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.
When Damond Johnson’s daughter was young, he was always buying her fancy sneakers and other expensive gifts. “To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to live this long. I wanted to buy her things to remember me by.”
Damond (pictured far left) wanted to escape the dangerous cycle of gang activity and prison. He estimates that he filled out 150 job applications before coming to Homeboy Industries, where he found not just employment, but anger management classes, solar panel installation training, and therapy.
“I always wondered ‘Why am I like this?’” he recalls. “I was real mean. I had trouble being around a lot of people.”
Like many who have experienced trauma, Damond was reluctant to trust anyone. “I didn’t talk to Fr. Greg for seven or eight months—he was always hugging people,” Damond admits. He gradually opened up to Homeboy staff members, but he reached a turning point when he became a GED tutor.
“There was a guy I had to tutor who was from a rival neighborhood. There was a fresh beef between our communities. But I found out he was a great guy, and we were both at Homeboy for the same reason. We still hug each other whenever we see each other. And I figured, if I can build a relationship with him, I can build one with other people.”
Today Damond continues to work on himself by helping others as a youth case manager at Homeboy Industries. Eventually he hopes to combine his passion for sports and healing by becoming a physical therapist. And his conversations with his daughter (now a college student) reflect his new belief in a bright future: “Now we discuss budgeting and making a savings plan…. Whatever I learn, I want to bring it back to my community.”