LIVE OAK, Texas – The first QuikTrip to open in San Antonio wants to be more than a great place for locals to stock up on drinks and snacks. The location is also a designated “Safe Place,” to help teens in danger, KSAT-TV reports.
“It's designed to help youth. They may be a runaway. They may have had substance abuse [issues]. They may have all kinds of difficulties,” said Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip spokesman. “They come to QuikTrip, and they have a relationship with an agency who are experts in dealing with this to make them feel safe and secure. It’s a great program. It makes a big difference in a lot of lives.”
As part of the program, QuikTrip is working with Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, which helped to train QuikTrip employees to assist at-risk youth. “They’re going to have a checklist that they’re going to have to identify when a young person comes in and says, ‘I need help,’” said Chuck Paul, an outreach specialist at the organization’s Centro Seguro Drop-In Center. “The checklist is first going to say, ‘Who is this person? What’s going on with them?’”
Having QuikTrip locations open 24 hours provides an accessible place for young people who need assistance. The QuikTrip employees trained to help these teens contact Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, which will send someone to the store.
Thornbrugh said that as QuikTrip develops more Texas sites, the chain plans on designating those as a “Safe Place” too.
C-store retailers open 24/7 are in a unique position to provide a safe haven for their communities, and a number of NACS member retailers are participating in community outreach programs such as Safe Place and the human trafficking prevention program In Our Backyard. Last year, NACS began a partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign, providing convenience retailers with access to NACS-branded DHS Blue Campaign training and awareness materials for download—including posters, handouts and other materials—free of charge.