Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and recently incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.

As the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the world, Homeboy has been serving high-risk, recently incarcerated, and formerly gang involved youth looking to change their lives for nearly 25 years. Located in gang-neutral territory in Downtown Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries’ headquarters are home to social enterprises that provide job training as well as a multitude of free services for those in need.

Close to 12,000 people walk through it doors every year, seeking services and a path out of gang life. Homeboy strives to address the immediate needs of its clients, such as employment, while simultaneously addressing underlying issues including poverty, mental health disorders, substance abuse and lack of education.

Homeboy’s model of job-training positions, combined with comprehensive wrap-around services, all in a community of acceptance and growth, is recognized as a success by leaders in research, government and law enforcement.

The organization’s holistic approach means that many needs, including case management, tattoo removal, substance abuse, mental health counseling, education, and actual employment, are all available to clients at its headquarters. This "one stop shop" approach, with free services and employment in its social enterprises all offered during working hours, has been proven to reduce client attrition.

In 2012, Homeboy served record numbers of clients with its free, critical services.
  • Tattoo removal provided more than 800 sessions per month with 30 volunteer doctors helping to run the part-time clinic.
  • More than 45 classes were held each month for over 400 clients.
  • 35 clients were enrolled in solar panel installation training and 16 of Homeboy’s 25 recent graduates gained lucrative employment in the solar industry.
  • Job development workshops were provided to more than 300 clients each month.
  • More than 130 clients received in-house mental health therapy, and 30 volunteer therapists provided off-site care.

Besides this far-reaching impact, Homeboy also measures its success by the individual stories of transformed lives that its workers see, every day, as they work with those who have decided to become leaders. During the Homeboy morning meeting on May 4, “homie” trainee Louie Duran asked to speak to the hundreds gathered in the lobby. Louie has been working in the tattoo removal clinic and recently secured a great position at an environmental corporation. On his last day, he came before the group to say “I will never be able to pay Homeboy back with money, but I will pay them back… with my success.” He pointed at every trainee and the folks seeking services that day and said, “You are all diamonds, covered in dust. Let Homeboy wipe off that dust so you can shine and be brilliant.”

Homeboy Industries is so grateful for the friendship of MANY across Los Angeles and the country. It relies on your support and friendship through donations, support of its social enterprises, and even sharing through social media! Volunteering positions are currently limited to MDs for its tattoo removal program, former and current teachers in its GED program, and LCSWs or Licensed Therapists/Psychiatrists for its mental health department.

Selected Awards:
Awarded to Father Greg Boyle:
Nancy Daly Advocacy Award
National Child Labor Committee, 2012

California Hall of Fame, 2011

Opus Prize Finalist
Opus Prize Foundation, 2011

See Also: 


Father Greg Boyle, S.J.

Thomas Vozzo
Chief Executive Officer

Downtown LA

Area Served: 
Southern CA

# of Employees:

(Donations+Earned Income)

Guidestar Report

Homegirl Café & Catering is one of Homeboy’s six social enterprises, where young men and women are placed in what is often their first “real job,” learning to work side by side with their former enemies and gaining fundamental job skills in a supportive environment.
The café assists high-risk and formerly gang-involved young women, and a few young men to become contributing members of our community through training in restaurant service and culinary arts. Homegirl Café has an 18-month training certificate program that empowers women to support themselves and their families while receiving needed services as they work toward a better life.
30 volunteer doctors, using 3 laser machines, perform an average number of 745 tattoo removal treatments every month at Homeboy Industries. All for free.
Tattoo removal has proven to be a critical service for former gang members because the majority possesses visible tattoos – a physical obstacle that makes it difficult for them to obtain secure employment.