Homeboy Industries, the LA-based gang intervention program founded and run by Father Gregory Boyle, recently received a $1.3-million contract from Los Angeles County supervisors to continue their program for at-risk youth. The contract will make it possible for Homeboy to hire 20 job trainees and provide services such as tattoo removal and employment counseling to over 600 individuals. Additionally, Homeboy has decided to use a portion of the funds to contract with UCLA researchers currently involved in a 5-year longitudinal study of the organization.
The study, being performed by UCLA School of Public Affairs faculty Jorja Leap, adjunct associate professor of social welfare, and Todd Franke, associate professor of social welfare, marks the first time there has ever been a longitudinal evaluation of a gang intervention program. With analytical evidence of its effectiveness, Homeboy will be better equipped to secure future program funding.