KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City area restaurant owner wants to do more than just provide a fun place to eat, drink and watch sports.
Derrick Bachman is preparing to open Gaels Public House and Sports at Troost Ave and 55th Street in Kansas City, Missouri in several weeks.
When the business is open, it'll be a designated "Safe Place" site for youth in crisis.
Bachman first discovered the National Safe Place Organization when he saw the yellow, diamond-shaped signs at QuikTrips around the Kansas City area.
"I knew that someday when I had my own place it was really going to be a goal of mine," Bachman said.
Designated Safe Place sites provide assistance to youth in crisis, whether it be crisis at home or youth suffering from homelessness.
"Inside employees are trained and prepared to assist the youth asking for help," Bachman said.
A Safe Place site will provide the youth with a separate area to go to for food or drinks. Employees will connect them directly with services.
In the Kansas City area, Safe Place sites connect youth with Synergy Services. The organization specializes in crisis intervention.
Karen Turner, Safe Place coordinator with Synergy, said there's a critical need for more Safe Place sites in the metro.
"On any given night there are over 2,000 kids in our KC metro area that are homeless," Turner said.
Synergy will connect homeless youth directly to shelters or transitional housing.
Turner works to recruit and train more businesses to become sites. Currently, she oversees more than 500 sites. About 300 of them are mobile sites and 200 are stationary sites.
Every QuikTrip in the metro is a designated site as well as fire stations on the Kansas side of the metro, RideKC buses, some public libraries, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City - Thornberry, and Unity Village in Lee's Summit.
Bachman is her first restaurant site in the metro.
"He's our ground breaker for that, so I'm very appreciative and thankful for him for that," Turner said.
Turner said Bachman's location is prime considering there aren't any QuikTrips nearby.
Bachman hopes other business owners will become Safe Place sites and consider the difference they can make.
"The more safe site locations, the better we're all going to be in our community," Bachman said.