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Building Community

With two new residential facilities in the works, Vita Living is extending and bringing meaning to the lives of individuals with disabilities.

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Decades ago, Renée Wallace was determined to find her adult son, who had challenging behaviors and different abilities, a place to live long-term. After being denied housing at several residential facilities, Wallace took matters into her own hands and opened Vita Living in 1985. Vita Living provides lifelong comprehensive care for both adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), plus support for their families. In May, just in time for its 35th anniversary, the organization will break ground on two new residential facilities, bringing its total number to 20; Vita Living also operates a daytime activity center. 

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A Man Possessed

Newly minted bestselling author Johnathan Cranford has tamed his ‘sugar demons.'

Traci Ling
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You think you just have a sweet tooth, but Johnathan Cranford — middle school teacher, CrossFit coach and author — knows it’s much worse than that: It’s a sugar addiction. “I know what I’m talking about,” he says. “There was a time not so long ago when I found myself sometimes eating two pints of ice cream in a night.” 

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'Kind' Hearts

Offering some holiday hope, the Houston organization KIND provides pro bono legal help to asylum-seeking children.

Brett Gundlock

A larger-than-life Christmas tree shines brightly in front of City Hall; families ice skate hand-in-hand in the center of the Galleria; high schoolers dart to River Oaks to snap the perfect Instagram pic under tree lights. These scenes are emblematic of the holidays in Houston. But there are other kids in town struggling through complicated legal battles this season. In fact, Harris County welcomes the most unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the whole country. But Houston is also home to KIND, Kids in Need of Defense, a national organization that offers pro bono legal representation to children fleeing violence for safety and hope in the U.S.

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