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Greyhound sending runaways home for free

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 17:21:35-05

(WTXL) — It's a free ticket to reunite families and return runaway teens back home.

Youth organizations in the Big Bend say, the "Greyhound Home Free" program is necessary these days.

Leaders of these programs tell me It's not uncommon for teenagers in troubled situations to runaway.

They also say the Home Free Program is one of the safest ways to get kids back to their families.

"We can get you all the way to Detroit we can get you all the way to Kansas wherever safe is for you we can help you get there," said Taylor Biro with Volunteer Going Street Outreach.

Biro a volunteer for Going Places Street Outreach has been working with the Greyhound Home Free Program for seven years.

The organization has used Greyhound to transport up to 30 teenagers back home or to a safe place.

"With working with runaway youth we've noticed that kids are always either running away from something or running to something and this is a good way to make sure they get home safe," said Biro.

Home Free offers free rides to youth who have been reported as a runaway.

According to Greyhound, the child must be between the age of 12 and 21 and must call the National Runaway Safeline.

Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls in Leon County says the structure of the program is what makes it beneficial.

"What I love about this program is that it does require that they call the hotline number and that they have a case plan or a plan in place and it requires the parent to be cooperating with the plan," said Kelly Otte, Executive Director of Pace Center for Girls.

Greyhound also offers a guardian to travel with runaways 15 and younger.

Otte says the program's success makes her want Pace and Greyhound to partner together, to help the girls they serve all over the state.

"Whether the program is something we might use once or twice or a couple times a year for our girls. Statewide it could actually have a really big outcome," said Otte.

One person can only use the program twice.

The transportation company also gives a free ticket to their parent or guardian.

Ahead at six, we'll hear why using a bus to run away is most appealing for teenagers.

One person can only use the program twice.

The transportation company also gives a free ticket to their parent or guardian.