Starting A

New Residential Ministry

Ministries: Strength in Numbers

This drug epidemic is going to take more than one entity. It really is a national issue, and we all need each other to fight it. We all bring different missions, gifts, perspectives and purposes to the table that can make us much more effective working together.

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.

Join us in the fight against addiction and toward Christ!


Fill out the appropriate form below to let us know who you are and apply to be listed on our Refuge Network map and database. Thank you for helping us direct people to your facility or organization – we look forward to working with you to see more people come to Christ because of this epidemic!


Interested in knowing more about the Refuge residential ministry or the Refuge Network before you jump in? Attend an Orientation or have a phone call to ask questions and share information!


Join us on the journey as we grow together. This opportunity is specifically focused toward faith-based residential ministries or start-ups who would like to be part of a growing cohort to share thoughts on best practices, bring encouragement and develop a vision for where God will take their ministry. We also offer an “online university” packed with information on how we do residential ministry and discipleship at the Refuge.

Please Fill Out This Form

  • Please limit this to 500 words
  • Select any that apply
  • Tell us about your team (if you have one). Please include names, their current occupations, and the role they will serve in your organization.
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 20 MB.
    Please attach a .pdf or .doc file with a 500-word answer to the question "Why do you want to work with the Refuge?"

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.

The Story Behind
The Founding Of The Refuge

Tom Thompson founded The Refuge in 1999 to help addicts get clean and sober by identifying and addressing the spiritual brokenness that underlies their addiction.

Learn more about what it took to start a full-time residential ministry, and the hard-learned lessons from the first 20 years in A Place Of Refuge.

All proceeds from the sale of A Place Of Refuge go back into the ministry to support the men and women who are changing their lives through Christ.

You can click here to purchase a paperback or Kindle version on Amazon, or click here to buy a paperback copy directly from The Refuge.


Refuge Replication
Online Group Coaching

None of us has all the answers, but together we’ll have a lot more of the right ones – and hopefully a lot less of the bumps and bruises. We look forward to growing with you!

Join us for our free Discovery Breakfast, Thursday September 23rd at 8AM catered by Panera Bread. Click the link to the left to learn more and sign up.

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.