About Us

Established in 1978, Daybreak Youth Services is a 501c3 non-profit provider of adolescent addiction and mental health treatment services in Washington state. With residential Inpatient programs in Brush Prairie and Spokane, we provide safe and secure environments where youth ages 13-17 can commit to their recovery while engaging in school and recreation. Additionally, we offer co-gender Outpatient counseling as well as short-term crisis stabilization services (known as Evaluation & Treatment or “E&T”).

We understand your story

 A teen’s struggle can be frightening, isolating and confusing, not only for them but for those who love and care for them. At Daybreak, we offer experience, compassion and understanding to provide hope for a positive, healthy life for your teen. We create a warm, safe environment to heal, grow and learn in. Our dedicated team of certified treatment professionals will provide the answers and support you’re looking for to help your teen thrive and your family rediscover happiness.

Learn more about our mission and values.

Our History

Over 40 years ago, Daybreak founder Bill Yakely was inspired to “help the children”

In the summer of 1978, Bill Yakely was on his tractor at his family farm near Spokane, Washington. The hum of the engine and alfalfa rustling in the warm summer wind faded, and Yakely heard a clear voice say, “Help the children.”

With a young family of his own and a new veterinary clinic to run, he didn’t know what to do with the directive. But when he shared the call with his pastor, the pastor told him he wasn’t the only member of the congregation to receive the message. Thus began a small group of dedicated individuals motivated by a single goal: help the children. After significant research, they discovered that a gap in children’s health services was addiction treatment. And so, in a church basement with one counselor, a director and two clients, Daybreak Youth Services was born.

Since that day, Daybreak has grown with the mission of help the children at its core. Today, with inpatient and outpatient facilities in Southwest Washington and Spokane, we are an innovator in the treatment of adolescent substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health. We also provide short-term crisis stabilization services for acute mental health conditions at both of our residential facilities.

Thank you to each of Daybreak’s founders: Helen Houser, John Lindeblad, Charlotte Mills, Robert Mills, Betty Stratton and Bill Yakely 

Daybreak Youth Services’ original Board of Directors, pictured with Father Weitensteiner, Catholic Diocese representative, in 1984.

Board members left to right: John Lindeblad, Betty Stratton, Bob Mills, Char Mills, Helen Houser and Bill Yakely.


Q&A  Daybreak’s 40-year Journey

Daybreak founder reflects on 40-year history!


Daybreak Youth Services officially turned 40! To celebrate our anniversary, we caught up with Spokane native Bill Yakely, who founded Daybreak back in 1978 and served on the original Board of Directors.

You’ve watched Daybreak grow and evolve over the decades. How do you think the organizationhas been able to stand the test of time?

Daybreak began with a call to serve the needs of young people. We responded to that call and never
let it go. And I think within that original call, there was a promise. That promise was, and is, ‘I will be with you.’ I think that promise is being fulfilled today by our board members, staff and community volunteers. These are people who have been called to serve, and I can feel the spirit of ‘I will be with you’ whenever I visit the facilities and attend client graduations.

Treating Substance Use Disorder is a huge challenge for communities across the nation. When theoriginal Board of Directors was trying to get the organization off the ground, did you ever stop andthink the challenge was too great?

 It is true that people touched by addiction come from every postal zip code in the United States. But from the first few years when we were meeting as a group to try to get Daybreak off the ground, to the day we opened up the doors for treatment, I came to the feeling that if we were able to help just six young people my time would not have been wasted. It’s hard to believe as I’ve watched over the last four decades what this has become, and the number of young people and families being served by Daybreak – it’s just been an unbelievable thing. That said, I look at all the people struggling today with addiction and I read about the epidemic we have in the United States. All of those things really point to an ongoing need.

Take us back to the early days of Daybreak. How did the Spokane community respond to your efforts?

From the very start, when we were trying to find equipment for the first facility, it was amazing what people came forth with. People volunteered six months of their time as a secretary, or brought us filing cabinets, sofas and ping pong tables. We did nothing other than put out a call and people responded, gave and helped. We even received airplane tickets so that staff could travel to meetings. The outpouring of support and the willingness to share in this effort has been amazing.

Daybreak has grown significantly in recent years, and with plans to eventually offer transitional housing opportunities to teens, that growth seems likely to continue. How do you feel about where the organization is today and where it is headed?

 I think we have a group of people that have come together and that function as a team. I don’t see a lot of ego. The two boards – one in Spokane and one in Vancouver – are working together with solidarity and good communication. It’s amazing how well it functions. It’s not ‘we’ or ‘they,’ it is ‘us.’ I think the leadership, the board’s presence and certainly the CEO, has brought that together with harmony. I also think they have continued to honor the original articles of incorporation; they haven’t lost their focus. I think what I see is a board and a staff that just work together, and when something is good and something is right, people will come.