Friday, February 03, 2006

Crossroads Café

Klay, Seppo, and I met for dinner in San Francisco at Crossroads Café which is tucked away on Delancey, off Brannan. It's a quiet little cul-de-sac that you'd never suspect was there, especially so close to the bay and to Pacbell Park.

There are books, magazines, and newspapers aplenty to browse while eating. The seats vary from comfy leather couches and coffee tables to standard chairs and tables. I've been there twice now and I never feel rushed. The food is good, the coffee is good, the tea is good, and they offer the craziest deal on a high tea that I've ever seen. :D

In addition, it is run by the Delancy Street Foundation.
What Does the Delancey Street Foundation Do?

The Delancey Street Foundation is a residential education center where drug addicts, criminals and the homeless learn to lead productive, crime-free lives. It has been called the most successful rehabilitation project in the United States.

The foundation runs at no cost to the taxpayer or client. They earn revenue by operating more than 20 businesses, including the Delancey Street Restaurant and Café and the Delancey Street Moving Company. These "training schools" not only generate income, they teach residents marketable skills and inculcate in them habits of self-control and self-discipline.

Each resident spends up to four years at the facility and must pass equivalency exams to obtain a high school diploma in order to graduate. They also need to line up a job and a place to live. Silbert likes to see each of her students graduate with three marketable skills to ensure their job success.

Silbert reports that 65 percent of the organization's operating costs are paid for by revenue from its businesses. She originally rejected foundation money, fearing it would deter from the participants' feeling that their survival depended on the success of the businesses. Today, the organization receives more than ten million dollars from private donations every year.

Silbert and Delancey Street are always facing new challenges. Today, offenders are often third-generation criminals. Silbert used to tell clients that their parents wanted a better life for them. Since participants' parents are often criminals as well, the draw to go back to the streets can be strong. Fortunately, after more than 30 years, Mimi Silbert isn't about to give up.
from PBS's The New Heroes.

I think this is gonna become the regular hangout that we are looking for.

ETA: It looks like the Delancey Street Restaurant, which is located very close to the cafe and just across the street from the unfortunate La Suite on Embarcadero, is also run by the same Delancey Street Foundation. And as can be seen in the review, people seem to love it. AND it's cheap, even with the exact same bay/bridge view. Yay! I am so going there.


Blogger casacaudill said...

I really admire the Delancey Street Foundation. We've used them a lot throughout the years. Next year, we're getting our tree from their lot on Broadway, near Wendy's. We stopped in to look at their trees this year and ended up talking with the guy there for like 40 minutes about all the hard work they're doing.

12:38 PM  

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