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Los Alamitos : Residents Seek Support for Latchkey Hot Line

Residents have launched an effort to give “latchkey children” a friend to call in emergencies and are soliciting support so that the program can begin this fall.

Linda Anderson founded the group of volunteers, who are working to establish a PhoneFriend Help-Line that children can call when they are home alone.

If the program is established, 12 volunteers will man the phones to help youngsters with problems ranging “from loneliness to a homework problem to a cut finger,” said Ronnie Gunnerson, who heads publicity for the effort.

Volunteers will be trained by Mildred Jones, founder of Casa Bienvenidos runaway shelter in Los Alamitos and trainer of volunteers for a similar hot line in Placentia.

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The program will follow guidelines established by the State College branch of the American Assn. of University Women, Gunnerson said.

Several PTA boards have agreed to donate money toward establishment of the hot line, Gunnerson said, but added that individual and community business support are needed to pay for ongoing costs. For information, call (213) 493-3077.


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