How To Enter The Refuge

1) Click here to fill out the 3-minute prescreen assessment.
2) Call our intake line at 614-991-0131 to do the assessment over the phone.
3) Come to Orientation on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday at 10:00 am. (Orientation locations vary by day. See step 3 below for locations near you.)

Step 1

Find Out If You Qualify

Step 2

Pack A Bag

Step 3

Attend the Orientation

Step 4

Interview With Our Staff

Step 5

Go to the Refuge

Step 1

Find Out If You Qualify


Men must be age 18 or older in order to join The Refuge.


We accept men from out-of-state as well as Ohio residents. 


We are a working ministry, so any man currently earning disability must be willing to relinquish it, because legally he 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, men are expected to work from 20-50 hrs/week.)


We cannot accept men 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.


We will consider allowing a man with open traffic issues or outstanding fines to enter The Refuge, provided he 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.


Any man currently paying (or in arrears on) child support will need either 1) a written response from the case manager stating that payments may be placed on hold or deferred until the completion of the 13 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 13 months of the ministry.


We cannot accept men required to register as sex offenders.


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.


Fill out the 3-minute prescreen assessment form below.

Step 2

Pack Your Bag

The following is a list of items that may be brought in to The Refuge. We can supply these items if necessary. 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.)


1 Bible & Notebook


8 pairs of pants or shorts (seasonally-appropriate)


8 shirts (seasonally-appropriate)


3 Pairs of shoes


3 sweaters or sweatshirts (if seasonally-appropriate)


Personal hygiene products (no alcohol)

1 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 body wash/soap, 1 deodorant, 1 non-electric toothbrush, 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 bag of non-electric razors, 1 can shaving cream, 1 hair style product.

Step 3

Come To Orientation

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.

We will post the number of beds available at each Orientation on our Facebook page.

Due to COVID-related protocols, only men interested in coming into The Refuge will be allowed inside the building.

Columbus Orientation is held every Monday at 10:00 am:

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

Mt. Vernon Orientation is held every Monday at 10:00 am:

Parish House
100 E. High Street
Mt. Vernon, OH 43050

Lancaster Orientation is held every Tuesday at 10:00 am:

The Bridge Church
115 5th Ave.
Lancaster, OH 43130

Newark Orientation is held every Thursday at 10:00 am:

Faith United Methodist Church
261 E. Main St.
Newark, OH 43055

Lancaster Orientation is held every Thursday at 10:00 am:

The Bridge Church
115 5th Ave.
Lancaster, OH 43130

Lancaster Orientation is held every Friday at 10:00 am:

The Bridge Church
115 5th Ave.
Lancaster, OH 43130

The first hour is dedicated to an informational session.
  • We’ll give you an overview of what to expect in our 13-month Men’s Residential Ministry.
  • Men who are currently in our Ministry or others who have graduated will share their stories.
  • We’ll hold an open Q&A session to answer any questions you may have. (You can find the answers to many frequently asked questions about our Men’s Ministry here)
  • Once everyone’s questions have been answered, we’ll ask any men who are interested in joining to conduct a short interview in a private room.
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 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 board our bus and depart for our Phase One home in Lancaster, Ohio.

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

Many common questions are answered on our Men’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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to many of the most frequently-asked questions about The Refuge Ministries. If you don’t see the answer to your question below, feel free to email us at info@therefugeohio.org or call us at 614-991-0131.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost. Participation in the ministry is free, and there is no insurance necessary. Because we are a working ministry, the wages of the men in Phases 2, 3, and 4 serve to sustain about ⅔ of our operating costs! The rest comes from generous individuals and churches, but all together affords us the chance to offer the men and their families this opportunity completely free of charge.

I am a man who wants to get in. How can I do that?

Intake occurs every Monday and Thursday at our weekly Open Orientations. In order to protect the integrity of our program, we only accept applicants on Mondays and Thursdays. Interested applicants are welcome to attend the information session, fill out an application, participate in an interview with our staff, then (upon acceptance), leave with the coordinator to enter Phase 1 that same day. Families/support systems are also welcome to attend.

Orientation is held Monday at 10:00 am at:
Veritas Community Church – West
12 S. Terrace Ave., Columbus, OH

Orientation is held Thursday at 10:00 am at:
Maple Street United Methodist Church
438 E. Wheeling St., Lancaster, OH

The information session runs approximately from 10:00 to 10:45, with applicant interviews to follow.

I am not an Ohio resident. Can I still get in?

Yes, we accept men from out-of-state as well as Ohio residents. If you are coming from out of state, we strongly recommend that you contact us to set up a pre-screening interview before arriving for an Orientation. If you live 2+ hours away from the Orientation location, please fill out the pre-screen application at TheRefugeOhio.org/men.

My son is currently in jail/prison. Can he come in after he is released?

Men are welcome to come to one of our weekly orientations once they are released. However, we are not able to reserve beds in advance. If he lives more than two hours from our Orientation locations, he can fill out a prescreen application after he is released. NOTE: We will not conduct prescreening interviews unless the man has filled out the prescreen application himself.

What items do I bring with me to Orientation?
  • 8 pairs of pants/shorts
  • 8 shirts
  • 3 sweaters/sweatshirts
  • 3 pairs of shoes
  • 8 pairs of socks & underwear
  • 1 Bible & notebook
  • Personal hygiene products:
    • 1 shampoo & conditioner
    • 1 body wash & bar of soap
    • 1 deodorant
    • 1 non-electric toothbrush,1 tube of toothpaste
    • 1 bag non electric razors, 1 can shaving cream
    • 1 hair-style product if needed.
  • Our “blessings closet” can help provide any items the applicant is not able to bring.

Note: Please make arrangements to be dropped off at Orientation, or have your car picked up the same day. The Refuge is not responsible for personal vehicles after applicants are accepted to the program.

How old do you have to be to get into The Refuge?

We only accept men who are 18 years old or older.

Are you able to take sex offenders?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept registered sex offenders.

Can a man detox at The Refuge?

For the safety of our staff and men, we cannot medically detox, and therefore cannot accept men whose drug of choice was benzodiazepines or alcohol unless they have are already detoxed. Our staff is, however, very much accustomed to helping men through the process of withdrawal/detox from heroin, opiates, and other substances. These may be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Which theology does your Ministry follow?

The Refuge is a ministry that bases its programming on orthodox Christian values.

How do I get more information about Family Day?

When men phase up to our Phase Two home, they can begin making weekly phone calls. At this point, they will be the ones to invite you to Family Day and provide all of the necessary information about the event.

If my son doesn’t have a diploma – do you have any resources to help him get his GED?

Yes. We do all we can to provide opportunities for the men to launch with everything they need to walk as responsible men of God. He will have more opportunity to explore these possibilities as he moves into our Phase 3.

I would like to make a physical donation. Who should I contact?

Thank you! For a complete list of our current needs, please the “immediate physical needs” section at the bottom of our “Pray, Serve, Give” page.

To inquire about making or delivering donations, please call or email Michele Davis: 614-991-0131 /

My son has already been through several other rehabs. What makes The Refuge different from other programs?

Three things:

  • We seek to honor God in everything we do.
  • We’ve seen the power of authentic, transparent discipleship. The men gain the support and honest friendships of a brotherhood here that it is difficult to find or build elsewhere.
  • We focus on holistic care & training. Addiction cannot be isolated and treated as one single issue. By the time men get to our doors, more often than not, addiction has taken over every part of their lives. We believe that any hope for change comes through Christ, practically through the new life that He offers – transformation of personal integrity, family values, work ethic, ongoing and intentional service, authenticity, leadership, and prayer. We are by no means perfect – but this is the model we strive for.

Questions or Comments?

Success Stories

"This has been one of the best years of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

- Andrew


"The miracles that happen in The Refuge are undeniable."

- Josh


"Relying on God more."

- Dustin


"There is hope."

- Nate

Our Mission

To change the lives of men affected by addiction through Christ.

Our Purpose

To lead men from active addiction to becoming fully recovered, responsible citizens who move forward and make a new beginning towards lives defined by new beliefs, values, and purpose.

Our Vision

To inspire fully recovered and responsible men of God who go on to live Christ-centered lives of Christian responsibility and purpose and bring still others to Christ.