Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.
May 26, 2015

Homeboy Graduates Find Great Jobs

Homegirl Cafe staff pointing to our Zagat sign
Homegirl Cafe staff pointing to our Zagat sign

Homeboy Industries’ culinary training program provided job training and wrap-around support for 78 former gang members and previously incarcerated individuals between July 1 and December 31, 2014. All trainees work closely with case managers to determine goals and create roadmaps to meeting those goals. They participate in classes ranging from Anger Management to Pathways to College. Individual therapy and support groups for substance abuse, domestic violence, and other issues help trainees deal with deep-rooted struggles that often result from traumatic childhoods.

The combination of rigorous job training and a therapeutic environment has facilitated true transformation for people like Karla, who had several roles at Homeboy Industries and worked her way up to a position at Homegirl Café. Upon graduation she went through a lengthy interview process to secure a job at Marriott Hotels, where her strong work ethic and effervescent personality quickly impressed staff and guests. Two recent Homeboy culinary graduates, Selina and Javier, were accepted into internships at the prestigious Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills and subsequently were hired full-time.

Homeboy’s commitment to facilitating change for society’s most marginalized people is unwavering. As Homeboy founder Fr. Greg Boyle tells trainees, “What gets melted away here is all the stuff that people aren’t. What’s left is your brilliance.”

Dec 15, 2014

Tacos and Transformation

Homeboy Food Truck
Homeboy Food Truck

Since its opening in 2007, Homegirl Café has been a destination for Angelenos who enjoy “Mexican food with a twist.” The café is also a safe, encouraging training ground for the women who work there. Under the leadership Café Manager Arlin Crane, Homegirl Café is constantly trying new things; last year we began selling tamales made from scratch for the holidays, in keeping with Mexican tradition. We also invite volunteer groups to participate in “tamaladas,” tamale-making parties at which former gang members and volunteers work side by side, sharing food and stories.

Homeboy Industries also recently launched the Homeboy Food Truck, which employs several alumni from Homegirl Café. The truck specializes in chilaquiles—fried tortilla strips with toppings like red mole chicken, chipotle skirt steak, veggies, and cotija cheese—and also serves up tacos, sandwiches, and pastries.

In the past year, 39 trainees have worked at Homegirl Café and received wrap-around services at Homeboy Industries, including case management, education, counseling, and tattoo removal. Fifty trainees (including café workers and those in our other food-related social enterprises) received California ServSafe Food Handler’s permits. Homeboy graduates went on to work for companies such as DeLuscious Cookies, Little Mama’s Café, and Robek’s Juice.

Delicious food is a means to a more important end: helping women who’ve faced nearly impossible hardships rediscover their own worth. A trainee named Lily recently said she now tries to see her the challenges she’s faced “not as my enemy but my dearest friend, allowing it to bring out the best…. Homeboy Industries has allowed me to accept my past as a wonderful part of me. It helped me see my strengths and how important I am.”

Jul 10, 2014

Employment is on the Menu at Homegirl Cafe

Homegirl Cafe alumna Laneshia
Homegirl Cafe alumna Laneshia

At Homeboy we maintain that “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job,” but it takes a village to build real careers. That’s where our Employment Services department comes in: They maintain relationships with dozens of “felon-friendly” companies and help place Homeboy alumni (as well as other community members who seek out our services) in jobs that match their skills and interests.

Homeboy’s partner companies agree with Father Greg, who often says to trainees, “You are not the worst thing you’ve ever done.” Thanks to our partners’ firm belief in second chances, Homegirl Cafe trainees have gone on to work in restaurants, grocery stores, and more. Laneshia, pictured above, got hired as a chef at a Beverly Hills restaurant when she finished her 18-month training program at Homegirl Café.

In the first quarter of 2014:

  • 5 Homeboy trainees received a California ServSafe Foodhandler’s permit.
  • 18 trainees participated in resume-building sessions.
  • 14 trainees participated in mock interviews.
  • 18 trainees participated in interviews for outside jobs.
  • 11 trainees were placed in supermarket or grocery store jobs.

Homegirl Café trainees learn every aspect of food service, from ordering ingredients from wholesalers to working as a line cook to waiting tables. They’ve also been adding new menu items with help from Café Manager Arlin Crane. Gluten-free guests can now get tacos on nopal (cactus) leaves instead of a tortilla, and the Peruvian beans were an instant hit.

Homegirl Café trainees learn every aspect of food service, from ordering ingredients from wholesalers to working as a line cook to waiting tables. They’ve also been adding new menu items with help from Café Manager Arlin Crane. Gluten-free guests can now get tacos on nopal (cactus) leaves instead of a tortilla, and the Peruvian beans were an instant hit.

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