Michelle Johnson

Publisher, Editor-In-Chief

The unhoused, homeless or unsheltered are all issues that larger cities deal with, not Waco, right?

Let’s be honest, we all want to paint the prettiest picture of Waco and put a bow on it.

I wanted to put a different photo on the cover because homelessness isn’t pretty and it might not move magazines.

But guess what — sometimes we need to talk about the elephant in the room!

I am afraid to break the news to you but we are experiencing more people on the streets since the closing of DePaul, but solutions are being put into action sooner rather than later thanks in part to our many local nonprofits, forward thinking city and religious institutions that surround our community. On our cover, Mission Waco’s director John Calaway and chief office villager Dusty Kirk stand on the porch of the first tiny home in the Creekside Community Village. Creekside will become a community, developed after a Austin based-one, that brings together all in one location
homes that are affordable and onsite facilities with volunteers to help with finances, medical, transportation and assistance. Read more on page 98 as Susan Bean Aycock sat down with Mission Waco and donor Highland Baptist Church, as well as Salvation Army’s Majors Jim and April Taylor who are bringing another center for Waco’s unhoused.

The Brazos River is home to lots of fantastic events thanks in part to the Greater Waco Sports Commission. I was fascinated to learn that the commission not only helps bring in dollars to our hometown by sponsoring events like TriWaco and Ironman, but they also encourage area youth to join rowing clubs to increase their chances at athletic scholarships. Read more on page 104, by Kevin Tankersley. And have you ever just wondered, ‘What is Charity Champions?’ Megan Willome sat down with Jason Lavender and spoke about the 10 year mark as they have recognized 57 nonprofits over the years.

Imagine a room full of women during a luncheon, thinking they are standing up and just learning how to get their pulse moving and before you know it, you look around and all 150 women are Hula dancing! That is the wonderful energy of Van Davis. If you ever get a chance to meet Van, you will come away a better person. She just has that spark and I am thrilled we finally had the chance to interview her about her outlook on life in our special active retirement living section starting on page 57.

We also chatted with NASA experts Dr. Mark Clampin and Dr. Lori Glaze during their visit to Waco for the solar eclipse! It was epic and our editor Emily Ober, shall I say, was over the moon! Read the interview on page 138.

Even though we do the Caring Issue once a year, I will always challenge and encourage and ask for Wacoans to volunteer, donate or spread the word about your favorite nonprofits.

Who do you care about, Waco?