Gangs

The patron saint of those involved in and affected by gang violence is Blessed Karl Leisner.

“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6


A “gang” is defined as a group of three or more people who interact among themselves to the exclusion of other groups, have a group name, often claim a neighborhood or territory, often use signs or symbols, and engage in criminal or anti-social behavior on a regular basis. Another definition is that “a gang exists in order to fulfill the gang members’ needs: food, shelter, clothing, love, affection, identity, respect, etc.”

Unfortunately, some gang members confuse fear with respect and wants with needs. American subcultures can be beautiful, a variety of music styles can sound good, different foods can taste great, but many gang members have cultural pride and gang pride mixed up. They mostly do harm to their own people, the ones they claim they are fighting to protect. Misplaced cultural pride is one reason why many kids join gangs. There is also a connection between gang affiliation and poverty, but this is no excuse. If being poor or being a minority were guarantees for being a gang member, then every kid in every barrio or ghetto or Chinatown would be a gang member and we know that is not the case.

RESOURCES

Project Fatherhood 

Phone: 213-260-7604

Email: PFatherhood@ChildrensInstitute.org

Address: (Otis Booth Campus) 2121 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Project Fatherhood works to re-engage low-income fathers, particularly in urban settings, in the care and upbringing of their children. Through therapy, support, parenting education, and other services, fathers learn to be more loving, responsible parents and active participants in their children’s lives.

HomeBoy Industries

Phone: 323-526-1254 Fax: 323-526-1257

General Info Email: info@homeboyindustries.org

HomeBoy Industries serves at-risk and gang involved youth in Los Angeles with a continuum of services and programs designed to meet their multiple needs, and runs four businesses that serve as job-training sites. Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, founded and runs Homeboy Industries today.

  • HomeGirl Cafe & Catering
  • HomeBoy Bakery, Diner & Farmer’s Market
  • HomeBoy Silkscreen & Embroidery
  • HomeBoy & HomeGirl Merchandising

Recommended Read:  Tattoos of the Heart by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ

Teen Challenge in Orange County

It is the mission of Teen Challenge to provide youth, adults and children an effective and comprehensive faith-based solution to drug and alcohol addiction as well as other life-controlling problems. We are committed to enabling and equipping those we serve to find freedom from addictive behavior, to become socially and emotionally healthy, physically well and spiritually alive. Teen Challenge reaches out to people from all backgrounds and gives back to local communities with outreaches, events, after-school programs and much more.