San Francisco, California
Delancey Street Foundation was established in 1971 by John Maher (Sales, 1976), a former substance abuser and ex-prisoner, and Dr. Mimi Silbert, a psychologist. John Maher has since passed away (1988), and the organization is run by Dr. Silbert. Delancey Street is widely considered to be the nation's leading self-help residential education center for former substance abusers and ex-prisoners (Rodarmor, 1990; Wilentz, 1996; Whittemore, 1992). Although headquartered in San Francisco, it has facilities in New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Los Angeles.
It currently has a budget of $3 million per year and is almost totally self-supporting:
Its business enterprises, run by residents, net $3 million a year. Silbert was approached in 1971 by John Maher, a former felon who invited her to join him in creating a center for criminal rehabilitation and vocational training. It would be for ex-cons and run by ex-cons. When they joined forces Silbert and Maher agreed on a system of total self-sufficiency. All residents would work to support the group, with no outside funds. They would follow strict rules of behavior and self-governing. Each resident would develop at least three marketable skills as well as earn a high school equivalency diploma. Named for the section of New York City's Lower