Gordy grew up mostly in juvenile halls and met Homeboy’s Father Greg at one of them. Father Greg told Gordy he was welcome at Homeboy anytime. After a few more years, and some prison time, Gordy took Father Greg up on his offer last year. Now, he works as Father Greg’s runner, which includes scheduling appointments and doing errands, and at Homeboy’s reception desk. “I’ve made many good friends here,” Gordy said. “The environment is all the love and support that you need. Nobody’s going to let you fall down.”
When asked what motivated Gordy to get out of juvenile halls and, later, prison. “My goal to get my life in order and just start to enjoy it,” he said. And that, he is. In addition to working at Homeboy, Gordy takes classes and belongs to groups there, too, such as in Fatherhood, Narcotics Anonymous, and Anger Management. About a month ago, Gordy joined a running group through Back on My Feet, an organization that uses running to help people create self-sufficiency in their lives. Recently, Back on My Feet partnered up with Homeboy. “It was hard at first, but I stuck to it. I really enjoy it. We all gather, see how everything is going… and there are no handshakes, just hugs.” Before and after running, while huddled together in a circle, the group recites the Serenity Prayer. “We’re in recovery—with each other,” Gordy said.
Gordy meets with the group from 5:30-6:30 a.m., 3-4 times a week, and runs 4-6 miles each time. Five-thirty a.m.?! Personally, I couldn’t imagine running anytime, let alone before the sun comes up! But talking to Gordy helped inspire me. “It’s very therapeutic,” Gordy said. “A lot of things run through my mind as I’m running and I get to sort them all out… It’s not only about running—you're connecting with others, it helps build your confidence, helps you feel good overall. And once you feel good, I think you could bring that attitude to everything that you do.”
Maybe I’ll ease my way into running, starting with the Homeboy 5K. I asked Gordy why someone should do it. “It’s an amazing experience,” Gordy said. “It’s not just about the run but about supporting Homeboy Industries. It’s such an accomplishment. It brings that attitude to something else. If you can accomplish that, what can't you not accomplish? Come join us! Just get out there and try. You won’t regret it.”
I asked Gordy about his other successes since being at Homeboy. “I’ve accomplished all the goals I set out for myself,” he said. “I got a house, family, fiancée, two-month-old daughter… I just love it all, like seeing my baby starting to smile and be more alert… These are my biggest accomplishments I’ve done so far and it’s just a blessing.”
Sounds like you’re on the right track, Gordy. You can be too. For more information on the Homeboy 5K, or to become a team captain, contact email@example.com.
Written By Volunteer Natalia K. Lusinski
Homeboy Industries is the largest & most successful gang rehabilitation and reentry program in the world.
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Every Angeleno Counts 5K & Festival?
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