“It is not about being successful, it is about just showing up and doing the best you can,” stated Father Boyle. Staying faithful is more important than focusing on the outcomes in life. In Father Boyle’s book “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion” he writes that success is God’s business.
Giving a homie/homegirl a job is not his solution. When Homeboy first started during the late 80′s, Boyle would just dispatch homies to jobs. But when things got rough at home the rate to return to gang life was high. Boyle realized that there was a deeper problem, a psychological element that needed to be attended to.”Therapy, meetings, and classes is a big part of the process… It is not mandatory but highly encouraged,” said Boyle. Communication and interaction can be so foreign to those who have been secluded to a group that thinks the same way they do or someone who is hooked on drugs and continues to isolate themselves from everyone.”I have been using drugs since I was 15 years old, I was taken away from my mom when I was nine, my mom was on drugs, things just got worse,” is how Pamela Diaz, 27 begins the story of her life. “I never knew the personality I had or the ability to communicate with people because I was just letting the drug take over me.”Pamela Diaz grew up in East Los Angeles most of her life. Before going to prison, she was a Medical Assistant for a month. Diaz is smart young woman who has always liked helping others and knew that you need experience to get a good career.”One of my biggest fears growing up was not having a stable roof over my head, and now that I am able to provide that from working at Homeboy I want to provide that for my kids,” stated Diaz.
Staying clean for two years is a big accomplishment for her and the Drug and Alcohol Counseling Program at Homeboy Industries is a big part of her life. Upon completion of her 18-month commitment she wants to return to community college and focus on obtaining a long-term career.
“My two boys are my motivation, I want to be their provider…staying positive and attending meetings keeps me on track,” explained Diaz. Diaz is a part of the Alumni Association at Walden Hills Treatment Program. There she likes to attend meetings, speak at the male facilities and help facilitate the female patients.
“I know how it felt to get taken away from my mom, she was on drugs and now that she has finally gotten her sobriety she has provided me with emotional support that wasn’t there before,” explained Diaz. As a mother, she says being there for your kids is the best way to keep them away from the lifestyle of drugs and violence.”Don’t let nothing get in your way, just keep going. Today, women are strong and can achieve anything. Don’t let anyone tell you different,” advised Diaz. Her passion to help people and try to be a mentor to them is a living example of someone who is following in Father Boyle’s footsteps.The programs these individuals participate in at Homeboy Industries are provided by the professionals that volunteer their time for their services. Funding is always needed to keep the doors open at Homeboy Industries. If you would like to donate money, host a fundraiser or volunteer your time and services please go to HomeboyIndustries.org for more information.You can also go visit and tour Homeboy Industries by emailing your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Homegirl Cafe is a great place to go grab a bite to eat during lunch break if you are in Los Angeles. Homeboy Industries is located at 130 West Bruno Street, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012. To reach them by telephone, call 323.526.1254.
Read more about Homeboy and Homegirls at Where Hope Has An Address