Nonprofit Seeking More “Safe Place” Sites Across Northeast Florida

The Youth Crisis Center, located in Jacksonville and founded in 1974 is seeking additional Northeast Florida locations to be Safe Place sites where at-risk youth can get immediate help.

Area Safe Place sites are characterized by the yellow and black Safe Place sign, and include police and fire stations, public libraries, local businesses, Walmarts, Sam’s Clubs and Home Depots. Any young person in need of help, on the run, homeless, or trying to escape sex traffickers can go to any location with a Safe Place sign and they will be immediately connected to YCC then taken home or to an emergency shelter.

Nationwide there are 21,750 Safe Place sites in 1,443 communities that have directly helped over 12,000 youth a year. To learn more about Safe Place and how to become a site, click here to read the full article.





Warning Signs Someone Could Commit a Violent Attack; How to React

If you see something, say something- it could save someone’s life.” Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of Youth Crisis Center spoke to CBS 47’s Jenna Bourne about the warning signs that could indicate someone may be capable of a violent attack. Some signs include loss of temper on a daily basis, announcing threats, plans for hurting others and enjoyment in hurting animals. For the full story click here or watch the video below:




Kids and Officers Work to Address Misconceptions

In 2012 the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) launched focus groups centered around Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives, otherwise known as GAAP, with the goal of establishing positive relationships between youth and law enforcement. On Monday, February 12th, 20 kids from the Youth Crisis Center took part in a GAAP discussion covering everything from officer-involved shootings to their own experiences with law enforcement.

We greatly appreciate DJJ for facilitating this discussion as well as the officers for taking time out of their schedule. Click here to read the full story.

First Coast Connect Interview for National Runaway Month 2017

For National Runaway Month, YCC President and CEO Kim Sirdevan stopped by First Coast Connect to talk with Melissa Ross about youth homelessness and how YCC is helping to tackle this issue. Nationwide over 3 million children run away each year. In Duval County, 74% of the 3,000 plus missing person reports filed involve youth between the ages of 13 to 17. Sirdevan mentions that there are many signs to indicate that your child is contemplating running away, but some of the most common are changes in behavior/mood, sleep pattern, and the group of friends, as well as the child not engaging in regular family activities. To learn more, listen to the full interview below.

Jacksonville’s Youth Crisis Center to Add Area’s First LGBTQ Emergency Shelter

About 60% of Jacksonville’s homeless youth population identify as LGBTQ, when the national average is 40%. To combat this, the Youth Crisis Center has joined forces with JASMYN and Changing Homelessness to establish a safe space. Read the full Times-Union article here to learn more about this effort and what it means to the Jacksonville community.

First Coast Living Interview on World Mental Health Day 2017

Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of Youth Crisis Center stopped by First Coast Living on World Mental Health Day to talk with Charlene Shirk about YCC’s rebranding and focus on early trauma detection while supporting children and their families. The interview also covers ways to acknowledge and help people suffering from trauma in the workplace, which is also the focus of World Mental Health Day 2017.


Jacksonville BUZZ Magazine interviews YCC President and CEO, Kim Sirdevan

On September 8th, Kim Sirdevan spoke with Chelsea Vance from BUZZ Magazine. She discussed YCC’s history as a haven for children since 1974 and how YCC is maintaining this status by adding more programs designed to help children and their families. Click here to read the article.

The Youth Crisis Center is open 24/7 and has staff available daily to provide immediate guidance. The Youth Crisis Center Hotline is 904-725-6662.


The Youth Crisis Center, Butterfly Garden Luncheon: Celebrating the Wings of Change

Join the Youth Crisis Center on Friday, November 17th 2017 for our Butterfly Garden Luncheon, Celebrating the Wings of Change. YCC has a lot to celebrate, including our new focus towards awareness on the impact of trauma for youth and families and our recent collaboration with Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN). Enjoy a garden picnic luncheon on our campus to celebrate and learn more about this alliance, and you’ll also have the opportunity to help us put the finishing touches on our new butterfly garden.

YCC, established in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, has grown to be one of the largest and well-known providers of services for children, adolescents, young adults and families. YCC’s nationally accredited programs provide residential crisis care services, mental health counseling, life skills training and transitional living assistance with the goal of strengthening families and restoring hope. In addition to these services, YCC is expanding our focus to include educating families and children about the effect that traumatic life events can have. Traumatic life events cause an increased need for mental health services and intervention. Our new collaboration with JASYMN is a part of YCC’s effort to be more inclusive while embracing families and transforming lives. Many LGBTQ youth and young adults experience rejection from their families and victimization through verbal and physical abuse by their peers and society. These traumatic experiences often have a negative impact that can lead them to join the growing population of homeless youth and young adults, thus increasing their susceptibility to suicide.

By offering support you will directly impact YCC by providing:

  • Immediate housing for homeless children and young adults
  • Crisis services, including suicide screening for those affected by trauma
  • Mental health counseling and psychiatric care
  • Life skills training
  • Nutritious meals for children and young adults in our residential programs

If you are interested in learning more about the different levels of sponsorship available and how to become a sponsor, please visit our website today and call 904-446-4966


Embracing Families. Transforming Lives.

First Coast Forum Interview with Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of the Youth Crisis Center, and Brian Middleton

On August 30th Kim Sirdevan stopped by First Coast Forum to chat with Brian Middleton about the programs that the Youth Crisis Center offers and the repositioning of their brand. In 1974 former Councilwoman Gwen Yates founded the Transient Youth Center which was a safe shelter space for runaway youth. In 1982, it became Youth Crisis Center. Fast forward 43 years and the heart of the Youth Crisis Center is still very much the same. While expanding to provide more programs geared towards reuniting families they have shifted their focus from serving “at-risk” youth towards serving youth and families impacted by traumatic life events.

Youth Crisis Center offers six programs:

  • Residential Crisis Care
  • Family Link
  • Outpatient Behavioral Health
  • SNAP (Stop Now and Plan)
  • Touchstone Village
  • Project Safe Place

Another big conversation point in the interview is the new House of Hope emergency shelter initiative that YCC is launching in collaboration with JASMYN. This shelter will primarily serve homeless LGBTQ young adults ages 18-24 while acting as a safe space and providing important services that will assist in gaining skills necessary for self-sufficiency. YCC is hopeful to open the House of Hope in early 2018, a goal that is contingent on the receipt of critical recurring operational dollars. YCC is seeking funding opportunities to help support the necessary $650,000 in estimated first year operational costs for the emergency shelter.

Listen to the full interview below to learn more about the programs that the Youth Crisis Center provides and other ways you can get involved.

The Youth Crisis Center is open 24/7 and has staff available daily to provide immediate guidance. The Youth Crisis Center Hotline is 904-725-6662.