By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter

Jordan Shaw, lead youth pastor at Faith Center Church, holds baby Hazel Shaw, 2 months, as he encourages Daybreak outpatient client Taylor Ledesma, 18, during a tour of the Daybreak Youth Services RWC Center for Adolescent Recovery in Brush Prairie. Amanda Cowan/The Columbian

Published: May 18, 2017, 10:39 PM

BRUSH PRAIRIE — It’s a new day for Daybreak Youth Services.

The youth treatment organization celebrated the opening of its one-of-a-kind center on Thursday afternoon — nearly two decades after coming to Clark County and moving into what was supposed to be a temporary home on Falk Road in Vancouver.

About 200 community members, elected officials and Daybreak staff and volunteers cheered the opening of the 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art RWC Center for Adolescent Recovery. The center is the first in the Northwest to offer the full continuum of treatment for adolescents, including evaluation and treatment for acute mental health issues, detox, and residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment.

The capital campaign for the project raised more than $2 million from more than 100 donors — a testament to the dedication of the community to its youth, said Daybreak CEO Annette Klinefelter.

“This facility could not be built anywhere else first,” she said.

Daybreak’s Falk Road facility houses 16 teen boys receiving residential treatment. Those clients will move into the new facility this weekend. The Brush Prairie center, at 11910 N.E. 154th St., will open its doors to new patients on June 1 and will serve boys and girls ages 12 to 18.

The new facility has 43 residential treatment beds, three detox beds and 12 mental-health evaluation and treatment beds — a service previously not available for youth in Clark County. The new facility also houses outpatient services for people living in Brush Prairie, Battle Ground and north county.

Having these services close to home is important for the success of the youth receiving treatment, said state Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver. When teens receive treatment close to home, they have the support of their friends and family, she said.

“No more sending kids to Seattle,” Wilson said. “No more denying kids help because they can’t cross state lines.”

With 42 new beds, Daybreak nearly doubles the current capacity of all youth treatment organizations in Western Washington. And while Portland organizations may have space, kids on the state Medicaid program can’t cross state lines for treatment.

That’s why it was important for the community to step up.

“I’m so proud to be in a community that comes together and says, ‘We want to do something for our kids,’” said Clark County council Chair Marc Boldt. “The kids who come out of here are going to be electeds. They’re going to be servants. They’re going to be in our community. We’re gonna see great things from the people that come out of here.”

Klinefelter said that providing the youth seeking treatment with a dignified place to heal sends an important message: “You have value.”

And others across the state are already taking notice of the work being done in Clark County, said Michael Langer, with the state Department of Social and Health Services. The state office is fielding calls from other organizations wanting to know how they can get a facility like Daybreak in their communities, he said.

“Lives will change here,” Langer said. “The road to recovery for many will begin on these grounds.”

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