The Midnight Mission > Clancy Imislund
The Midnight Mission
If you ask Clancy Imislund
what brings him back to The Midnight Mission day after day, the witty response you may get is "the 10 freeway".
At 86 years old, Clancy
is still at the top of his
Known worldwide for his
leadership in the 12-step community and his
affiliation with The Midnight
is very much, a man on the move.
This year marks his
40th year as Managing Director of The Midnight
and what a remarkable journey it has been.
Clancy Imislund was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1927.
At the tender age of fifteen he left home and joined the Merchant Marines, marking his sixteenth birthday in Pearl Harbor.
At the age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy.
It wasn't until he
enrolled in college after the war, that Clancy
began drinking and gaining more of a dependence on alcohol.
When asked how his
addiction began, he
states that he
began drinking with the other Veterans (even though he
didn't particularly like the taste) because it was the thing to do.
Unfortunately little by little, alcohol slowly took control of his
life and after a 15 year downhill battle he
found himself alone and penniless on the streets of Skid Row, He
had lost everything; his
job, friends and his
Only the clothes on his
back and portable typewriter remained, which he
pawned for ten dollars so he
could function a bit longer.
On October 31, 1958, Clancy
was thrown out of The Midnight
after a brief scuffle…and no one dreamed that one day he
would return to become the organizations leader.
Back out on the street again, Clancy
came to the realization that he
had finally hit bottom.
recovery began by walking 71 blocks, in the rain, to an alcoholic rehabilitation center on Wilshire and Fairfax.
Upon entering, he
was asked if he
was willing to do what it took to get his
life back, and this time Clancy
simply answered "yes".
Under the instruction of a mentor, Clancy
found a job, a plan of life and began his
journey on the road to recovery.
After five years of sobriety and laborious progress on his
wife made the decision to return to him.
He made his way back into the workaday world and after some time became an executive at KHJ radio and television in Los Angeles.
It was during this time that he
began working with alcoholics and speaking to civic groups about alcoholism and rehabilitation.
had found his
passion in helping others get their lives back.
Fast forward to 1974, a member of the Board of Directors of The Midnight
knew of any candidates that were qualified for the Managing Director position.
could find no one that would take the job, and decided to do it himself on an interim basis.
was so effective that he
stayed on permanently.
Over the years Clancy
has had a profound impact on The Midnight
and in the lives of the thousands of men who have come through these doors.
was responsible for bringing the 12-step philosophy to The Midnight
, establishing our organization as one of the first providers of addiction treatment on Skid Row.
has said that what we do "is the difference between giving a hungry person a fish and teaching them how to fish".
Never one to mince words, Clancy
is known for his
direct, no-nonsense demeanor, but also for his
always seems to have the time to listen and provide a few words of wisdom when asked.
To say that Clancy
is the heart and soul of The Midnight
would be an understatement.
We salute and thank Clancy
endless dedication and service to The Midnight
and to people in recovery worldwide.