About Us Awards/Media To Seek Admission Frequently Asked Questions To Hire Us Contact

Construction Materials
415-512-5113 FAX

Automotive and Truck Repair
415-957-9800 x 261
415-512-5112 FAX

415-512-5113 FAX

Social Entrepreneurship

Central Office Computer Lab

Delancey Street is considered a pioneer of social entrepreneurship development in America – developing business skills to help solve social problems. Since 1972, Delancey Street has created 12 successful ventures that have trained residents in marketable skills, created positive interactions between residents and customers in the community, and helped support the organization financially. These include:

  • Crossroads Café, Bookstore & Art Gallery
  • Catering & Event Planning
  • Delancey Coach (Corporate Private Car Service)
  • Digital Print Shop
  • Handcrafted Furniture, Ironworks, Plants & Glass, Ceramics
  • Landscaping
  • Moving and Trucking
  • Paratransit Van & Bus Services
  • Restaurant
  • Screening Room
  • Specialty Advertising Sales
  • Xmas Tree Sales and Decorating

While our enterprises’ pooled earnings provide about 60% of our annual budget, our emphasis has always been people before profit. Our goals in the design and operation of our enterprises are:

  1. Teach residents to interact positively with the public;
  2. Help educate the public about the positive changes ex-felons and former substance abusers can make;
  3. Teach marketable skills to the formerly unskilled; and
  4. Earn income.

Vocational Training Programs

Each resident at Delancey Street learns 3 marketable skills by working in Delancey Street training schools. These include at least one manual skill, one clerical/computer skill, and one interpersonal/sales skill. For most residents, who have never held a job in their lives, this requirement is as challenging as it is rewarding.

The vocational training schools, managed and taught by residents themselves, are accredited by the State and award certificates for skills learned. Some of the training schools, such as a restaurant and a moving company, generate funding for Delancey Street that supports the Foundation’s activities. Some of these training schools do not earn income but are central to the basic operation of the organization, for example, accounting, automotive and construction. Current vocational programs include:

  • accounting and bookkeeping
  • automotive & truck mechanical repair and painting
  • Christmas tree sales and commercial decorating
  • coach & paratransit transportation services
  • coffeehouse, art gallery & bookstore
  • construction and property management
  • digital printing and banners, silk-screen, and framing
  • film screening
  • handcrafted wood, terrarium, iron works and furniture
  • moving and trucking
  • retail and advertising specialties sales
  • restaurant, catering, event and wedding planning
  • upholstery/sewing
  • warehousing
  • welding




Automotive Mechanic
Automotive mechanic training school.

1940 Buick
1940 Buick, restored by residents.

The challenges and rewards are many. For example, since residents learn to maintain all the Foundation’s financial records, many graduates have gone on to become professional bookkeepers, accountants and CPAs. Over a thousand graduates work in the moving and trucking field and several graduates own their own companies.

Our Automotive Department provides complete instruction in basic auto mechanics, oil changes, tire changes, tune-ups, routine general maintenance and complete engine repairs. Residents work on a wide range of vehicles from passenger cars to diesel rigs, tractors and heavy-duty equipment. The Automotive Department services over 100 vehicles at any given time. In addition to mechanics and body-work, it offers practical experience in antique car restoration.

To date the Foundation has refurbished eight antique cars, including a 1916 Willys Overland Convertible, a 1919 Cadillac Convertible, a 1928 Graham Pickup Truck, a 1931 Chevrolet Phaeton Convertible, a 1936 Bentley Sedan, a 1940 Buick Phaeton Convertible, a 1941 Buick Convertible, and a 1947 Buick Convertible, as well as a 1930 General Motors Double Decker Bus, and residents have learned engine and chassis rebuilding, electric wiring, body work, painting, and upholstering. Numerous of our antique cars have won prizes in various Concours d’Elegance competitions. Many graduates work as mechanics (automotive, truck, diesel, airplane); several own their own shops.

The Building Trades offer an important training opportunity for residents. All Delancey Street facilities have been brought up to occupancy standards and building code specifications solely through the efforts of our residents learning construction skills under the direction of residents holding contractors’ licenses. Each of the Foundation’s seven sites reflects architecture unique to its cultural and geographic influences; each has been enhanced through the introduction of improvements (restoration, remodeling, rehabilitation, new construction) conceived and carried out by resident craftsmen. Over 1,000 graduates work in the building trades. Hundreds are general or electrical or plumbing contractors; many more are Building Trade Union members.

Approved Educational Program List

In accordance with the provisions of California Education Code 94866 or 94890, the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education approves:

Delancey Street Academy
600 Embarcadero SF, CA 94107
School Code #3804381
Site type: Main

To offer the following certificate programs (click on a title for Student Performance Fact Sheets for those programs)

Automobile Mechanics non degree
Bookkeeping non degree
Cashiering non degree
Clerk Typing Skills non degree
Construction and Building Trades non degree
Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management non degree
Janitorial Services non degree
Landscaping non degree
Printing and Publishing non degree
Sales Training non degree
Secretarial Services non degree
Small Engine Mechanic non degree
Truck Driver Training non degree
Van Driver I non degree
Welding non degree
Word Processing non degree

Click here for a current course catalog (updated January 2021)

Delancey Street Academy is a school within the Delancey Street program. The students whom apply must be residents of the Delancey Street Foundation. There is no tuition or costs in any portion of this school. The other Delancey enterprises are not part of the Academy, only the programs listed above.

Related Media
For many, a first home and a second chance” (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/20/09)
Delancey Street Foundation: ‘Each One Teach One’” (The Chronicle of Social Enterprise, Spring 2009)
Chapter in book, Workplace Evolution (Pure Possibility, Hood River, OR, 2009)
Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business (San Francisco Business Times, 04/08)
NAWBO’s award-winning female entrepreneurs” (Bay Area Businesswoman, 04/08)
Chapter in book "Awearness, Inspiring Stories About How to Make a Difference" (Melcher Media, New York, 2008)
Bay Area Council honors Hall of Famers (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/03/07)
"20 Most Influential Women In Bay Area Public Arena " (San Francisco Business Times, 05/04)
"Best of San Francisco - Best Movers" (San Francisco Weekly, 2001)
Chapter in book "The Business of the Heart" (Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1999)
"Delancey Street Fills Both Body and Soul" (The San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/99)
"Service with a conviction" (London Financial Times, 06/99)
"She Helps Them Help Themselves" (Fast Company, Jun./Jul. 1998)
"Delancey Street's Business Keeps Getting Better" (San Francico Business Times, 03/96)
"Working to Kick Criminal Habits" (Los Angeles Times, 06/95)
"Vistas of Endless Possibility" (Chronicle of Philanthropy, 1995)
"Building New Lives" (San Francisco Business, 12/90)
"Ex-Convicts are Serving Blintzes Instead of Time" (New York Times, 03/89)
Chapter in book "The Greatest Risk of All" (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1988)
"Delancey St. Ex-Cons Mean Business" (San Francisco Chronicle, 03/87)
BA’s anti-merger button craze” (Contra Costa Times, 01/30/87)
The New Heroes - Dreams of Sanctuary - 2006
The Jane Pauley Show: Changing The World - 1/05