Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winning submission by slucasi

Organization Name


Homeboy Industries





Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Public Safety

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?


Homeboy Industries began when a concerned group of Angelenos, led by Father Gregory Boyle, asked a simple question: Can we improve the safety and health of our communities through jobs and education rather than through suppression and incarceration?
In our 25 years providing services to Angelenos impacted by gang violence, we have learned that jobs, education and support services can indeed have a direct – and profound – impact on public safety. We have also learned that the success of our program corresponds directly with our ability to address the root causes of violence, alienation, and fear among communities and community members who are unsafe.

In this program, we propose to improve public safety through an integrated curriculum of ten classes that help end the intergenerational cycles of violence that many former gang members and recently incarcerated men and women have experienced. The classes and support groups we offer foster the personal transformation necessary for our clients to heal from their complex traumatic histories and prevent their children, families and communities from experiencing similar trauma.

400 individuals attend classes each month at Homeboy Industries’ headquarters. Classes in the curriculum are led by Homeboy Industries staff, licensed mental health clinicians, and qualified volunteers. The core classes impacting public safety include:

1) Anger Management: Provides our population with tools to develop healthy coping skills, build healthy relationships, and deal with conflict in non-violent ways.

2) Parenting: Provides parents, particularly young parents, with the skills and techniques to improve their relationships with their children and end the cycles of violence, abuse and neglect they may have experienced in their own childhood.

3) Project Fatherhood: Provides fathers an opportunity to connect with their children, play a meaningful role in their lives, and positively affect their children’s healthy development.

4) Baby & Me: A weekly meeting for parents and their young children that provides activities to strengthen secure attachment, increase parents’ empathy for and understanding of their children’s needs, and decrease the likelihood of abuse or neglect.

5) Leadership: A weekly class that helps participants build leadership skills, and discusses related topics of resiliency, forgiveness, character-building, loss, and separation.

6) Healthy Relationships for Women: A weekly class that helps women who have been victims of domestic and/or sexual violence develop healthy and safe relationship expectations and practices.

7) Domestic Violence Intervention for Women: A weekly group meeting that addresses domestic violence, helping batterers gain the tools and self-empowerment necessary to stop family violence and develop positive coping skills.

8) Domestic Violence Intervention for Men: A court-approved program for male batterers that teaches life skills to build healthy coping mechanisms and healthy relationships, and to encourage men to take responsibility for their acts of violence.

9) Healing Circle: A weekly meeting that provides space for reflection, empowerment, and respect while peers embrace the struggles in their lives and help each other find meaning in their past.

10) Substance Abuse: A 3-phase course offering bi-weekly group support meetings, these classes help clients establish and maintain long-term recovery from the addictions that often influence their involvement with gangs and crime.

Classes are available to trainees (men and women who are employed by Homeboy Industries in entry-level positions either at our organizational headquarters or in our social enterprise businesses) and to community clients (people impacted by gang violence, poverty and other issues who are not currently employed by Homeboy Industries).

The classes we offer complement the variety of other proven strategies we use to prevent violence and improve public safety. Homeboy Industries employs 200 trainees at all times (approximately 300 are employed throughout the year) at our organizational headquarters and our social enterprise businesses. As part of the job, trainees also:

• Attend practical, educational and vocational classes to earn high school degrees or GEDs and improve their employment readiness;

• Receive mental health and substance abuse treatment to address the underlying causes of their interactions with law enforcement and the criminal justice system;

• Undergo tattoo removal procedures to eliminate the external marks of their former involvement with gangs;

• Work individually with case managers and employment counselors to establish an educational and employment plan and transition successfully to outside work;

• Access much needed medical services.

All services are provided free of charge, and most are available to trainees and to community clients.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?


Homeboy Industries has provided hope, training and support to formerly gang involved and recently incarcerated men and women for 25 years. In that time, we have become the largest, most comprehensive and most successful gang prevention, intervention and rehabilitation organization in Los Angeles – if not the entire country.

Currently we provide the following services free of charge each month at Homeboy Industries:

• 200 men and women are employed in entry-level positions at our headquarters and in our social enterprise businesses, and all receive case management to stay on track with employment and educational goals;

• 120 trainees receive individual substance abuse and mental health counseling with licensed clinicians;

• 200 trainees and community clients receive employment counseling services;

• 400 trainees and community clients participate in our broad curriculum of practical, educational and vocational classes; and

• 750 trainees and community clients receive tattoo removal procedures.

Due to the breadth and impact of our services, Homeboy Industries was cited as a model program in a 2005 report by the CDC focusing on the ills accompanying gangs and gang violence. The report stressed that Homeboy, by focusing on intervention, serves a vital need and is instrumental in helping break the ongoing cycle of gang violence. The CDC has also endorsed job training programs as a youth violence prevention strategy. Related to, but distinct from traditional job training programs, they noted the importance of “social microenterprise,” as modeled by the small businesses of Homeboy.

Importantly, these services are far more cost effective than incarceration. The state and county spend $150,000-200,000 to incarcerate a minor for one year, and a high risk youth will cost society between $1.7 and $2.3 million over their lifetime. Likewise, incarceration of an adult for one year costs approximately $65,000. Employment and support services at Homeboy Industries, on the other hand, cost approximately $35,000 per trainee per year.

Perhaps our greatest achievement to date is the unparalleled level of support we have generated among community members and the unequaled level of trust we have achieved among those seeking our services. Homeboy Industries does not conduct formal outreach to current or former gang members. Rather, as a demonstration of their commitment to personal transformation, trainees and community clients reach in to us knowing that they will get the help they need.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


Homeboy Industries benefits from strong collaboration and volunteer support in many areas of operation. Volunteer teachers will lead weekly classes and meetings of Healing Circle and Leadership. Baby & Me classes are facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of an LCSW/RN, an LCSW, an educational specialist, and a volunteer with experience in early education. USC and UCLA pediatric interns and residents often donate their time for consultation on health and wellness matters. Peace Over Violence, a Los Angeles-based sexual and domestic violence center, provides our Healthy Relationships for Women class. And Project Fatherhood classes are led by Dr. Edward Berumen and Jeffrey Williams, MFTI, of the Children’s Institute.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?


Homeboy Industries has had a singular impact on Los Angeles’ gang problem. Thousands of people have walked through the doors looking for a second chance. We measure our program’s impact on these individuals through an intake, assessment and follow-up process that addresses several key domains of safety, health and well-being. Specifically, we ask clients to report on recidivism (number of arrests or other interactions with law enforcement), housing stability (current living situation and longevity of residence), social connectedness (level and frequency of participation in pro-social and group support activities), substance abuse (frequency of use and its impact on their wellbeing), and child custody/reunification (progress toward family reunification and/or resolution of legal custody issues).

Homeboy Industries also assesses clients’ overall progress through evaluation of: disaffiliation with gang membership and involvement; acquisition of the right attitude and skills to secure success in mainstream employment; getting and keeping a job; and acquisition of advanced education and/or skills. The senior staff meets monthly to evaluate the program and the particular trainees, successes are shared, problems are raised and solutions proposed. In addition to daily supervision, Case Managers meet individually with clients to set personal goals, offer encouragement and praise for their successes, and guidance for the areas that may need improvement. The individual trainees at Homeboy’s businesses are closely monitored and evaluated on attendance, behavior and work performance on a regular basis.

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Professors Jorja Leap and Todd Franke are leading a five-year program evaluation of Homeboy Industries. The evaluation draws upon both quantitative and qualitative measures to chart individual and organizational outcomes.
After four years the following preliminary outcomes have emerged:

• 70% of Homeboy trainees do not return to incarceration;

• Homeboy experiences a recidivism/loss rate of 30% of its trainees; and

• Of those who leave Homeboy due to incarceration, substance abuse or other reasons, 12% have returned to Homeboy.

These figures are particularly significant when compared with a national retention rate of 20% to 30% for most gang/prisoner intervention and re-entry programs. In California, more than 70% of young offenders will return to prison within three years; Homeboy Industries effectively flips this number on its head, demonstrating that our service model helps transform their lives and become contributing members of their communities.

Evaluators have briefed the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Congress, the California Governor’s Office, Los Angeles Mayor’s office, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff, LAUSD, CDC and World Health Organization.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

With more than 1,000 gangs and an estimated 100,000 gang members, Los Angeles County is the gang capital of the world. The City of Los Angeles is spotted with large areas of concentrated poverty where many of these gangs operate and where crime levels are higher than the city-wide average. Many of the clients we serve at Homeboy Industries live in neighborhoods where elevated levels of poverty and violence negatively impact public safety, public health, and perceptions of human vulnerability.

Providing our clients with productive alternatives to involvement in gangs can dramatically improve their safety and the overall wellbeing of their families and communities. Because of the transformative power education has on healing and public safety, Homeboy Industries Education and Curriculum Department adapts traditional and alternative learning strategies to better serve men and women whose lives and communities have been impacted by poverty, violence, incarceration, and separation from their families. We provide hope through education and co-create a solid foundation based on kinship and reciprocation. By using these strategies and imbuing our clients with hope, rather than despair, we help them make safer decisions, lead healthier lives, and become assets to the safety of their communities.

This curriculum is integrated with Homeboy Industries’ comprehensive model of gang intervention services, and impacts several of the other indicators in the LA2050 challenge.

• Education: The classes we offer also help improve the educational attainment of our clients. Many who come to us without high school diplomas earn a degree or a GED with our help. Homeboy Industries also partners with Learning Works Charter High School to provide gang-impacted youth with a supportive environment in which to earn high school diplomas.

• Income and Employment: We provide on-the-job training to 300 people each year. Through this training, men and women who had little work experience and few job skills are able to receive training, achieve industry-recognized credentials, build resume-writing and interviewing skills, and receive support in finding jobs outside of Homeboy Industries.

• Health: Homeboy Industries provides free basic medical services for clients and community members, and helps them get enrolled in health insurance plans. We also provide free mental health, substance abuse and psychiatric counseling.

• Environmental Quality: Among our most successful programs is the Solar Panel Installation Training & Certification Program. Through this program, community clients receive a state- and nationally-recognized certification in a growing field that has the potential to improve the health and well-being of the city and their own communities.

In everything we do, Homeboy Industries connects people to one another and works collectively to transform individual lives, families, and the city we call home.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?


Gangs and gang violence are the result of a nexus of complex social issues, including poverty, lack of educational opportunities, addictive and mental health disorders, scarce job opportunities, and traumatic events in the lives of gang members. To tackle this problem, we provide comprehensive wrap-around services to address the clients’ needs and help them redirect their lives to become contributing members of society. Through this program, we will provide education and support that is crucial to ending the intergenerational cycles of violence that plague many poor and underserved neighborhoods across Los Angeles.

Success in the year 2050 would mean families and communities where violence, fear and vulnerability no longer predominate. Homeboy Industries presents a vision of that possible future. As our Founder, Father Gregory Boyle, writes: “We are a worksite and therapeutic community. We are a training program and business. Once the homies come to feel some confidence in the workplace, they can move on to higher-paying opportunities elsewhere. Also, we give homies a chance to work with their enemies. The place has become the ‘United Nations’ of gangs. When enemies work with one another, a valuable ‘disconnect’ is created on the streets. It forces a fellow active gang member to ask the employed homie, ‘How can you work with that guy?’ Answering that question will be awkward, clumsy, and always require courage, but the question itself jostles the status quo.”

Success in the year 2050 would also mean a Los Angeles that is not a grid of neighborhoods locked in cycles of conflict and violence, but an ever-widening circle of compassion and kinship – “not serving the other, but being one with the other.” To quote Father Boyle again, “We imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.”

If we jostle the status quo for long enough, if we move ourselves to the margins, if we stand with the demonized and the powerless and voiceless, then we can redefine our communities as places where hope, compassion and kinship predominate, and where families feel safe and secure.

24 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

This is not a "quick fix". It is an ongoing dedicated constant effort to bring hope and personal growth into a safe home. I remember when they almost lost out because of financial struggles...it would be wonderful to see this organization have an impetus to feel our support too.

by SaltyHeart
almost 3 years ago

Aiweiwei calls on "people to be obsessed citizens, forever questioning and asking for accountability. That's the only chance we have of a healthy and happy life." ENGAGE it makes you feel GOOD!!! Agenda for Tuesday's BOS meeting: bos.co.la.ca.us/LinkClick.aspx fileticket=9xp9ko01Weo%3d&tabid=114

almost 3 years ago

Homeboy Industries deserves this more than anyone! This organization is changing lives everyday and out government should take a lesson from them! Keep up the good work and I hope the best for you all!

by magtotoart
almost 3 years ago

I hope Homeboy Industries wins this! I came to the website to vote for another group but I love what Father G and the entire staff does so I will keep voting for you until the last day!

by ada.ramirez.52
almost 3 years ago

It is time for us to change, change the way we think, change the way we live, and most definitely change the way we portray these young men who are going through some extremely difficult times. Remember that there is hope, all we need to do is try, try to understand one another, try to put yourself in that other persons shoes, but most of all we should try to stop blaming others for the situations were in!!!!! We are a product of society, and some of us don't have many choices growing up, so we join a gang, but never think that this is the way you have to live your life, because there is a wonderful place just for someone like you at Homeboy Industries!!!!!! Lets show our communities that with a little help and motivation nothing is impossible!!!! Lets pray for all our brothers and sisters who are trying to change for the better!!!! AMEN!!!!!!

by Skrapyloks
about 3 years ago

This organization is the most practical, impact flu nonprofit I've ever come across. They're making a huge difference for a lot of men and women who grew up without a chance at a better future. They'll put this grant to good use, that's for sure!

by ebardonnay
about 3 years ago

Homeboy Industries is one of the best things to happen to LA. They truly are an amazing organization with a big heart!

by anishathefirst
about 3 years ago

They are the best organization of their kind—a local (a national) treasure.

by mikerosebooks
about 3 years ago

If 10 people a day could see things as Father G does, by 2050 we'd be in paradise!

by estaire.press
about 3 years ago


by maneneko
about 3 years ago

I want to thank FATHER G and all the homeboy staff for all their help in my life. Everytime I walk in I feel welcomed its like my second home. Every class I take I see a change in my life. I will definitely spread the word about this wonderful place, keep up the good work and I pray that more lives are changed.

by Leticia87
about 3 years ago

Where else do we see a program that helps 70% of young men and women make a difference in their lives and community?
It works. Now if we could only clone Fr. Greg Boyle, his staff and community to replicate programs in many of our neighborhoods.

by Kathleen Christenson
about 3 years ago

I LOVE Homeboy Ind and especially Homegirl Cafe , soon I hope to visit Homeboy Cafe ,Keep up the

by Flory
about 3 years ago

I LOVE Homeboy Ind and especially Homegirl Cafe , soon I hope to visit Homeboy Cafe ,Keep up the

by Flory
about 3 years ago

I love the statement "hope has an address!" Together we can make a difference!

by swtcaligurl
about 3 years ago

WaKe Up 2 Peace HomeBoyz & HomeGirls
By for This Oranization as for Anti-Gang Bangen Crime
Because of there Strong Work Ettic,Respect from

by Big Mack
about 3 years ago

I support and believe in your cause..Father Boyle and staff keep up the good humanity work. Peace be with you all. Laura

by laura.drzemiecki
about 3 years ago

I'm so happy that Lauren Tom told me about this organization. I'm a big believer in second chances. Good luck to everyone at Homeboy Industries!

by kelios.incantare
about 3 years ago

I'm so happy that Lauren Tom told me about this organization. I'm a big believer in second chances. Good luck to everyone at Homeboy Industries!

by kelios.incantare
about 3 years ago

If there is such a thing as a living saint I believe Father G is a candidate - along with the community he's built around Homeboy/Homegirl. The work they all do provides countless members of our neighborhood hope for a brighter future. I know of no other worthy cause to support.

by T. Lowe
about 3 years ago

Such a wonderful initiative! I wish you good men & women the best of luck during this grant process! Matter of fact, I'll be stopping by the Homeboy Bakery & Homegirl Cafe today. :D

by techivist
about 3 years ago

When people feel like they matter, that's when they break the cycle of violence. Homeboy does this every day.

by lrpelayo
about 3 years ago

In Los Angeles, this organization is the best use of your money, time and effort. Support this social business with your votes during the Voting period.

if my submission is granted, we will work with the winner to implement a plan to increase employment over the long term at this location.

Special note: Financial professionals!
talk with your principals today about supporting this 501 c 3 (employment, purchasing agreements, pay for success incentives) Go to their website and see some Social ROI in action.

by ArcaneCapital
about 3 years ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08, 2013