Homeboy Industries
by Cassidy D’Oca
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Aim: The goal of Homeboy Industries is to provide an alternative to the life of crime and violence. The organization works with these troubled individuals to promote change and help to put them on a better path. Theres no discrimination in who can receive support and assistance from the program. Anyone who is at high-risk for violence or committing crimes is able to be apart of a program that will provide them assistance in an overall life transformation. Homeboy Industries takes on a task that society has never considered, working to fix the broken lives of gangbangers (Homeboy Industries). Before this organization was founded gangbangers had no way of leaving their dangerous lifestyle, but now they have multiple options to help them turn their lives around. By helping to put an end to stereotypes and changing the ways of these people, Homeboy Industries is slowly lowering the amount of gang related crimes and deaths (Make a Donation). This foundation is able to not only provide programs and employment to these high-risk teens but is also a positive influence in their lives.

Audience: The intended audience of Homeboy Industries is primarily at-risk youth and troubled society members, but the organization will provide help to people of all situations. These types of people often struggle to get away from the life they are trapped in. Homeboy Industries helps these people by providing them with a paying job and classes that will help them adjust to society instead of turning back to their old ways (Second Chances). In order to help these people they must understand the lifestyle they came from and they must be able to comprehend the tragedies that these people have gone through. This group understands the struggles that their members face so they do everything in their power to provide them with the materials to get to a better place in their life. These individuals might seem incapable of change but this foundation ignores that stereotype and refuses to allow it to hold them back (Homeboy Industries). By providing assistance to anyone who is troubled, it will eventually help to put an end to the control that these gangs have over their members. Getting away from the criminal lifestyle is the first step but unless focused on the goal, they will go right back into their old ways.

Historical: Father Gregory Boyle, the author of Tattoos on the Heart, is also the founder of an organization called Homeboy Industries. This foundation works alongside with gang members to help them adjust back to a normal life and transition out of their current violent or high-risk lifestyles (Make A Donation). Boyle began this organization in 1992 when he came to the realization of just how many gang members had approached him for help to start their lives over. When interviewed on his organization, Boyle told the LA Times his key to success, stating that he would “Refuse to demonize a single gang member, and refuse to romanticize a single gang” (Homeboy Industries). The purpose of Homeboy Industries is to work with gang members to assist and support them until they were able provide for themselves. Boyle wanted to lower the violent acts committed by these gangs, by providing these individuals with another option rather than staying in a violent gang. Homeboy Industries helped these gang members by providing them with free programs that varied from counseling, to employment services, and even tattoo removal (Make a Donation). The youth program even has its own small businesses which provide members with employment opportunities. Boyle created Homeboy Industries because he realized that this increasing problem with gangs had no viable solutions, so he went out and created a solution for them. Homeboy Industries gave a purpose to these former gang members and ex-cons who were stereotyped by society, it helped them turn their lives around and receive a fresh start.

Cultural: Homeboy Industries went against the stereotypes that were given to the youth, proving that these troubled individuals were capable of change. With the help of this organization, former gang members were able to overcome their past and have a fresh start at life. Society views these types of people as incapable of receiving help or changing their ways, but this program is proof that a viable solution exists (Make a Donation). Although given the opportunity for a fresh start, some will not take advantage of this and will revert back to their old habits. Being able to make an impact in even a small amount of people makes this program worthwhile (Second Chances). This group is helping those who society avoids, it gives them a second-chance when no one else would. Homeboy Industries provides a positive influence for these youth and encourages them to avoid anything that is potentially negative. Having some members revert back to their violent ways is not a failure for Homeboy Industries, a change can only be made so slightly at a time.

Works Cited:
"Homeboy Industries Is a Struggling Success Story." Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
"House Of Second Chances." Fast Company. N.p., 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.
"Make A Donation." Homeboy Industries. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.