Gordon Philanthropies was warmly welcomed to celebrate the launch of Homeboy Industries’ CEO Thomas Vozzo’s new book, The Homeboy Way.
For anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit Homeboy Industries, it is a sanctuary for people in need of second chances, hope, and, most importantly, love. Most trainees, as they are called, are individuals who have been incarcerated, and many were gang members. By coming to Homeboy Industries, these individuals, affectionately called “homies,” are seeking a second chance. As Father Greg always says, “Hope has an address: Homeboy Industries.”
Homeboy Industries is the world’s largest and most successful gang intervention organization. Yes, “in the world” could not be a more accurate statement. Anyone who has walked through the doors of Homeboy Industries knows the immediate feeling of kindness and sincerity from the homies and homegirls. As a visitor, you will also understand why the trainees can be described as fitting the true meaning of grit. It is fair to say that the individuals who seek help from Homeboy Industries have insurmountable obstacles-drug addictions, homelessness, poverty, incarceration, trauma, and the brutalities of gang life.
In the book The Homeboy Way, a woman goes without eating to make sure her children are fed. She eats very little since Homeboy Industries provides meals to all trainees for $2.00 and saves the food so that she can take it back to her kids. The book describes how the lack of diapers is a real issue for many moms and dads at Homeboy Industries. This and many other heartbreaking stories in Tom’s book will drive home the message of the importance of seeing all humans as good and that our biggest mistake does not define us for life and how we need to stop demonizing people living on the margins of our society and instead start looking in their eyes and souls to see their humanity.