Unsung Hero: Walter Patton

Doing work in the Central Community
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 8:16 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Love and heartbreak. Joy and pain. Life and death.

Walter Patton has has experienced these emotions from those around him and in his own life, more than he can count but if it’s one thing he’s learned.. Is that second chances are a gift.

And now he’s using this moment to change the lives of those in the central neighborhood.

Being different is an uncommon trait for Walter Patton, it’s normal.

“I think always been this way. It was just that it wasn’t accepted.” “Just being who I wanted to be, not have to be a certain way to be accepted.” says Patton.

Growing up in Cleveland’s Central community, Patton saw violence first-hand. Eventually, the violent nature invaded his life, spending 18 months in prison. But it was one incident that forever changed his perspective. Seeing his best friend, killed.

Patton say, “After that, I just didn’t want to be involved with nothing to do with the street. So I wanted to get rid of all activity, and just be you know, just buckle down and do the work.”

And work he did. Patton got involved with several non-profits, along with starting his own with the Free Thinkers Group. He also leads an anti-violence youth program.

“My passion is with the youth to show them something in this community that they can do something different.” says Patton.

Patton, along with several partners also own ‘Clubhouse Essentials’, A resource center for Central residents.

“We were probably the only people out during a pandemic, we were doing a food delivery service, we started with feed, so it was going door to door, we probably fed over like 500 residents in the Central Community.”

Unselfish, unapologetic, and unafraid. It’s the spirit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. carried with him throughout the civil rights movement. And it lives on today in Walter Patton.

“He taught me sanity, like how to stay calm in a negative environment. I live in negative communities and environments to where shootouts as fights is everything that you can imagine. And I still do the work. It doesn’t stray me away from doing the work.”

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