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Going to my friend's house to breathe... is it possible under shelter in place order?

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  • Going to my friend's house to breathe... is it possible under shelter in place order?

    Hey guys,

    I've had several issues with my parents lately, and I repeatedly found refuge at my friends' house to have breathing space from my parents. However, a few days ago, Michigan placed everyone in the state under a shelter in place order. Would I be exempt from this order as this is essential for me to be happy with my life, or would I have to stay at home or if I come to my friends house they would call the police and bring me back home (as mandated/suggested by the governor when someone sees others outside because of reasons not exempt from the order)?

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. It can be really confusing to know what you can and can't do during this unprecedented time of crisis. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, normally, if (you are under 18 and) you do opt to leave your home your parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

    Each state has different rules regarding shelter in place and the penalties of violating the order. Most states define "essential workers" as grocery store, transit, uitlity, and health care workers. Outside of essential workers, the only times people are allowed to leave their homes is for groceries and medical care. This is not the case for every state but rather a generalized view of shelter in place restrictions.

    It can be really hard to be in close proximity to people who are upsetting you. It could be a good idea to call out to a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your parents so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey:

    Stay safe,
    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!


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