In East Los Angeles, over 50 percent of adults never completed high school. Homeboy Industries works to helps formerly gang-involved men and women transition back into jobs. Additionally, according to the California Department of Education, the rate of 9th to 12th grade drop outs among black high school students rose to 43.5% and to 36.1% for Hispanic/Latino students in 2009. In October 2010, Education Week labeled Los Angeles the “dropout epicenter” of the nation.
As a result, in the 1980s, Father Greg started a small job program, “Jobs for a Future,” as part of Dolores Mission in 1988. The project evolved to become Homeboy Industries in 2001, and has since grown to become “one of the largest, most comprehensive and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry programs in the country.”
According to Homeboy Industries, the model is unique among other organizations serving former gang members.