February 25, 2007 11:37 AM Subscribe
In 1971 Delancey Street began with four residents, a thousand dollar loan, and a dream to develop a new model to turn around the lives of substance abusers, former felons, and others who have hit bottom by empowering the people with the problems to become their own solution. With no professionals, no government funding, and at no charge to the clients, Delancey Street Foundation has rehabilitated and provided job skills to thousands of former drug addicts and criminals. They have a successful moving company, a well loved (although not necessarily critically acclaimed) restaurant, a thriving Christmas tree business, and a partnership with the local state university. Founded in the heady radical days of the early 70s, they've had a few bumps along the way, (cofounder John Maher died of a drug overdose) but they are one of the most well respected models for rehabilitation in the world. In recent news, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has been spending a lot of time there.
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