Senior Ella Johnson’s activism aides in the current issues facing Portage’s homeless population

Mindy Hueng, Staff Writer

Johnson at one of her food drives, offering meals from McDonald’s (Ella Johnson)

Homelessness in Portage continues to rise each year. These people suffer through a lack of clothing and food. In the Portage and Kalamazoo area alone, there are an estimated 700 people experiencing homelessness.

To combat this issue, there are people that wish to provide a better life for the homeless community. Wanting to help provide with her business to help out the homeless community, senior Ella Johnson performs many drives to help provide food and gifts for the homeless.

Johnson first started off with an art business, where she posted her art and other items on some online sites starting from December of 2020. This started as a way to provide for her pets, as she lost her babysitting job over the start of quarantine. However, as her presence on social media helped her boost her profits, Johnson managed to take some of the profit she earned into gifting the homeless community. 

Johnson has performed multiple drives within the past year alongside family and friends. Now, she is preparing a Christmas drive for the community.

Information on Johnson’s Christmas gift drive (Ella Johnson)

“We are super excited to give the homeless community presents and actual Christmas gifts,” Johnson said. “We are just super excited to be able to give them lots of winter necessities with a fun twist with the wrapping paper and everything.”

Johnson plans to continue this program through college. Once she settles into the routine of college, she plans to get set up and start running things. 

“I am just so grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given and how many lives I have been able to change just in this last year,” Johnson said. “I am super thankful for how many amazing people I have met along the way, it’s just wonderful!”

From one change to another, students are able to help out the community just by donating some items to local food drives and donation centers. Johnson urges students to make the community a better place for everyone.