Every gift made to Homeboy Industries assists and helps to
provide hope for an individual seeking a second chance.
Tribute & Memorial gifts are an excellent way to remember a
loved one or to celebrate a special occasion in someone’s life.
Your gift will make a positive impact in the lives of many
formerly gang involved.
Gordy vibrates with energy. He speaks with intensity and conviction, and has a razor sharp memory. And at the age of 25, he has already had a lifetime of experiences.
Gordy grew up in Duarte with a large extended family. His grandmother had 17 children and he describes them as close, although his father is a lifer he only met once. All the men in the family were gang members, so his “brainwashing”, as he refers to it, started early. He assumed being in a gang was what he was meant to do.
He was very close to his grandmother, so when he turned eight and she passed away, it had a huge impact on him. He started hanging out with his cousins who beat him up “to make him tough”. At school he was quiet, but he’d explode with rage when he got picked on. He was expelled for trying to stab another boy on the bus.
He tried to join a gang at 12, but was told to wait until he was 13. He started dealing and using drugs, and ran away from home at 13 to live in a dope house where he snorted meth for the first time and got hooked. His life consisted only of gangs and drugs, of using and selling. He was locked up for various violent offenses from age 13 – 18, with only a year and a half total spent back out on the street. He had earned a reputation of being “hard”, and wanted to be the best at getting away from the cops. It was all a game to him.
Still, Gordy was captivated by Father G the first time he heard him at Mass when he was young and incarcerated. G didn’t talk like any of the other priests. He always spent time with him after Mass and encouraged him to come to Homeboy.
Gordy turned 18 in camp, and when he got out he went to Homeboy. He entered juvenile rehab in Long Beach and started to live differently and meet different kinds of people. But he didn’t feel deserving of it yet and found himself bored by the slower lifestyle. The thrill of the streets was still a draw for him. He thought he could stay away, but he wasn’t ready yet. He missed the drugs and the partying. He was soon arrested again and ended up doing two years in County Jail, which he found to be an unbearably violent, racially divisive place.
After his time at County and his time in prison, he was ready to come back to Homeboy and put his heart and soul into changing his life.
And Homeboy is now at the center of his life. He shows up at 6:45 a.m. and stays until 3:30. He works closely with his case manager, and feels that he gets so much from the anger management classes, from the council circle, and (maybe most importantly) from the fatherhood classes, as he will become a father in June. He and his fiancée have their own apartment with room for the baby.
He proudly spoke at the Lo Maximo awards dinner in May, looking confident and handsome in a suit and tie. He talked about how his old life is behind him, as he steps into the promise of the bright future he is working so hard to achieve.