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SPOTLIGHT ON RECOVERY: CLAYTON KEEN

SPECIAL TO GANNETT FLORIDA
Washington County News

HOLMES COUNTY – A vital component of combating the presence of drugs in our community is understanding that behind every drug arrest is a story - a story of someone who has lost their way and a family that has been torn apart by addiction.

Sheriff John Tate’s focus on assisting those struggling with addiction to find lasting recovery is just one step in healing families and giving those stories a chance to have a happy ending. Arrest itself is not an ending. Instead, it can be a new beginning.

Each month, we share a story from individuals who have successfully completed a drug rehabilitative program through the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and are now enjoying a new, fulfilled life of recovery.

Their journey. Their words. A message of hope for us all. This month’s Spotlight on Recovery story comes from Clayton Keen:

My name is Clayton Keen. I grew up in Holmes County with my mom and dad.

I attended Bonifay Elementary all the way through Holmes County High School. I wasn't a straight A student, but I always kept my grades up enough to play sports, which lead to me being a part of winning the 2013 Boys Basketball State Championship when I was a senior in high school.

Soon after high school, I found myself using alcohol and prescription pills on a daily basis. Not too much longer after that, I was introduced to cocaine and methamphetamine.

By time I was 21, I was an everyday user of meth, and by 23 years old, I had begun using needles. Before I had turned 24 years old, I had been to jail three times on drug charges and violations and was running out of options.

Between John Searcy (Holmes County Sheriff’s Office Peer Counselor) and Assistant State Attorney Brandon Young, I was presented with an opportunity to a 12-month program at Cross Training Ministries here in Clewiston, Florida.

It was here at Cross Training where I learned who God was and developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It was God who showed me what Grace was and how to not only forgive others, but to forgive myself. God showed me firsthand how He can restore relationships with my family and friends, how just by trusting in him rather than myself can open opportunities I could never imagine!

I have the opportunity to live on the property here at Cross Training Ministries in Clewiston while I work toward building a future for myself, all while getting a chance to help and see God move in young men who have walked the same paths that I have. Every day, God shows me how blessed I am!

I’m beyond grateful for the people He has used to get me where I am today. I’m grateful for John Searcy and Brandon Young, all of Grace Fellowship Christian Church and everyone who as prayed for me along the way. I’m grateful for my family supporting me through my walk with Christ and as well for my new found family here at Cross Training Ministries.

I’m so thankful from the bottom of my heart and I’m beyond thankful that God chose me! God Bless.