Greyhound offers free bus tickets home to runaway kids

Young people who have run away from home but want to return can hop on a Greyhound bus for free to reunite with their families.

Greyhound Lines partners with the National Runaway Safeline, or NRS, in giving free bus tickets to about 400 adolescents a year. Since 1995, more than 16,000 youth have been reunited with families through the Home Free Program, according to the NRS, a nonprofit that operates a hotline to help runaways, homeless and at-risk youth.

To be eligible for a Greyhound ticket home, those between 12 and 21 years old have to call the NRS hotline, be named on a runaway report and be willing to reunite with their family, according to the bus operator, which provides intercity transportation to 2,400 destinations across North America.

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The company also offers a free ticket to parents or legal guardians of those under 15. The NRS hotline is open around the clock and every day of the year at 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929.

An estimated 6% to 7% of U.S. youth run away from home each year, or more than 1.5 million children and adolescents annually, according to the National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youths and Families.

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