“I used to have my own handyman business,” said Charles Bartlett. “But I became addicted, and my life began to spiral out of control.”
Charles started using meth to work long hours and make more money, yet he had no idea that the addiction would cause him to lose so much. After becoming dependent on meth, Charles started losing business, so he resorted to making money by illegal means and ended up incarcerated. After getting a 10-year sentence, he lost his business, cars, and family.
“I was still in contact with my wife, but my kids refused to speak to me,” said Charles. “They were embarrassed that I was in prison [and even] my wife [who] kept in touch through letters, [left] me seven years into my 10-year sentence.” During that time, Charles’ mother also passed away. He felt like he had lost everyone he loved. After his release, Charles felt alone. With no idea what to do but determined to leave this place that brought him so much pain, he made his way to Jacksonville.
“When I arrived in Jacksonville, I knew I needed someplace to stay but had no idea what to do,” said Charles. “Ending up at Trinity was pure luck.” Charles had no idea where the shelters were in Jacksonville. He ended up at the Clara White Mission, where a lady directed him to Trinity.
“I arrived at Trinity right when they were starting to check in the overnight guests,” said Charles. “The programmer at the desk told me they had me a spot, knowing I had just gotten out of prison.” The programmer asked if Charles wanted to join the Lifeline Program. Charles immediately said yes and started right away. “Within a couple of days in the Lifeline Program, I felt a sense of relief that I had somewhere to be,” said Charles. He felt like he had a renewed sense of purpose in his life.
While his attempts to reconnect with his children and ex-wife resulted in continued silence, Charles finds peace and community in the Lifeline Program. “Trinity and the guys in the program are my family now,” said Charles. He had found a support system in the program staff and is finding joy again. “I've been in the work program for quite a while here and I must honestly say I love what I do,” he said. “My goals are (1) to remain drug and alcohol-free, (2) find myself a permanent place to live when the time comes, and (3) get my driver’s license back.” Charles looks forward to having the Trinity staff keep him accountable, so he does not end up like he was before. “I can honestly say I feel like God led me to Trinity,” said Charles. “And I will forever be grateful for that.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction or homelessness, please reach out to Trinity Rescue Mission in person or by calling (904) 355-1205. If you are interested in being a part of the Trinity Rescue Mission in terms of financial giving, in-kind donations, or donating your time as a volunteer, please visit the website by clicking here.