The Mental Health Department at Homeboy Industries is as innovative as the agency itself, providing trauma-informed clinical services uniquely designed to meet the complex needs of our clients.
Homeboy clients carry life histories marked by poverty, family and street violence, marginalization and intergenerational abuse and neglect. As a result of incarceration experiences, they face additional challenges presented by institutionalization, discrimination, “no place to call home,” negligible work history, and criminal records which preclude even hopes of employment. We stand in awe of what our clients carry, rather than sitting in judgment of how they carry it.
The importance of building trust and an individualized approach that doesn’t follow any kind of specific protocol. We do whatever works to create a safe and comforting space for the client.
Always an Open Door
Fajima Bedran, director of Mental Health Services, has a door that’s always open. “Many of our clients experience what we call complex, or developmental, trauma. In addition to experiencing childhood trauma, they have experienced multiple traumas, throughout their lives.
“I feel like I’m in school all over again— you know, like starting high school where you can be who you want to be. You don’t have to be this person that you’ve been… you can become the true essence of you.”