Homeboy Industries Gets Former Gangsters Back on Track

Jobs not jails


Homeboy provides job training positions and free social services for formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated men and women. (Free Belarus / Shutterstocl.com)

A hard look at gang culture in Los Angeles prompted the formation of Homeboy Industries, a West Coast-based organization that champions a social enterprise model assisting former gang members and prison inmates in turning their lives around. The program has become one of the most comprehensive and successful initiatives for gang intervention and rehabilitation in America.

By investing in this demographic of people and believing that they can make significant changes to lead healthy, worthwhile lives, they are enabled to make a positive impact on their communities instead of the contrary. Homeboy Industries' purpose is to break the cycle of violence related to gang culture and instead of suppression and incarceration, the organization flips the script - offering treatment, training, education, and a solid community that initiates positive reinforcement and encouragement.

Services include everything from tattoo removal and anger management courses to parenting classes and full time employment through an 18-month program that helps individuals re-identify who they are and what their place is in the world. This massive transition aids them in becoming contributing members of society and a tight-knit community that provides a welcoming support system that truly cares and understands where they come from.

The success of Homeboy Industries is a huge testament to their local model, one that has been referenced by other organizations across the country as a productive, thriving option to build a highly-functioning communal network.

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