Homegirl Cafe supports the emotional, educational, and work needs of former female gang members by offering them hands-on training in a safe work environment. Women and girls considered high-risk in Los Angeles County are in desperate need of basic tools and opportunities to improve their lives. By offering a positive alternative to gang life and the accompanying violence, Homegirl Cafe helps these young women and girls, and now young men employed in the Cafe, to create stronger families, make better choices for themselves, break the cycle of poverty, and increase their self-confidence, making them better leaders and heads of households. We strive to find them work, as well as to create an environment where they can find support, grow, and improve their situation.
We have some exciting new updates from the last months; the training program has launched Homegirl Café's Backyard Gardens initiative, where Homegirl trainees plant and maintain family and organization gardens to grow organic produce for the café- we have four gardens so far and hope to expand to many more in the upcoming months. The Homegirl Café has also partnered to create a community garden in Central Juvenile Hall, where Homegirls can serve as mentors to incarcerated youth while teaching gardening skills. In the past months Homegirl Café has also brought an exciting new product- smash it ups - to three farmers' markets in Los Angeles: Pershing Square, South Pasedena, and 3rd & Hope, where Homegirls "smash up" seasonal fruits and veggies grown in our gardens into healthy salads and fruit cocktails. At our annual Lo Maximo Awards Dinner, Homegirl Café provided all of the appetizers and "smash it ups" for over 750 guests; at this event we honored this year's Homegirl Hero, Shayna, who now works full time at the Black Cat Café
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