How To Join Our Men’s Ministry

At this time, we are NOT on a wait list. Check our Facebook page every weekend for an exact number of beds available at Monday Orientation.

Click here to learn about our free Men's Residential Ministry

Click here to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions



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. If you are coming from two hours away or more, we strongly recommend that you contact us to set up a pre-screening interview before arriving for a Monday Orientation. We hold pre-screening phone interviews Wednesday and Thursday for the following week. Email us at with the following information to arrange that pre-screening:
    • Name
    • Where you live
    • A phone number where we can reach you
    • Email address
    • Best hours to contact you.
  • 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 cannot accept men who have been sentenced to The Refuge “in lieu of” incarceration. Often, we find that men forced to come because of legal issues are not here for the right reasons.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Men who have already completed The Refuge ministry will not be considered for re-entry. We can, however, offer support through Champions groups, local churches and alumni connections, as well as recommendations for other residential programs if necessary. For more information, attend Orientation or contact us at

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.

  • 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)
  • 8 pairs socks & underwear
  • 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.

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.)

Step 3: Come To Orientation

Men'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.

Men'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 3:30 pm at:

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

The first hour, from 3:30 pm to approximately 4:30 pm 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 from 3:30 to 4:30 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. 

Not Ready For Residential Rehab?

If you're not able to join a full-time residential rehab, check out one of our Champions Groups

They meet locally every week to offer support and fellowship from guys who know what you're going through.

You can learn more about The Champions Network and find a meeting near you

Have questions not covered here or on our FAQ page?
Please email or call 614.991.0131.

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