Our History
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

Original board

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.