How To Join Our Women’s Ministry

Click here to learn about what to expect in our free Women’s Residential Ministry

Click here to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions

 

Step 1: Find Out If You Qualify

  1. We cannot accept women who have open or active warrants; all probation/parole appointments must be non-reporting or phone-reporting (not in person); no scheduled upcoming criminal court dates or future criminal indictments.
  2. We cannot accept women who have been sentenced to The Refuge “in lieu of” incarceration. Often, we find that those forced to come because of legal issues are not here for the right reasons.
  3. We will consider allowing a woman with open traffic issues or outstanding fines to enter The Refuge, provided she is not required to attend a court appearance. If any fines may result in a warrant for arrest, we will need written agreement from a friend or family member that they will take care of the fine.
  4. We hope to build capacity for serving pregnant women at some point in the future, but at this time we’re not able to accommodate pregnant women in the ministry.
  5. Women may not bring their children into the Ministry with them. However, The Refuge has partnered with Safe Families to offer a Christian family hosting alternative. The goal of both Safe Families and The Refuge is to see families reunited after some time to grow in personal health. Learn more about Safe Families on their website.  
  6. Any woman currently paying (or in arrears on) child support will need either 1) a written response from the case manager stating that payments may be deferred until the completion of the 12 months of the ministry, OR 2) written communication from a friend or family member who will be paying the child support payment for the duration of the 12 months of the ministry.
  7. We cannot accept women required to register as sex offenders.
  8. We do not allow any prescription medications that are considered “mood altering”. Please consult your physician prior to making any decisions concerning prescribed medication. A letter from your physician MAY be required for entry into The Refuge.
  9. We are a working ministry, so any woman currently earning disability must be willing to relinquish it, because legally she cannot simultaneously work for The Refuge and stay on disability. (The maximum hours someone can work a week while on disability is 20 hrs/week, and while in the 3rd and 4th phases of our program, women are expected to work from 20-40 hrs/week.)

Step 2: Pack Your Bag

Women should come prepared to enter the same day. The following is a list of items that may be brought in. We can supply these items if necessary.

    • 1 Bible & notebook
    • 8 pairs of pants/shorts (no leggings, please)
    • 8 shirts
    • 4 pairs of shoes
    • 3 sweaters or sweatshirts
    • 8 pairs socks, underwear & bras

Anyone bringing anything beyond the items listed above will be required to donate extra items to the ministry. We do not have enough storage for everyone’s personal items, so please do not plan to bring them unless specified! (Exceptions are determined on a case-by-case basis.)

Women do not need to bring personal hygiene products such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc. The Refuge will provide hygiene products for women. We accept donations of hygiene products to be shared among the women in our Ministry. Products include: shampoo, conditioner, body wash/soap, deodorant, non-electric toothbrush, tubes of toothpaste, non-electric razors, cans of shaving cream, hair style products.

Step 3: Come To Orientation

Women’s Orientation is our version of what’s called “Intake” in some other places. You do not need to call to make a reservation or let us know that you are coming.

Every weekend, we will post on our Facebook page and also our blog with the number of spots available for intake on the following Monday.

Women’s Orientation is open to the public. Potential applicants, family members, friends, community members, church members – anyone is welcome! Come check out The Refuge for yourself.

It is held every Monday at 9:00 am at:

Veritas Community Church – West
12 S. Terrace Ave.
Columbus, OH 43204

The first hour, from 9:00 am until approximately 10:00 am is dedicated to an informational session.

Step 4: Interview With Staff

If you decide that you want to join The Refuge, we’ll have you come to meet with our staff and fill out some application paperwork.

This is our chance to get to know you better, confirm that you meet the requirements to join, and help decide if The Refuge will be a good fit for you.

Interview times are dependent on the number of applicants each week, but please note: Applicants must attend the information session from 9:00 to 10:00 to be considered for an interview.

Step 5: Leave For The Refuge

If you’re accepted to The Refuge, you will have an opportunity to let your friends and family know, and say goodbye before you leave.

Then, you will depart for our women’s house.

You can learn more about what to expect there, and throughout your time at The Refuge on our Women’s Residential Ministry page.

Many common questions are answered on our Women’s Ministry FAQ page.

There is no cost to join The Refuge. You do not need to bring money, and there is no insurance required.


Waiting List Policies

We will hold Orientation each week to promote consistency and to be available for anyone who wishes to interview for the ministry.
Once our beds are full, we anticipate the need for a waiting list. Here is how it will work:
  • Each week at Orientation, those who have not interviewed/who are not already on the waiting list will be guaranteed an interview. At the close of that interview, they will be placed on the waiting list if a good fit for The Refuge, and otherwise will be given resources to other women’s ministries or shelters as appropriate.
  • Once placed on the waiting list, each woman will be responsible to know her status on the list and watch for how many beds are available – then attend Orientation that week. (For example, if a woman is #3 on the waiting list and there are 4 beds available, she should attend Orientation. If she is #5 on the waiting list and 4 beds are available, she should still attend Orientation if possible, in case those in front of her do not attend.) At Orientation, those on the waiting list will be required to attend second interview to make sure that they are still a good fit for the ministry. If so, they will be the first to receive a bed.
  • Please note:
    • Beds available each week will be posted on social media and on The Refuge blog.
    • Interviews do not guarantee acceptance into The Refuge.
    • Those on the waiting list must attend Orientation and a second interview to be assigned a bed.

Any Questions?

If you are not able to join our Ministry for any reason, please check our Resources For Women page to locate a facility that may be able to accommodate you. 

You can also help fill our home with all the things the women will need by checking our Amazon Wish List.

Have another question that wasn’t covered here? Please call our information line at 614.991.0131.

Again, there is no cost to enter The Refuge. The work of the women while in the ministry helps provide for their room and board… ”A hand up, not a hand out!”

Learn more about how we started our Women’s Ministry in the video below.