the system of care including NRS’ hotline and referral model used by NRS in the US.
When a youth runs away, the impact is felt throughout the entire community. All of us—individuals, businesses, community groups, teachers, elected officials, and human service agencies—are encouraged to participate in National Runaway Prevention Month. Working together to identify resources and to help youth develop life skills can make the difference between a youth running away and/or finding needed resources.
Visit the How to Support National Runaway Prevention Month section to learn how you can participate and observe National Runaway Prevention Month in your school, business, and community. For more information email outreach@1800RUNAWAY.org.