Hope Hall floor tours training community for former gang members

Hope’s North Star community takes the opportunity to visit the Homeboy Industries.

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Hope Hall floor tours training community for former gang members

Photo Courtesy of Lei Lei Kramer

Photo Courtesy of Lei Lei Kramer

Photo Courtesy of Lei Lei Kramer

Micah Kim, Deputy News Editor

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On Feb. 15, North Star, a women’s floor on Hope Hall, journeyed to the Homeboy Industries, a Christian youth program that focuses on former gang members.

LEARNING

Father Greg Boyle, the pastor of Dolores Mission Church, started the rehabilitation program to help rehabilitate former Los Angeles gang members in 1988. The industry aims to grow its brand of diverse love through serving people outside of its community through their social enterprises and employment opportunities, such as in cafes, bakeries and gift shops.

Freshman elementary education major Kathleen Kozub shared her journey of experiencing a Christian example of diverse love in Los Angeles.

“It was very different, kind of sketchy. But, after being in there I was like, ‘Okay, I feel safer,’” Kozub said. “It was a whole other world that I never really thought about. And it’s so there, it’s so real.”

The floor residents had the chance to tour the buildings of the industry, including the workplaces and classrooms. Kozub also mentioned the tour guide’s testimony of how Homeboy had changed many lives.

According to Homeboy’s website, the industry provides class sessions for members. These include spiritual development classes, real-life skills classes, mental assistance classes and general treatment classes.

REVEALING

Kozub explained how she felt the meeting of different people brought what she says are revealing thoughts about diversity in Biola.

“It was very different. Especially since Biola can be a bubble sometimes, you sometimes say, ‘Oh, I feel safe’ or ‘Oh, this is good,’” Kozub said. “But just being out there with those people who have experienced so much more than I have, experienced terrible things and good things. It’s just very cool to experience that. It’s eye-opening.”

FEELING

She believes her floor was able to feel God’s diverse love through the different people there.

“I just loved observing, just kind of seeing. It really puts it in perspective of God’s love for us,” Kozub said. “It takes [an] insane amount of love to actually be able to start that organization. To love those people, that’s crazy. I don’t think I’m at that level yet. I guess everything is impossible with man but possible with God.”