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Gala Introduction

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Introduction: Who we are
Welcome. My name is Wes Thompson and I have the honor of serving as the Executive Director at the Refuge.
On behalf of the Refuge, I want to first thank each and every one of you for joining us this evening… it is encouraging to have your support. So, thank you.
We have sponsors for this event that have underwritten the entire cost for this evening. The sponsors include: Lindsay Automotive, Thompson Concrete, Big Sandy Superstores, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and PJ and Kate Wenzell. [round of applause]
What that means is that (1) every dollar from your tickets and (2) every additional dollar we raise tonight will go directly to support the men and mission of the Refuge, which is to serve those affected by addiction through Jesus. [round of applause]
Luke 4:18 (NIV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
3 Things:
Good News.
These are necessary things, these are important things… Without Good News, Freedom and the ability to see what is before us, we lack hope. We lack a future.
What we do
Good news, Freedom & Sight — This is what we do at the Refuge.
We are about complete transformation… from death to life, from brokenness to wholeness, from addiction to recovery… through Jesus and for Jesus.
This is what we most need… and we believe this is at the root of all unwanted behaviors or addictions…the breakdown of healthy relationships.
We are made by and for relationships… ALL OF US. There is not way around this.
The quality of your life is dependent upon the quality of your relationships.
Show me someone with lots of trinkets and toys but has a void of deep, life giving relationships and I will show you someone who is really poor.’
Our most fundamental relationship is with (1) God… (2) others, (3) myself and the (4) world around me… I need to be able to function well in society.
So that is what we do at the Refuge!
We serve men 18 years and older who are broken and in need of change and we serve them and walk alongside them in their recovery to wholeness of life.
Men can stay with us for 30 days or 30 years...
30 day program
12 month program
Long-term affordable recovery housing on the westside of Columbus
We are about long-term, holistic, complete change that results in disciples of Jesus Christ!
Our Outcomes
In 2020, The Refuge partnered with Measurement Resources Company, an independent research and evaluation firm, to quantify the impact and value of the 13-month program.
In an alumni survey of men who graduated from the Refuge in 2018, 2019 and 2020, graduates reported:
A vast majority of alumni reported (1) Enjoying growing, quality relationships with people and with Jesus + (2) living transformed lives
9 out of 10 are:
Stably housed
Food secure
Not utilizing hospitals or emergency departments for alcohol- or drug- related reasons
Not involved with the justice system
66% Reported being continuously clean and sober and free from the compulsion to drink or use drugs
What this report concluded was that the Refuge is not only (1) helping to change lives through Jesus, but (2) The Refuge is also saving the communities these men are coming from millions of dollars... because these graduates are no longer a liability and financial burden on society but are now contributors and are benefitting society.
This is remarkable!
The Problem
Here’s the problem we are facing!
Since 2020, there have seen less people coming to the Refuge for help because, as a result of government funding, there are more Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) options available.
Medically Assisted Treatment focuses on harm reduction, keeping people alive.
This is a valid approach. I don’t want to make these folks out to be our enemies in any way. It's good to keep people alive.
But in contrast —we, at the Refuge, go further.
We don't stop at sobriety, we are building a community of recovering men that are thriving in faith in Jesus, family, and business.
We are in the business of transforming lives, not just keeping people alive. We want to see individuals thrive and grow not just stay in a cycle of addiction.
This is why we need your continued support.
Addiction has not gone away… in some reports, it has only gotten worse since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most Medically Assisted Treatment programs last 30-60 days... research shows that sustained recovery and freedom come from taking a longer term approach to healing.
The Refuge is comprehensive. Like I said before, we have a 30-day program, an additional 12 month program, and a long-term residential recovery housing program...
Those in recovery can stay with us for 30 days or 30 years.
We are all about total transformation (mind, body and soul).
The Recovery Space is getting noisy
There are a lot of short-term centers popping up all over the place… I am sure you have seen them
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get success data from many of these places… and we have been told that many other recovery centers success rates fall under 5%
We need to expand our reach, because people need help. People need freedom… we want to serve these men to meet their needs and help them back up
But most importantly, we want to see them flourish in a relationship with Jesus — because we know and believe that makes all the difference in the world.
Hope + Thanksgiving
There is hope! There is a way forward.
And we have more to share with you this evening, but before we move on I want to thank each of you again for your friendship and partnership.
We are incredibly grateful for you.
***I have previously mentioned the Long-term affordable recovery housing on the westside of Columbus that we offer for alumni of the Refuge… At this time if you would focus your attention to the screen, we have a short video about that that we would like to show you… Thank you!
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