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.
My name is George Nunez. Two months ago, I attended my daughter Faith’s “Back to School Night” for middle school. I sat in the small desks and listened to the teachers talk about Faith’s classes. Just two months before that night I was in jail on my fifth conviction in ten years. Being at school with Faith was a miracle, something I never did when I was a kid.
I grew up in South Central LA. I was born into gang life. Both my parents lived the life. My entire family was involved in some way. As a child, I was surrounded by addiction to alcohol, drugs, and violence. The gang life structure was everything to me. It was all I knew.
To have more freedom and get away from my alcoholic step-father, I ran away to my grandmother’s home when I was eleven. Her house was a gang, dope hang-out, and she was rarely home. Between eleven and thirteen, things moved very fast. In 1993, I was convicted for a crime with some other kids. I got sentenced into the California Youth Authority for “life”.
When I got out, I was a twenty-five year old man with a fourteen year old’s mentality. All I knew was gang life and jail. I went right back to what I knew, the life I understood. I did what they built me to do. Two months out, I met a girl and started using meth. For the next twelve years, I went in and out of prison, just like my father, who died in prison in 1998. Different crimes. Different terms. Prison was where I learned to use drugs. During this period, I had two kids, whose mom died in 2009. I loved my kids but didn't have the tools to raise them.
In 2008, I came to Homeboy Industries, but I wasn’t ready to break the cycle of addiction. It was just for a paycheck. So I would self sabotage. A voice in my head told me to stop, but I was too high. I didn’t have real recovery yet. I got busted and put in County Jail for sixteen months.
I hit bottom.
I was thirty-five years old. I was tired, but I was still alive.
I came back to Homeboy with determination. I didn’t know how to love myself, but I was shown love. I didn’t know integrity, but they showed it to me. I didn’t know how to get out of the prison mentality I’d grown up with.
Homeboy pushes me, and they don’t give up. As a trainee, I am involved with as many classes as I can take. I see a therapist once a week as well. Not getting shot at used to be a good day. Today I might have a bad day, but, I stay in the moment and humble myself. Today I get to be the father I never had, and I do it with the love and support of the people at Homeboy.
I like my mornings much better now. I start the day waking up my wife and our daughter Faith. Today I am a father. I am responsible. I have broken the cycle of drug, alcohol, and gang addiction. I am in real recovery. And now I am surrounded by a therapeutic circle of people who are not going to co-sign my old behavior.
Thank you for your generous support of Homeboy Industries. Your gifts continue to help Homeboy change the lives of thousands of men and women, like me, who walk through these doors.