HOUSTON (KIAH) – A local organization is hosting weekly meetings for men to openly discuss life topics that typically get “swept under the rug”.

As the pandemic continues, the need for discussions has increased tremendously and the founder of a local non-profit organization says the goal is to encourage more men to talk about their problems with like-minded people.

Andrew Landry, the founder of “Where Men Hurt” says, “The organization was in my mind already because I’ve always had a passion for bringing men together and being able to talk about the issues of life.”

The group was created to be a safe and non-judgemental space for guys to talk about life issues. 

In the words of Torrey Marsh, one of the weekly participants, “They talk about some of the deepest problems that we have as men. In today’s society, we’re not honored enough. We need a place where we can come together. Talk about our deepest troubles. Talk about some of the things that we’re suffering from. So that we can be better men to our wives, to our families, and also in the community.”

The purpose of the group is to provide men with the necessary resources and tools to cope with the emotions, expectations, and disappointments that come with life.

“We thought it was a way to reach out to the community so we can build men back up. To try to give direction because there is a generation coming behind us,” said Craig Joseph, a participant, and Owner of “This Is It” restaurant.

Speaking of that younger generation, Lawrence Etienne, a school teacher says he comes across young black boys who bring a lot of their issues from home to the classroom.

“When men are not there, there is no strength in the home. In terms of a male presence. The children suffer and a lot of people don’t see that, but I see it every day,” said Etienne.

Men between the ages of 25 to 80 participate in their weekly meetings in-person or on Zoom. The group meets in a place that’s common to most guys, the barbershop.

Landry says this space is where most guys will feel comfortable talking about their mental and physical health, relationships, finances, spirituality, sex life, and family. He says the goal now is to encourage the younger generation to attend.

“I think the primary thing is relationships, right? So if we build those relationships then it’s easier for us to say ‘hey I’m going to the barbershop come hang out with me’ as opposed to them feeling like we finna take them to church and preach to them,” said Landry.

Overall, the purpose of “Where Men Hurt” is to let guys know that it’s okay to be vulnerable. Just like women, guys have feelings and emotions too.

“Every man has a story. And that what you’ve gone through is just not in vain,” said Marsh.

 Landry hopes the guys who attend the “where Men Hurt” meetings will apply the information they discuss and share it with others.

“And if you can have a healthy man, you can have a healthy family, then you can have a healthy community,” said Landry.

The group is for all men. No matter your age, race, or sexuality. They meet on Mondays at 6:30 p.m in Humble, Texas located at 1501 1st St E. For more information visit the organization’s website.

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