It is cruel and unusual punishment to not allow any kind of contact with family and loved ones. The way they cut people out of their resident's lives reminds me of Scientology.
For people to heal, they need the support of those who love them. Not everyone has that I am aware, but for those who do- YOU ARE RUINING LIVES BY KEEPING THEM AWAY FROM THEIR PARTNERS.
Review from Guidestar
My name is issiah and I was fortunate enough to be a resident of delancey st from 2008-2010. Delancey street saved my life. I went to delancey street to avoid going to prison, basically to beat time as a lesser of evils. Unbeknownst to me, I was not only beating the initial prison sentence but also avoid a lifetime of prison sentences. I was a lifelong criminal starting at age 15, I was accepted by Delancey at age 32 as a convicted felon who spent more time in jail then out. I always wanted a better life, just didn't know any different. Not as a 3 year graduate, although I fulfilled my 2 year agreement, I took all the tools, knowledge, and wisdom that I acquired from Delancey street and used them in my daily life. I showed up there as a beaten down 3rd Generation alcoholic drug addict who had lost everything again, family included. Since my departure from Delancey street in 2010 : regained my license, which was not easy with 4 dui's and 2 hit and run charges, I got married in 2012, got a great career as a glazier, purchased a home and recently bought a brand new 2018 Silverado ! There's no looking back to sulk in my fails, only to reflect upon then vs now. Thank you Dr. Mimi Silbert for allowing me to reside in your glorious mansion at 600 embarcadero ! Muah ! Delancey street is an undeclared Angel of the hopeless. Delancey saved my life. I'm truly blessed to have been a part of it
Delancey street does not ever, and I mean not EVER scratch the surface of the root causes of addiction. I spent three and a have years there. I was adored and given things I never had before. Until recently I would have harmed anyone that ever spoke out against the president or the moving company or any aspect of this incredible and unstoppable force. I was adored and given the keys to the kingdom. Nothing seemed more important. I was given a woman, a class 1 (now class A) license, responsibilities and stature I had never dreamed possible. My entering Delancey St. In 1986 kept me out of going to prison for a third and final time. You can imagine my dedication to the Queen and her Queendom. When I turned over my bible the day they let me in the guy doing my intake interview said "...even God can't help you now".
Any opportunity to achieve a continuing spiritual awakening was swept away from my live until last August when I came within an inch of killing myself with alcohol.
We're it not for AA and a absolutely wonderful old convict taking me step by step and line by line and even word for word through the AS big book I would be dead. Or worse.
My fear of speaking out against the president or the moving company or any aspect of this incredible and unstoppable force has been removed. My soul has been restored .
It is hard for me to imagine what sort of interesting life the President is living and even more iimportant what in the he'll is she thinking? She is a Doctor. How can she be so blinded to those ten thousand lives she has sent adrift? Where are the tens of millions of dollars that the "residents" earn for the program? Where is the success and how is it quantified?
I can speak on this with some dignity now. The result was my beloved little partner overdosing on pills in 2012, also a beloved graduate, my best friend reduced to a Sat state of addiction and returning to prison not once but twice now, every single solitary one of the people that I know that have left there are either dead or living without a soul.
A psychologist runs this circus and has done so for decades without any consideration whatsoever to the problems she should recognize so very easily.
If I said I pray for her soul to be restored I would be lying. There has to be a soul there to begin with.
Any survivors of the graduate pool please don't give up. There is hope. There is AA and NA...dont be discouraged and please do not give up. I am fighting for my beloved Deirdre and Kert and countless others who have fallen because of the big lie about Delancey street.
And a final note to the Queen..
You should be ashamed of yourself and what you have created.
‘Delancey street SF is a last resort program. I didn’t allow my 20 year old son any other option after he had relapsed. He had one prior 30 day program under his belt. DS told him and I that he would be able to attend school. They stated that they had many residents who attended college. There was no ability for him to attend school. He had no criminal record. He stayed for a year with no communication with his family. I understand the no contact depending on the support or lack of from family. That wasn’t our case. My son returned home clean which was the primary goal. However he received no education or new skills and he has some serious PTSD from the experience. I’ll have to live with what I demanded of him.
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.
Unfortunately DSF Thank if you are Mentally Ill and have PTSD and have to take Medicine they will kick you out, even if you have PTSD and they New I was a Veteran. Didn't care. Put me on the plane and they didn't give me any money to eat or nothing. I had two days to pack. That's how fast they wanted me out. I was in the war in the early 90's. When I can out I really needed the help. They accepted me and I was doing go . moving up and helping other. Start not filling good in the head and was having flash back. They said I had to go, after eighteen months. When I left I was close to taking my life. Now loving life and clean. Thanks to the VA and others. I know you will not print this, But Vet need your help to.
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'!
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!
I went to D.S.F, some 15 years ago as a last chance, to save my miserable hide. I'd been using for 28 yrs. and had done 10 yrs. locked up. I was so lucky that D.S.F. gave me the chance to learn what made me crazy. So many things are learned at D.S.F. that we graduates could take up hours explaining. Bottom line they let me get a life. Which I love. My love for Mimi And the foundation will be never ending.
I went to Delancey Street as my very last attempt at changing my life. At 35 years of age I had been in prison 5 times, in and out of County Jail a dozen and in 4 treatment programs. I had been going to 12 step programs since I was 19 years of age. I really didn't know if I could change my life. I went knowing I was going to need to stay longer than the mininum 2 years..after all I did not get the way I was in 2 short years. I ended up staying 7 years and in so many ways it was the best 7 years of my life. Because of the skills and the self confidence I was taught while a resident I was able to graduate and obtain a very well paying job in the field of corporate finance. Even with multiple layoffs in this fragile economy I have been retained due to excellent job performance. I owe anything good in my life..especially life itself ..to Delancey street.
I was a resident in Delancey Street for 12 years and the acceptance, love, and support was at times overwhelming. I was addicted to crack and had destroyed everything in my life, and had lost all hope of being able to live a clean and decent life. The interview was personal and revealing and showed who out of my own mouth became..it was the 1st time I had to be honest about myself. The people who interviewed me were not social workers or somebody I could con with the poor me story...they too had been down the same road and could call the bull.I was treated like I was part of a family..and my only admission was to take direction, help others, and don't be afraid to believe in yourself. I knew anything was possible when I learned that the beautiful facility was built by former ex-cons and society's throw aways. I worked hard and gave back to a community that excepted who I was and all the not so nice things I had done to myself and others and was doing it without crack...I started to even like myself again and eventually saw this person I use to know the days of BC (before crack) come back. Thank god there is a place like Delancey Street that will help you get your life back, not glamorize your using, not charge you a dime, teach you job skills, and teach you to become a decent, caring, job having, an asset to your community, tax paying, and all around successful human being. And like anything it doesn't fit everyone but after years of seeing "experts" in the field, AA and NA meetings talking about using and eventually after talking about it so much...after the meeting I would go get loaded....from talking about it so much...hummm just a thought. Thanks to Delancey Street for giving this crack head a reason to live.
I was a resident of the Delancey Street Foundation from 1989 to 1994. I spent time at the New Mexico and San Francisco. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that, had it not been for Delancey Street, I would either be dead or in prison today. Simply put, Delancey Street saved my life. Going through Delancey Street was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life but all of the hard work has completely turned my life around and today I am living a drug free and very productive life. I believe that you get out of Delancey Street what you put into it. If you work hard, listen to the people at Delancey Street who are teaching you, and give it your all the chances of being successful are high. If you take shortcuts and simply staying out of prison is your main motivation then you will probably be back on drugs shortly after you leave. I think one of the things that made a big difference for me at Delancey Street was the fact that I actually worked to pay for my stay at Delancey Street rather than relying on insurance or parents or some other form of funding. This, to me, is one of the main guiding principles of Delancey Street and that is self-sufficiency. They can teach it because they practice it! Delancey Street receives no government funding that I am aware of and earns all of its money by operating businesses that are run by the residents themselves. I love Delancey Street! I have many friends from my time at Delancey Street that are leading productive and sober lives. I have my life back. Today I am happily married and running my own business. The relationships with my family and friends have all been healed. I have created a very strong support system for my continued recovery and I am happier than I have ever been. I owe much of who I am today and what I have accomplished to Mimi, Charlotte, Jack and some of the other special people at Delancey Street!
I was a resident of Delancey Street’s San Francisco facility for nearly 10 years, following 10 years in and out of San Quentin. I truly thought I had thrown my life away and there was no way to get it back. You get so mired in the whole lifestyle, there just seems to be no hope. As I was going to court for (yet another) conviction, I knew I needed to make some change, and I knew it had to be something serious. At 45, I had just about lost all hope. The life-changing effect Delancey Street had on me is nothing short of miraculous. I went there not knowing what to expect, and stayed for 10 years in order to help others have the opportunity I was given. It’s a pretty simple format: you’re given respect, and are expected to give others the same. Granted, Delancey Street may not be for everyone. You have to be trusting and willing to accept responsibility and live your life with some dignity. I was very fortunate to be part of a pilot project with San Francisco State University and earned a bachelors degree in Urban Studies, which I have used to help secure my position with UCSF. My boss, a former Chancellor here, when hearing my response about where I had worked previously, said, “How was I so lucky to get someone from Delancey Street?” That’s just how well respected Delancey Street is here in the Bay Area. I have a close group of friends (some former residents, others not), and very active in many community organizations, and am enjoying a life I thought no longer possible.
As a graduate of Delancey St. in 1988 I truly question how well this so-called program works. See, I was back smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol just one single week after graduating from there. I was a supposedly a somewhat successful resident for 4 long years too! I did everything they told me and did it well. I was not the only one either that immediately went back to drugs and alcohol. Of the 8 or so other residents that graduated around the same time as I did back in 1986, 6 were at least smoking pot and drinking shortly after graduation. One is back in prison for 20 years. Most of the comments on this page suggest high praise for the organization as a whole, but I ask what the long term results are? Have any studies been done on the thousands of graduates at all? Are any records kept on the graduates at all? If not, then why? How are they doing after 1, 3, 5, 10 years later. Does anyone really know? I bet not! All we hear about are the few success stories. The one doctor, the one politician (the founder’s brother), the fireman. Okay now, that’s 3 successful graduates out of 10,000 plus graduates. This is not a success story at all! I contend that all Delancey Street Foundation does is keep criminals out of jail temporarily. Although, I have never been sentence to prison, I have been arrested for DWI/DUI twice since graduating and am constantly struggling with sobriety. Delancey St. never addressed my alcoholism and drug abuse ever, although I was sentence to Delancey St. with over 20 drug charges! As a resident we were forbidden to talk about drugs or alcohol even in the group therapy sessions. All the commenter’s to this thread, all they’ve seen is the nice buildings, the residents working hard at their jobs for almost free, a clean and nicely structured environment, and past felons off the streets learning new trades like basket weaving and furniture moving.
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.
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
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
[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
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