Skip to content

New complex planned for anti-gang program

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Ellie Hidalgo
4/19/2006 (1 decade ago)
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The mayor of Los Angeles said that a new, long-awaited facility to be built for an anti-gang program could be called "Destination Hope."

JESUIT ANTI-GANG EFFORT BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW FACILITY IN LOS ANGELES
Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, center, is assisted by youths from Homeboy Industries as he breaks ground on the organization's new headquarters in Los Angeles in early March. The 21,000-square-foot center will house a cafe, catering kitchen, offices, a counseling room and other services to assist youths breaking away from the gang lifestyle. (CNS photo)

JESUIT ANTI-GANG EFFORT BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW FACILITY IN LOS ANGELES Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, center, is assisted by youths from Homeboy Industries as he breaks ground on the organization's new headquarters in Los Angeles in early March. The 21,000-square-foot center will house a cafe, catering kitchen, offices, a counseling room and other services to assist youths breaking away from the gang lifestyle. (CNS photo)

Highlights

By Ellie Hidalgo
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)
4/19/2006 (1 decade ago)

Published in Living Faith


"We want to instill in you the idea that anything is possible, that you could turn your life around to do something productive to give back to the community you live in," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told young people at a groundbreaking ceremony in March for Homeboy Industries. The new 21,000-square-foot center, expected to open sometime next year, will house the program's headquarters as well as facilities for its various services, Homegirls Cafe and Catering, a retail store and a new location for Homeboy Bakery. The old bakery, a commercial enterprise of Homeboy Industries, burned down in 1999 following an electrical fire. A capital campaign has raised a little more than half of the needed $11.5 million for the project. Jesuit Father Greg Boyle is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries, which was started in 1992. Last year, the program provided more than 4,000 tattoo removal treatments, 1,000 mental health counseling sessions and nearly 1,000 job placements to youths working for Homeboy businesses or other jobs. The organization reaches out to youths and young adults from 600 area gangs. During the March 10 groundbreaking ceremony, the mayor noted that between 1994 and 2006 the California inmate population increased from 69,000 to 173,000. "Yes, people should face the consequences of their actions. None of us would suggest otherwise. But we also have to look within. What are we doing to turn a life around?" he asked. "We have a lot of work to do to reclaim a young person one at a time because that's what it's all about." Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca noted the irony in locating Homeboy Industries one-quarter of a mile west of the largest jail system in the world - Men's Central Jail - where roughly 5,000 gang members are being held. Baca said the problem of gangs is "extraordinary and difficult" and will not be solved just by arrests. "You cannot put enough people in prison or jails to solve this problem," he said. Homeboy Industries is "an oasis near a place that represents nothing but despair," he said. Father Boyle's work has given him "tremendous inspiration as well," he said, noting the priest's ability to "singly inspire the work of young men who have lost their journey in life" and give them new direction. Wearing his black priestly garb and a colorful Latin American stole, Father Boyle referred to French writer Albert Camus, saying: "Where there is no hope, you have to invent it." He said the groundbreaking for the new center "is about the invention of hope in a city where oftentimes poor young men and women plan their funerals and not their future. This place here announces that we will stand with the disposable, until such time that we stop throwing folks away." One of the young men at the ceremony was 26-year-old Agustin Lizama, who turned his life around after getting a job through Homeboy Industries. After several stints in juvenile facilities and prison, Lizama reached a point where he thought "enough is enough." He went to Father Boyle after being released and got his first job as a phone clerk. "Father G. trusted me by employing me," he said. Today, Lizama facilitates the anger management classes at Homeboy and called it a "dream come true to be a part of this." "I hope I can play a role in touching a young person to redirect themselves to be somebody," he said, adding that he had accomplished more in the last several months than he had in his whole life. "I'm even amazing myself," said Lizama, who is studying to become a drug prevention counselor.

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Comments


More Living Faith

The Many Reasons Why We Call it Good Friday Watch

Image of

On Good Friday we are reminded that death is no longer the final word. For those filled with hope of the Resurrection, it is no longer an ... continue reading


Happy Priest on Holy Thursday, Eucharist, Holiness and Priesthood Watch

Image of The consecration at the Holy Mass

Transubstantiation means "change of substance," or "change of reality."  When the priest repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the ... continue reading



HOLY THURSDAY: What is the foot washing ceremony and why does it matter? Watch

Image of Jesus washed the Disciples' feet to show that nobody is above serving their neighbor.

Why did Jesus wash the Disciples' feet? It seems like such a humiliating task, yet it's also personal, almost intimate. That Jesus ... continue reading


Making a Difference: 'Unplanned' -- the movie you have to see!

Image of

"Unplanned" is an inspiringly powerful movie that will deeply touch your heart. It will move you to feel uncomfortable, angry, sad, ... continue reading


Noah's Ark

Image of

What was Noah's Ark and what has become of it? Noah's Ark was a ship built by Noah on God's command. The ship held Noah and his family as ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.