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Father Greg Boyle honored by Los Angeles City Council for his dedication to the community

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The Los Angeles City Council honored Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries gang intervention program on Friday, by naming Sunday, May 19 Father Greg Boyle Day in Los Angeles.

Councilmembers took turns praising Boyle's decades of dedication and investment in the communities of Los Angeles.

"Father Boyle has been dedicated to the cause of uplifting those who are often left behind in our society," Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez said. "Homeboy Industries has emerged from Father Boyle's mission to connect formerly incarcerated, and gang impacted individuals to the services they need in order to reenter society and offer them a second chance that they deserve."

Boyle became pastor of the East Los Angeles Dolores Mission Church in 1986. He started the blueprint for Homeboy Industries in 1988 as a way to help former gang members in the area transition out of gang life through education, job training and employment.

The nonprofit Homeboy Industries flourished and expanded, launching several businesses that are staffed by formerly incarcerated people who at the same time participate in the nonprofit's various programs.

The Los Angeles City Council declared Sunday, May 19, Father Greg Boyle Day in Los Angeles. KCALNews

The businesses include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Diner and Homegirl Cafe and Catering, as well as an electronics recycling business.

Boyle, a Jesuit Catholic priest, accepted his proclamation plaque Friday morning, and said his goal has always been to invest in people rather than incarcerate them.

"It has been the privilege of my life to know all the thousands of men and women who have come through our doors at Homeboy … Since 1988, 10,000 folks a year come through trying to reimagine their lives, and it is indeed a privilege, along with this (honor)," Boyle said.  

Earlier in May, Boyle was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Biden. The award is the nation's highest civilian honor, and 19 recipients were honored at a May 3 ceremony.

Mr. Biden spoke briefly about each honoree, praising their "relentless curiosity, inventiveness, ingenuity and hope." 

May 19, Father Greg Boyle Day, is also his birthday.

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