Greyhound, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, is marking its 35th year providing life-saving transportation with its ‘Home Free’ program that helps runaway, homeless, and exploited youth between the ages of 12 and 21 reunite with their families (or legal guardians) through a free bus ticket home or to a stable and safe place.
Greyhound started the free program in 1987 to demonstrate its commitment to servicing communities nationwide.
After several years, Greyhound partnered with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), an organization that helps keep youth who have run away and those who are experiencing homelessness safe and off the streets, to amplify the reach of the program. Since 1995, the partnership has helped over 18,000 families by providing free bus tickets.
“While we help young people all year round through our Home Free program, its especially vital during the holidays,” said Lourdes Brown, Director of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “Holidays are about family coming together, and our Greyhound family is devoted to providing young people the chance to reconnect with their families and return to a safe environment.”
According to the NRS, each year approximately 4.2 million young people, ages 13 to 25, experience some form of homelessness, leaving them vulnerable for exploitation, assault, illness, and suicide. Home Free is designed to help ensure young people between the ages of 12 and 21 who have run away or are experiencing homelessness have a ticket to return home to their families or legal guardians.
In 2022, the NRS and Greyhound saw almost 600 requests for aid. The Home Free program has currently issued more than 220 free bus tickets for the year, valued at nearly $48,000.
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Greyhound Lines and the Home Free program,” said Susan Frankel, Chief Executive Officer, National Runaway Safeline. “Together we can continue to have a positive impact in providing a vital resource for youth and their families, and we look forward to serving as their charitable partner for the Home Free program for many more years.”
If you or someone you know has run away or is experiencing homelessness and wants to come home or needs help, contact 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or visit www.1800runaway.org.