Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs, and operates seven social enterprises that serve as job-training sites.
Why does this community need a place like Homeboy Industries?:
Recidivism among youthful offenders is extremely high: 2/3 will be re-arrested, up to 1/3 re-incarcerated within a few years after release
“The math on these sorts of initiatives is simple,” says Adam Gelb, a public-safety specialist at the Pew Center on the States: A day in prison costs $79 on average; a day on probation costs $3.42. “States can substantially beef up supervision in the community and do it at a fraction of the cost of a prison cell,” he says. (Wall Street Journal March 20, 2010).
According to the California Department of Education, the rate of 9-12th dropping out among black high school students rose to 43.5% and to 36.1% for Hispanic/Latino students in 2009. In East Los Angeles, over 53% of adults never completed high school. In October 2010, Education Week labeled Los Angeles the “dropout epicenter” of the nation. Los Angeles County is home to 34% of California’s poor, with a poverty rate of 16.1%. 75% of youth gang homicides in the state of California occur in Los Angeles County.
Father Gregory Boyle was born in Los Angeles and is one of eight children. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He received his BA in English from Gonzaga University, an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University and advanced theology degrees from The Weston School of Theology and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
He has taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles; was chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom prison and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. Homeboy Industries was born in 1988 and is now the largest gang intervention, re-hab and re-entry program in the United States.