Spiritual Activism–Article Three
Putting faith into action is certainly exemplified by Homeboy Industries, founded by Father Gregory Boyle. Father Greg is the long term priest for the Dolores Mission in the gang center of the world, Los Angeles. Seeing a dire need for jobs to short-circuit the cycle of violence and prison sentences, Father Greg began putting gang members and ex-cons to work. As he relates in the excellent TATTOOS ON THE HEART: The Power of Boundless Compassion (see my review), having rival gang members work side-by-side often fostered a kinship that led to a life beyond the barrio.
“Homeboy Industries has been the tipping point to change the metaphors around gangs and how we deal with them in Los Angeles County. This organization has engaged the imagination of 120,000 gang members and helped them to envision an exit ramp off the “freeway” of violence, addiction and incarceration. And the country has taken notice. We have helped more than 40 other organizations replicate elements of our service delivery model, broadening further the understanding that community trumps gang — every time.” – Father Greg
The Homeboy Bakery and the Home Girl Café produce wholesome food, while employing and training marginalized members of the community. Other businesses Homeboy Silk Screen and Embroidery, Solar Panel Installation Training and Certification, Homeboy Farmer’s Market, and Homeboy Merchandise. Services to the community include tattoo removal, job counseling, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence counseling.
Visit HomeboyIndustries.Org for more information.
Read the Homeboy Stories at their blog http://www.homeboystories.blogspot.com/
Order bakery goods now on-line at HomeBoyFoods.com