connect / 2016

Global Homeboy Network: Connecting Through Kinship

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Homeboy Industries

Since 1988 Homeboy Industries has helped people leave gang life; now the Global Homeboy Network connects other organizations that stand with marginalized populations, because together we are stronger.


Please describe your project proposal.

The Global Homeboy Network is an extension of Father Greg Boyle’s pioneering work with East L.A. gang members. Rooted in the belief that there is no “them,” only “us,” the Homeboy model combines therapeutic services and job training in an environment of unconditional acceptance. The Global Homeboy network helps other organizations tailor the model to fit their own communities, and collectively advocate on behalf of those who have been denied a voice.

Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Social & emotional support
  • Cultural events
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • Our project has worldwide impact.

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?

Since our agency began in 1988, hundreds of organizations have visited Homeboy Industries, seeking ways to end gang violence and poverty in their own communities. Many people have implored Homeboy founder Fr. Greg Boyle to “start a Homeboy Industries in our city”; his gentle response is that Homeboy cannot and should not be the “McDonald’s of gang rehabilitation, with billions of gang members served.” We believe that Homeboy’s programs work precisely because they were developed in and by the community they serve. Approximately a quarter of our senior staff is comprised of program graduates, giving Homeboy unprecedented cultural competence and many opportunities for formal and informal peer mentoring. Skills training and mentoring are proven effective reentry models.

In 2014 we launched the Global Homeboy Network, a coalition of organizations dedicated to serving marginalized populations. Our annual Global Homeboy Network Gathering in Los Angeles is an unconventional anti-conference that includes stories, workshops, and activities related to the Homeboy model. Our goal is to provide a starting map and a strategic set of tools for communities around the world, including many in Los Angeles. As a network, we can collectively advocate for change, test and improve services for marginalized populations, work together on public policy, and invest in making changes to the criminal justice system.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

We will consider the Global Homeboy Network a success if we:

  • Convene at least 200 individuals from Los Angeles and around the world at the 2017 Global Homeboy Network Gathering;
  • Create materials and web content that will help member organizations develop successful reentry programs and businesses, including a brochure for potential participants and an in-depth handbook detailing Homeboy’s strategies;
  • Host 15 technical assistance site visits at Homeboy headquarters in L.A.;
  • Learn about how other communities are helping marginalized populations, and evolve our own approach accordingly.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness