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In 2020, Homeboy Industries launched LA County’s first youth re-entry center in Boyle Heights, focused on preventing high-risk gang-affiliated youth from entering the adult prison system. Homeboy’s Youth Re-entry Center serves approximately 100 formerly incarcerated or gang-involved youth, ages 14-24, each year. The Center provides therapeutic wraparound services, such as mental health, academic, college prep, and career readiness services.
In LA County, youth are confined at higher rates in both state and local correctional facilities. Justice-involved youth face systemic barriers that interfere with their access to education, employment, and overall wellbeing as they become adults, including histories of trauma and exposure to violence, discrimination, and education instability. According to the LAPD, there are 450 active gangs in LA with an estimated 45,000 members. With this high density of gangs, adjudicated youth are at much higher risk of joining at a young age, leading to a cycle of offending and re-offending.
JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH ARE INCREASINGLY TURNING TO HOMEBOY ONCE RELEASED FROM JUVENILE DETENTION
Historically, unstructured free-time, particularly in the summer, are risk factors that can contribute to youth becoming gang-involved. With access to Homeboy’s youth programming, formerly incarcerated youth are provided opportunities to heal and change the arc of their lives. Our Youth Re-entry Center services provides structured enrichment programs during free-time and includes help with enrolling in school, finding court-mandated parenting or domestic violence classes, removing holds on driver’s licenses, and much more.
Youth Re-entry Center Services and Programming
In LA County, youth are confined at higher rates in both state and local correctional facilities. Justice-involved youth face systemic barriers that interfere with their access to education, employment, and overall wellbeing as they become adults, including histories of trauma and exposure Homeboy’s youth programming is modeled after our highly successful therapeutic, evidence-based paid re-entry program for formerly gang-involved and incarcerated men and women, or “trainees.” Our traditional re-entry program has been designed with evidence-based practices for adults returning from prison. Extending these competencies to a youth-focused program offers a safe and supportive bridge for those who are developmentally somewhere between adolescence and adulthood.
We provide youth trainees with support and resources related to court mandates, education, employment, housing, and others.
Our young trainees participate in a 12-month program and are assigned case managers who they meet with regularly.
Once enrolled in our programming, youth can access our:
- Youth Trainee program, which provides mental health care through individual, group, and family counseling and linkages to employment opportunities.
- Youth Navigation, where youth are connected with a Youth Navigator providing leadership and peer mentorship.
- Learning Works Charter School, which serves youth re-entering from juvenile detention centers/camps and youth who have dropped out or are in danger of withdrawing from mainstream education.
- Homeboy Art Academy, which offers art as the central modality to healing and transformation.
- Internal Care Coordination for youth participants, which provides referrals to services at Homeboy’s headquarters and beyond.
- Academic Growth and Career Support through tutoring, college preparation, college tours, workforce development enrichment, and work readiness programs.