Successful Rehabilitation: The Delancey Street Foundation
This event is the latest in our member-led forums’ Crisis in Our Country summer series.
While our government continues to stumble clumsily, or just gives up, trying to get its own political professionals to converse with each other productively, the Delancey Street Foundation manages to run several successful businesses with ex-felons, prostitutes and substance abusers as its employees. The Foundation that Dr. Karl Menninger called “the best and most successful rehabilitation program I have studied in the world” was started in 1971 with just a few residents. Now located in NY, MA, NM, NC, SC and Los Angeles, and headquartered here in San Francisco, Delancey Street is a residential educational community providing academic, vocational and social skills, and the discipline, values and attitudes its residents need to live in society legitimately and successfully—and drug, crime and alcohol free. Silbert herself lives in Delancey Street, and raised her children there, where everyone functions as an extended family. Although the 20,000 graduates were often violent gang members, or hardcore dope fiends, who were functionally illiterate and had never worked at even an unskilled job for more than three months, Silbert believed they could become their own solution to their problems.
Delancey Street’s approach is to develop strengths rather than focus on problems. With no staff and no government funding, these graduates and current residents have not only turned their own lives around, but have built the entire organization.
The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105