Homeboy Industries: Gratitude for Second Chances
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Homeboy Industries is a gang-rehabilitation program that takes “Everybody deserves a second chance” to the next level. This is our way of saying thank you for all that they’ve done.
“Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
That is Homeboy Industries’ motto. The Los Angeles-based program, founded in 1992 by Father Greg Boyle, provides jobs, job training, adult education classes, tattoo removal, anger-mangement sessions and the gift of a second chance to hundreds of former gang members, ex-convicts and high-risk youth. It is the largest gang-rehabilitation program in the country and provides its members with skills for not only getting a job but coping with life after gangs, prison, or both. They run a host of small businesses which are used as transitional employment including a bakery, a cafe and catering company, and a silkscreen and embroidery company.
Homeboy Industries provides its members with skills for not only getting a job, but also coping with life after gangs, prison or both.
Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist Melissa Golden spent four days photographing Homeboy Industries in 2012. She says she was a little intimidated by the former gang members at first, but as she ”got to know the people behind the tattoos,” she says, she found that ”these people were there in search of redemption. They had no place else to go and were looking to make a new life for themselves.” The people she met were sweet, considerate and friendly, but most of all, she says, there was a theme of thankfulness.
“Everybody I talked to at Homeboy Industries was so genuinely grateful to be there.”
That much is clear in the striking photos shared below. Happy Thanksgiving.