“God Detailed My Life: Finding Redemption After Years on the Street”
Clyde Stanley is a born and bred Florida native. Originally from Fort Pierce, Stanley and his family migrated to Miami where he lived until the age of 14 when they moved to the First Coast. “We moved to Jacksonville when my mother noticed the trouble starting in my life.” At that time Stanley was entering high school, but decided to skip classes from day one.
“I went straight to the streets,” he remembers. “Smoking crack, to me, was a better use of my time and whatever money I had. Over those years I served six separate times in prison.” Stanley finally ended his career in prison as a habitual offender in May 2010, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. “I would try and find any job I could, and earn whatever I could. I would earn just $80 and spend it on beer, cigarettes and crack until I had nothing left. I spent many nights living underneath a highway overpass downtown before finding an abandoned house to crash in.”
It was one such occurrence on New Year’s Eve 2012 when Clyde went into that house to follow his original plan of drugs and alcohol, when God’s plan began to clearly present itself. “I could hear gunshots outside from people celebrating the New Year there on Merrill Rd., and I remember hearing a voice telling me that I wasn’t going to live if I walked off the front porch and didn’t change.” He wasted no time obeying the direction of that voice.
“That very next day I went to City Rescue Mission’s New Life Inn on State Street because people told me about it and the miracles that happen there. I just had to see it for myself. I was 57-years-old and nothing had happened in my life to that point. I had enough.”
Stanley entered the LifeBuilders program, but still had many hurdles to overcome within himself. “I definitely ran into some negativity during my time at the Mission when Satan would try and deceive me through the actions and words of others. Luckily, through the blessings God gave me, I ran into some instrumental men on staff at the Mission who helped me to succeed. I’m thankful for the day that I was placed in the maintenance department to give back to City Rescue Mission, because it gave me job training skills that help me today.”
Stanley got a job detailing cars at Kia of Orange Park in April 2014, and has since become a Manager there. He also recently graduated from City Rescue Mission’s LifeBuilders program in Fall 2014. “I’m making a solid paycheck, bought myself a car and have a steady living situation in a nearby apartment,” Stanley proclaims. “I was challenged a lot during my time at the Mission. The road to recovery isn’t paved smoothly. If it hadn’t been for God putting those people, and City Rescue Mission as a whole, on the tracks of my life at the time they were there, then my life would’ve most certainly derailed. ‘Grateful’ doesn’t begin to explain how I feel.”