Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homeboy Jesuit Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J. "A Dramatic Drop In LA's Gang Violence And Crime"

For all the accolades Homeboy Industries has garnered for its work taking gang members off the streets and training them for jobs, generating the revenue to pay for its services has proved increasingly difficult 
The organization actually receives little funding these days from local government, which instead is focusing more on gang intervention programs that focus on reducing violence among current gang members, he said. The recession has hurt Homeboy in several ways. 
The private donations that typically help balance the budget are down. And there are fewer jobs for graduates of Homeboy's various programs. "A lot of good workers lost their jobs," Boyle (pictured) said. "So when there's an opening for something, who are they going to pick, one of my guys who's tattooed and is a felon, or somebody with a good work history?" 
Boyle said L.A.'s dramatic drop in crime — and gang violence — may have in its own way contributed to Homeboy's financial problems. 
With less gang violence, he said, helping reformed gang members feels less urgent to some donors.
Link (here) to the full LA Times article.

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