Helpin' a sista out

The Martinez Street Womens Center, an upstart, East-by-Southeast Side nonprofit on South Hackberry Street, benefits the desperately underserved women in that community while providing a safe, educationally enriching oasis for their daughters. Founded in 1999 by a cadre of dedicated nurses fed up with the lack of health resources for low-income women, the Center moved to a new building in ’02 and has grown into a haven of safety and creativity. Community role models act as mentors in the “Promotoras” program, where women trained as community health workers counsel women about breast health, diabetes, nutrition, and parenting. Girls ages 9 to 14 write, design, and publish their own newspaper thorugh an innovative, summer-long day camp known as the Studio4FM Girls Empowerment Program. At the modest facilities young people find homework help and enrichment activities during the school year. Martinez Street also partners with Planned Parenthood to provide sex education. Staff and volunteers prioritize positive reinforcement, encouragement, and self-esteem building, always.

If the folks at the Martinez Street Womens’ center can’t help you, they will help you find somebody who can, referring clients to low-cost mental health resources, housing organizations, abuse crisis centers. All on a small budget.

“An event like the Bling-Bling Fling makes a huge impact,” says Joleen Garcia, the Center’s Executive Director. “We’re working through girls and women to improve the conditions of families and the community in general, and `any effort` that may seem small can make a big difference… and with the economy in this current state, we have a lot of families in great distress right now. We need Bling Bling this year more than ever.”


Since 1986, the SA Current has served as the free, independent voice of San Antonio, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an SA Current Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today to keep San Antonio Current.

Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles

Join SA Current Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.