‘Nothing stops a bullet like a job’ Nov. 4 at Second Congregational

Second Congregational United Church of Christ will host a public presentation by Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4.

This event, free and open to the public, will be at Second Congregational United Church of Christ, 318 N. Church St., in downtown Rockford.

Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., is the founder of Jobs For A Future and Homeboy Industries. Started in 1988 for at-risk and gang-involved youth, Jobs For A Future is, today, a nationally-recognized center that assists 1,000 people a month in re-directing their lives. Through its unique and multi-service approach, Jobs For A Future offers hope to those for whom hope is often foreign.

In Boyle Heights, a community with arguably the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles, Jobs For A Future provides employment opportunities, counseling, and many other services, including free tattoo removal. By seeking to address the root causes of gang violence, Jobs For A Future creates opportunities so at-risk youth can plan their futures and not their funerals. “Nothing stops a bullet like a job” is the guiding principle.

In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Father Boyle formed Homeboy Industries, to create businesses that provide training, work experience and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. Homeboy Industries now operates six businesses, staffed by ex-cons, and at-risk and gang-involved youth.

As executive director of Jobs For A Future/Homeboy Industries, Father Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker at conferences for teachers, social workers and criminal justice workers about the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs. He is also the subject of the book G-Dog and the Homeboys by Celeste Fremon (foreword by Tom Brokaw).

For more information, contact Mike Solberg by phone at 963-8431 or via e-mail to mikesolberg@secondcon.com.

From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue

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