These young people see themselves as adults—after all they are 18—but have no idea what it means to be a responsible, self-sufficient adult. Many come from households with incomes at or below poverty level and most have witnessed or been a victim of some type of abuse. They have limited educations, little or no work experience, few resources, and no family support.
Older teens are the new face of Daybreak youth, and we expect this trend to continue. More and more 18-year-olds are being forced from their homes with instructions to make it on their own, and record numbers of youth are aging out foster care.
They come to us looking for a place to sleep and something to eat, but those willing to stay and join our Daybreak family leave with so much more. It’s not a free ride. It’s certainly not easy. They complain—after all most of them are still teenagers—but if we want them to mature into self-sufficient, healthy adults, we need to make sure they’re educated, have suitable life skills, and are able and willing to work in the adult world. We can make that happen. Thanks to your support, we’re able to break the cycles of poverty, homelessness, and crisis.
Arlene summed it up perfectly when she said, “I came to Daybreak for a place to sleep, and I left with a life.”
The next time someone asks you “What does Daybreak do?” you can tell them Daybreak is in the business of changing lives and creating futures.