DELANCEY STREET FOUNDATION

Rating: 4.35 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Job Training

Location: 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

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 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  

2 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  

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  

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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Rating: 1 stars  

3 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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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I thank God I ran across all of this information.What wonderful information and stories I have read! I have a son that has been in and our of prison most of his adult life , drugs and acohol etc..He is currently in jail waiting to see what the justice system has in store. Abviously prison hasnt been the answer.Walk the fence and talk to other inmates about how they can get a fix in the inside, or the next crime they can get away with? As I read all the testimonies, Delancey Street is the hope for my Sons life. I pray there is devine intervention and you would except my son instead of another prison term. I have spoke to my son reguarding Delancey Street.He was very receptive.He realizes he is at the very bottom and needs the help.I hope you will give him a chance!Delancey could be the miracle he needs.I honestly believe this could the last chance in this life he could have.
Thank you so much for your time.
Keep up the great work!
Sincerly,
Carolyn Havins
805-499-5646
661-979-8458
email- shoutn2@hotmail.com

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

I wish I had known of this organization many years ago. I had my head buried in the sand. How thankful I am for computors so I can research!

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

Get involved!

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I should have been dead already. I had been arrested on five different occasions for drunken driving. I was drinking a liter of bourbon a day and I knew I was doing it to kill myself slowly. I spent three years in Delancey Street, and during the course of my stay I was helped in rebuilding myself, brick by brick. I was able to look at my reflection in the bathroom mirror only after being there a few months. But I did it. I was imbued with a sense of confidence and self dignity that I had never posessed even in the years prior to my drinking getting out of control. All this happened because a group of people who hardly knew me took the time to keep me on track, and also gave me the motivation to improve myself in all ways. I just found out last week that I passed my certification test for structural welding. And I was reminded of just how far I have come in a relatively short timespan, and how many people had a hand in me getting to where I am. I'm not rich, but I am blessed. Thank you Mimi, Charlotte, Stephanie, Abe, and everyone else who didn't give up on me. I will continue to live my life in a way that will honor your continued commitment to helping people renew themselves.

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

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

install a working phone system at the castle. ;)

Ways to make it better...

I had started to listen sooner!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My name is John Jacobs and,if I was'nt a husband, father and grandfather I would never have left Delancy Street. Because of Delancy Street I am all of the above but better than that, Delancy Street taught me to give a damm...not only about my life but "your's Too"! Since I left Delancy Street I have received my degree from USF and worked at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic. I have been clean since 1990 and, today I work at the same parole office that, I used to report too. Delancy Street gave me a new life and,a new attitude! For me, Delancy is not just a place but, a way of life that needs to be practiced in every town, village and ghetto in the country or.....the world for that matter. Delancy Street through tough love, taught me to love myself by being honest to myself and others. I also was blessed by the family environment that is Delancy Street. I would like to take time to thank all of the Delancy Street family (the abe's, the terrie's, the charlottes, the dick's and, the ray's, my peers)that helped me change my dippers and fed me until, I was able to feed and change myself! But, more than that, " thank you MIMI for Dugal's input and for, having faith in me. Delancy Street Foundation is not a program..."IT's A WAY OF LIFE'!

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

My own life!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

My experience with Delancy Street continue's with my friends who are still there. Some of them have spent 20..30 years in Delancy Street saving lives!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

seriously sincere about the work of building character in people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

adopt all the children taken from drug addicts of the bay area, move them into a clean environment (like Delancey Street)and create a cleaner careing world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After spending most of my young and adult life in and out of jails and institutions. Delancey Street took me in, showed me love and provided hope. I stayed there for 10 years, learning, growing and doing what I could to make the world a better place. Delancey Street believes in second chances. I got that second chance and I am grateful to everyone there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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

In the countless successes of the clients

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they believe that people can turn their lives around.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make room for more people involved with the criminal justice system.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I went to Delancey Street in 1994. I was sentenced there instead of 7 yrs. 8 mos. in prison. I stayed for 4 1/2 years. Delancey Street was the best thing that ever happened to me. 3 of my family members have gone there since and we all been given second chances at living a clean life. Since graduating, I have received a Real Estate license and also work for the County of San Mateo for the Director of Alcohol and Other Drug Services. Delancey Street taught me how to live life and give back to the community. I do not think I would be the person I am today if it weren't for Delancey Street. I would do it all again. If I didn't have children I would have to stay toi give back to them for all they gave me.

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

I was a resident there and so were 3 other family members. They do so much to help residents get their lives back on track.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It could save the world.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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