Those of you who follow this blog know that I have long been an admirer of Father Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. They are an amazing gang-intervention group who have transformed the lives of thousands of people through love, compassion, and kinship.
I and my partners at Calotia have long hoped that the Homeboy folks might be able to help us with our own venture, which is similar in many ways. So I was very pleasantly surprised earlier this month when I discovered that they have a Global Homeboy Network to do just that. From their mission statement:
The mission of the Global Homeboy Network is to work with organizations across the globe to create therapeutic communities that offer job skills training, cost-free programs and services, and social enterprise employment. GHN’s goal is to assist other organizations as they provide marginalized men, women, and youth with tools they need to change their lives and become productive members of their communities. At its core the GHN seeks to widen the circle of compassion, tenderness, and kinship by fostering community, sanctuary, family, and a place of welcome for those on the margins. These values drive GHN’s growth and direction.
“Sounds like just what we’re looking for,” I thought. So, I wrote to Alison Lass, director of the Global Homeboy Network, and told her about Calotia. She wrote back a very kind and enthusiastic response, saying, “Your program in Mexico sounds amazing and while in its infancy, your passion and commitment to the work, comes through (shines through!) in your writing.”
With her encouragement, I signed up to attend the annual Global Homeboy Network Gathering in Los Angeles, which this year will be held August 11-13. At the Gathering, we’ll have the opportunity to meet with Homeboy staff and clients and learn about their very successful model for creating that circle of compassion, tenderness, and kinship. I’m really looking forward to meeting Father Greg and the homies! And this feels like a great next step for Calotia.
P.S. Updates on various matters I’ve previously brought up on this blog: I’m still working on the move to Juárez, which looks more and more like it is ready to happen soon (fingers crossed!). And the first Scott Warren trial, the misdemeanor trial, is now complete, but we still await a verdict.