The book I read to better understand and gain sympathy for returning citizens is Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (ISBN 978-1439153154) by Father Gregory Boyle, S.J. $14 can afford this 240-page autobiography about a Jesuit priest serving one of the most troubled neighborhoods in the most unique way.
Fr. Boyle, ordained as a priest in 1982, began his work in Los Angeles, California in 1988 after noticing how the rampant criminal activities were breaking apart the community and families. Through relentless effort, “boundless compassion,” and the help of some key people, he was able to found Homeboy Industries. The youth program provides employment and support services to former …show more content…
He listens to people, understands their circumstance, and accompanies them in their journey with the expectation that the little difference he can make will someday produce good fruit. Like a farmer raising crops, Fr. Boyle engages in a work that may take a long time to produce results.
Fr. Boyle closes the book with the idea of kinship. I learned from reading his book and personally hearing him speak at an event that he has shown in his life, both inside and outside the book, what kinship is. He takes seriously the people he meets and invests his time to knowing and helping them. Building intimate relationships is essential to his job. Moreover, perhaps it is these relationships that get people motivated to help others. He is called G-dog at Homeboy Industries and we are to understand this as a sign of affection between the youth and a personable priest.
Personally, my favorite part of the book was learning about the Homeboy Industries as a business model. Coming from a business studies background, I was interested to see yet another example of social entrepreneurship at work. It makes profit by selling goods and services, but also is socially beneficial in the process of making the money. Youths are provided with vocational opportunities and work relationships that keep them out of trouble and the entire community benefits from