“Don’t judge someone on their past, because you don’t know their Journey.”
The past is past, that’s just a story. It can’t change anything when you judge what ex-offender did in the past, we should give a second chance and look at what they are going to do. Today, I’m going to share Homeboy Industries’s Story.
It is really amazing that more than 10000 former gang members change and start a positive life through Homeboy Industries. Homebody Industries is a youth program founded in 1992 by Father Greg Boyle. This program gives hope and assists high-risk youth, former gang members and ex-prisoners through training programs. It ultimately aims to transfer these people to become contributing members of our community. Especially, it offers 18-month full-time employment program, and over 200 people have got help and moved on next step of their life.
Additionally, it provides a variety of programs, such as educational services, employment counselor workshop, legal management, mental health and substance abuse support.
Why does Homeboy Industries do that?
Because Boyle hopes contribute in addressing recidivism. Figure shows that 2/3 youth offenders are re-arrested and 1/3 of them are sent back to jail within a few years after release.
Stories: Pedro Mata – Working for a better life
Petro Mata’s mother passed way when he was three, and he lived with his father. He turned to drugs and gangs. As a result, he spent much of his youth moving through the criminal justice system.
Mata went to Homeboy Industries and asked for help. He took anger management classes and especially realized want to do the same when he saw many positive changes among fellow homeboys. Later, he worked in Homeboy’s bakery, and he started to learn how to be accountable, work with team members and lead a team. Eventually he found his favorite job in construction. He participated in all necessary training and had an opportunity in the pre-apprenticeship program. Recently, he works full time at Harris Rebar in Pomona. He is working hard not only for himself but also for his family.
“I still struggle,” he said, “Sometimes I think that everything I have going for me now is too good to be true. I still have self-doubt. But then I remember that my biggest burden has always been me. I am the only person stopping my success.”
-by Xinru Liu