DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local nonprofit is setting out to serve homeless youth by upgrading one of their spaces from cute and quaint, to large and accommodating. Daybreak Dayton, an organization committed to helping at-risk and homeless youth, is expanding their drop-in center.
Resources offered at the new facility will prepare 18 to 24-year-old clients with skills that will help them get and keep jobs, find permanent housing and achieve financial independence. Chief Development Officer at Daybreak, Joan Schiml, said the organization was already serving a large number of youth in the area, but the expansion will allow them to meet an even greater need in the community.
“Even though we’re serving 800 youth a year, there’s really about 1,800 or so homeless youth in the Miami Valley. And because we were only reaching 800, we knew that they were taking care of themselves in other ways, whether that was staying on the streets, living in abandoned properties, or couch hopping.”
The new space will be home to a kitchen area where clients can receive free meals. A laundry facility, shower area, and computer station will also be available for clients to search for jobs. Just upstairs from the drop in center is Lindy’s Gourmet Dog Treat Bakery, where Schiml said clients can get the real-world experience they need to be successful in the workforce.
“We work on the soft skills that are necessary to maintain employment. So, things like how to present themselves to coworkers, how to present themselves to their supervisors and bosses, how to navigate conflict in the work environment. Softer skills that will help as well as the hard skills that a person might be interested in.”
Schiml said the construction of the new drop-in center will be complete in October of this year. She said the old space will be repurposed to continue serving area youth.