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Before moving into the New Year we should take a moment to thank all those who have helped to make Christmas at Clifton a truly special experience. Our staff, volunteers and even the guests put an extra effort into sharing the love that the Christmas season brings with it. This spirit pervades Clifton throughout the year and makes it the special place that it is.
John & Cindy McConnell spend the night at Clifton each Christmas Eve so they assume their alternate personalities of Santa and Mrs. Claus. They are wonderful volunteers throughout the year, but we (and the guys!) appreciate their hospitality during Christmas.
The men of Clifton were showered this year with lots of gifts provided by our wonderful volunteers. The members of Oakhurst Presbyterian made gift boxes for each guest. The Mariner’s Sunday School class at Peachtree Presbyterian made their annual gift of a wonderful new pair of sneakers for each of the men. Then they are the many individuals who dropped off items needed to fill a gift bag for each of our guests. They are just too many of you to name.
Speaking of the gift bags let’s not forget our own Alice who together with her husband Bob, Graylin and Mia Covington spent hour on Christmas Eve packing those bags for each guest. On Christmas morning our guests were served delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, grits and biscuits prepared by our chef Peter.
What Everybody Ought to Know About Being Homeless in Atlanta
Being homeless in Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter is not easy but everyday gives me another chance to experience hope.
I could and have at times blamed my becoming homeless on everything other than my own choices that I made.
I am learning from my stay at Clifton Sanctuaries Ministry that it’s not how I react that will give me a better chance of a outcome, but rather how I respond.
The blessings that I am receiving from Clifton are all part of God’s plan, whatever he wants it to be.
I see other homeless people and shelters during my travels every day and none of them resemble what’s being offered at Clifton.
The other day, a man was on the Marta train going up and down the aisle asking for money to get something to eat cause he hasn’t ate in 3 days.
I don’t think anyone believed his story because most just looked the other way. It made me think how I used to act the same way and turn my nose up at homeless people.
Never could you have shown me that I too would be homeless one day.
Because of a lot of poor choices I made in life, I was always a couple of checks or business deals away from being without a home but always seemed to keep it going and crediting myself with a pat on my own back.
A fool and his money will soon be parted, or something like that.
Staying at Clifton Sanctuaries, in recovery from Alcoholism, and rebuilding myself from the inside out, seems to be becoming the best laid plan for me by God. Like Joseph being thrown in the well.
As they tell me, keep coming back, more will be revealed.
Author – Homeless But Not Hopeless
Clifton Sanctuary Ministry has become that great rest stop that offers all those amenities along the tough and windy road of homelessness.
Leaving a treatment program on that sunny April day was the first time getting reconnected to the outside that included 11 days in detox and 28 days in an alcohol rehabilitation center.
My ego was bruised and deflated but the sun sure felt good on my face.
Uncertainty and fear for my sobriety that I didn’t care about for over 19 years was now at the top of my concerns, let alone where the Veteran Homeless programs would provide for me to stay.
Under a bridge or some of these come and go shelters in Atlanta was not an option if I wanted to turn my life and will over to God.
But my case worker got a call from Mrs. Gales saying that a bed was available for me which because God’s plan always seem way better than my best plan, it just so happen to be the day I was released from the treatment center.
God also sent me to Clifton Sanctuary that has spiritual programs, AA meetings, rules, structure, privacy, in a great neighborhood and great food.
Oh, did I mention great food.
The list could go on and on, but for this to be the first ever time of being homeless or checking in a shelter, Clifton Sanctuary completely busted my fear and perception of shelters and being homeless.
Being a real estate investor and home owner of many properties in the past, all of them lacked the feeling of caring, encouraging, and the presence of God.
Clifton Sanctuary would get five stars if there was a rating system for homeless shelters and in my opinion, there should be.
That’s just based on their ability to consistently provide a program that, cleans up, builds up, and lifts up the many misdirected men in the Atlanta area.
Stay tuned as we press on in this journey……
Author: Homeless but Not Hopeless.
Each year, Santa stops by with a Christmas bag filled with goodies for each Clifton guest and you can help him fill up the bag. Word from the North Pole says the following items need to be in Santa’s sleigh in time for his arrival on Christmas Eve.
If you prefer, you can make a financial contribution and Santa will do your shopping for you!!!
Please deliver gift bag donations by December 20th to
Clifton Sanctuary Ministries
369 Connecticut Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307
Please contact Alice at 404-373-3253, ext. 1, for more information