A safe community where young men can develop their full created potential.


To establish and maintain cooperative communities that provides safe and supportive living space for shelter, social skill development and spiritual  growth.

The Refuge is more than a place to stay…more than a warm bed. It is also more than 10 people living inside the walls of 437 Main St. The Refuge is a community intent on removing barriers to healthy relationships between people.

The Refuge is a transitional housing community for men who are at risk of homelessness and who have the interest and ability, with support, to make positive change in their lives.  These men want to move towards improving their situation and are willing to work at it. Since the Refuge housing is transitional (typically 3 months to 3 years in length), it helps individuals make a start towards something better.  Members are self-directed in that, with the support of others, they take charge of their lives and pursue a direction that enables them to reach their full potential.  We encourage each to “discover their real self and live a full life”. The following aims are part of what gives our residents fresh direction:

  • Becoming healthy - Enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Finding freedom - from things that control: addictions, dysfunctional relationships, and negative choices. 
  • Staying safe - being protected from harm and taking care of oneself.
  • Belonging –  our members become like a family to one another
  • Contributing - developing the skills and attitudes to add to the community in which they live and be a positive change in the world
  • Enjoying life - getting the most out of life and having hope for life
  • Finding value - to express oneself and be accepted
  • Accessing supports - family, friends, and community agencies

Everyone who is part of the Refuge community will contribute to its overall functioning, as well as receive some of the benefits of being part of a community like this. This handbook is intended to introduce you to our vision, values, and how to join The Refuge. It also describes some of the guidelines that we live by and how people leave.

To be a part of our community each person purposefully chooses to live with and offer themselves to each other.

This means that we work at loving and respecting each other (this doesn’t always come naturally or easily!) We listen to each other, learn from each other and challenge each other. We want to build healthy relationships together and to contribute to the community, where we live. Of course there are many barriers to building healthy relationships. Part of our community life is recognizing and removing these barriers so we can grow together and as individuals.

… and each person contributes to overall functioning of community.

There are benefits from being part of a community like this and all these benefits hinge on how each member contributes. Everyone is unique and created to live in community with others. There are abilities or qualities in each person that are meant to be shared with others. For the successes that we have witnessed, the key ingredients of honesty, humility and openness have been present. This helps to maintain a safe and healthy community, which is a high priority for us.

So… we invite those needing a positive and supportive living environment to join the Refuge, so that they can get their feet back under them.

The Refuge is:

  • A community of people, helping one another
  • Transitional housing and therefore residents work on goals and gain support in moving forward
  • Concerned with the whole person (physical, mental, emotional, social, economic spiritual)

The Refuge is not:

  • An apartment building or a Boarding House             
  • A detox centre
  • An emergency shelter
  • A Food bank