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Expanding safe places for St. Louis youth: 3 in 10 St. Louisans have heard

More St. Louis organizations are expanding access to safe spaces for young people, and at least some in St. Louis are getting the message. In this week’s poll, 43% of African American adults surveyed and 25% of Whites had heard about it. Adults ages 40 and older were more likely to have heard it than than those under 40 (53% vs 13%). Overall, about 3 in 10 St. Louis adults heard it in the last week.

Safe spaces can help protect youth from the mental and physical harms of violence, including harassment and bullying, and foster personal growth and development (Journal of Preventive Medicine). In response to continued cases of violence against youths, violence prevention organizations in St. Louis are expanding safe space programming for young people (STL VPC).

As examples, the Dunn-Marquette Center in South St. Louis is extending its hours until 1:00 am, offering basketball, board games, and dance lessons (STL Today). Restoration House, a nonprofit, provides fresh food, laundry services, free Wi-Fi, and TV.  According to its Director of Operations, Lily Blake, young people want to go “somewhere that’s safe, somewhere that they know they can get help, somewhere that they know they can rest, somewhere they know that they can eat without having to feel like they’re stuck in some kind of system or program (KDSK).”

This week’s report is based on 151 responses from a panel of adult residents of St. Louis City and County surveyed from Saturday, July 8, to Monday, July 10, 2023. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

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