DAYTON – A Miami Valley organization that serves young victims of abuse, neglect and homelessness has said it is seeing an increase in teenage runaways.
Daybreak had to expand its services during the pandemic to those in need.
The organization sees more and more homeless young people coming to seek a safe place to rest.
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Joan Schmil, Head of Development at Daybreak, said: âThe pandemic has certainly increased demand for our services. She said demand increased 68% during the pandemic and they must have grown.
âWe opened two reception centers during the pandemic. One is a day shelter, âSchmil said.
The reception centers are filling the gaps since their shelters are still at full capacity.
According to Schmil, they have already served nearly 200 children this year. The group finds that 40 percent of them are LGBTQ youth.
Alisha Murray, Head of Programs at Daybreak, said: âWe see a lot of them going out with their families and they can’t stay home for some reason. “
These young people often meet at David’s Place, a drop-in center that opened last spring.
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âWe also work with them on clinical services and respond to their needs,â Murray said.
Murray, who works closely with Daybreak Youth, said children’s services and juvenile justice had sent them many more referrals.
She said, âYoung people in our age group may come from backgrounds where there is already a housing problem. The pandemic may not have helped that. “
Daybreak’s eight-bedroom emergency youth shelter is currently at full capacity, but they said they have other resources to help them find a safe place to stay.
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