The fall-out from a child runaway is great - both on the individual and on the family left behind.  Sources show that an approximate 2.8 million children run away from their homes each year in the United States - most between the ages of 10 to 14 years old.

The sad reality of many of these situations is that once the child has left, it gets harder for them to reunite with their families.  Many of these child runaways would return home, but the mechanics of that travel is difficult.  That's the impetus of a new program being offered by the Greyhound Bus Line - a way to get home at no cost to the runaway.

The Home Free Program provides no-charge rides to runaway children who call a 1-800 number to arrange it.  Children between the ages of 12 to 21 qualify for the Home Free Program.  All they need to do is call the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY - or 1-800-786-2929.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

There are no other expectations.  The only stipulation regarding the Home Free Program and the ride ticket home on Greyhound is that the child must be the subject of a properly-filed runaway report and they can only use the ticket twice.  Additionally, if the child who calls is under the age of 15, then their parent or guardian also qualifies for a free ticket - to better aid the reunion process and logistics.

You can check online maps of Greyhound Bus Lines service area and the stops along the way by clicking here. The Home Free Program has already provided around 400 children the opportunity to return to their homes.

KEEP READING: What were the most popular baby names from the past 100 years?