The different people involved are Transitional Residents, Resident Support Workers, Intern Residents, and Refuge Volunteers.

Transitional Residents:

Transitional Residents are the members who make up the core of our community. They are transitional in that they are considered “at risk of homelessness” and are using the Refuge as a temporary place to get their life together. It is our hope that joining The Refuge will help these members develop a wider network of support that remains with them when they move on after living at 437 Main Street. It is also the aim of The Refuge to help Transitional Residents acquire the skills and supports necessary to get and keep their own housing when they leave and to address the deeper issues that makes them at risk of homelessness. These residents must agree to The Refuge Community Guidelines (see below). Transitional Residents are invited to join The Refuge by the Support Staff. They need to apply, provide references, meet with a resident support worker to develop goals and timelines, and agree to The Refuge community “Community Guidelines”. We’ve described below the complete process for how Transitional Residents join in the section, “Joining The Refuge”.

Resident Support Workers:

Leaders are essential to the Refuge community. They are responsible for making sure the community is functioning well on a daily basis. They help to oversee the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks involved in community living. They also model the values and influence the tone and climate of the community. Resident leaders check in regularly with other residents to provide accountability and support. They are servants, not bosses, but often must serve through delegating various tasks and chores. They live by the Refuge community “Rule of Life” (see below).

Intern Residents:

From time to time, there may be Intern Residents who join The Refuge community as learners and servants. They come for a period of time and are immersed in life at The Refuge. They must pay for their rent as part of their learning program. They help the staff in many ways and accompany residents on their journeys. They also meet with staff to do specific study and develop projects that they can do with other residents. Intern residents are invited by the staff. They must provide references and recommendations and need to understand the heart and values of The Refuge. These residents need to be initiative takers and be able to function without close supervision.

Refuge Volunteers:

These people are the supportive community that surrounds The Refuge community. Some are connected to the Refuge through their churches and agencies which support the Refuge. Others are simply friends of The Refuge as individual volunteers or even as financial donors. These friends may participate in The Refuge community in a number of helping ways: by going out to movies, eating, worshipping, celebrating, and playing games together. Some provide specific services and skills in budgeting, crafts, anger management, conflict resolution, prayer ministry, worship circles, and counselling. The Refuge Friends provide everyone with a larger circle from which to draw strength, encouragement, and reprieve from daily life at The Refuge.