Los Angeles Immersion: Day 4

Today was quite the adventure! We first started off with reflection and morning prayer, and then departed for Homeboy Industries, which is the largest gang rehabilitation program in the world. Homeboy Industries was started in Los Angeles in 1988 by Jesuit Father Gregory Doyle as a simple jobs program whithin the Dolores Mission Parish. When we first arrived at the site, we were greeted by our tour guide, Elena, who was a former gang member who had an addiction to Methaphetamine. Elena gave us a tour of the building, where Homeboy offers Case Management, Education, Employment Services, Twelve Step Meetings, Legal Services, Mental Health Services, Tattoo Removal Services, and Solar Panel Installation Training to former gang members. Homeboy Industries also has a high school for former teenage gang members who need to get a high school diploma. Homeboy also has five businesses which it runs, called Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Cafe and Catering, Homeboy Merchandise, and Homeboy Silkscreen.

After having a great lunch at Homegirl Cafe, we departed for Mount St. Mary's College, an all-female college in Downtown Los Angeles, where we were greeted by Christina Firestone, who used to work at Chaminade-West Hills High School and who now is a Resident Minister at one of the dorms at Mount St. Mary's College. We had a candid conversation in the chapel of her experiences growing up in the West Hills and her experiences with her faith. After that, we toured St. Vincent De Paul Parish, then after some prayer time in the church, we drove back to Duarte to have some Rest time, have a great BBQ and end the evening with Prayer and Reflection led by Chris.

Tomorrow, we start off with an early day at the Dolores Mission and School. Keep updated for pictures and more posts!

Peace and Blessings,
Anthony Selvanathan (Chaminade University of Honolulu, Class of 2015)

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