Place of Refuge Transitional Housing Program

A Story of Hope and Courage

A Story of Hope and Courage.

Place of Refuge is a ten-bed transitional housing program located in South Vancouver,
British Columbia. Our focus is to offer long-term supportive housing to men recovering from
substance-use addiction which we believe requires an open-ended approach to deliver life
skills, educational support, and ongoing counselling. We are a Faith-Based Organization,
and alongside our weekly support and counselling sessions, we offer a Bible Study group
every Monday evening.

Place of Refuge is a unique program for a variety of reasons. We are a 100% abstinence based
program that supports men to be free of all substances, including opiate replacement
therapies. Additionally, we offer a long-term program that sees many of our residents stay
for an average of two years or more. Our approach includes a blending of faith-based values
that tie into social responsibility, integrity and a commitment from each resident to become
a valued and productive member of Society.

Since 2009 our Society has responded to the needs of men seeking long -term supportive
housing. We believe that our work with each resident has prevented many overdose deaths
and offset some of our homelessness issues in our city. These initiatives have given men
safety, hope and support to live a healthy and drug-free lifestyle.

The recent COVID -19 pandemic has profoundly affected the quality of health and personal
safety for everyone around the world. Moreover, it has been most challenging for the
vulnerable population as well. As the executive director of Place of Refuge, safety is the
most crucial component of my work. Since mid-March, I have had to implement new safety
measures with our residents and put limitations on their ability to visit loved ones, go to
work/school or attend community support recovery meetings. The one silver lining that I
have seen since the pandemic emerged is how close and connected our residents have
become. As all of our residents have been spending the majority of their time at home for
the past four months, they asked if they could paint the whole house as they all needed to
find a way to occupy their time. Our men at Place of Refuge spent several weeks
transforming our house into something they could be proud of and as a result, became
closer together, much like brothers in a family.

On April 14, 2016, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, declared the opioid
crisis a public health emergency in B.C. In 2016, 931 British Columbians died from
overdoses. To view a detailed overview of the opioid crisis in British Columbia this link will
provide some alarming facts -  Overdose Response Indicator Report.

Safe and affordable housing for our most vulnerable population has never been so critical
as it is now. I have worked in the field of addictions for over twenty-seven years, and the
current climate of homelessness, addiction and dislocation of our marginalized population
is unprecedented. As a non-profit society, we rely on support and donations from our
Church members and partnering organizations. We want to honour and recognize the
ongoing supports we have received – without this help; we would not be able to continue

As a Christian based society, we welcome any financial support to assist these critical
initiatives of helping men recover from addictions and end homelessness in our city.
We believe in sharing our message of faith, hope and success with the work we do in our
communities and are available to present our program to any organization that would like
to learn more about Place of Refuge. I enjoy sharing our story, and often include one of our
residents to share their testimony which captures the beautiful results we see with our
collective efforts.

If you find yourself curious and interested in knowing more about our program, you can
view our web page at –
There is also a section to become a onetime or regular donor to support Place of Refuge.
If you have any questions about the work we do, please feel free to reach out - I will welcome your interest.

Thank you,

Jeffrey C. Borden, ICADC, ICCS
Executive Director
Place of Refuge Society