Father Greg Boyle and Dennis Sanchez
licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest who found himself in East Lost Angeles 20 years ago trying to find a way to serve its people. What Father Greg came to do is to establish one of the most effective gang intervention programs in the country: Homeboy Industries, which offers job training, counseling, tattoo removal, and a myriad of other services. His organization has served 120,000 gang members, and Los Angeles Police Commission Chairman, Steve Soboroff, is on record stating that Homeboy Industries is a key part of the reason crime rates are down.
I recently read a transcript of an American Public Media interview with Father Greg. He describes how Homeboy Industries came into being:
. . . that was born as we began as sort of a job employment referral center, trying to find felony-friendly employers [laughter] and that wasn’t so forthcoming. So by ’92, we had to start our own. We really — so we couldn’t wait. The demand was so huge and gang members kept saying if only we had jobs. So we started Homeboy Bakery in 1992 and, a month later, we started Homeboy Tortillas in the Grand Central Market, a historic kind of area in LA. Once we had two . . .
“We couldn’t wait.” “The demand was so huge.”
— Greg Boyle, Problem-Solver.
What problem can’t wait for you to solve?