LOS ANGELES – The country's largest anti-gang program, Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, has laid off most of its employees because of a decline in donations.
The Rev. Greg Boyle said Thursday that 300 people lost their jobs but the organization will continue to offer tattoo removal and counseling services.
The silk-screening factory, landscaping company and other businesses where former rival gang members work side by side will be shut down. The Homegirl Cafe, which employs 100 people near downtown, will stay open.
The acclaimed anti-gang program ran into financial trouble last year when contributions dried up and government contracts were cut.
Boyle, a Jesuit priest, recently published a memoir about ministering with gang members entitled "The Power of Boundless Compassion." He says he has also stopped taking a paycheck.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com