The Daybreak program began in 1979 as a response to the release of large numbers of state mental hospital patients into the community without the necessary programmatic supports. Daybreak’s purpose is to prevent homelessness by offering self-sufficiency programs with educational, socialization, nutritional, and employability components for men and women who have successfully completed or who are currently being treated for mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, or HIV/AIDS – the homeless, the impoverished elderly, and transients.

In 2010:

  • 258 unduplicated Daybreak members were assisted.
  • All below 80% of minimum family income levels and are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • 24,011 meals were served.
  • 48 health screenings were held attended by 260 (duplicated) members.
  • 42 life skills and self-empowerment classes were held attended by 837 (duplicated) members.

Daybreak has worked closely with its funders to create and implement meaningful, outcome-based goals for its members.

To increase the self-sufficiency of special-needs Daybreak members by developing a person-centered goal plan for each that identifies barriers related to housing, economics, nutrition, life-skills, and/or health status. Plans are reviewed semi-annually, goals reached recorded, and new goals created.

To increase job readiness and social skills of Daybreak members whose disabilities cause them difficulties with accepting structure, routine and responsibility as measured by their participation in at least 75 hours apiece of pre-vocational service hours (volunteer work opportunities).

Persistence can pay dividends for both Daybreak’s members and Daybreak itself. The Conference first encountered Jorge living in a car on the streets of Allentown. An intensive case manager for the LCCC Homeless Supportive Services program began working with Jorge, gaining placement for him in a transitional living program. However, Jorge’s lack of self-confidence and failure to comply with treatment led to homelessness once again.

Jorge’s case manager continued to work with him, referring him to Daybreak. Jorge began attending Daybreak regularly and struck up a relationship with another member. They agreed to combine their resources and try sharing an apartment. Jorge’s life began to stabilize. His story might have ended there with modest success. But Jorge wanted more.

Jorge applied for and was accepted by Daybreak’s transitional work program for the chronically unemployed, choosing the food service track. After completing the first phase of training, learning appropriate work behavior and addressing the barriers that had kept him from steady employment, Jorge began subsidized employment in Daybreak’s kitchen, receiving a stipend for hours worked. There, Jorge not only worked hands-on in his chosen field, but as his self-confidence took hold, he also began contributing in unexpected ways. Jorge had worked in food service before and he used his experience to work with Daybreak staff to improve kitchen operations.

Win for Jorge. Win for Daybreak. Win for the community.

Daybreak Needs:

Sugar substitute packets
“Cream of” soup (cream of chicken, mushroom, celery)
Powdered drink mix
Salad dressing
Cooking spray (like Pam)