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Leal Simmons

The broken spirit

    Leal just needed time to think. 
 Locked up in Corcoran Prison, the West Side gang member had been in and out of custody multiple times. Time was something he had a lot of.
      By 13, he was in a gang. Leal's father was in a gang, but did not push the lifestyle on his son. Leal learned it on his own, surrounded by friends and relatives attracted to the streets.
      His mother and uncles battled drug addiction. The territorial threats of rival gangs and the drug culture were his constant companions.
      At 21 he was on parole when he first came to Hope Now. Leal had no idea it was a Christian ministry and like so many, was only there for a job.
      That first time out, Leal never really left the gang. A re-arrest and another stretch in Corcoran

Leal Simmons 3

interrupted his  20's. The last time he was paroled at 25, was different.  He had accepted Christ and emerged with a new outlook on the value of 'protecting turf'.
      His message now is that the gang lifestyle has no point. That, protecting a neighborhood, as a gang pretends to do, only leads to one of two things….prison or death.

     Today Leal works with youth and pulls from his street experience to help them avoid gangs.   He is happily married with three wonderful children. His constant goal is seeking what God wants him to do with the Gospel message.
      Leal's time of contemplation paid off, escaping the dead end options that faced him in the pas