$5M expansion to benefit homeless youths

A roughly $5 million expansion project will allow a local nonprofit to provide emergency shelter to older youths in crisis and offer job skills to help homeless and disconnected youths.

Daybreak Inc. has added a new wing to its shelter at 605 S. Patterson Blvd. to house people under the age of 18, according to information submitted to the Dayton Development Coalition.

The addition will allow Daybreak to provide housing exclusively for older, homeless youths at its existing downtown shelter.

Daybreak also will open a roughly 40,000-square-foot facility this fall that will be home to an employment and education center geared toward young people, as well as the Lindy & Company gourmet pet treat bakery.

Daybreak officials for months have kept fairly mum about the expansion project.

But Linda Kramer, the group’s CEO, confirmed that Lindy’s bakery is moving, and Daybreak is planning to enhance and grow services.

“Most of our youth need help earning a high school diploma, gaining work experience and getting a job,” Kramer said. “Because of the demand for these services, we have outgrown our current facility.”

Daybreak became the region’s first emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youths when it opened in 1975.

Today, it remains the only youth shelter in the region, serving homeless individuals between the ages of 10 and 19.

The nonprofit has constructed and opened a new wing to its 605 S. Patterson building to house minor-age youths separately from its older clients, according to a questionnaire submitted to the Dayton Development Coalition as part of a capital request to the state.

Daybreak soon will start housing homeless youths as old as 21 in its original shelter.

Daybreak expects project costs will be $5 million, which includes property acquisition, construction, renovation work, equipment and expansion of its intervention services.

Daybreak has raised about $4 million from private donors for the project.

The nonprofit wants to raise another $500,000 because a donor has pledged to contribute a matching contribution, officials said. Daybreak also received about $250,000 in funding from the state of Ohio’s 2017-18 capital budget.

The new facility has two levels that are each about 20,000 square feet in size.

The structure will offer an employment lab, meeting rooms, private counseling areas, work spaces and a supportive employment program, according to a project summary.

About two-thirds of the young people who use Daybreak have not finished high school or earned a GED.

Daybreak plans to offer homeless and disconnected youths direct access to integrated employment, educational and other services. Those experiencing homelessness often have interpersonal, health and behavioral problems, according to advocates.

County Corp’s YouthBuild construction high school program will be housed in the new youth employment center.

Additionally, Lindy & Company bakery, 823 Wayne Ave., is moving into a larger home in the new facility.

The pet treat business, which first opened in October 2012, gives homeless youths work experience, and the proceeds benefit Daybreak’s operating budget.

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