Published: Monday, October 8, 2007
Daybreak crisis shelter for youths to be expanded
Some 7,000 children have lived at Daybreak, most from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
YOUNGSTOWN Family Service Agency is planning a two-story addition to its Daybreak Youth Crisis Shelter that includes space for indoor recreation, offices and meetings, and a new dining area.
Daybreak is a 10-bed residential facility, located at 2611 Homestead Ave. at Indianola Avenue, that offers temporary shelter and crisis counseling to abused, neglected, runaway and otherwise homeless youths ages 12 to 17.
"I think of Daybreak as a home where we provide a stable environment that gives children a chance to be children," said Vicki Thompson, chairwoman of the Family Service Agency Board of Trustees. Thompson is director of adult education at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion.
Daybreak, the only residential shelter for runaway and homeless children in the area and one of only 11 in the state, was located on Indiana Avenue on the city's North Side from 1975 to 2003. The facility was moved in 2003 to its current space, which was given to Family Service Agency by the Mahoning County Mental Health Board, said David Arnold, Family Service Agency executive director.
Arnold said the staff did most of the renovation work on the facility, and the money from the sale of the Daybreak property on Indiana was used to install a sprinkler system, new furnace and air conditioning units and roof at the new Daybreak home. It was the home of the superintendent of the former Woodside Hospital.
The 20-by-30-foot addition will be attached to the rear of the Daybreak building, which has about 1,800 square feet of space, Arnold said.
Arnold said Family Service Agency is seeking grants from local foundations to finance the addition, which has an estimated cost of $100,000; and is also attempting to get state and federal money for the project through the county mental health board.
He said Daybreak's operating budget in 2006 was $365,000. Major funding sources include the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which is a competitive grant renewed every three years; and payments from agencies which place children at Daybreak, such as Children Services boards and juvenile courts.
More than 7,000 children have lived at Daybreak, the vast majority coming from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, Arnold said.
He said the board is seeking bids for the addition, which he hopes will get under way this fall and be completed next spring to kick off the Family Service Agency's 100th birthday.
The board views Daybreak as a transition back to a more normal situation, either with parents or other family members, Thompson said.
Daybreak is a safety net for kids that don't have anyplace else to go, Arnold said.