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.
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?