Jobs not Jails: Homeboy Industries assists high-risk and formerly gang involved youth to become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education.
Homeboy Industries is the living example of "nothing stops a bullet like a job." Free services and programs include counseling, education, tattoo removal, substance abuse and addiction assistance, job training and job placement. These programs enable young people to redirect their lives. A distinctive feature of Homeboy Industries is its small businesses, where the most difficult to place individuals are hired in transitional jobs, thus giving them a safe, supportive environment in which to learn both concrete and soft job skills, while simultaneously building their resume and work experience. Homeboy Industries is the nation's largest gang-intervention and re-entry program - a national and international model of effective practices.
In providing support services, Homeboy targets and focuses on that segment of the community that faces the most difficult challenges to getting on their feet: former gang members, parolees, and high-risk youth. In the past year, former members from over half of the 1,100 gangs in Los Angeles County have come through our doors seeking specific services in an effort to turn their lives around. Homeboy has a significant impact on the reduction of violence in Los Angeles. About 12,000 former gang members and gang-impacted seek help at Homeboy each year.
Homeboy's businesses now include the Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise, Homegirl Caf and Catering, Homeboy Farmers Markets and Homeboy Diner. However, at its heart, the true business of Homeboy Industries is not business -- it is the fostering of a community of kinship, "gang rehab", a therapeutic place where former gang members, recently released, high-risk, and those cast aside are given what they need to return to society, whole, healed and resilient. The "bottom line" for Homeboy is to infuse hope in those for whom hope is foreign. And hope is a job.