DALLAS, Texas (KNWA) — Greyhound Bus Lines teams with the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) to offer runaway kids a free ticket home to get back with their families or guardians, if they choose to do so.

Every year, around 400 kids and teens who have run away get a free ride home with Greyhound — anywhere in the U.S. — it’s called the “Home Free” program.

Here’s how the eligibility works:

  • The child, or teen, calls the NRS helpline.
  • Must be between the ages of 12 and 21.
  • Be named on a runaway report and be willing to be reunited with their family (and vice versa).
  • Home Free can be used two times by the same person.
  • A free ticket is provided for the parent, or legal guardian, if the person is 15 or younger.

NRS phone hotline was founded in 1971 by a group of Chicago agencies and was originally called “Metro Help.” By 1974 the nonprofit opened a national hotline. It is based out of Chicago, Illinois and operates 24-hours a day 365 days a year.

NRS Mission: ‘To keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.”

The toll-free number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).


  • Youths contact NRS for support while living at home
  • NRS has responded to nearly 90,000 calls, via 24-hour hotline, email, chat and online forums
  • 85% who contact NRS are 18 years of age or younger; average age is 17
  • 69% are women who connect with NRS
  • Caucasians are the largest single group of youth in crisis reaching out to NRS, followed by African Americans and Latinos