“This organization has engaged the imagination of 120,000 gang members and helped them to envision an exit ramp off the “freeway” of violence, addiction and incarceration. And the country has taken notice. We have helped more than 40 other organizations replicate elements of our service delivery model, broadening further the understanding that community trumps gang — every time.” – Father Greg Boyle
Homeboy Industries began in 1988 when a concerned group of Angelenos, led by Father Greg Boyle and the Dolores Mission Church, asked the question: “Can we improve the health and safety of our community through jobs and education rather than through suppression and incarceration?” This initial concept launched as “Jobs for a Future” and 70 individuals joined their efforts as a way out of gang life.
Fast forward to 2017, when Homeboy Industries is now recognized as the largest and most successful gang intervention and re-entry program in the world, and has become a national model. Now, each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change in their lives. In this episode, you’ll hear Christina talk about the sense of community that Homeboy offers, which is a huge part of the program. Additionally, Homeboy offers a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes. Full-time employment is offered for more than 200 men and women at a time through an 18-month program that helps them re-identify who they are in the world, offers job training so they can move on from Homeboy Industries and become contributing members of the community – knowing they count!
In this episode, we chat with Christina, an amazingly strong woman who shares her story and her experiences before Homeboy and where she is at now, as she winds down her 18-month program that has created a bridge to things she never was knew possible or had experienced before.
Homeboy Industries is a Los Angeles based program, but there are many programs that have followed in their footsteps across the country. We encourage you to find a program similar to Homeboy near you and get involved today! The efforts of Homeboy and other organizations like it are critical to breaking the cycle of re-arrest and recidivism, which currently sits at around 2/3 will be re-arrested and 1/3 will re-offend.