Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Homeboy Industries

Cultural Monday was missed this week because D was a bit under the weather.  But last Monday, we toured Homeboy Industries.   I was introduced to Homeboy Industries by RedTri LA Blog...it was featured in their "How'd They Make That" post. From the pictures, it looked like you got a tour of their bakery and then you'd get a baked good at the end of it.
That's a little bit of why I went, but also because after reading more about what this organization does, I was intrigued.  I like their mission: Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs, and operates seven social enterprises that serve as job-training sites.  Now THAT is impressive.  I have a soft spot for organizations that help to rebuild people.

So, my review of Homeboy Industries as a "food tour" would be thumbs down!!  Especially for young children. You are taken on a tour of their facilities which is all good and well, but really kind of too advanced for a four year old.  Also, the tour guide gives you a little background as to how she got to Homeboy Industries.  Survivor of domestic violence...also not so appropriate for kiddos.  Luckily, that background just flew right over our kids ears.  (A friend of mine joined me for the tour with her 4 year old).  No tour of the bakery.  You just got to see it from a window in the office overlooking the bakery.

However, for a curious philanthropist, I would highly recommend a tour of this place.  What they offer and what they accomplish is really remarkable.  When my friend and I left the place, we were thinking, "Wow, I wonder how this place is funded."  Look at how beautiful the facade is...

And then I came home to read this article in the LA Times. Seriously, it's like Father Boyle says, "Anyone will give to homeless puppies...but rejuvenating former gang member...not an easy sell."  And that is just not right.

From the article:  UCLA professor Jorja Leap, who studies gangs and intervention programs, has spent nearly five years tracking 300 Homeboy clients. She says she's seen solid results, and that the majority of the 300 have stayed out of prison, had reduced their levels of traumatic stress disorder, found full- or part-time work and rekindled family ties.

I read this article, and then I caught up on the Grammys that night and all I'm thinking in my mind is, why don't any of the musician and actors that have come out of Compton and thereabouts putting any money into this organization??  They could easily do so..

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