Delancey Street…a foundation of hope

This foundation is such a source of encouragement regarding society that I had to post it. It is so exciting to see a vision that has been turned into a productive contribution to society. The founder of Delancey Street says it perfectly, “You have to be two opposite things at the same time with any population that’s in trouble. You can’t be naive to who they are, and you really have to take a very hard-edged approach to the reality in front of you. But you have to be naive about what they can become. You have to believe all things are possible.”

The Delancey Street Foundation opened in 1971 with less than a handful of residents, a one thousand dollar loan and the vision that substance abusers, former felons and other hopeless individuals would find a place where they would be enabled to turn their lives around and become productive members of society. The foundation is run by the residents and for the residents who have no professional training, no government funding, at no charge to the clients. The residents commit to a minimum two year stay (but average of four years) and, in turn, will gain an academic education and three marketable skills; not to mention the character traits they cultivate along the way.

Over 14,000 people have graduated from a life of crime to become law-abiding, tax-paying members of society. The three marketable skills required to graduate may be obtained from any of the following (all founded and run by the residents): the Delancey Street Restaurant, the Delancey Street Cafe and Bookstore, the Delancey Street Moving Company, the Delancey Street Para Transit Service, the Delancey Street Automotive Service, the Delancey Street Christmas Sales, handcrafted Southwestern style furniture, and handcrafted pottery and art.

You must check out this media clip!

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