Mike Boris was like most of the inhabitants of San Francisco’s Delancey Street Foundation when he entered the program there in 1973. He had been in and out of incarceration and battled a drug addiction that started when he was 14 years old.
Boris has now been a part of the Delancey Street Foundation for 30 years, first as a resident and now as the organization’s accountant and IT manager. Part of his responsibilities includes finding and running the best hardware and software systems for the organization’s many businesses, specifically its restaurant, cafe and retail store. And, this is where Boris was introduced to the Posiflex line of hardware POS terminals.
Posiflex donated nine POS touch screen terminal stations to the Delancey Street Foundation in 2006 so the group could better run their two restaurant training facilities, the Delancey Street Restaurant and the Crossroads Café. This gave residents the ability to learn marketable restaurant skills as the terminals have been used for order taking, payment processing and sales tracking. However, with the terminals now more than nine years old, and with a new set of operational restaurant needs, as well as to comply with new POS security standards, Boris decided it was time for an upgrade.
Positioned for success
A native of New York City, Boris found the Delancey Street Foundation a few years after he moved to California in 1967. It was there that he found a permanent home in San Francisco and decided it was time to get clean.
The Delancey Street Foundation was founded in 1971 as a community where people can go to rebuild their lives. It has been recognized as the country’s leading residential self-help treatment organization for former substance abusers, homeless men and women and former convicts. To date, the organization has grown to six locations throughout the United States with residential and vocational training opportunities at each.
The minimum stay is two years although the average resident remains for nearly four years while they work to become drug, alcohol and crime free.
“We get people to bond with other people, to care about other people and to stop worrying just about themselves,” Boris said. “In doing that, they learn that they can be more selfless instead of selfish.”
And while his time spent there is not typical, it is an indicator of the large role the organization has played in his life. Thanks to the organization’s support, Boris went back to college, became a CPA and picked up some computer skills along the way.
“These are the people that care about me and love me and so this is where I stay,” he said.
He enjoys seeing the residents expand outside of their comfort zones and embrace a new way of life. That life can include working in restaurants, thanks to the training and skills both Delancey Street and Posiflex have helped to foster.
Residents in the restaurant training program now have the ability to enhance their skills through the use of 10 new Posiflex POS touch screen terminal stations. The stations include a terminal, MSR, cash drawer and printer. They also are PCI compliant and enable EMV and mobile payments compatibility, and additional upgrades as payment technology changes.
“The new terminals are working perfectly,” Boris said. “I’m grateful Delancey Street and partners like Posiflex are willing to pay forward and be part of the community so we can put people to work, and not just back on the street.”
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