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Welcome From the President

The Embarcadero Gate

I know how hard it is to make the decision to go to a "program" to change your life, and how hard it is to be a loved one who wants to help someone change. I hope we can describe Delancey Street sufficiently here for you to see if it feels like a "fit" for your particular needs. Whether with us at Delancey Street, or somewhere else, remember that people can transform their problems to strengths and that with support, hard work, discipline, and caring, we can make impossible dreams come true.

I’m incredibly proud of the thousands of people who have changed their lives and graduated as successful productive citizens. I’m also proud of this incredible organization that has been built, developed and managed completely by residents in the process of turning their lives around. But welcoming the newcomers to our home is the most exciting part of Delancey Street for me. You come from all over. Some of you are very angry and want only to be left alone; some of you are only comfortable with people exactly like you, same color, same ethnicity, same neighborhood, same attitude. Some of you are very nervous; some excited. All of you, though, have one part of you, however small or big, that really wants to change and that’s willing finally, to make a leap of faith and BELIEVE that this time you can do it for real. That’s the part I love! I know it’s hard to come into a new home with so many different people, different styles, different rules and do all the new things we ask you to learn in order to change. It's long; it's structured. But it’s worth it.

I look forward to meeting you...

How to Apply

Delancey Street is a two-year minimum residential educational community.

Eligibility: No hard and fast criteria exist other than a strong motivation to change one’s lifestyle, an ability to interact in an active fast paced environment, and reasonably good health. Because our work ethic is strong and much of our learning about getting along with others occurs in vocational training, residents must be in good enough health to fully participate. We don’t take sex offenders or “dual diagnosis” applicants because we believe they need professional counseling and we don’t offer any. We don’t accept people who require psychiatric medication.

Area Served: No geographical limitations. Call for a facility nearest to you. See sidebar for Intake phone numbers and addresses for each facility.

Fees: None. Donations are welcome.

Residents working within the environment to care for all our needs receive no salary, and in consideration for which they receive their housing, clothing, education, entertainment and all our services at no cost. We aren’t funded. Three months prior to graduation, residents get jobs outside the Delancey complex. We set aside 50% of each paycheck to cushion the cost of the return to the community at large, and 50% goes to Delancey Street to cover room, board, clothing, etc.

Reception area featuring "the bench". Applicants can come 24 hours a day and sit on "the bench" awaiting an interview for acceptance.

Criminal Justice System Referrals: Delancey Street accepts referrals from every aspect of the court system ranging from diversion and alternative sentencing, through probation and parole. We cooperate with all agencies of the criminal justice system and their representatives in terms of record keeping and accountability for residents referred by the Courts. We assume responsibility for notifying such agencies when court-referred residents leave Delancey Street under conditions that violate the terms of their parole/probation. About 85% of our residents come through the criminal justice system.

Intake Procedure: If you are interested in becoming a resident of Delancey Street you may write to us from jail or come to our building 24 hours a day and wait on our BENCH for an interview. Prospective residents should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol for the interview. If you are, we’ll ask you to wait on the bench till you’re coherent to do a real interview. We consider the interview the first step in becoming a part of our community. Since we receive no government funds for taking a resident and charge no fee, the only thing that matters to us is to be there for people who really want to change. The only thing prospective residents have to offer us is his or her word. We take that word very seriously. When the person commits to staying two years, we want that commitment to mean something. NO LIES will be tolerated in the interview. If the person lies “to get in”, and we discover the lie, the person will be asked to leave. We really want to start on a new note, where the interview is the first step to a new life of honesty and decency and integrity.

Don’t bring any personal possessions (including watches, rings, etc.). Clothing and everything you need will be provided.

Other: Residents range in age from 18 to 68. Rules for acceptance and participation in the program are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability. Unfortunately, we have more applicants than we have spaces, and we have to turn some people down just for lack of room. If we do accept you, we know it can be hard work to truly change, but we are there with you, believing you can do it, and we want you to know the process, like life, can be hard, but can be lots of fun too.

Related Media
"Garchick, Leah," San Francisco Chronicle 29 Apr. 2005.