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Singapore Minister for Community Development, Mr. Abdullah Tarmugi (second from left) and Delancey Street Trainers, from left Abe Irizarry, Frank Schweickert, Dr. Mimi Silbert and Conrad Laran.

The Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) in September 1996 asked Dr. Mimi Silbert and several Delancey Street residents to be the keynote speakers at the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) on the theme “Current Issues & Challenges Facing Halfway Houses" with the goal of replicating the Delancey model in Singapore. The conference attracted more than 280 representatives from halfway houses, self-help organizations, welfare, religious and civic organizations and government departments. The visit also included an exchange of ideas with the operators of eight halfway houses and the Delancey Street team. This visit prompted the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises and a group of halfway house directors to request an extended training at Delancey Street to experience first hand how the community at Delancey Street functioned.

A group of people, some of whom worked in the government and some of whom worked in religious halfway houses with underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the population in Singapore, spent two weeks at Delancey Street in 1997. The training was extensive to enable them to take back portions of the Delancey Street program that could be replicated in various Singapore programs. The replications developed were many and varied while all kept the Delancey Street model as their core: some focused on the Muslim faith, some on Christianity, some were government run.

Delancey resident Aubria Thompson with National University of Singapore students.

For example, one of the visitors was Mr. N Lakshmanan, a former police officer, now directing the first ever halfway house for Indian addicts who make up about 16 percent of the drug addict population in Singapore. He looked forward to incorporating local customs such as meditation and yoga into his new program as well as some of Delancey Street’s successful strategies. The Delancey Street training covered all areas of job development and economic self-sufficiency, self-governance, drug-free, crime-free community living and social responsibility. The visit described by an executive at SCORE was a “once-in- a-lifetime kind of opportunity for Singapore drug workers.”

Related Media
"The Delancey Street Foundation: One of the most successful halfway houses in the world." Score News (Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises) Nov. 1996: 4-5.
"Heads of halfway houses head for US to learn." The New Paper (Singapore) 10 Apr. 1997.