José Gonzalez

HOH & Ps Facilitator

When I went to prison, I was a broken person. I’d already read the HOH book, but when I took the HOH workshop training, it helped me heal all the brokenness that I had, all the trauma I had endured. It made me transform into a different person. 

I had a rough childhood; my mother and father were always gone so there was no supervision in the home. I gravitated toward the streets and ended up joining a gang when I was 13 years old. I started going to juvenile hall and then prison when I was 18.

While incarcerated, I participated in the Houses of Healing program. As a result, I learned the importance of forgiveness. I experienced another serious trauma while in prison; I was stabbed and nearly died. I choose to forgive the assailant because God gave me a second chance to live and I gave him a second chance as well.

While facilitating HOH in prison, I was also involved in a youth diversion program where we mentored youth in the community. HOH helped me share with them my reality and the reality of life – that the choices you make lead to consequences, and you can end up in prison with just one bad choice.

Now we’re giving back to the community. It works, you just have to do the work; you have to be willing to take the time to internalize the material. The HOH training, the lessons, the questions – it’s all really deep.