Street name change to honor woman who helped local youth without homes

Shelter also will celebrate the opening of two new ‘drop-in’ centers to assist youth experiencing homelessness.

A city street is being renamed Thursday in honor of Daybreak’s former CEO who dedicated decades to helping youth who were experiencing homelessness in the community.

Auto Club Drive will be renamed Linda Kramer Way to honor the woman who helped the Daybreak shelter grow. The street is near Daybreak’s campus on South Patterson Boulevard.

“She was really the driving force into turning Daybreak from a single-story house into a city block,” current Daybreak CEO Cheli Curran said. “Our programs have gone from being just a shelter to complete wrap-around services that include employment, clinical and mental health and job training.”

Daybreak’s Chief Development Officer Joan Schiml said Kramer was passionate about serving area youth.

“She brought to the table a determination like no other to deliver as many services as possible and to serve as many youth as we possibly can,” Schiml said.

Kramer, who served as the shelter’s leader for 23 years, will attend Thursday’s event. During her tenure, Daybreak grew from serving about 200 youth in need a year to now about 800 to 900 youth a year.

The street will be renamed on Thursday during an event at Daybreak. The shelter also is hosting a 4:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new drop in centers.

Daybreakhas two drop-in centers where youth in need can come, learn about and receive services like housing, mental health assistance, as well as take care of other needs like showering and laundry.

One drop-in center is at 701 S. Patterson Blvd., next to the Daybreak main building at 605 S. Patterson Blvd. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The other is David’s Place, a drop-in center dedicated to assisting LGBTQ youth without a home in the area. National studies show that an estimated 40% of unhoused youth are in the LGBTQ community, and 20% of the clients at Daybreak are, agency officials said.

Both centers have been open for about eight months, Curran said, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the shelter hadn’t been able to celebrate them with the community until this week.

Daybreak serves youth between ages 10 and 24 experiencing homelessness. There is an estimated 1,800 youth without a stable home in the community, the agency said. The new drop-in centers will allow the shelter to reach more youth in need, they said.

Guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony will hear from Curran, will be able to tour the new spaces and sample appetizers prepared by Daybreak’s youth.

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