The stories of Clifton Sanctuary Ministries touch the lives of our guests, volunteers and staff. These stories go back more than 30 years but are also as current as today. The causes of homelessness are many and varied; they touch men from all walks of life. Here we share the thoughts of people associated with Clifton on homelessness and how the ministry of Clifton has touched their lives. We hope that sharing these thoughts will bring greater understanding and meaning to our ministry.
Peace of mind and a new start
Brian Hill arrived at Clifton Ministries in the fall of 2015 searching for a new start and peace of mind. He found both at Clifton. Job loss led to Hill losing his home. He tapped into Clifton’s vast resources and contacts to help turn his life around. “During my second week at Clifton, I had a conversation with Mrs. Jenkins (Clifton’s Executive Director). She made a few phone calls, and helped me get a job.” He added: “If they see that you want to get your life together,
they’ll help you any way they can.” Hill, 39, currently works in maintenance at Embassy Suites hotel in Atlanta, and has transitioned from Clifton’s shelter, to its independent living residential facility called Joe’s Place. Joe’s Place is a transitional apartment house located across the street from Clifton. Both Clifton and Joe’s Place are nestled in the serene setting of the Lake Claire community, where residents jog or leisurely stroll on streets lined with large bungalow and craftsman style family homes.
Edward Johnson needed one more chance to get things right. After years of battling substance abuse issues, he needed to get his life on track. Because of bad habits and poor decisions, he found himself with nothing. That when he turned to Clifton to become whole again. “I don’t look Clifton as a shelter,” said Johnson, 48. “It’s a sanctuary. It’s a spiritual place. When people come here they’re broken. But you can come here and work on your inner-self, while working toward housing and employment.” Johnson did just that while at Clifton. He now has his own place and works as a lab technician at Pepsi Cola in Atlanta. He says he’s thankful for the chance Clifton gave him to reassemble the pieces of a broken life. Now that his life is together once again he hasn’t forgotten what Clifton did for him. Johnson serves as a Clifton volunteer, preparing dinner for the men and offering encouragement.