Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Jobs not Jails
July 16, 2012 5:25 PM   Subscribe

"We don’t hire homies to bake bread. We bake bread to hire homies"--Father Gregory Boyle, Jesuit Priest and founder of Homeboy Industries.

Previously.
posted by apricot (23 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think they do great work, but I'm always disappointed by their salsas. C'mon, cons, make it spicier!
posted by klangklangston at 5:44 PM on July 16, 2012


"We don’t hire homies to bake bread. We bake bread to hire homies"

That's the most perfect description of the WPA I ever heard.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:49 PM on July 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


This is a really interesting case study of why non-profits need to diversify their income streams, and how to do so while staying true to your core mission. Wish we all had a ridiculously well-connected nearly-ex-con CEO, though. Father Boyle is a true inspiration; bless him. (If more priests were like him, I might still be Catholic. Okay, probably not, but I'd be a hell of a lot less resentful about my upbringing.)
posted by smirkette at 5:51 PM on July 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Everyone is a lot more than the worst thing they ever did. This place is about redemption and restoration." A little teary eyed here.
posted by Isadorady at 5:58 PM on July 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Too right, smirkette. I'm a borderline atheist, and even if I wasn't I would still be skeptical of the Catholic Church. But damned if the Jesuits aren't a total class act.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:02 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Everyone is a lot more than the worst thing they ever did.

I have found the epitaph for my tombstone.
posted by SPrintF at 6:11 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Speaking of reboots: Just learned there is another Jesuit Priest doing something cool hosting a network enterprise show with homework!
posted by TangerineGurl at 6:17 PM on July 16, 2012


Working as a bread baker is still the most satisfying job I have ever had, and it's been thirty years and a lot of jobs, some of which I've really loved, and remarkably few of which have been "maybe I'll get hit by a bus and won't have to go to work!" kinds of jobs. Being a bread baker wins over all of them.
posted by rtha at 6:21 PM on July 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Jesuits all have jobs/active ministries, and when you look through their directory, it says, doctor, teacher at Loyola, professor at St. Francis, priest at Dolores Mission, etc. When they are too old or infirm to go out to work any longer, the directory lists their work as "praying for the Church and the Society."

Which I share just because the Jesuits are awesome and, for them, no one is too small or weak or humble to do important work.

Thanks for a beautiful story.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:29 PM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's great, thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:40 PM on July 16, 2012


This is awesome. In Baltimore the Sylvan Beach Foundation has an ice cream shop that employs people in their program. They also have a cafe and do catering.
posted by schroedinger at 7:53 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jesuits are totally badass.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


My husband played me this video of Father Boyle speaking last year. It's long, but totally worth it. He is such a great example of someone making positive changes in a community a little bit at a time, and his message is really amazing.

I spent 8 years with the Jesuits (high school and college), and although I am a complete and total atheist, I still think that they are awesome.
posted by elvissa at 8:07 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Too bad they licensed the name to companies that don't hire any actual Homeboy grads. Sadly, neither the bakery nor the cafe have been very good at placing people in actual jobs--the people don't really learn the skills that make them competitive and the board and staff haven't really tried to network with the rst of the LA food world.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:08 PM on July 16, 2012


"Nothing stops a bullet like a job" Fr. Greg Boyle on NPR.
posted by dfm500 at 8:11 PM on July 16, 2012


Glad to see this posted here- It's a great read and I'm beyond lucky to have been the photographer on this piece. I have a notebook on my desk full of the most heart wrenching, tear-jerking, inspirational testimonials and stories from the homies I talked to while I was there for 3 days in February. HBI is the kind of place full of the kind of people who restore one's faith in humanity.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 10:36 PM on July 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


I recommend their California nougat cake and their spicy mango jelly/jam.
posted by Bwithh at 10:56 PM on July 16, 2012


The documentary, G-DOG
posted by Bwithh at 11:01 PM on July 16, 2012


I love things like this. We have something here in New Orleans that's a bit similar, called Café Reconcile. Sadly, it is undergoing renovations right now but I am all over that place as soon as September rolls around.
posted by Scientist at 11:29 PM on July 16, 2012


The photos are awesome, TheGoldenOne - they really bring home the point about tattoo removal etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:40 AM on July 17, 2012


The photos are fantastic, TheGoldenOne! I love the first one in the slideshow, of the man with the sweetest, most gentle expression on a face that is completely covered in tattoos.
posted by apricot at 9:23 AM on July 17, 2012


elvissa: My husband played me this video of Father Boyle speaking last year. It's long, but totally worth it. He is such a great example of someone making positive changes in a community a little bit at a time, and his message is really amazing.

I spent 8 years with the Jesuits (high school and college), and although I am a complete and total atheist, I still think that they are awesome.
Agreed. My roommate's girlfriend just bragged about being thrown out of her religion class at a Catholic university for asking a blasphemous/logical question. Whether or not that's true... I replied, "Pity you didn't have a Jesuit prof. He'd have given you a gold star - and then asked the class to debate your quip."
posted by IAmBroom at 10:38 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the first one in the slideshow, of the man with the sweetest, most gentle expression on a face that is completely covered in tattoos.

This was something I found when teaching in an urban school: often, the "hardest" presenting kids were the sweetest. It would come out if you were kind and respectful, but given what was happening in their neighborhoods and the places the buses they took to school had to go through, many opted to try to look like a badass without actually getting involved in rough stuff. Sadly, the older they got, the more likely it seemed that they would succumb to the negative elements in the neighborhood. I know for a fact the ability to get a steady job was a major factor. Also, there is a sense of hopeless despair that gets passed down from generation to generation, just like the family recipes. That's why people like Father Boyle are so damn important: they provide a steady source of real, tangible hope, along with love and respect.
posted by smirkette at 11:20 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older How Jack Kirby helped the CIA rescue diplomats in ...  |  Kitty Wells, a pioneer of wome... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments