Jill McCall – Executive Director
Jill McCall is the Executive Director of Compassion Ministries. She has served in that position since 1999. A native and life-long resident of Waco, she attended Baylor University, where she majored in education, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in 1975.
After graduation, she became a juvenile probation officer for McLennan County and worked there three years before retiring temporarily to rear her family in 1978. While “retired”, she was active in many volunteer endeavors including, but not limited to the Junior League of Waco, Waco ISD School Board, Heart of Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Waco Girls and Boys Club Foundation Board.
Her work has been recognized through such awards as Humanitarian of the Year – Greater Waco Interfaith Conference, Liberty Bell Award – Waco McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, Hometown Hero Award, 6 Who Care – KCEN TV and Good Neighbor Award – Neighborhood Housing Services of Waco.
Jill returned to McLennan County Juvenile Probation in 1993 and remained there until she was offered the position of Executive Director of Compassion. Under her leadership, Hope House became a reality in 2002, providing the only transitional housing facility in Central Texas for homeless families with children and single women.
Barbara Bridgewater – Case Manager
Barbara Bridgewater has been working as a part-time Case Manager for Compassion Ministries since 2002. She came to Compassion from Ohio, where she worked for a transitional program and emergency shelter for six years. Barbara has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Miami of Ohio University and a master’s degree in education from Ohio University. Her post-graduate work specialized in bilingual education, and she is fluent in Spanish. Barbara assists our Spanish-speaking families and helps the Spanish-speaking residents working towards their GED. Her husband, Phillip, is a full-time employee of Habitat for Humanity. They have two daughters. The whole family is involved in Hope Fellowship, a neighborhood church ministry in Waco, as well as with Habitat and Compassion.
Dianne Suasa Martinez – Case Manager
Dianne Suasa Martinez started working as a Case Manager for Compassion Ministries in 2016. She has a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and an Associate of Applied Science degree in mental health from McLennan Community College. Before joining Compassion Ministries, she worked as a Case Manager for the Heart of Texas Region MHMR for ten years, with McLennan County Juvenile Probation for five years and in the Human Resource Department at Waco Center for Youth for six years.
Jennifer Hughes – Executive Assistant
Jennifer Hughes joined Compassion Ministries in 2016 as the Executive Assistant. Jennifer is a Baylor University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in family and consumer sciences, majoring in nutrition science. Before joining Compassion Ministries, Jennifer worked with the City of Waco WIC Program as a Nutrition Specialist. She and her husband Jeff have three children: Julia, JC and Jetta. Jennifer seeks to be a source of strength and comfort for families facing challenging times, and is delighted to work at Compassion every day.
Mary Lou Polk – Resource Specialist
Mary Lou Polk has worked with Compassion Ministries since 2011. Originally the Executive Assistant, she is now working as the Resource Specialist. In that role, she works with the case managers to identify employment opportunities and affordable housing for residents, as well as helps residents take advantage of other benefit resources, like childcare assistance. Before joining Compassion Ministries, Mary Lou worked for twenty-three years with State of Texas Health and Human Services. She is a graduate of St. Edward’s University in Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication. She and her husband have three children and ten grandchildren.