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.
Tweety Bird was my nickname from my Dad. He would enter the room and say, “I think I saw a Puddy Cat. I think I saw a Puddy Cat.” Everyone used to laugh except me. See, I was “Tweety Bird” because I had big’ ol ears.
Now that memory of my Dad calling me Tweety Bird, I long for that. I long to hear to his voice. He was killed when I was 8 years, gangs and drug dealing. Death from a drug deal gone bad. I looked up to my father as most sons do. But then he was shot and gone.
In Junior High, I started doing drugs and was initiated into a gang. I dropped out of school in the tenth grade. I wanted to be on the streets because it was an escape route. I did not want to be home. I never wanted to be home. There were times when we only had crackers, no food. I didn’t want to be hungry every day and worry about my next meal. I thought, “If I was hanging around my homies they’ll look out for me and have food.”
When I was released after six years of incarceration, I looked for a job for a year. I filled out so many applications. Then my brother’s friend told me about Homeboy. I came in to get my tattoos removed. Tattoos are a big barrier. I knew I didn’t want to do this anymore—I wanted to wash my hands of it.
I was finally hired at Homeboy. Wow. It’s family. Homeboy IS home. This is a place you can come, where people are HAPPY to be at work.
At Homeboy, a person gets the proper tools and can then apply those tools to the outside world. Like now, selling chips and salsa. I’m making deliveries, creating invoices, following up on payments, scheduling and overseeing a small team. This is what I do now. I actually know how to do all this stuff. I have confidence and I enjoy it. I just needed a place to find that confidence in myself. Now I have it and I know I can get it done.