The Board of Supervisors voted earlier this month to explore a partnership with Homeboy Industries aimed at keeping ex-offenders from committing new crimes.
Supervisor Don Knabe proposed the collaboration, saying the nonprofit group has a proven model for breaking the cycle of gang violence.
“Every day, gang members from all over the county are walking into Homeboy Industries, asking for help to change their lives,” Knabe said.
“These are often the very same young men and women who have been in the county’s foster care system, have been in and out of our juvenile detention facilities, and have been the ones that have ‘graduated’ to county jail or state prison.”
Homeboy Industries offers job training, legal services, mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence programs for former gang members. It runs several businesses, including a cafe, bakery and catering company, that employ high-risk young people.
The county has given the organization nearly $2 million in grants over the last few years, including one to pay for removing gang tattoos, according to Knabe. But he urged the board to do more, suggesting that the Probation Department work with Homeboy staffers to craft a strategic partnership to reduce recidivism by juvenile and adult offenders.
The board’s vote in support was unanimous.
A report is scheduled back in 30 days.