Delancey Street – May 5, 2019
Our TEW Club has been invited to the Delancey Street Foundation for a Cinco de Mayo celebration! Enjoy food, tours and the learn about this fine drug/alcohol/crime organization. Delancey Street has a 95% SUCCESS rate with their program. NM-94, Ohkay Owingeh, NM 87566
Delancey Street Foundation maintains Residential Education Communities for people who have hit bottom and who are disenfranchised. Our residential population represents the most challenging constituency of people in generational poverty with multiple social problems.
Our residential population ranges in age from 18 to 68. Approximately 20% are women. All racial and ethnic groups are represented with about one-third being African-American, one-third Hispanic and Native American and one-third Anglo. The average resident has been a hard core substance abuser for over 18 years, abusing alcohol and multiple drugs such has heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine in all of its forms. The average resident is illiterate, completely unskilled, and has never held even an unskilled job for as long as six months so they are completely without work habits. The average resident has been trapped in poverty for many generations, is at least a second generation (2.6) gang member, substance abuser, felon. The average resident has been institutionalized at least four times and has been homeless for at least six months. Virtually all (over 95%) have been victims of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse.
Statistics can never capture what a life is like and aggregate data can depersonalize the horror of the lives our constituents lead. The biggest issue they face is one that cannot be captured by any of the data. It is the incredible sense of despair that comes from repeated failure and hopelessness. Indeed it leads to a devastating poverty of spirit, values, and belief.
Delancey Street learns three marketable skills by working in Delancey Street training schools. These include one manual, one clerical/computer and one interpersonal/sales skill. For most residents who have never held a job in their lives, this is as challenging as it is rewarding. The vocational training schools are managed and taught by residents themselves (some are accredited by the State, and the residents themselves are the accredited teachers). Some of the training schools generate the funding that supports Delancey Street’s activities. Current vocational programs include:
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Advertising specialty sales
- Automotive, mechanical, repair and painting
- Catering, event and wedding planning
- Christmas tree sales and commercial decorating
- Coffee house, art gallery and bookstore
- Construction and property management
- Digital printing and banners, silk screen and framing
- Film screening and projection
- Handcrafted wood terrariums, ironworks, and furniture
- Moving and trucking
- Paratransit and limousine transportation services for businesses as well as for those who are disabled who cannot use public transportation
Numerous of these training schools have been voted “best” in their areas! 4) Delancey Street’s focus is value based with a strong traditional family value system stressing the work ethic, mutual restitution, social and personal accountability and responsibility, decency and integrity. Most important, the approach stresses the fact that the people who are the problem can become the solution by caring for one another. This pro bono publico approach is central and critical to our model. In line with this, our residents not only volunteer to teach and work with one another, they also volunteer in the community helping others that are less fortunate through a series of service programs for the elderly, handicapped, at-risk youths, among others.