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  • thinking about running away in minnesota

    I've been thinking about running away for a while now, probably since the beginning of this year, and have been planning it out in my head. Probably not forever, just long enough for a break. I know you guys say here that I should try to get my parents to agree and let me go, but I think I'd be uncomfortable at somebody else's house under those conditions, and so I was thinking, I'll stay in a hotel, if I can, or if I can't a shelter.

    1: Can I (at 15) rent a hotel room legally? With cash?

    2: When shelters say they will let you stay up to 72 hours without your parents knowledge, do they have to have evidence that you're being abused/neglected(which I am not) to let you stay without parental knowledge, or do they grant that to anyone who walks in the door?

    3: Could you help me find some shelters in Ramsey County, MN, that allow me to stay for a period of time, without my parents knowledge, 'no questions asked'?

    4: I'm planning on getting a city bus card, so that I can still go to school. Will anyone be told there that I'm a runaway, and can they contact my parents during the day, while I'm at school to tell them where I am?

    5: What stuff should I pack? Any advice?

    (sorry for so many ?s...)

  • #2
    Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

    Hi. Thanks for writing on our bulletin boards. It definitely sounds like you’ve been thinking a lot about this and want to make sure you have all your bases covered before you leave home. We commend you for not acting on impulses, and for trying to make a plan that will keep you safe. We’ll do the best to answer your questions as thoroughly as we can with the knowledge we have. Keep in mind that every state has their own laws and procedures, and sometimes it even depends on the county. We don’t have specific info on the laws in every county, but we do know how generally things work. And don’t worry about asking several questions, it’s better to ask than not! We don't mind answering them.

    1. Renting a hotel room: To the best of our knowledge, legally a person under the age of 18 cannot rent a hotel room, no matter what their method of payment. Hotels and Motels are supposed to check valid IDs (driver’s license/state ID) when renting out a room.
    2. Staying at a shelter: The 72 hours is the time frame that the federal government set, but most shelters have to contact legal guardians sooner (immediately, 24 hours). There is no shelter that can legally get around this. In the event that there is abuse in the home, the shelter has to contact the Child Protective Services in the area. Basically, the shelter doesn’t have the option to not contact someone. If CPS is contacted, then it becomes their case to investigate (determine if home is safe or not). They would want to talk to the youth, parents, friends/family, etc. Even during this process, there’s no guarantee that the youth can stay at the shelter during the process.
    3. Shelters in Ramsey County: All the shelters we found in the area require parental or government (CPS) notification within at most 24 hours. In case you still want to look into them, here are a few. *Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center in St. Paul #651-227-4184, *Lutheran Social Services Safehouse Youth Programs in St. Paul #651-644-3446. These are the runaway youth shelters in Ramsey County that we could find, but there are a few others close by including *Harbor Shelter and Counseling Center in Stillwater #651-439-7365 and *Bridge for Runaway Youth in Minneapolis #612-377-8800.
    4. School: There is a good possibility that your school will know that you’re a runaway. Many parents contact school officials when their youth runs away. The school officials do have the right to call your parents or the police to let them know you’re there.
    5. Packing: As far as this goes, we don’t really have any information. This is entirely up to you depending on your situation, how long you plan to stay gone and what type of environment you’ll be staying in while on the run.

    We hope this helps to answer your questions. You’re welcome to give us a call if you want to talk more in depth about any of this. We can also help you conference a call to any of the above listed shelters if you want to call them anonymously and get specific information about their policies concerning notification of legal guardians. Someone is always here 24/7, so if you get the chance to call we’ll be here. We’re completely confidential too (which you probably read on our website), which means we won’t tell anyone that you called or what was discussed.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write to us and let us know if there's anything else we can do to help you.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

      I decided not to run, thanks mostly to you guys.

      But now, my parents are fighting more, about everything. The only time they seem to be happy is when they aren't with each other or dealing with each other (most of the time). When one of them gets mad at the other, one leaves the room to blow off some steam. Later, when it's just one of them and me, they gripe about the other person. I don't know what to say. It just feels like they would be happier if they were divorced.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

        Hi! Thank you for posting on NRS’s bulletin board again. We are happy to hear that you were able to consider your options to make the best choice for you and keeping yourself safe. But on the other hand, we are sorry to hear about your parents fighting more at home. It is hard to see that our parents are not happy and normal to want to find some way to make them feel better. It sounds like you have put in the middle of their conflict. And that doesn’t feel good. Yes, it is definitely hard to say anything back to one of them when they are gripping about the other. Also with parents it can be difficult if you feel like you have to be on one of their’s side. Do you know what brings on the fights? When you are referring to your parents fighting, what type of fight would you say it is (disagreement, verbal, yelling, physical, how long do they last)? Are you in the same room as them? It sounds like your parents have been trying to deal with the fight not getting any bigger by one of them walking out of the room. Sometimes it is good to blow off some steam when we are really upset. It gives them a chance to think about things. Do you feel like you would be able to talk to both of them about how you feel when they are fighting? Have you talked to anyone about what has been going on with your parents (friends, teacher, neighbor, school advisor, relative)? Divorce can be a big decision to make and affects other people sometimes. Do you feel that they would have other options? Are there other people that are aware of there fighting and could be someone that they could confide in?

        You are a strong person to want to help your parents find a solution to their fighting. Again we just want to let you know that we are here 24/7 and are welcome to call us at anytime on our toll-free number: 1800-RUNAWAY (1800-786-2929). We look forward to hear from you! Best wishes and take care

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

          Do you know what brings on the fights?
          Usually money. My mom says my dad has no money sense.

          what type of fight would you say it is (disagreement, verbal, yelling, physical, how long do they last)?
          Long. Sometimes they fight for like 15 minutes to a half hour or so, then stew in silence, then fight again. It's never physical. Lots of yelling, though.

          Are you in the same room as them? It sounds like your parents have been trying to deal with the fight not getting any bigger by one of them walking out of the room. Sometimes it is good to blow off some steam when we are really upset. It gives them a chance to think about things.
          If I'm up in my room, I can still hear them loud and clear.

          It seems like instead of thinking through things, they stew in silence.

          What I meant with the divorce thing was that they seemed to be happier without each other. Except for like 5 minutes when my dad gets home from work.

          Another question. If I talk to the school social worker, and I ask him to keep it confidential, can he still tell my parents what we talked about? That's one reason I like you guys, you can't tell anybody anything about our conversations. Right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

            Hello,

            So nice of you to write back in order to continue our talks about what you are going through at home. We appreciate your eagerness to want better outcomes for yourself and your family. We commend you for your ability to observe the cycles your parents are currently caught in; such as, your knowledge of when your parents stew in silence and the fact that you know a bit about its ineffectiveness to heal old wounds when nothing is done to create a more positive environment. Do you find yourself feeling really uncomfortable every time your parents are around you? Do you often feel like you have to tip toe around them in order to avoid an escalation of conflicts? How do your parents compensate for the conflicts when they try to save face with relatives or friends in your presence? If you feel that these are circumstances that makes it difficult to maintain a sound mind, we want to continue to support you during these turbulent times. Your safety is our number one priority and the last thing we want to see happen is you losing your ground and not be able to carry on during these times. If there is anything we can do to help, please feel free to contact us at our 1800RUNAWAY number to talk to one of our liners. We feel that with so much happening at home, you are deserving of a person to vent your frustration to and to offer other resources to get you starting to feel better about yourself and life in general.

            Getting back to the questions you had about school social workers and policies surrounding confidentiality; most of them are mandated to report any inappropriate situation going on at your house. If they felt that you are a danger to yourself or someone was going to harm you, it is something they have to pay extra attention to. It is probably best speaking to one of them about their expectations if you choose to approach it from the standpoint of seeking immediate or long term help. Social workers are in schools to serve as liaisons to major regional offices for Child Protective Services and can report parental neglect or abuse. In terms of whether your info is going to stay confidential rest with how extreme your case is and what you are hoping to achieve with your request for assistance. Have you thought about speaking to a school counselor instead? Just be mindful of the fact that school counselors can choose to report anything to parents but it is good to first check with them about what is kept confidential and what is not.

            However, our organization solely exist with the intention of remaining completely confidential. We do not take names and do not track numbers. The only time we are not expected to remain confidential is if you opted to file a report with us and you choose to offer us names, addresses and telephone numbers for your parents but we do not require this info if you simply wanted to talk. We are anonymous and do not judge you ever. One last issue we wanted to touch on was whether you feel comfortable talking to your parents about seeking family therapy? Do you think your parents will go for it? It helps sometimes to have an impartial party step in to assist with how to cope and refocus the family. Sometimes all that is needed is someone with the skills to structure the ways your parents are going to settle their differences and teach them the skills to better communication. Please take time to consider some of what we stated and please remain strong. We respect your resilience and encourage you to seek assistance whenever you feel you need it. Good luck.

            -NRS
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

            National Runaway Safeline
            [email protected] (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            Tell us what you think about your experience!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

              Wow! You guys are fast!

              One more question. When I call you guys, does it show up as Unlisted or something like that? Because my mom pays for my phone and I don't want her to know about this.

              Thanks for everything! You guys have been really nice listeners! Can I spread the word?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

                We do the best we can with answering the bulletins in a timely manner. And yes, please spread the word! We're glad we've been able to help so far.

                In answer to your question, our number shouldn't show up on your phone bill, unless your mom gets a print out of all the outgoing numbers (numbers dialed) from your phone, then it would likely show 1-800-786-2929. Not all phone companies offer this anymore, but some still do. Most of the companies that do don't usually include it in the bill either, it's just something that can be looked at online or if requested. BUT if she does get the number and call us (which parents do sometimes), what we'd say is that we're a crisis hotline for youth and their families. We get calls concerning a lot of different teen related issues, not just running away; such as school related problems, communication issues with parents/siblings, relationship issues, peer pressure. We'd also say that we're confidential and don't trace where our callers are calling from or keep any records about who calls us. We also will many times tell parents that call us that lots of youth get our numbers from different places (school, internet, TV, radio) and that many times teens call just to see what we do here and how we can help OR because they're concerned about a friend.

                Hope that helps settle your mind a little bit about your mom possibly finding out!
                Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                National Runaway Safeline
                [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

                  Thank you so much!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: thinking about running away in minnesota

                    You are so welcome! Glad that we were able to help and remember that we are here anytime you need us, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Best of luck with everything and take care.
                    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

                    National Runaway Safeline
                    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                    Tell us what you think about your experience!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                    Comment

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