Greg Boyle SJ is an American Jesuit priest and the founder and Director of Homeboy Industries.
In1988, in an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth, he helped develop positive opportunities for them, including establishing an alternative school and a day care program, and seeking out legitimate employment, calling this initial effort Jobs for a Future.
In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Jobs for a Future and Proyecto Pastoral, a community-organizing project begun at the parish, launched their first social enterprise business, Homeboy Bakery. In the ensuing years, the success of the bakery created the groundwork for additional social enterprise businesses, leading Jobs for a Future to become an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries.
Homeboy Industries is the largest and most successful gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. The organization’s holistic approach, with free services and programs, supports 10,000 men and women a year as they work to overcome their pasts, re-imagine their futures, and break the inter-generational cycles of gang violence. Therapeutic and educational offerings (case management, counseling, and classes), practical services (e.g., tattoo removal, work readiness, and legal assistance), and job training-focused business (e.g., Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café, and Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery) provide healing alternatives to gang life, while creating safer and healthier communities.
Fr. Greg is also a consultant to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers. He serves as a member of the National Gang Center Advisory Board (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention). He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy in Los Angeles.
In 2010, Father Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, a book recollecting his 20+ years in the barrio, was published.