About Us

About us

Place of Refuge Society is a men’s long-term transitional housing program licensed by the city of Vancouver and regulated by the Assisted Living Registrar of British Columbia.

We are a Christian-based organization, founded in the Mennonite tradition, and our mandate is to provide a safe environment for people to become healthy, confident, and drug-free. We honour and respect diversity and support individuals in defining their pathway to wellness.

We consider substance-use dependency to be a complex social, psychological, and physical factor contributing to illness and suffering. We further believe that individuals can recover from their substance-use challenges and lead healthy and productive lives. The residents at POR are supported by being provided a long-term housing model 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 Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia.

Our Mission

Place of Refuge Society is committed to providing our most vulnerable citizens with a safe and nurturing home where they can define their path to wellness in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Life at Place Of Refuge

Individuals who have successfully completed a first-stage recovery program are eligible to live at the Place of Refuge, where they:

  • Attend two in-house groups and one community support group each week
  • Attend the school of their choice to enhance their education and or work in the local community
  • Have access to one-on-one life skills supports
  • Referrals provided for advocacy and community support service resourcing
  • Financial literacy
  • Have 24-hour support with a live-in night staff
  • Live in a drug, alcohol, and discrimination free environment
  • Are committed to an abstinence-based recovery program

Therapeutic Approach

  • A person-centred and relational focused wellness model
  • Program philosophy is based on the belief that every individual has a right to define their own path to wellness
  • Creating a healthy self-identification is grounded in the language we utilise to describe our experience with self and others.
  • Program philosophy values, gender equality, non-sexist or racist identification of self and others.

Jeff C. Borden​


Executive Director

Jeff Borden has been involved with Place of Refuge Society since early 2012 and is our Executive Director and primary counsellor. Jeff earned his master’s degree in leadership from Royal Roads University and is internationally certified as a counsellor and clinical supervisor in Canada and
the USA.

He brings over twenty-eight years of experience working in various settings in the substance use field. Some include the Ministry of Children and Families, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Turning Point, Phoenix Society, Community Living of British Columbia, private practice counselling and consulting.

Jeff has always had a passion for working with people seeking to move beyond their substance use issues into a wider choice of range and action. His role is to provide a safe and supportive environment enabling our residents to obtain a broader scope of healthy options to improve the quality of their lives. Jeff delivers the program operations, community engagement, individual counselling, and life skills programming for the residents.

Reive Doig

Support Staff

Reive Doig took on the role of support staff in February 2020, shortly after beginning his counselling education. Since then, he has been working and receiving mentorship from Executive Director Jeff Borden to learn and develop his craft. Before working in the addiction recovery field,

Reive volunteered with several nonprofits and charities and served as a board member of the PACE Society from 2011-2014. He continues his volunteering today, running SMART meetings twice a week at different local recovery houses. With over two decades of customer service experience, Reive brings a strong relational attitude to his work. He is dedicated and passionate about working with people so that they move beyond substance use and achieve a better quality of wellness and life.