Community Events

David’s Refuge offers many different community opportunities throughout the year! Our “Tried and True” events include: Valentine’s Date Night, Beauty of Mom, Dad’s Event, Halloween Celebration and Cookies with Santa! In addition, we have a lot of fun pop up events throughout the year, ticket giveaways to concerts, shows and activities as well as collaboration events with our agency partners! Be sure to check out our events page for what we have coming up!

Each event or giveaway (unless stated otherwise) has its own unique link to register.

Many of our David’s Refuge events are open to the WHOLE family, but some are ADULT only. Each event invitation will state who is invited to attend.


The David’s Refuge application can be found here. A new application must be completed each calendar year. The application opens each year in January.

David’s Refuge offers respite, resources and support to parents and guardians of children with special needs or life threatening medical conditions where they will be refreshed, restored and renewed in their role as caregivers. We offer three different areas of service: Respite, Community and Wellness. Our respite program offers 2 night getaways for single parents and caregiving couples. There are several options available for this program. Our community program offers a variety of events and ticket giveaways throughout the year. Events types vary from ones for the whole family to just caregivers and everything in between. Our Wellness initiative offers year round support with a variety of opportunities including workshops, retreats, webinars and mental health support.

Yes, David’s Refuge requires a new application each calendar year. Our new application is open each January.

David’s Refuge looks at a combination of your child’s diagnosis as well as the supports that your family has in place to determine eligibility. The following information is a guideline (please note each application is individually reviewed, this is just a guideline). If your child has a life threatening illness they must be currently receiving treatment and live in your home 7 days per week. If you have a child with special needs we review information such as if your child is OPWDD eligible, if your child receives related services, if your child is in a specialized classroom and attends the extended school year, if your child has a behavior plan at school and/or at home, the level to which you support your child’s daily living skills.

The majority of programs and services provided by David’s Refuge are at no cost to our families. We are lucky to have wonderful donors and foundations that invest in David’s Refuge so that we are able to provide our programs and services at no cost to families. On occasion we will ask families to pay a small portion.

Other than our weekend respite program (which you will sign up for in the main application), all other David’s Refuge programs, events and opportunities will have a virtual registration form. David’s Refuge sends out an email newsletter at least once a month with all of the opportunities and corresponding registration forms. In addition the opportunities and registration forms are also posted to our private Facebook page just for our caregivers.

The David’s Refuge office is located in East Syracuse at 5800 Heritage Landing Drive, Suite B. The majority of our in person events, workshops and conferences take place in either Central NY or in Rochester/Western New York. Our Tried and True respite weekend locations are spread out between Central and Western New York. You can also view our partner locations.

David’s Refuge has several cancellation polices related to our programs and services. These policies have been put into place in an effort to provide services with integrity, in line with our mission and in fairness to all families.

  • Respite Weekend Cancellation Policy – Any guests who do not show up to their confirmed reservation without providing reasonable notice to staff, will result in the forfeiture of participating in the Respite Program for the remainder of the year and/or the following year. Any guests who cancel more than 2 reservations within the same year, will forfeit participation in the respite program for the remainder of the year. Any questions regarding the Respite Cancellation Policy can be directed to
  • Wellness and Community Event/Program Cancellation Policy – All caregivers must read and acknowledge the following statement anytime they register for a wellness or community program or event. Any questions about this policy can be directed to or “I understand that if I register for this event and I am unable to attend, I must inform David’s Refuge (we need at least 48 hours barring emergency) prior to the program. If I do not inform David’s Refuge, I understand that my eligibility for future programs and services may be impacted.”

The Parent Night Out program is a program that David’s Refuge offered in the past. We replaced this program in 2022 with a variety of other community and wellness opportunities

There are a variety of ways to support David’s Refuge, from monetary donation to volunteering your time and a variety of others. Or reach out to our office at 315-682-4204 or reach out through our Contact page.

Respite Program

David’s Refuge offers 3 separate respite weekends. One is for Caregiving Couples, where only couples may attend. Both partners must attend. Second is for Single Parents, where only a single parent may attend, guests of any kind are not permitted. Third is our Reimbursement Respite Weekend only for caregivers, so children are not permitted.

A caregiving couple is a couple (married or not) that reside in the same home and both significantly care for the child with special needs or life threatening illness.

David’s Refuge strives to provide one respite weekend for every family with an approved application, each year. Please note* a new application completed each year is required.

Check in times vary by location, but generally check in is as early as 3pm. Please note* Guests are encouraged to check in as early as allowed to get the most out of your respite weekend, however, we expect guests to determine the best time for them to check in. Exact Check in and check out times will be in your email from our Director of Respite within two weeks of your scheduled reservation.

A respite weekend host is a family we serve, who has been apart of the David’s Refuge community, participated in multiple programs, has proven to have the qualities needed (determined by Director of Respite), has been formally trained, adheres to David’s Refuge mission, values and vision AND has chosen to serve other families in this community.

David’s Refuge Respite program is created with intentions to provide an opportunity for couples and single parents to take a breath and pour into themselves. Your Respite Weekend Host will invite you to get together for various opportunities, like sitting around a fire together, playing a deck of cards in a community area, etc. You are strongly encouraged to join the group for breakfast (an opportunity to meet other families who have similar challenges and experiences), however, a healthy majority of your respite weekend is yours to get what you need out of it.

Yes! Our Respite program calendar is completely built for the entire year ahead of time. When you receive the link to the calendar you will be able to filter by your favorite location, or flip over right to your favorite month to see what locations are available in that month. You will also see more information about each location to help you choose one that may be best for you and your needs. For example, if you have pet allergies, you will see notes on the locations that do have pets on premises or allow pets.

No. The Reimbursement Respite option is an alternative to our Tried and True Respite (booking calendar). Reimbursement Respite has eligibility criteria that must be met, to show a guest has extenuating circumstances that does not allow them to participate in our Tried and True Respite Weekends. If our booking calendar is full, guests will be placed on our waitlist and be the first to be notified of any openings in our respite calendar (typically due to a cancellation).

No, children are not permitted on any respite weekend, including adult children. Our Respite Weekends are created as an opportunity for caregivers exclusively. Please look into other programs David’s Refuge offers for opportunities that do allow children to attend.

The families we serve have children with a large variety of diagnosis and needs. The responsibility to find trusting, capable care for children is solely on the caregiver. David’s Refuge does not take any responsibility for finding care for children, however, we can help with the cost of care. A limited funding opportunity is available to help, up to $200 that is sent directly to the provider caring for your child.

No, both partners must attend respite weekends created for caregiving couples. Please call our office at 315-682-4204 or reach out through our Contact Page.

No, respite weekends created for Single Parents are not permitted to bring guests. Single parents on their respite weekends are encouraged to meet any guests offsite.

Yes, David’s Refuge has limited funding available to help with the cost of childcare. This funding can be used when all other means of funding have been exhausted. Families going on respite weekends can be eligible for funding up to $200, which is sent directly to the provider. For more information please use our Contact Page.

Those locations that have accessibility options or are ADA compliant, have pets on site or allow pets, or have menus that can be altered to meet dietary restrictions are noted on our Locations Page.

Smoking is not allowed inside of any partner location. Please ask staff upon check in for smoking designated areas. Please note that all Bed and Breakfasts adhere to general etiquette, asking patrons to be mindful of strong smells in the intimate space, staining linens with hair dye or makeup etc.

Unfortunately, David’s Refuge does not have an agreement with a location for your self-made reservation. David’s Refuge does not act as a third party entity, and can not intervene when an issue arises. When booking a reservation for yourself, ensure you are booking through a reputable website or the hotel/B&B itself.

Wellness Initiative

The David’s Refuge wellness initiative is a year round program that offers a variety of in-person and virtual opportunities in the wellness field, such as workshops, retreats, webinars, support groups and so much more.

David’s Refuge partners with a local mental health counseling practice to offer mental health supports to our families. Through the partnership David’s Refuge is able to offer individual and couples counseling (4 sessions), a caregiver support group offered 3 times per year (6 part series), a series just for couples and also supports for typical siblings. All of the mental health supports are offered at no cost to our caregivers.

David’s Refuge strives to offer a wide variety of opportunities with our wellness initiative. We are always adding new patterns and exploring new ways for caregivers to add “tools to their toolbox”. Some examples include: yoga, sound healing, breathwork, meditative painting, 4 part nutrition series, budgeting and financial webinars, and so much more!

David’s Refuge offers a variety of virtual opportunities, including: individual and couples mental health counseling, caregiver support groups, nutrition series, and webinars with topics ranging from self-care to financial to legal.