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Delancey Street Foundation

Rating: 4.19 stars   31 reviews 10,727

Address:

600 Embarcadero St San Francisco CA 94107 USA

Mission:

The mission of the Delancey Street Foundation is to reverse the debilitating effects of generational poverty, teach non-violence, rehabilitate criminals and substance abusers and move people into economic self-sufficiency; to build a residential educational community which is self-governed and to teach academic and vocational skills, interpersonal and social skills, personal awareness, values and habits to establish a life of integrity and purpose in the mainstream of society drug-free and crime-free, successfully and legitimately.

Results:

In 1971 Delancey Street began with 4 residents, a thousand dollar loan, and a dream to develop a new model to turn around the lives of substance abusers, former felons, and others who have hit bottom by empowering the people with the problems to become their own solution. Thirty-seven years later we remain true to our mission. We have been taking in as residents representatives of our society’s most serious social problems and, by a process of each one helping another, with no professionals, no government funding, and at no charge to the clients, we have been solving these problems: generations of poverty, illiteracy, lack of job skills, hardcore substance abuse, homelessness, repeat felons, gang members, teen pregnancies, perpetrators and victims of every kind of abuse. After an average of 4 years, our residents gain academic education, 3 marketable skills, accountability and responsibility, dignity, decency and integrity. We have successfully graduated over 15,000 people from America’s underclass into society as successful taxpaying, citizens leading decent, legitimate and productive lives. 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.

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

Programs:

The program served an average population of 650 former drug/alcohol abusers, homeless and others. The program provides long term residential housing, on-the-job training, education,and basic life skills on a 24-hour basis for a minimum 2 year period. Senior residents serve as "staff" and no salaries are paid. Many residents receive high school equivalency or above. All who graduated have obtained gainful employment and have returned to various communities as decent, law-abiding individuals.

delancey street california operates a short-term supporting living environment, san francisco strong. It houses 15 men returning from incarceration in jail or prison in cooperation with the san francisco district attorney's office. Participants can stay from two weeks to one year. Services provided include housing, food, job referrals, life skills groups, transportation, and referrals for substance abuse counseling. Graduates of delancey street california's core program staff the facility.

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More Info

415-957-9800
www.delanceystreetfoundation.org

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Reviews for Delancey Street Foundation

Rating: 1 stars  

My son was in DSF in San Fran for 2 1/2 months of his 2 year stay before he got kicked out. Yes, kicked out for what they say lying during his interview. My son told them everything about his childhood and his past; everything up until the moment he was sitting in that chair. They walked him out in the middle of the night in San Fransisco, CA, not having any money, no clothing, not a phone or even a jacket. Blake was thriving in this program. He loved it! Absolutely loved it! Delancy Street Foundation, a place for second chances my ass! They don't care about people above policy. They are nothing but a cult. My son is 24 years old and he could have been killed on those streets! Let me tell you had that happened, his blood would've been on their hands!!!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

chunhsia - Let me assure you that your questioning is understood, but unfounded. In 1997, when I graduated from college with a Criminal Justice degree, I contacted Delancy Street after watching an episode of 60 Minutes discuss this organization. I was granted what few people are, entrance to Delancy Street and a tour. I work in probation today and have a masters in Criminal Justice. This organization does what no other does, and that is make the offender accountable for their actions. They took people who kept reoffending and going back to prison repeatedly, and taught them another way. They have "locked" apartments for the first year people, and yes their rules are strict, as another other treatment facility. The offender has to go to school to finish high school or on to college if they want. They have a restaurant, award winning, where the prison begins at the bottom rung and works their way up to manager to teach them every aspect of the job. The same with their moving company, printing business and wedding business. The current facility was designed by an offender who graduated from college with a degree in architecture. Offenders run the entire place, and no one who has not offended can work there. They are in almost every major city with a prison facility to accommodate the families visiting. After the first year, if the offender is working the program, they move to an unlocked apartment in the complex and have no restrictions. I work in TX, and there is nothing like this. The premise of Delancy Street was no government involvement. You see, a government facility cannot mandate that a prisoner attend school or work. So when you find someone leaving a facility after 10, 15, 20 or longer years, they have no idea what a cell phone is, very little familiarity with the internet, the latest trends, or any job skill. They are given, at most, $300 a black garbage sack and told not to come back. There is no counseling offered for the rapes the prisoner has endured in prison, the lack of social skills, the lack of any accountability of getting up and being on time for work or school, and they have never accounted to anyone except the prison boss. Delancy Street is and was the most positive place I have visited in my 20 years in this business. I feel if every prison were run the way they run Delancy Street, we would not have the recidivism rate we do now, and we would not have as angry former prison population living outside of prison today.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful


Delancey Street saves lives, costs the taxpayer exactly $0, costs the resident exactly $0, and teaches valuable job skills in addition to selflessness, community, integrity. OF COURSE IT ISN'T EASY! Of course it sucks to not speak to family for a while (the other reports here are overblown. It is about 30 days before you can write, a few months before calls and about a year until visiting). And let me be clear: If a perspective resident is on the fence, thinking "it WOULD be nice to get free rehab, but I don't know about the two year stay, or not seeing my family for a while" then Delancey Street is NOT FOR THEM. It is designed for people with absolutely no other option. Unless you have medical needs (Delancey has no staff, no doctors, no psychologist, no nurses) then the only requirement for entry is a sincere desire to change. For my money, this is hands down the most work my donation money can possibly do. My time as a resident began as the most difficult period of my life, and ended as the most rewarding, amazing, fulfilling, enlightening and downright fun two years. I entered as a homeless heroine addict and exited as a successful admin, which led to my current executive position. There is literally no other path that could have led me to this point.
A NOTE**I feel that virtually every negative review here is a complaint against the policy that Delancey Street forces residents to temporary sever ties from loved ones. I can't help but think that 90% of these posters were toxic to their drug addicted loved ones anyway, but don't know how/why. You can be the most loving, supportive parent, and still be engaging in enabling or controlling behavior that perpetuates the addicts selfish behavior.

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I never been to DeLancey Street. After reading the harsh treatment of denial for a prospective client for alcoholism I am very spiritually troubled by this inhumane act. Delancey Street seems to have a policy of once denied, you are denied for life. Come on, this is not some job interview. If Delancey Street have the compassion to cure people from chemical dependency they sure contradict themselves by having a policy of once denied, you are denied for lifetime. I was seriously considering donating to this organization after reading such organization have received awards and recognition from famous religious group. Delancey Steet have the nerve to accept such when they are so incompassionate.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

My twin brother is currently in delancey street. I feel that the lengthy blackout period is a wonderful idea. Unfortunately we as the family or friends of the addict think it's cruel but we aren't the ones who hit bottom. Yes the program is hard but it pushes people beyond their known limit. They have the blackout and it gives them time to reflect, accept things, take personal inventory without outside inputs, and ultimately they find out who they truly are and what they really want. Sometimes we have to cut our ties with the outside world to renew ourself and rebuild our life. Work on there self first that way after a year when we do hear from them they're not only strong enough to handle life but have become a new person with a future. I am thankful for this program it has saved my brother's life.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

If you're trying to get into this program, know that they aren't at all straight forward on the website. I was denied after a several hour interview because I take an anti-depressant. The website says no anti-psychotics...that's a whole different thing. So I got off the anti-depressant so I could be admitted for alcoholism, came back a few months later and was told "once you are denied , you don't get another chance." These people wasted numerous hours of my time and dashed my hopes of getting better through their well respected program due to very poor communication skills. I'm glad to have found this out prior to committing to 2 years of their lies.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 3 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

My loved one is there now due to bad choices he made in life. He didn't have a prison sentence or anything but he did abuse drugs. I am told I can not see or speak to him for 15 months, this breaks my heart because I am the one that suggested he goes there. No letters, calls, or visits for 15 months is cruel and unusual punishment. He is new to the program so I will sit back and see how this works. I am happy though that for now he is off drugs. Maby this is what he needed to kick his addiction. He has a family, a fiance, and host of friends who are sober and are waiting for him to kick this habbit. He is a facebook lover and no computers, phones or TV's will probably bring the focus back to himself.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 2 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

No question : For those facing lengthy prison terms Delancey Street Foundation 's 2 year minimum residential isolating committment is almost...almost a "no brainer" .... there does exist a 16- month "black-out" period w/ no..absolutely NO FAMILY CONTACT.... With that said, it is a decision that needs to be seriously weighed... cuz it is no kicked-back easy residential rehab that one might have pictured... Delancey Street Foundation is not without it's critics and the" self- supported non- government funded" saw one continually reads is baloney considering DSF collects it's residents General Relief Food Stamps eligibility( they qualify for as being "indigent" while a resident at the so-called not- government funded facility) . That's alot of Cheerios at the end of a 2-year stay. There is much help people find at DSF; lifechangeing help; and the pendulum swing the OPPOSITE DIRECTION where some people are quite damaged and it was a not-so -good fit" for their rehabilitation needs. But isn't that life ? Some even whisper the word "cult' in connection to DSF, due to certain methods and approaches DSF utilizes. Overall take the decision to go to DSF as the perhaps the most serious-type of decision; do NOT go if u can't handle not talking to your children for 16 SOLID MONTHS- this is a non-negotiable DSF policy .... and don't go if you think u gonna maybe bounce out because if one is court ordered to DSF... it is nearly unheard-of to not experience the "other place" if u are a splittee outta DSF... Independant thinker? Stay -far- far- far- away from the "hard bench '... find another place ... take Delancey Street Foundation of ur list if you can't handle being on your feet 18 hours a day.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unlikely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Somewhat badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

this places black out dates are ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!! 1 yr for parents of client, 15 months to see your own kids and 18 months to see your significant other/spouse. this is cruel and unusual punishment!!!!! not even prison is this harsh. people need their families, alot sooner than this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

got husband in

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

lessen the black out dates to something more realistic!!!!!

 
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