Los Angeles is a sparkling nexus of innovation and impact. St. Vincent Jewelry Center’s Gems of LA honors extraordinary women in our community who are at the forefront of social change. Each of these LA Gems is deeply committed to improving lives, as they shine as bright as the bling they model for St. Vincent Jewelry.
Meet Homeboy Industries Vice President of Social Enterprise, Arlin Crane. Homeboy was established by Father Gregory Boyle in 1988, as a community center that connected gang members with jobs. He believed that a constructive environment and a second chance could help get them off the streets and potentially save their lives. Today Homeboy is $20 million-plus organization that hires felons and gang members, and their spouses and kids. Arlin describes Homeboy as a human service agency that pays people to change their lives. After an 18-month program focused on love and acceptance while providing therapy, life skills, legal services, and work readiness training, graduates are placed in jobs or hired by one of the enterprises that Arlin oversees. The program has successfully decreased recidivism and resulted in rewarding, more productive lives.
Since the original Homeboy Bakery opened 1992 the organization has grown to include the Homegirl Café, an electronic recycling business, silkscreen and embroidery services, Homeboy gear, a catering company, City Hall Diner, farmer’s markets, grocery products, and an online market. And, they’re all under Arlin’s purview. The businesses provide crucial training grounds for clients while the revenue streams support the organization. For Arlin, a key additional role includes being “mom” to clients — making sure they have someone they can always turn to, someone who truly has their best interests in mind.
Homeboy’s process of transforming the lives of former gang members has become a blueprint for over 250 organizations and social enterprises around the world, from Alabama and Idaho to Guatemala and Scotland.
Click here to learn how Homeboy Industries provides the hope, training, and support to help formerly gang-involved and incarcerated men and women become contributing members of our community.
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