Oops! You must enter a search term greater than 3 characters.

Invite reviews

Invite friends and colleagues to share their experiences with this nonprofit
26 Reviews
1234.346155
| 1 1 2 3 | Next
Write A Review
December 26, 2008

more

December 26, 2008

When I was in high school I was able to join a mentor for a tour of the Delancey Street Facility in San Francisco. I was so impressed by it that it remains one of my favorite charities. I have run into people from Delancey St. in so many places. I buy my trees from them at Christmas, I use them when I move, I eat at the restaurant, and I even had the opportunity to recommend one of their clients for a position at work once. The clients come out of that program with a totally new outlook on life. I have seen it happen more than once, and am proud to support them in whatever way I can.

The Great!

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

my community at large.

More feedback...

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

seeing the clients develop real pride in their lives, and

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

so dedicated to their clients and the service they provide.

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

open a new facility, expand it's vocational training program to include more mid-level job training, green its existing facilities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 25, 2008

more

August 25, 2008

This is my 4th year here at Delancey Street. You only have to stay for two, but you're allowed to stay for longer--I'm actually even applying to stay for two more. I was on my way back to prison for three strikes and a gang coordinator asked, if he could get me some help, would I take it. And I didn't expect it, I didn't have it coming--I spent most of my adult like in jail. I spend one year in a prison program called Choices, and that got me into Delancey Street. Before I got here I just existed, I wasn't really living. Delancey Street opened my eyes to a new way of life. Delancey Street is incredible because they leave all of the segregation out. In prison they split you up--Hispanic, black, white, and in Delancey Street you're just here. They give you the chance to just be yourself. Now, instead of destroying lives, I help make them better. *This review was collected by GreatNonprofits staff and entered on behalf of the reviewer

The Great!

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

I watch it everyday. Stuff doesn't happen overnight. I've been here for almost four years now and when I see young people, the gang bangers, come in and get excited about getting their GED or their license--something with their name on it--leaving behind that street corner mentality, that's wonderful. I mean, would you believe that all these guys spent years in prison? Now, instead of people running away from you, they run to you, and there's nothing in the world like that, to be trusted and taken at your word. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

Ways to make it better...

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

I don't think I'd be capable. What Mimi [Silbert] does is amazing. Yeah, Robert Davalos, CEO, I don't think so. What Mimi has done for the past 35 years shouldn't be changed, given the results that we have.

More feedback...

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

I've actually got a home now. I have a family and friends here. I mean, the jobs and opportunities revolve around be being a part of this Delancey Street family.

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

we are the staff.

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

I don't know what we could do, but I do know that we get up, each and every one of us, work hard to pay our way through here. I really don't know, but it all goes to keeping our doors open and helping other people.

Ways to make it better...

anything that would have made it better would have been something selfish, so no, there's nothing. I don't think it gets any better than this for a guy like me--to get an education, to be marketable, to be accepted by society. I'm somebody now.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 25, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

more

August 25, 2008
1 person found this review helpful

I’ve lived most of my life in and out of prison form the age of 17 to now. I came to Delancey Street I was just sick and tired of always being in and out of prison, not having any loved ones, the gang life. I never had a job, because I was always in and out of prison. My experience coming here was that I knew that it was going to be tough, because I was going to have to figure out how to relive my life because I’d always been in the system. I learned how not to hate, not to judge someone based on the color of their skin, their gang membership, or what I could take from them. It was hard and it was a struggle, but it was the best thing I’ve done in my entire life. I’m one of the heads of the construction crews here, and I teach the guys how to paint and do projects. I’m also one of the interviewers who comes here and talks the people who want to be in the program. *This review was collected by GreatNonprofits staff and entered on behalf of the reviewer

The Great!

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

In my own life I've seen a big difference. I don't see people the same way I did before, I don't hate like I did before. I don't destroy people anymore, but I can actually help people who used to be like me to get them past where they are.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

Helping people. Seeing newcomers come in and struggle just like I did, and then seeing them become someone new. Being able to do something that most people in the world say that we can’t do, and then doing it. Being a part of the solution instead of the problem. I’m part of something good now.

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

we are the staff--us, the clients.

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

Add on more, so that we can actually help more people.

Ways to make it better...

I'd keep it the same. It runs well.

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

nothing. What we do here works and I believe in it with all my heart, so don't change a thing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 25, 2008

more

August 25, 2008

[My involvement with] Delancey street started when Delancey Street started. I’ve always been involved in political issues, and prison reform was one of them, so it was kind of natural that I gravitated to Delancey Street. The moving company moved me several times and I went up to the place that they had in Pac Heights and I would be asked to lunch, and I started doing the weekend sessions—dissipations—where people just talk about their lives and get rid of a lot of the baggage that they carry around, mostly guilt. Everybody does at least one. And I helped to facilitate those. And I gradually became very involved, and I’m the only one who works this deeply with the program who has never lived here. I had a group then, a “tribe” they called it, and I had a father’s group about being biological fathers if not fathers in fact, and now the group that I run is just about men’s issues in general. When this building [the Delancey Street restaurant] was built I walked around it with Mimi [Silbert, President and CEO of Delancey Street] and realized that it was so much better than it had to be, in terms of its structure and its design. So Mimi said, why don’t you move in here, and I said I have a house, and she said no I mean your studio (I’m an illustrator). And after a lot of arguing about her not wanting me to pay rent and me insisting on it, I came to work here. I come to work here everyday now. You don’t know why you do something until after you’ve done it, sometimes. I realized, after a while, that my involvement here is largely selfish—I would rather surround myself with people who were trying to change, regardless of where they come from, than people who are middle aged bored, which a lot of people are. This is an exciting place to be. I came in this morning and a woman came up to me and said “Good Morning Dugald! We’re going camping!” and this is a woman who’s probably never been out of the ghetto where she was living, and she was genuinely excited about going camping. I love this place. *This review was collected by GreatNonprofits staff and entered on behalf of the reviewer

The Great!

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

the success rate here is probably higher than almost anywhere else and really, you look at some of the people who come through here and you look at the whole world, and their attitude is different. Most of the people working in this restaurant had probably never been in a restaurant before this, or had never spoken to someone like you or me before this except to say "Stick em up," and to have them be kind and gentle is amazing. And to have this sense of community is amazing, and I think that they take that out with them into the world. But we're all on jury right now, and while they're here everyone is 100%, but people fall off the wagon, so it's dangerous to talk about success rates. One of the young men who was a gang banger in Fresno says that he does Delancey Street everyday. He's graduated, married, got a house, makes a good living, and he says "It's easy. I just do Delancey Street everyday."

Ways to make it better...

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

I know that I would go insane. There's a restaurant, there's a café, there's catering, there's other businesses. There are 4 other Delancey Streets. I wouldn't be able to do it.

More feedback...

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

watching these people grow. The real friendships. My kids were basically brought up here. I’ve been around for 34, 35 years, so my kids, some of my best memories are here. I just love watching the people grow.

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

just what it’s doing right now. It’s the people. My own feeling is the number of people Delancey Street can serve is directly related to the number of people who have become qualified by living here, so you can’t just put 1,000 people here because there would be no one here to monitor them, to teach them the ropes. Now maybe they could continue with replications, teaching other people, not Delancey Street people, but other people, to do this. Me, I don’t think that this is an issue of money. It could always use donations, but it’s not like some of the little shelters that the budgets cuts are just killing. This doesn’t depend on that. It depends on the people. They make their own money.

Ways to make it better...

I have nothing to compare it with. It’s the only one I know. Every place has its failures. I always feel that if someone doesn’t make it through, if I know them, it’s my failure—I feel like there’s something that I could have said or done. I know that it’s egotistical, to think that I have that much effect on people’s lives. But Delancey Street, on a scale of 1-5, it’s still a 5, you know.

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

Personally, I think the kind of drugs that are out there. Crack cocaine is probably the most addictive and most available drug out there. Also, the economy—this isn’t Delancey Street in particular, but the Delancey Street graduates who are looking for employment.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 25, 2008

more

August 25, 2008

I moved here [to San Francisco] from San Diego at the time when Delancey Street was helping San Francisco to reform its juvenile justice system. The then-mayor Mayor Brown had approached Delancey Street because they’d had such obvious success with their previous programs. I was hired as one of the very small group of people working on the program who wasn’t a Delancey Street resident. That was in 1997. I worked for two and a half years on that, and then I worked with them opening up the school that they have on Treasure Island. I met my husband here—he was also brought here to work on the project. And so I had this amazing experience to be able to work everyday with the residents and the people in this program. It’s an incredible experience to be able to come here to work everyday. There’s such a deep and pervasive spirit here for positive change, and you can’t get that anywhere else. I have kind of an outsider’s inside perspective. *This review was collected by GreatNonprofits staff and entered on behalf of the reviewer

The Great!

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

On a personal level I have gotten to know a lot of participants in the Delancey Street program and see them stay and be real leaders or leave and go out into the community and be real forces for positive change. I've obviously heard a lot of people's personal stories about how this program really turned their lives around, especially since I worked in the Mayor's office and then the DA's office, and Delancey Street regarded as an authority. The city looks to it for pressing issues like prison reentry and things like that. And thorugout San Francisco people have different levels of knowledge about Delancey Street--some know it as the restaurant, some know it as the Christmas trees, and, of course, there are people who specifically come to this restaurant because they know it supports Delancey Street. It's also just so great at challenging and changing people's perceptions. I was here one day years ago with a couple of police officers and one of them was so nervous and he kept looking around. And just as our server came he asked me “Where are all the criminals?” I pointed up to the guy with our food, and it was just a really funny experience. It just goes to show how this place challenges people’s perceptions.

More feedback...

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

A lot of people here are total characters. What I really enjoyed was the strong sense of community, such a strong sense that people can really make changes in their lives if they have the motivation and the support. It’s such a positive environment to be in. Some of the positive culture here can rub off on everybody. I have also always been so impressed with the work ethic here—people work such long hours and work so hard here. Working here with people, I’ve seen that, and with the moving company—they moved my family this May, during the hottest day of the year, a thousand stairs, and they did it. As a business interaction, I’ve always loved their professionalism. I also love the sense of humor here—they have a sense of humor about themselves and about where they came from.

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

I don’t know what their priorities would be. Obviously there’s a balance here—you don’t want to lose the intimacy of the community, but also you have more and more people lined up at the door. Part of me wants to say serve more people, but I don’t know if that would dilute the magic of the place.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

August 13, 2008

more

August 13, 2008

Although I am not at all aware of the inner-workings of this nonprofit, I am impressed by the way they help people with addictions and / or a criminal background integrate back into society in a positive way. The Delancey Street Restaurant and Crossroads Cafe are both fantastic interfaces for the public to experience this nonprofit and its people.

The Great!

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

Quality buildings, quality people, quality mission

More feedback...

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

great!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

| 1 1 2 3 | Next
Write A Review

Filter by reviewer role:

Support This Nonprofit

Help this nonprofit get more reviews

5 tips for getting reviews

5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
  3. Including a link in your email newsletter
  4. Putting a link in the signature of your email
    Putting a link on your facebook page and status updates
  5. Tweeting out a link to your twitter followers