At the corner of 48 & 65 streets in Medellin, Colombia stands a six-story facility that serves as the headquarters for Ciudad Refugio (City of Refuge)—a growing inner-city ministry founded in 1993. Moved by the despair and homelessness in Medellin, Douglas Calvano, a Times Square Church missionary, started taking “agua panela” (sugar water) and bread to those on the streets. Eventually the street outreach grew into what is now a multi-faceted project including a rehabilitation and discipleship program for men and women, a ChildCry feeding program, a shelter for homeless men, and a vibrant inner-city church.
Today, some of the more recent developments of Ciudad Refugio include skills training and micro-enterprise opportunities which help to sustain the ministry and train those in the rehabilitation programs. These initiatives include a taxi service, a local mini market, a chicken farm, and a bakery. God has also expanded their vision to reach other regions of Colombia, beginning with a church plant in the rural community of Planeta Rica as well as an open invitation from the government to minister on the small Caribbean island of Providencia.