DELANCEY STREET FOUNDATION Overview
Target demographics: The population served by Delancey Street are adults who have hit bottom, are poor, homeless, substance abusers, been incarcerated, and are often illiterate and unskilled.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,500
Geographic areas served: United States
We have pioneered new models of education:
• Over 10,000 formerly illiterate people have received high school equivalency degrees
• Over 1000 have graduated with a diploma from our state accredited post-secondary vocational three year program taught by our own residents.
• Fifty students have received an accredited BA either in Human Relations from our chartered college campus through Golden Gate University or majoring in Delancey’s Urban Studies program through San Francisco State University.
• Over students have graduated from our ten-year-old charter public high school for juvenile justice youths, 50% of whom have gone on to college; 5% to vocational schools; 3% to the military and the other 42% into career jobs. This is remarkable considering that 90% entered our school as dropouts and complete school failures.
We have pioneered pathways out of violence, bigotry and hatred:
• Delancey has moved over 10,000 violent, racial gang members away from gangs into active non-violence.
• Over 5,000 Delancey folks have mentored others teaching non-violence and inter-racial mediation.
• Delancey is completely self-governed by a Board and resident councils that are 1/3 African American, 1/3 Hispanic/American Indian and 1/3 Anglo, as is our population. Women comprise about 25% of the population and about 30 to 40%of management.
We have pioneered programs out of homelessness:
• Through complete sweat equity, we have built and/or remodeled over 1500 units of very low-income housing built by the residents themselves with union support training over 800 people in the building trades throughout our 35 years.
• We have moved over 2000 homeless people into permanent housing.
• Our high school students renovated their own school expanding it from 8,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet.
We have pioneered an entrepreneurial pathway out of poverty.
• We have successfully developed over 20 enterprises run completely by formerly unskilled people using the each-one-teach-one philosophy.
• We have pooled our resources so that our enterprises have provided about 60% of the funding and growth of our organization.
We have now grown to have facilities in New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Los Angeles, and headquartered in San Francisco. We have received over 100 commendations and awards from presidents, governors, mayors, legislative bodies, professional, religious, community, housing, and business groups in all the areas in which we reside. We have been commended in the media in over 30 major news and magazine programs such as 60 Minutes, 20/20, John Stossel Specials, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, PBS Special on Crime and Alternatives, Street Stories with Ed Bradley, Oprah Winfrey Prime Time Special on Self-Esteem, Good Morning America, among many others. We have been commended in the written media in well over 200 articles in our 35 years ranging from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, through Fast Company Magazine through the New York Times, the Washington Post, Parade Magazine, Reader’s Digest, People Magazine, Newsweek, The London Times, Financial Times. We have been studied viewed and reviewed by a wide variety of researchers. The results are summarized by Dr. Karl Menninger, founder of Menninger Clinic who, after a 10-year follow up study stated, “Delancey Street is the best and most successful rehabilitation program I have studied in the world”.
While we are of course proud of our achievements, particularly because all have been accomplished by our residents themselves at no cost to the taxpayer or the client, we believe that because of our successes we have a larger responsibility to see that the mission of Delancey Street extends beyond reclaiming individual lives.