We’re excited to talk more about our guests and graduates of Clifton, because we believe that spreading the word about this hardworking mission will do a lot of good for both Clifton and those who witness the incredible success of those who stay with us. Ira Campbell, who spoke at our 2013 Graduation Dinner, has graciously allowed us to share his story.
Because of Clifton, Ira is now pursuing a graduate degree in Architecture at Georgia Tech. Listen to his speech here. Below are some additional words Ira had to share about Clifton.
Where were you in your life when you went to Clifton?
After a long military career, I wanted to settle in the Atlanta area. But I found myself here, without an income and having to give up my place. I knew I wanted to attend college but I also wanted to work. This was suppose to be another phase of my life. A phase in which I would be able to do some of the things I wanted to do. Instead, I found myself struggling to survive. And just as with most veterans, I couldn’t find the help that I needed until Clifton.
How do you think Clifton affected your life?
Aside from giving me refuge from the streets, Clifton Sanctuary Ministries has given me a new mission in life. I’d like to use my design skills to help the less fortunate. I want to find old abandoned buildings/lots and transform them into comfortable, secure, temporary homes for males, females as well as families. Starting with the Atlanta area, this concept would be the prototype for the entire country. Clifton has certainly given me an acute awareness of how easily you can slip into homelessness.
What would you like people to know about Clifton?
That Clifton is unlike any other places. The programs, the daily routine, and the structure at Clifton perpetuates an environment for success. It doesn’t share the issues that other sanctuaries experience. That’s probably a direct result of the staff. Their professionalism, their care, and their sincere desire to give back. Its as if God has touched each and every one of them. There are many shelters around the city, I’m so thankful that I landed at Clifton.
What was the best thing about Clifton for you?
Wow, there are so many things about Clifton, I’m not sure where to start. I’d say that the staff is very efficient and provide you with everything that you need. A warm place to sleep and good food is definitely a plus. Lol. But Clifton goes further than that. Not only do you have access to computers, but you can also get certified on windows, work on your resume, and search for jobs. There is a person on staff full time that assists with job search. Posting jobs, talking with potential employers and meeting with all the guests at Clifton to give them the best chance to succeed. We also have bible study, empowerment classes among others. Attending church or some religious service is encouraged, and most guests at Clifton take full advantage of it. And at least once a month, we participate in toastmasters, which gives most people an opportunity to hone their public speaking skills.
Thank you, Ira!