The Refuge Alumni

Brotherhood And Sisterhood After the Refuge

The 3 Pathways

In addition to helping men and women prepare practically for completion (including drivers licenses/IDs, budgets, housing, transportation, mentors/support, and more as needed), we have found it very important for the long term success that men and women finishing or leaving the Refuge remember – (1) their identity as a son of God, (2) their mission as a vital part of the local church, and (3) their giving back as servant leaders. Our sincere desire is to develop men and women in these areas throughout their time at the Refuge; so to help them plan what life looks like next, we created the “3 Pathways”.

As men and women enter Phase 3, we propose they choose one of these “3 Pathways” to receive training throughout Phase 3 and 4 of the Refuge, so that they are well prepared before they ever leave.

Coordinator – Men and women without committed relationships/responsibilities elsewhere can apply to be a Refuge coordinator – a house-manager type position, whose responsibility is to coordinate the day to day of a particular phase, set a healthy and biblical culture, and support the phase director in serving the men and women well. A coordinator is paid a small stipend, given room and board, and asked to make at least one 6-month (no longer than 1 year) commitment to serving the men and women behind them.

These coordinators are the “boots on the ground” and the bedrock of our ministry, so the selection process is intensive. Many coordinators, however, say that they learn more in leadership and personal growth in this position than in their first 13 months with the Refuge. Eventually, our hope is that men and women will be able to trained up through this role to serve as coordinators and strong leaders at other faith-based residential ministries if there is a need!

Champion – For men and women going back to family or home responsibilities outside of Columbus, we ask them to commit to being a Champion in their local church. They are introduced to the idea of serving in a church regularly, helped to make strong connections with a home church in which to serve, and asked to consider leading a small group that would serve other active or recovering addicts once they return home (with their minister’s approval. See the Champions page for more information!). These men and women often become the foundation for a whole church and/or community to see the way Christ can impact a community through addiction. They bring hope, connect people to resources, and learn to step out in faith and lead with integrity.

Project 614 – Finally, men and women can choose to remain on the West side of Columbus and engage in what we call Project 614. For the whole story, check out the Project 614 homepage, but this is an opportunity for men and women to build a gospel community on the West side of Columbus. They begin by renting from another alumni, and ultimately move to home renovation and home ownership within just a few years. An increased commitment to outreach and active service in the local church are requirements for consideration, since the first focus of each man will be to live out the gospel that he’s learned through the Refuge in gospel community together. These men and women hold each other accountable and support one another as they fight the good fight. Together, we are seeing men and women move from homelessness and hopelessness to home ownership!

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

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.

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

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


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

Maple Street United Methodist Church
438 E. Wheeling St.
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.

Alumni/Refuge Brothers

I’ve left The Refuge. How can I stay involved?

Let’s just get one thing straight. You are welcome back. You know the culture and the mission of the Refuge, and if you are in line with that and want to come give back or just get fellowship and encouragement – you are welcome here.


A few ways you might be able to get involved:

Attend the Annual Alumni Reunion! Typically held in July (check Upcoming Events for details!), this event is built specifically to encourage, connect and challenge you with your brothers and sisters every year. We’d love to see you there!

Become a Champion in your local church. Want to stay connected somewhat to the Refuge but live far away? Have you thought about serving in your local church? Join a growing group of champions across the state who simply (and powerfully!) host small group recovery through their local church and help men and women throughout their community find true freedom.

Come back to Encounter – the fourth Saturday of every month at Veritas Community Church – West. Call the information line at 614-991-0131 to confirm the date, but you are welcome to come back to worship, hear updates, and encourage the men and women behind you.

Volunteer with the Refuge. What volunteer most impacted you during your time at the Refuge? You of all men know the importance of deep relationship and connection, investing in the lives of the men and women behind you. Visit our Serve page for more specifics!

Be a table captain at the fundraiser! While you were in the Refuge, you worked and paid for yourself and the men and women behind you to have a chance at true and real freedom – the same kind you’re living out today. Help us make that available to hundreds more men in the year to come by attending the annual fundraising banquet. You can make the same difference for a man or woman that someone made for you.

Success Stories

"Trust the process."

- Coty


"There is so much unconditional love."

- Areil


"Relying on God more."

- Dustin


"There is hope."

- Nate

Our Mission

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

Our Purpose

To lead men and women 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 and women of God who go on to live Christ-centered lives of Christian responsibility and purpose and bring still others to Christ.

Support Us

The Refuge Is A Non-Profit Organization