Mission: To provide hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of their communities.
About the Organization: Founded in 1988 by Father Gregory Boyle, pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries today is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world, providing free wraparound services designed to facilitate healing and growth for nearly seven thousand individuals. Recently, the organization was awarded the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize, which includes $2.5 million in unrestricted funding.
Current Programs: The organization's programs include an eighteen-month employment and reentry program, case management and mental health services, substance abuse recovery support, legal services, and tattoo removal. The employment and reentry program includes job training in solar panel installation, computer skills training, workshops in interview skills coaching and resume development, internships, and job-placement services. Local employers can hire program participants and receive tax credits and reimbursements for their on-the-job training costs. Homeboy Industries also runs several social enterprises, including a bakery, a cafe, a catering company, and a diner in City Hall; an electronics recycling shop; and a silkscreen and embroidery business.
The organization offers classes in high school equivalency test preparation, college readiness, and reading and writing, including the Pathways to College program, which provides a workshop series, personalized support on an as-need basis, classes in personal development and life skills, and substance abuse recovery support groups.
Homeboy Industries also advocates for policy changes affecting formerly gang-involved and incarcerated individuals and helped pass state legislation to re-categorize nonviolent offenses such as drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, allowing parole boards to release non-violent prisoners once they have served the full sentence for their primary criminal offense and to transfer certain offenders from state prisons to county jails.
COVID-19 Response: In response to the pandemic, the organization launched a COVID-19 Emergency Fund so that it can continue to provide critical services for formerly gang-involved and incarcerated individuals.
Website: Visitors to the Homeboy Industries site can read about founder "Father Greg," keep up with the latest news, and/or support the organization by purchasing merchandise, making a donation, or volunteering. Individuals in the process of reentry can find out more about the organization's services and get help, while potential employers can learn more about hiring opportunities.
Funding: Homeboy Industries is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.