Help for Runaways

UAY ONCALL Counselors can be reached at 338-7518

UAY is a Safe Place in
Iowa City

Running Away

It sometimes seems like a good idea when you’re angry or frustrated about a situation at home.

However, the reality of finding a safe place to stay and the worry of getting picked up by the police can make life on the run pretty tough.

UAY staff will give you help when you need it. You don’t have to run away to begin solving conflicts at home.

Call UAY at 338 7518, 24 hours a day.

If you’ve already run away… UAY can:


  1. Help you brainstorm what you want to do next. We’ll have ideas, but won’t force or trick you into anything OR
  2. With your permission, call your parent and start talking about what’s going on and ideas for solutions OR
  3. Sit down with you and your family to talk about issues at home OR
  4. Negotiate an agreement that makes family life a little more pleasant or results in all getting a break from one another.

Know the Law

Running away from home is not a crime in Iowa.

However, a police officer may take a minor into custody for the purpose of returning the minor home or to a youth shelter.

UAY Runaway Policy

If you’ve left home or are thinking of leaving home, or are the parent of a teenager who has run away or threatened to run away, we want to hear from you. Call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-850-3051. UAY staff are not interested in tricking anyone into anything. Our phone lines don’t have caller I.D. We won’t ask where you’re staying. We just want to help you find a solution that is safe and will work for you.

  • Runaways or parents can call or come to UAY to talk over their situation.
  • While a runaway is working with staff on finding solutions, no one will be called without the runaway’s knowledge.
  • If a runaway decides to continue to run, UAY staff will contact law enforcement or parents to let them know that the runaway is safe and that they have been in contact

United Action for Youth
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 892
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
Fax: 319-337-7999

Main Office and 24 Hour Crisis Line
1700 S First Ave Suite 14

Youth Center
355 Iowa Avenue