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Sandy Bowen, Safe Place

Sandy Bowen and Candyce Clifft National Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates thousands of young people every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own. This community initiative involves the whole community to provide safe havens and resources for youth in crisis.

Safe Place creates a network of "Safe Place locations" - youth friendly businesses, schools, fire stations, libraries, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign.

Sandy Bowen has fostered the Safe Place program since its infancy, becoming the first executive director of National Safe Place in January 2001. A committed youth advocate with a proven record of results during her quarter century in the field, she is responsible for managing the youth education and outreach program, which includes identifying national collaborative partners, recruiting board leadership and securing corporate sponsors.

In 1985, Bowen became the coordinator of the Safe Place program in Louisville, Ky. In this role she was intricately involved in expanding the local Safe Place model -- started in 1983 as an outreach effort of the YMCA of Greater Louisville -- into other states. Bowen later served as the Associate Director of YMCA Safe Place Services and was responsible for managing the Louisville youth shelter agency in addition to the National Safe Place efforts.

In 2001, Bowen formed Safe Place's first board of directors and has since led the organization through a period of growth, expanding the program from 59 participating agencies in 22 states to 141 agencies in 40 states in 2007.

Prior to her work with Safe Place, Bowen worked for the University of Kentucky Extension Service 4H Program as a program enrichment coordinator.

Bowen is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and completed course work at the University of Louisville toward a Masters in Social Work. She and her husband Craig have two children, Tracey Weinberg and Ryan Bowen, both of whom reside in Chicago.

Program 305
Odd tales about the Commonwealth, a unique leather goods store, local costumer Louise Cecil, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Sandy Bowen, executive director of Safe Place, joins us in the studio. (#305)