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Opening New Doors

Daybreak Dayton continues to offer a fresh start to Dayton’s housing-insecure youth.

For nearly 50 years, Daybreak Dayton has offered shelter and support to homeless youth ages 10 to 24 in the Miami Valley. The sole provider of age-appropriate services for this population in our region, Daybreak has expanded their services over the years to meet the needs of the community. This includes not only an emergency shelter but also mental health services, employment and education assistance, a transitional housing program and more. 

There are a variety of complex circumstances that may bring young people to Daybreak. Each situation is unique, and since 1975 Daybreak has continued to adapt and provide essential services to the youth in their care. 

“We envision a community where all young people have access to safe housing, necessary basics, education and employment opportunities,” shares JT Szabo, Associate Development Director at Daybreak.

Outside of the emergency shelter that is available 24/7 for youth ages 10 to 21, Daybreak also runs a Drop-In Center that provides youth who may be couch hopping, daily necessities and helps them find a safe living place. 

For those young adults ages 18 to 24, Daybreak has a housing program that is specifically designed to help transition them out of homelessness and into housing. Also on the Daybreak campus is the David’s Place drop-in center. Named after a young man from Oakwood, it is a safe, inclusive environment offering resources, support, and access to other Daybreak services.

“Each of our programs is designed to address different aspects of the challenges faced by homeless and vulnerable youth, ranging from immediate needs like shelter and food to long-term goals like employment, education and mental health support​,” explains JT. 

Daybreak offers much more than shelter and basic needs. Guided by a mission to empower homeless youth and young adults to achieve stability and self-sufficiency, connecting with Daybreak is the first time some youth will truly find a stable living situation. 

“My longest stable home has been my Daybreak apartment. It’s a boost to my self-esteem that I’ve had a stable place to live longer than my parents could provide for me,” shares Travis, a client of Daybreak.

Many homeless youth may come to Daybreak from troubled family backgrounds, and the dynamics within their families may have contributed to their homelessness. Daybreak offers these young people a safe community to come to and mental health services provided by licensed therapists. “I’m not used to being around people who care. In a way, I’m still adjusting to it,” says Melvin, a client of Daybreak.

Job readiness, training and placement aid in the transition from homelessness to financial independence. Employment programs like Lindy’s Job Readiness, provide practical job training experience in a supportive environment. The OZ Works program focuses on creating positive youth connections outside of Daybreak.

“Our approach focuses on compassionate care and holistic support to break the cycle of

homelessness and build a brighter future for those we serve,” says JT. 

Daybreak Dayton relies on the support of the community to continue their mission of helping homeless and vulnerable youth in the Dayton region. Donations can be made online via their website, over the phone or by mail. For more detailed information on donating, fundraising, volunteering and wishlist items, please contact them at 937.395.4600 or visit

 “We envision a community where all young people have access to safe housing, necessary basics, education and employment opportunities.”