Since the launch of our 18-month training model, the women of Homegirl Café have benefited not just from the job skills they’ve learned and the income they’ve taken home, but from Homeboy Industries’ many other services. Caseworkers work with each trainee to craft a plan that may include psychotherapy, substance abuse counseling, parenting classes and/or arts programming. Our trauma-informed clinical services ensure that trainees have the self-esteem that is critical to success on the job and in life. Trainees also have access to GED classes, one-on-one tutoring and our charter high school.
The women who come to Homeboy often face a unique set of challenges, including family reunification, domestic violence and sex trafficking. Classes like Building Relationships for Women help address these needs.
At the start of the 18-month period, trainees work on the maintenance crew and have time to take classes and work on themselves. As their training becomes more advanced, and they are eventually assigned to externships or one of Homeboy’s social enterprises, trainees scale back on classes and clinical services; at this point, they’re ready to integrate with the larger community.
One of the social enterprises, Homegirl Café, provides a safe space for women to develop positive relationships with other women. The café has been integral in the lives of trainees like Angie, whose smiling face greets people at the bakery counter each day. Gang violence was part of Angie’s family life growing up, but as a single mother of four, she wanted her children to have more stability and better opportunities. Her income at the café has allowed her to provide for her children, the oldest of whom she is now sending to college. Angie’s story is just one of many examples of how the Homeboy model breaks the cycle of intergenerational violence.
At Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Cafe, we help formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men, women and youth redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.
To meet these goals, we provide a variety of different services. Since the beginning of 2013:
All of these services are provided free of charge.
Homeboy Industries has many positive outcomes to report from 2013. With your help:
We are proud of our trainees' and community clients' many accomplishments, and grateful for your support of our organization.
As part of their training at Homegirl Cafe, all of our trainees are encouraged to access the array of support services available at Homeboy Industries. Among the crucial support services we offer are: individual and group mental health therapy, case management, substance abuse counseling, education, employment readiness services, and free tattoo removal procedures.
Tattoos -- particularly visible, gang-related tattoos -- are a key barrier that our trainees face in obtaining employment outside of Homegirl Cafe. The tattoo removal process, while very painful, plays an important role not only in preparing trainees for outside employment, but also in helping trainees to re-identify and re-define themselves. The process helps these women remove the external marks of their former involvement with gangs and the criminal justice system, and it mirrors the transformative process they undergo while participating in the Homegirl Cafe training program.
More than 30 local physicians graciously volunteer their time to help women in the Homegirl Cafe, as well as trainees and community clients from Homeboy Industries, remove their visible, gang-related tattoos and further the process of redirecting their lives, re-entering their communities, and becoming better role models for their children.
In the past three months alone, more then 3,000 women and men have undergone treatments, and more than 13,000 tattoos have been removed. We are grateful to the many supporters who help trainees at Homegirl Cafe and Homeboy Industries display these external signs of internal transformation.