The Refuge Ministries of Vinton County, Ohio, was originally established in 1999 as a men’s Christian based residential facility that offers long term treatment for substance abuse. In March of 2018, these services also became available to women who were struggling with addiction. All of the programs are free of charge to the clients and their families. Residents move through multiple phases of treatment and participate in holistic programming that is heavily based on faith.
Accommodations and Food
There are five different housing units designated for Refuge’s year long programs. They include a secluded farmhouse on over 100 acres of land; a single story brick home in Lancaster; an apartment complex in Columbus, and two multi-story homes, also in Columbus. These residences provide dorm style sleeping arrangements in bunk beds, several shared bathrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and outdoor space. Everything is provided for the clients including all toiletries and personal items, linens and towels.
All food is provided by the ministry, and clients take turns preparing meals for themselves and housemates during their stay.
Treatment and Staff
The first phase is referred to as the “Discovery Phase.” This phase is very structured and entails daily groups, one on one mentoring and Bible study. The Discovery Phase, which usually lasts between 30 and 45 days, is also the most secluded; clients are not permitted to call or see family members. The next three phases are usually around four months long and throughout that time period, clients get more freedoms, like being able to eventually see their families, have more responsibility within the organization and learn how to mentor newer clients.
The first and fourth phases requires clients to work between 35 and 40 hours a week, along with regular volunteering. They also work on their aftercare plan with their mentors and begin to start the process of returning to their communities.
Clients receive guidance for vocational training and housing placement, parenting classes, relapse prevention, coping skills, and drug education. At any given time there are approximately 75 clients who are working within one of the four phases, and clients aged 18 and up are permitted to apply (as long as they don’t have any unresolved legal issues or need detox).
The Refuge Ministries mainly relies on the kindness of others to donate their time and skills in order to keep this program going. There are pastors and other members of the church along with residential staff operating the residential treatment program.
The Refuge Ministries has several avenues provided as an added support to family members and loved ones, which is especially helpful during the first phase of treatment when the clients cannot communicate with them. There are also outreach programs through the churches (known as Champions Network) that provide leadership within the family members’ individual churches and offer a source of support throughout the program.
The Refuge Ministries helps guide those who are on the brink of homelessness or have been homeless due to their addiction, and provides them with an alternative approach to living a long and happy life free of drugs and alcohol through the love of Christ. Though this may not be appealing to all people, this is an effective program for many, who have tried it and succeeded in setting a solid foundation for sobriety and recovery.
The Refuge Ministries
P.O. Box 163173
Columbus, OH 43216
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