Winter holidays are usually a season of laughter, and enjoyment. If you’re a drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute, or ex-convict- the holidays are a painful reminder of past mistakes and failures. Delancey Street Foundation offers more than rehabilitation. They are a close knit family dedicated to successful recovery. We all make mistakes, and Delancey Street is there to help local men, and women clean up their lives.
Letter from a Weirdo:
I moved to California in 2006. I love the weather, and Dodger dogs. However, this past holiday season, I was more lonely than ever. My family still lives in the South. Pacific Theaters Culver City was playing Penguins, so I decided to take my 2 year son to pass time. I needed a distraction from bills, goals, and homesickness. As we were exciting the movie, a stranger noticed my kid. She encouraged me to check out Santa Claus. He happened to be downtown spreading Christmas cheer.
Reluctant, and bashful, we stumbled upon a Christmas Tree lot, and there he was! The REAL Santa Claus was in downtown Culver City, and he brought his sleigh filled with toys. Santa introduced himself to my baby. Baby’s eyes grew excited from the beautiful lights. Santa smiled through his fluffy beard. He introduced us to his helpers. The Foundation’s reps were so kind, likely the kindest Californians I’ve ever met. They shared gifts, and treats with my kid, and others. They may have even given us a Christmas tree if we needed one.
Delancey Street holiday helpers touched our hearts when they shared their stories, and purpose. These guys may have been gangster drug addicts in the past, but they were God’s angels that night.
Can Delancey Street Foundation help you, or someone you love? They have locations
We’re considered the country’s leading residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have hit bottom. Our average resident has been a hard-core drug addict for sixteen years, abusing alcohol and multiple drugs and has dropped out of school at the 7th grade and has been institutionalized several times. Many have been gang members; most have been trapped in poverty for several generations. Rather than hire experts to help the people with problems, we decided to run Delancey Street with no staff and no funding. Like a large family, our residents must learn to develop their strengths and help each other. It’s an approach to changing lives that is “against all odds”.
We said we were going to take ex-convicts and ex-addicts and teach them to be teachers, general contractors, and truck drivers. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to take 250 people who had never worked and had no skills and teach them to build a 400,000 square foot complex as our new home on the waterfront. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to partner with colleges and get people who started out functionally illiterate to achieve bachelor of arts degrees. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to run successful restaurants, moving companies, furniture making, and cafés and bookstores without any professional help. They said it couldn’t be done. We said we were going to do all this with no staff, no government funding, and no professionals. They laughed and said it couldn’t be done.
We struggle a lot but we’ve been doing it. For over 40 years we’ve been developing a model of social entrepreneurship, of education, of rehabilitation and change that is exciting and full of hope. If you need help, or want to help, please contact us. Most of all, we hope you can feel as inspired by ordinary people’s abilities to achieve extraordinary accomplishments as we’ve been.
The Delancey Street Foundation Los Angeles facility is located near midtown, right off the Hollywood freeway. The facility, housing approximately 300 residents, was constructed as a 220 room hotel; the Mission style building complex includes a huge ballroom for catering events for up to 500 people, with smaller catering rooms as well. The buildings surround a large 8,000 square foot tropical garden with cascading waterfalls. Residents have completely renovated the building since we bought it in 1993. In order to make the hotel more of a home, residents turned the guest rooms into living units ranging from dorms for the newcomers into small apartments as residents earn their way to more spacious living quarters, and opened up the dining area to 6,000 square feet for resident meals. Delancey Street-Los Angeles also has a 50,000 square foot warehouse Business Complex located in Montebello. This complex houses a number of Delancey Training Schools including Moving & Trucking, Automotive, Auto Body Shop, Warehouse Shipping and Receiving, Terrarium, Ceramics and Iron Handcraft Works and Sales.
Find out how you can support Delancey Street Foundation by hiring them, or donating to the cause at http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/ because every future has a past.