The Fact That Changed Everything: Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries

Maga-
zines need love too!
Palestinian hip-hop group DAM has a message for the patriarchy http://t.co/qSSPhCLA5n http://t.co/RrA9MpisfL
The Fact That Changed Everything: Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries The Fact That Changed Everything: Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries
Lifestyle

The Fact That Changed Everything: Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries

by Bekah Wright, Jessica De Jesus

September 9, 2012

This content is brought to you by GOOD, with support from IBM

Still, Homeboy has barriers to overcome, like finding employment for those in the program with criminal records. Another daunting hurdle – funding. Operation costs run $14 million per year, only 40 percent of which comes through the organization’s businesses. “People are always surprised, like if you need money to run the largest gang intervention rehab and re-entry program in the world there must be something wrong,” says Boyle. “We have to do battle with that kind of crazy thinking.”

And just what is Homeboy’s battle strategy? Says Boyle, “Along with being of concrete help to people who walk through our door, Homeboy Industries is announcing a message to the world of, ‘What if we invest in people rather than just seeking to incarcerate our way out of this problem? What if we were to begin to imagine a community of kinship touched by God where people recognize we belong to each other?’”

As far as statistics that have arisen from Homeboy’s program, here’s one that makes people take notice: Homeboy has a 70 percent retention rate in its services as compared to other programs in which the average retention is about 20 percent. As a result, programs from around the country have come looked to Homeboy Industries as a model. “We’re hoping to convene the programs next year to share notes and practices,” says Boyle. “Then, who knows, maybe it becomes a network that has some teeth that can help shape policy.”

As for Homeboy’s impact on Boyle, he says it’s changed his life. “In the end, [these participants] saved my life. When I need patience, they save me from my impatience. When I’m lacking courage, they save me from my cowardice. If there’s any saving that happens here, it’s completely mutual.”

For others who seek to undertake a seemingly insurmountable project, Boyle draws on personal experience. “As for me, I just tried to do the best I could, to be humble, listen at every step and respond.”

+
Join the discussion
Recently on GOOD