Convenience Stores that are active as Safe Places are providing a sanctuary to at-risk youth.
In the latest Convenience Matters podcast, National Safe Place Network president and CEO Laurie Jackson spoke about how convenience stores and other community businesses are helping youth in distress. Jackson also informed listeners on how they can also become a Safe Place for troubled youth.
Jackson is featured in the episode “Convenience Stores as Safe Places,” which can be downloaded on iTunes by searching for “Convenience Matters.”
“Convenience stores — such as QuikTrip that has been active with Safe Place since 1991 — are literally changing lives,” said podcast co-host Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “These stores provide a safe place where runaways and at-risk youth can come in off the street, receive food and drink and wait for a volunteer from a Safe Place agency partner to connect them with professional help or a place to stay until their situation is resolved.”
Convenience stores are a great fit for programs such as Safe Place because they are intensely local businesses: 90% of Americans say a convenience store is within 10 minutes from their home. Cumulatively, the U.S. convenience store industry serves 160 million customers per day — meaning that, on average, more than half of the U.S. population is at a convenience store every day.
Both QuikTrip and NACS serve on the National Safe Place Network Board of Directors.
“Unfortunately, young people face troubling issues in today’s world and it’s up to all of us to offer solutions, places where youth can go to connect to immediate help. Convenience stores are an essential thread in the national safety net for youth as each store has the opportunity to serve as a community leader providing compassion, support and attention to young people in need,” said Jackson.
The NACS Convenience Matters podcasts debuted in February 2016. New episodes are released weekly, focusing on topics related to convenience retailing.