Place of Refuge Society is a Christian organization that is licensed by the city of Vancouver and regulated by the Assisted Living Registrar of British Columbia. We provide a transitional living program for people recovering from alcohol and drug addictions. Our mandate is to provide a safe environment for people to become healthy, confident and drug-free.

We consider dependency to be a physical, mental and spiritual disease and the chemically dependent person to be deserving of the same respect and dignity afforded to persons afflicted with any other illness. We believe that individuals can recover from their disease and can rebuild abstinent, productive lives. Program graduates will have recovered to the point where they can successfully integrate into the community.

Place of Refuge does not rely on government funding. Instead, support is raised through client contributions, donations from individuals, sponsoring churches, and MCC British Columbia.


Place of Refuge Needs Your Help


April 6, 2020


Dear friends of Place of Refuge,


In the midst of uncertainty due to COVID-19, we want to assure our supporters that Place of Refuge is implementing all health and safety protocols received from our governing bodies. The Board of Directors met last week and Executive Director, Jeff Borden, provided a thorough update on all the ways we are keeping the house safe for all 10 residents.

We are very fortunate that the Place of Refuge house is larger than most Phase 2 recovery programs, offering private space for each person. This is largely due to your support in the successful “Make Room for More” campaign which opened up another bedroom in the house this fall. We are also grateful that our residents have been very cooperative adapting to individual counselling sessions via video conference and telephone to accommodate ‘social distancing’.


During this season we are blessed as we reflect on the commitment of our donors to keep this important ministry going, especially during the stress of a pandemic. Widespread layoffs and overall uncertainty can trigger relapses in addiction recovery. Now more than ever we are feeling how crucial the ministry of Place of Refuge is to the people we support.


However, we are facing the fact that our usual offerings around Good Friday and Easter services, as well as fundraising concerts in early June, will not be happening this year. These events gave us the space to inform and thank you, our donors, and give you the opportunity to offer more support to Place of Refuge.

Kevin, one of our former residents, was planning to share with you at our Good Friday service a very appropriate Easter message. Here is Kevin’s message to us all:

My name is Kevin and I lived at Place of Refuge for 15 months. Prior to this, I spent 4 months in stage one recovery. Before making the decision to enter recovery my life was completely unmanageable. I had suffered in addiction for over 15 years, but had reached a point in my life where I felt I could no longer continue living and was ready to take my own life.


Through a series of misfortunes and bad decisions, I ended up homeless for the first time in my life. At this point I thought life couldn’t get any worse. This was the needed turning point in my life as I reached the point of desperation. I was off work injured, my union disability stopped coming in due to a paperwork mix-up and I had to move out of my apartment. I ended up in a shelter and though life felt very bleak, I was in an environment where people wanted to help me.


Because of my desperation, I finally had the willingness to accept the help that was being offered. This is when my life changed direction and for the first time I saw the possibility to a solution to my problems.


On the seventh day in the shelter a woman came to run an AA meeting. She shared her experience in addiction from how bad it had been to how great it had become in sobriety. Her story of transformation was so amazing that she gave me hope. I was so inspired by a complete stranger the next day I checked into a recovery centre where I stayed for 4 months and successfully completed their program. The woman who shared her sobriety story with me is one of my dearest friends today.


At this point I moved into Place of refuge which immediately felt at home. With the help, love and support I received from people like director Jeff Borden, the staff and all the board members involved at Place of Refuge, I flourished. My life had seen incredible improvement. I was attending regular AA meetings, participating in Bible studies, was involved in 12-step work, and was engaging in service work within and outside the AA community. My life once again had purpose wasn’t just good again - it was great!


Last year, the church that provided the venue of my AA meetings no longer had enough room and capacity to accommodate the size of our group. Peace Church on 52 nd , who also helps facilitate Bible studies for Place of Refuge, offered to help us grow our meeting by providing us with a larger venue to hold our meetings. The pastors even occasionally attend our meetings and have also offered their
services for step-work for the members of the fellowship. With their support and ability to offer us a larger space, our group has become even more successful and we now see upwards of 100 to 150 people per meeting.


Today I am pleased to say that I’m still doing regular meetings and service work. I am returning to work at my old job at their request and I live in a beautiful home. I could not have received all these gifts without the love and support of Places Refuge, Peace Church on 52nd and the grace of God. Today I am extremely grateful in my new life. I am almost 2 years sober and very happy.


We are asking you to please consider making a donation to Place of Refuge this Easter. Your gift equips Place of Refuge to support more people like Kevin to flourish again. Your donation will also assist in purchasing all the necessary disinfecting supplies and healthy meals that are so crucial for keeping our residents safe during COVID-19.

Thank you,


Garry Janzen
Board Chair


Donations can be made online or cheques made out to “Place of Refuge Society” can be mailed to: 512 - 6362 Fraser St., Vancouver, BC V5W OA1.



The Make Room for More Building Project Update - August 2019


Room For More completed!


We are excited to announce that construction for the Make Room for More building project was completed in the Summer of 2019. With the new resource centre up and running, Place of Refuge welcomes an additional resident into our home.


Room For More completed!The new Place of Refuge Resource Centre serves as a comfortable and welcoming office where our residents and family members can receive addictions counselling and support. With the Resource Centre separate from the house, we hope to build on our commitment and strong reputation of providing safe housing that does not feel institutional. Our vision has always been to provide a safe, welcoming environment for people to become healthy, confident and drug-free.


Though the construction is complete, we are still gladly accepting donations towards the cost. If you would like to contribute please click here. For online donations, please select the "Make Room for More – Building Project" from the Fund menu.


The completion of the Make Room for More project would not be possible without our crew of volunteers, generous donors, and the churches faithfully providing prayer. Place of Refuge thanks you for your support and encouragement.

We would also like to extend sincere thanks to the following businesses who have partnered with us on this project:


J&R Excavation & Demolition Ltd
Alexandre Ravkov Inc
KSM Associates Ltd.
Solid Rock Steel
Feature Projects Ltd
Hillcrest Plumbing and Heating Ltd.
V&N Electric Limited
Faye Developments Ltd
J&L Enterprises Ltd
WSL Engineering Ltd

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