Obscura Society LA: Homeboy Industries - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, CA

Obscura Society LA: Homeboy Industries

The largest and most successful gang intervention program in the world produces best-selling chips and salsa

A haven for "homies" in the gang capital of the U.S.

One of the most unusual food operations you can find in Los Angeles is Homeboy Industries, a job training and re-entry program which has taken thousands of formerly incarcerated and gang-affiliated Angelenos off the street and put them to work creating products with a purpose. 

What began in 1992 as a tiny bakery operation in Boyle Heights funded by Hollywood producer Ray Stark (The Way We WereSmokey and the Bandit) grew into a full-on independent non-profit organization, moving in 2007 to its current facility at the edge of LA's Chinatown.

Join Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein on April 29 as we tour Homeboy Industries' headquarters, which is ground zero for their social enterprises: Homeboy Foods, catering services, a food truck, and a silkscreen and embroidery workshop. We'll get to see these programs in action, and meet some of the young men and women currently working at Homeboy, who sought to leave gang life behind.

Homeboy's success can be measured both by the dramatic decline in gang-related violence in LA, but also by the commercial success of their products: their chips and salsa are the best-selling item in the deli departments of local Ralphs grocery stores.

After our docent-led tour, join us for a no-host lunch at the Homegirl Café, a sustainably-run restaurant where we'll taste ingredients from both their on-site mini-farm and several other of their organic, non-GMO urban gardens scattered throughout LA. Together, the gardens produce up to 30% of Homegirl Café’s needs, and 100% of the Cafe's chile needs during jalapeño season! You can view their menus here.

Every attendee will receive a free souvenir gift, a silkscreen tote made in Homeboy's very own workshop!

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Notes for this Adventure:

- A portion of ticket sales from this event will benefit Homeboy Industries. You are welcome to make additional donations or purchase items in their bakery or merchandise shop to show your support.

- Please note that this event takes place on a weekday – specifically on a Wednesday morning.

- Family friendly! But please no children under 8 years old.

- Wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes, and be prepared for both standing and walking

- Parking is located behind the building as well as on the street. 

- Cost of food/beverages at Homegirl Café or Homeboy Bakery are NOT included in this excursion's ticket price.

- Go Metro! Homeboy is located 2 blocks from the Chinatown Red Line station. Show your valid TAP Card or Metro employee ID  for discounts and freebies at Homegirl Café or Homeboy Bakery.

- A signed and dated liability waiver is required from all attendees. The waiver will be provided and collected at the start of the tour.

Advance tickets only. All sales are final.