Homeboy Industries, Inc.

Ask just about anyone, and they will say that they want to make a difference in this world.  But how we do this AND how we sustain change is a totally different issue.  This week, we hear from Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ — founder and CEO of Homeboy Industries, Inc. Formerly a pastor of a parish in an impoverished section of LA, Fr. Boyle found himself in the cross-fire of competing gangs.  While many of us would find the situation hopeless, Fr. Boyle set out to help the youth he encountered by tending to their very basic needs — a place to belong, dignified work and skills to make a valid contribution to society. Homeboy Industries is a collection of businesses from silk-screening to graffiti removal.  In addition, Fr. Boyle helps young people find work in other places and get off the streets.

The questions asked of Fr. Boyle are about how we sustain change; how we get enemies to work together; how you convince someone to make less money at a job, rather than a large, though illegal, income on the streets; how we reach the “unreachable”; how faith/religion impacts the very troubled lives of youth on the streets; and many others.

I confess that this interview is a bit long at 41 minutes, but I have no doubt that you will find the perspective and stories Fr. Boyle relays to us inspiring and eye-opening.  I remember when I first heard this interview, I went to the Homeboy website and found myself in awe of all that has been done through the determination and hope of Fr. Boyle.  So whether you listen to it in bits or all at once, take the time to listen — it is well worth it.

And remember, if you are at New Mexico State University, we meet every Tuesday from 4-5pm near Java City in the Corbett Center to discuss what we have heard over a cup of coffee.


CREDITS:  “Fr. Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries, Inc.”  Interview:  National Public Radio (NPR), All Things Considered.  September 6, 2006.


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