Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), a program created in 1988 by Father Gregory Boyle while he was serving as pastor of Dolores Mission parish in Boyle Heights. Begun as a jobs program in 1988, offering alternatives to gang violence in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city, the program soon grew beyond the parish.
With the addition of a small bakery in a run-down warehouse across the street from Dolores Mission, JFF had its own business, one where it could hire the most challenging, difficult to place young people in a safe environment. The hope was that they could learn both concrete and soft job skills, to make them stronger, better prepared candidates for permanent employment. A tortilla stand in Grand Central Market downtown solidified the evolution of JFF into Homeboy Industries.
In only a few years, Homeboy Industries has had an important impact on the Los Angeles gang problem,
with young people from over half of the region’s 1,100 known gangs seeking a way out through Homeboy. Thousands of young
people have walked through the doors of Homeboy Industries looking for a second chance, and finding community.
Gang affiliations are left outside as these young people work together,
side by side, learning the mutual respect that
comes from shared tasks and challenges.
Homeboy Industries, now located in downtown Los Angeles, is recognized as the largest gang intervention program
in the county, and has become a national model.