How it all began

Founded in 2013

In 2013, we incorporated Rise Up Industries, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in response to Father Greg Boyle’s challenge to start something in San Diego County similar to what Homeboy Industries established in Los Angeles.

Reentry Program launched

After a few years of research, networking with related nonprofits in San Diego, and offering basic services, we launched the Reentry Program in March 2016. Our 18-month Reentry Program now provides a comprehensive set of services including employment, job-training, case management, tattoo removal, counseling, mentoring, education assistance, financial literacy, life skills, and work ethic development. 



Unfortunately, previously incarcerated, formerly gang involved individuals face numerous barriers to successful reentry, especially employment. This pushes many back into criminality and perpetuates the cycle of recidivism.

The Reentry Program offers more than income—it offers a sustainable career. We prepare our members for careers in CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machining, which is a well-paying trade that is in high demand.

Changing lives everyday

Former enemy gang members work side by side, helping one another to complete the Reentry Program and make positive life choices. The kinship they’ve fostered is an example to us all.


Gang involvement is a systemic issue. Youth with gang involved relatives are more likely to join gangs themselves. Gang affiliation frequently leads to criminality, which leads to incarceration, which reinforces gang affiliation. The next generation continues the cycle and gang numbers will continue to grow until we address systemic issues.

The average San Diego gang member was recruited as a kid and joined before high school. Most weren’t running toward a life of crime, but away from pain, domestic abuse and lack of hope. Every parent knows that kids don’t always make the best decisions, but every parent also knows that kids learn, grow and change.

Breaking the cycle

Join us in giving a second chance to those who most need it. Reentry Program graduates are uniquely positioned as credible messengers to at-risk youth. When our graduates succeed, they not only create a new, positive cycle for themselves and their families, but also give at-risk youth the hope and opportunity they wish they had.

Now more than ever

Statistics show that the need for reentry services is increasing. The need for combating the cycle of gang involvement is also increasing. We need to come alongside the individuals trying to break this cycle in their own lives, while also addressing root causes. Otherwise, the cycle will continue to be perpetuated.

Gang Members in San Diego

Gang related crime in San Diego County increased the past year

More individuals Released
30 %

Last year 30% more individuals were released from incarceration into California

Will Return

68 %
68% of released individuals will return to incarceration within 3 years

By the community
for the community

Gangs impact the entire community, and the solution to the gang situation will require the involvement of the entire community, especially those who grew up in gangs. RUI collaborates with the District Attorney, police department, parole and probation officers, educational institutions, local businesses, faith communities, related nonprofits and neighborhood volunteers.