It's funny how there are so many opinions of Delancey Street, especially of those who have never experienced it. For those that have no real idea what it is, you have no idea what it is. No they don't accept everyone. No they don't cure everyone. No they don't address Drug and Alcohol use. No they don't hold your hand upon graduation and take you out to get you a job. And yes, you work your ass off there for many, many different reasons.
So they don't do all these things. But what they do is save lives! Who cares how they do it? Who cares if you sit in a room and scream profanities at one another for 2 1/2 hours 3-4 times a week? If it saves your life, Who really cares?
People fear what they don't understand. Instead of grasping the possibilities, they condemn the unknown. Delancey Street is what one makes of it. If you are happy living your life to go in and out of prison, use drugs, burn what bridges you may still have left, and for the most part break the hearts of your loved ones, Delancey Street is not for you! It's ok. They will survive without you! Go on and live your life the way you have been!
However, if you have finally gotten to the point where you are simply just too tired to keep on with the way you have been, but unsure of how to move forward, Delancey Street could possibly be the best decision one has made in a very long time. However, no guarantees you will be accepted! It does not mean you should give up.
It is true, some people would rather spend another 10 year prison sentence than have to work in a program doing menial chores for 18 hours a day. Go for it! The beauty in Delancey Street is that you are not forced to be there! If you don't like it, LEAVE! Delancey Street asks you to have Blind Faith. Some of the things they ask you to do are going to seem foreign and against everything you think is right. However, your thinking is what got you there and so maybe you need to just let go and trust. They will not ask you to do anything that will hurt you, put you in harms way, or adversely affect you in anyway. It is not a cult. Remember, for every one of you, there are ten others waiting to take your spot.
What makes me such an authority?
So here is a bit of my story. Grew up in a drug dealing family. Sold drugs for my father from the age of 12. Most fathers rave about how their son did in his baseball game, or how big a fish he caught, or how he got an A in Algebra. My dad bragged about how much money he and I made selling cocaine and marijuana. That was until he found out I had been shooting heroin. Then he told me that he ought to do me a favor and put a bullet in my head.
As I sat in jail awaiting sentencing for 6 felonies that they wanted to give me several years for, an ad in the SF newspaper caught my eye.
Delancey Street Foundation multi million dollar location on the Embarcadero to open soon.
I read this article about how a drug program that offered addicts help while allowing them to live on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for free was to open soon. The article went on to say how the new facility had a full gym, movie theater, swimming pool, restaurant, several retail sales locations, etc... They asked for a 2 year commitment and that you do what ever it was that they asked you to do.
I jumped at it and the judge chuckled and gave it to me.
Upon my arrival, I was met by nothing remotely close to what I was expecting. One of the hardest things a drug addict, or a human being can accept is having a mirror shoved in front of your face and forced to look at yourself and realize that your way of thinking is completely out of whack. You see, Delancey Street has been saving lives for 45 years now. The reason for their success is too complex to reveal here, but is so easy if you think about it!
The movie Trading Places- Where Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy trade places? Depending upon which environment one is subjected to and forced to live over and over becomes their reality. Eddie Murphy was a bum living in the streets struggling and hustling just for chump change. He was put into a glamorous and refined situation and lo and behold, he became a socially acceptable and refined individual that held an executive position within a Fortune 500 company. In essence Delancey Street puts you in a situation where each person is responsible for the next, it teaches you to care. You are put in nice clothes, it teaches you self respect. In the beginning you have come from the streets or prison or jail and have acclimated yourself to that environment. Upon entrance to Delancey Street, you work 18 hours a day. It is meant to keep your mind off of the streets, family issues, drugs, alcohol, etc. It is not a way to get free labor! Really? You have 50 people weeping the floors, shining silverware, and washing windows. Hardly free labor to raise the bottom line.
Delancey Street is like most anything else in that you get what you put into it! You have an opportunity like no else to learn how to live your life in a socially acceptable and giving manner.
I was there for 7 1/2 years. It saved my life. If not for what I was able to give and get from them, I would be dead. I have no doubt given the road I was on! It was the hardest yet most satisfying time of my life. I have memories that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.
Delancy street , is a money making business that has a facade of a academic learning academy
They say they are teaching life skills and having each client learn trades to help them succeed in life , there are no certified instructors to teach anything , there are only a couple of people with credentials there who you have very little if any contact with .The counseling is called GAMES where groups of people go into a room and yell and cuss each other out about that persons behavior for 2 and a half hours 3 to 4 times a week . Where you are encouraged to call each other names, like punk , b$/&* ,and others, you can't use the words c@*& ,f@$, snitch or any racial terms and no threats of violence direct or indirect and as MIMI says if you don't have anything for anyone at least say F you, F you and F you....
MiMI who is praised like a god there is a smart business woman , she gets people from the legal system free of charge to work for free and profits off each one of them, everything is donated to the foundation from the food to the clothes they don't pay for medical treatment is you get injured or sick they have everyone sign up for Medicare , they pass out expired medication and don't have any medical staff on the premises,
There are countless health and safety violations through out especially in the dining area , they are running under the guise of a residence so that they don't have to have the same standards as a business, yet there are mice running around in the dinning room and in the restaurant .
They're Christmas tree lots make over 6 million a year and they pay nothing for the labor .
Plus the space they rent out for catering and the screening room as well as the business that are there (private) the cell tower on the roof.
They sway the voting process as well by giving everyone a list of who to vote for (MIMI'S CHOICES) there are a lot more things that are happening there that are borderline illegal if not illegal.
They have a high success rate because they don't count all the people who actually walk out due to being over worked and mistreated on a average they lose 2 to 3 people a week from all lengths in they're stay from 1 day to people who have been there for 4 years who just have had enough and walk out the gate.
You want to wake up and be at work at 6:25 work for a 1/2 hour eat for 1/2 hour and then work till 10 am take a 5 min break go back to work till 11:30 eat for 1/2 hour and then go work for another 1/2 hour then seminar on delancy st. For 1/2 hour then work till 2:30 take a 5 min break then go back to work till 3:55 take a hour break to change for dinner be back by 4:55 to work for a hour eat then go to Games till 9:55 take a 20 min break and then back to work till 10:55, that's Mon thru Fri Saturday is the same except you work till 6:30 before the 1 hour break
All in all indentured service is what you sign up for and you leave with a minimum wage job which they don't assist you in finding no real vocational training besides what ever they need you for to better serve the needs of the foundation,
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
Review from CharityNavigator
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.
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'!
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 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.
Delancey Street is the "Love" of my life. I went into Delancey Street with a black eye, 7 broken ribs& a broken hand. I had no job skills, no socialization skills, all I knew how to do was shoot herion and prostitute since 13 yrs. old. Delancey Street not only saved my life, they gave me one. Someone sat in the hospital w/me for weeks while I was kicking a methadone habit of 7 yrs. Then they took me into their home. I had got beat up by a pimp, saw Mimi Silbert on TV talking about a prostitution survey they were doing in S.F., they took me in, nursed me back to health, and taught me how to live. I have no doubt in my mind that if it wasn't for Delancey Street, I would be dead or in prison. I've been clean for 27 yrs. thanks to Mimi Silbert and the people that dedicate their lives to helping other people. I could never thank them enough.
How can I ever write the appropriate words to express my gratitude towards Delancey Street and all that it stands for? If the world could follow the likes of Delancey Street all the problems could be solved.I came to Delancey Street in 1994 with all of my bridges burned. My family and friends finished with me. All they believed in now was that I was either going to die or spend the rest of my life in prison. Delancey Street saw something different. The residents that were there at the time had been down my road once before and knew that if they believed in me one last time I could be someone..someone they,my family and myself could be proud of. Fifteen years later I have become a mommy, wife, college graduate and the best of all a decent human being who cares about others, myself and the world I live in. Thank you, Delancey Street..thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have given me. You are a part of me, forever.
hi my name is Robert e Smith i went into delancey street in 1998 i stayed 7 years.I want every one to no they saved my life, i had no where to go no hope of making it, anywhere. with no real job skills. I spent over 14 years an in out of prison.I would all ways go back to the some spot.because i new nothing else, i was on my way back to prison for the 5th time. i went in front of judge bane he is a big believer in helping people. he told me he was feed up with my coming back to his court. he told to get a hold of delancey street for a interview. he said i would probably spend the rest of my life in prison if i did not change. Delancey street came to my rescue told the judge they would take me. after getting there delancey street started working on me they where showing me and telling things about myself i could not see. after seeing these things i new i needed to change them. so i stayed 7 years now i help run moovers inc a company that would not be here without Delancey street we employ around 15 people that are from delancey street included the owener. delancey street is still a big part of my life, they,re still there for me and they allwas will be whenever i need some one to talk to or lean on i call delancey street
Before Delancey Street, I was a broke down drug addict and a burden to society. My family life was a mess. I had nowhere to go and nothing to offer anyone or anything. I had visited Delancey Street and knew in my heart, this was the only place that could give me the help and guidance I so desperately needed. It is strict, structured, and you are not addressed as “poor you, you are a drug addict”. I had been through NA/AA, and working the “steps” were no help. I could get away with way too much by telling them what they wanted to hear and then go out and get loaded immediately after the meetings. I needed to restructure my life with habits like working and social skills. That is what you acquire at Delancey Street. You are also taught to be a decent person, making the right decisions based on a set of basic values that when applied to your life’s situations, will carry you through. I graduated 2+ years ago and am now a productive taxpaying citizen. I have a very rewarding life and my family has been restored. I have formed relationships with people that are more than friendships, they’re family. I owe all I am today to Delancey Street for giving me the opportunity, support, and courage to change my life. Thank you D street family!