East Side man helping others from going down wrong path

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Martin Henderson is working to take back his community by helping others from going down the wrong path.

Henderson is a product of the East Side. As a young man, he sold drugs and was on a violent path until he was arrested.

“The straw for me that really made me want to change was receiving the phone call, being incarcerated (and) my mother only had six months to live," Henderson said.

Henderson's mother survived, but it was the wake-up call he needed. He now helps run two organizations dedicated to stopping the violence and improving families.

“I just tell them how it is, because if I don't, the system is. The police officers are. The DA, the judge is going to tell how it is. So I really want to tell you the truth before you get to that point," Henderson said.

Henderson is the outreach coordinator for Group Violence Intervention. It's a city-run program and is funded with taxpayer dollars. He is also the CEO of Fatherhood Matters Incorporated. It's an organization that educates dads on how to be there for their children.

"A lot of the men that I deal with that commit violence, they’re also dads. It goes hand in hand. I'm talking about putting the gun down, but I'm also able to talk to you about thinking about that child,” Henderson said.

Henderson knows no one agency can solve the issue and is hopeful more will be willing to work together to take back the East Side.

"Let's come together. Let's figure out what you're doing, what I'm doing, and let's stick to what we do. And let's do it well," Henderson said.

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