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Bus Line Offers Free Ride Home for Runaways

Bus Line Offers Free Ride Home for Runaways
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A Greyhound bus about to depart from Jackson
Kobee Vance

A bus line is working to get runaways back home to their families. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on how experts are helping runaways find their way home.

Greyhound and the National Runaway Safeline are working together to provide a way home for runaways. The Home Free Program provides a free bus ticket to wayward youth trying to get back home or to safe housing. Susan Frankel, CEO of the National Runaway Safeline, says providing transportation to safe environments is an important option for runaways.

"Having safe and stable housing leads to their ability to go back to school or stay in school, and to really live out a much more long term productive life as an adult."

At the Greyhound station in Jackson, Antomorris Johnson is heading to Monticello to visit his parents. When he was younger, he ran away from home to escape abuse.

"I needed space, I needed time to reflect and think. Because as long as I was under that roof or in that circumstance I felt like I didn't have a voice. The neighborhood friend and his family member were going to continue to do the same things they had been doing to me for years."

Like Johnson, going home isn't always an option for a runaway. Jory Tally is with Sally Kate Winters- Family Services, an organization in West Point that helps youth in Mississippi. She says safe space sites are a valuable resource for runaways who need help.

"It's any place that has certain criteria that wants to be considered a safe place. And that allows runaways to come there, we'll go in and we'll provide the resources that's needed."

The National Runaway Safeline serves around 100 thousand youth each year. But, officials say that's only a fraction of the 4.2 million homeless youth in the country.