What is Homeboy Industries?



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Are gangs a problem in America today? …of course.  Is the gang problem part of the immigration problem? …maybe.  Does Latin America suffer from problems with gangs that have been exported from the United States? Yes.  My country has a history of gang violence that originated in Los Angeles, California with Mexican immigrants.  Have you heard the story of the creation of MS and 18th Street Gang?


The real questions that remain; is there any hope? Can we overcome the violence of gangs on our streets? There is a place in L.A. that should give hope to the rest.

“Homeboy Industries is recognized as the largest and most successful gang intervention and re-entry program in the world, and has become a national model.”  

Since it began with the work of a Catholic priest over 30 years ago, thousands of young people have since walked through the doors of Homeboy Industries looking for a second chance, and finding community. Gang affiliations are 
left outside as these young people work together, side by side, earning  each others’  respect that comes from shared tasks and challenges. Homeboy industries, is a serious program for any gang member who really wants a change. This program helps people to change their way of living. It is not just a simple program; it is the future of any gang member that wants a change in his or her life. It receives people with hands open no matter how they look or how bad their records  are; they still accept them.

I chose to research and talk about Homeboy industries as a current event because I have read books related to gangs. Although every author of these books did time in jail they wanted to pass along a lesson from their own mistakes. After they completed their sentence in jail, they found a way out of the streets by getting involved in programs like The Homeboy Industries.  Although people still see them as bad, and may not at first see any changes in their lives, the importance is that they do feel a big change and feel proud of what they have accomplished.  Breaking the cycle of violence begins with citizens providing hope and gang members taking the risk to make new choices.  It cannot be done alone.  Justice in America is not all about punishment but it is also about mercy, forgiveness and opportunity to say yes to others in a new and positive way.

For more on Homeboy industries and breaking the cycle of gang violence see the links below.