Mother's Refuge
14400 E. 42nd St. South
Suite 220
Independence MO 64055
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 353-8070
Mission Statement

Our mission is to shelter and educate homeless, pregnant and parenting young women by providing comprehensive services and empowering them to make successful life decisions for themselves and their babies.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Robert E. Zornes
Board Chair Mr Brett Gordon
Board Chair Company Affiliation Law Clerk of Kansas State Federal Court
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1987
Former Names
Mother's Choice
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement

Our mission is to shelter and educate homeless, pregnant and parenting young women by providing comprehensive services and empowering them to make successful life decisions for themselves and their babies.

Background Statement
Mother's Refuge is a residential program for homeless, pregnant and parenting teenagers.  Since 1987, we have provided a loving home and comprehensive services for more than 1,500 pregnant teenagers and their babies.  
Services we provide are: 
  • Access to medical care
  • Individualized case management
  • Counseling
  • Nutritional meals
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Baby diapers & supplies
  • Personal care items
  • Infant care instruction and assistance
  • Educational classes on pregnancy and parenting, health and nutrition, finance and career building, and self-improvement
  • Community events including festivals, swimming, and farmers markets
  • Adoption awareness
  • Aftercare-Transitional Living program
  • Practical Life-skills classes
  • Healthy Relationship/Abuse Prevention Awareness 
Each resident must be enrolled in high school, HISET classes (formerly known as GED), community college, or a technical school. They may also seek employment.  
Impact Statement
In 2016, Mother's Refuge provided a loving home for 39 pregnant and parenting young women who were 21 years old or younger and their babies. Additionally, our top 3 accomplishments were:
  • Provided 4,753 bed nights for young moms and babies which is 1,364 more bed nights compared to 2015.
  • Residents attended more than 900 hours of educational classes and activities including 23 community service projects.
  • 100 percent of employed residents saved at least 75 percent of their income. One resident saved more than $3,000.
For 2017, our goals are:
  • To provide shelter and services to at least 50 young women and their infants.
  • 100% of newly admitted residents have a prenatal appointment scheduled within their first 72 hours.
  • 80% of admitted residents complete our in-house educational program. This is not 100% due to some residents using our services on a short-term, emergency basis.
Needs Statement

Mother's Refuge always accepts in-kind and monetary donations that allow us to provide the best care for our residents and their infants. We are always in need of adult and infant clothes, adult and infant hygiene items, diapers, wipes, bottles, and breastfeeding supplies. 

Additionally, three pressing needs are:
  1. Funds to purchase a three or four bedroom home to start an independent living and transitional living program.  
  2. A backyard storage shed for additional space for diapers, baby supplies, and furniture for our residents and distribution to young mothers and babies in our Aftercare/Transitional Living Program. 
  3. Advertisement for fund development.
Service Categories
Homeless Shelters
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Mother's Refuge has served the greater Kansas City area since 1987. We have provided a loving home for more than 1,500 homeless, pregnant teenagers and their babies. I can attest to the fact that our staff members make a valuable and positive difference in the lives of the young moms that call Mother's Refuge home.

Our staff is comprised of loyal, dedicated individuals who have a genuine commitment to help those less fortunate than you and me. The staff works with passion and always makes the needs of others a top priority. The board is dedicated to providing a quality program for the teenaged young women in our community.

We shall forever be grateful to the overwhelming community support that helped us rebuild and enlarge our home after suffering a devastating fire in October 2012. It took one year to deal with rezoning, planning, building permits, insurance negotiations and settlements before we were even allowed to start rebuilding. The rebuilding process took 15 months from start to finish. The outpouring of support from the local community was outstanding and allowed us to enlarge and build a much more user friendly home than ever expected. Our moms and babies lived at the Conference Center of the Remnant Church for more than two years while awaiting to return to our new home. Without their hospitality, we would have had to close while under construction. The long wait was well worth it. Because of the generosity of our community, we were able to build a beautiful home that instills a very warm, family atmosphere.

During the past 30 years, Mother's Refuge, like most organizations, has faced many challenges. Dedicated board members have always worked together to overcome the challenges. The board is involved in strategic planning and financial management of the organization. Our current goal is to diversify our funding resources. During the past five years, we have made great strides in obtaining additional revenue resources. The board is committed to diversifying and expanding our influence in the community. We are currently forming an advisory council that will be instrumental in fundraising and community awareness.

One important benefit to donors is that individuals and businesses may qualify for an additional 50 percent tax credit from the State of Missouri. This is extra incentive for making an investment in our program. Your interest in the lives of our young mothers and their babies we serve is appreciated.

I encourage you to join us in helping those less fortunate. Your donation is a true investment in the lives of our young moms and babies. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or to arrange for a tour of our home and learn more about our program.


Robert E. Zornes

Executive Director

Description We provide a safe home for homeless pregnant teens and their babies with 24-hour supervision. Our home is free of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Along with a safe home, we also provide the basic necessities such as food, clothing, and transportation along with access to community resources. The young women are able to stay for up to one year after their baby is born. We assist them in obtaining permanent housing and provide an aftercare program.  Many former residents continue to receive support, encouragement, and case management for several years after leaving our residential program.
Category Housing, General/Other Homeless Shelter
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Females
Short-Term Success Pregnant teens are admitted into our program and have a safe secure home.  The young ladies immediately  receive access to prenatal care, are enrolled in school, start learning parenting skills.    
Long-Term Success We define success when our young mothers obtain permanent secure housing for themselves and their babies after leaving Mother's Refuge. They enter our Aftercare/Transitional Living program, so we may assist and offer continued emotional support and guidance. Success is also measured by successfully reuniting them with family members while exhibiting healthy boundaries and relationships.
Program Success Monitored By We keep records on calls received requesting shelter as well as statistics on those we do help. We keep track of where they go after leaving our program.
Examples of Program Success

We receive many letters, phone calls and visits from past teen moms thanking us for providing a loving home for them and their babies and, ultimately, for helping them become productive citizens within their community.

A recent graduate of Mother’s Refuge shared on Facebook, “Thank you to Mother’s Refuge for everything you have done to help me and to help my son. I don’t know where I would be without all of the amazing people who are involved in making this a beautiful home to hundreds of young moms and their children. I have met so many people who have impacted me in a positive way. I love you guys so much and you will forever be in my heart and in my prayers. Thank you to everyone who has been involved!!!"

Description When a resident enters Mother's Refuge we assist them in setting up immediate health care. They obtain health insurance for themselves and their babies. We help schedule doctor appointments and provide transportation. We also administer and monitor all medications while at our home.
Category Health Care, General/Other Health Care, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Homeless,
Short-Term Success Short term success is having pregnant teens obtain healthcare and be seen by a health professional within a week of her admittance to our home as well as ensuring that pregnant teens are healthy as noted by their doctor and nurses. We ensure that medical appointments are kept and medicine/vitamins are taken as directed.
Long-Term Success We define long term success by the successful delivery of the young teen's baby with no complications, a full recovery from delivery, and on-time immunizations for the babies.
Program Success Monitored By We keep a schedule of each girls' medical appointments and log notes of all medication times, if it was taken, and who administered it.
Examples of Program Success Healthy moms and healthy babies.
Description All pregnant teens are required to enroll in high school or HISET classes (formerly known as GED) if they do not have a diploma or HISET certificate as soon as they enter Mother's Refuge. If already completed, we encourage the girl to enter college or a trade school. Teens have access to the internet in our computer lab in order to finish homework assignments and access community resources.
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), , Homeless
Short-Term Success The homeless pregnant teen is enrolled in high school or a HISET program. If a diploma or HISET certificate is already obtained, short-term success is when they enroll in college or a trade school.
Long-Term Success Long-term success is measured by the successful completion of high school or GED classes and furthering their education.
Program Success Monitored By We keep school records for each pregnant teen and have direct communication with teachers and administrators.
Examples of Program Success

Many residents would not have continued their education if not for the support received at Mother's Refuge. Without their high school diploma or HISET certificate, they then would not have been able to begin a trade or continue their education.

So far this year, we celebrated one resident graduating with her HISET certificate, and we look forward to see another current resident graduate from high school this spring. 

Description Mother's Refuge teaches practical life skills classes on a rotating basis. These include: nutrition, cooking, parenting skills, birthing classes, abstinence information (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, STDs, etc.), money management, group and individual counseling, adoption, healthy relationships, child development, and gardening.
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Homeless,
Short-Term Success Short-term success is defined by our pregnant teens attending our in-house classes and showing that they have learned the skills taught.
Long-Term Success Mother's Refuge defines long-term success when a teen mom exhibits proper parenting skills, is able to plan and prepare nutritional meals, shows an ability to launder clothes and keep a clean and tidy home, does not drink, smoke or do drugs, can successfully manage money by paying bills on time and establishes healthy relationships with family and friends.
Program Success Monitored By We keep a copy of all certificates obtained while at our home in their personal file.
Examples of Program Success We have young moms successfully living on their own in our aftercare program who are taking care of their babies and maintaining healthy relationships.
Description When a teen mom has successfully completed our program we help her obtain a safe and secure permanent home either by independent living, reuniting with family or another long-term facility. She enters our aftercare program in which our Program Manager maintains contact by conducting home visits, phone calls, emotional support, case management, goal monitoring, assistance in arranging education/health care and transportation.
Category Human Services, General/Other Case Management
Population Served Females, Homeless, Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- Other Specified Group
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success This program is aimed at former Mother's Refuge residents. The young mom leaves our home for other more permanant housing and stays in our aftercare program.
Long-Term Success Success is when the teen mom thrives in the community and graduates from our aftercare program. She takes responsibility for herself and her baby, pays her bills, exhibits healthy and well-adjusted behaviors, and maintains healthy relationships.
Program Success Monitored By We keep current addresses and phone numbers for our past residents when they leave our program if available. We continue to keep records on them while in our aftercare program.
Examples of Program Success Many residents stay in contact with Mother's Refuge and take care of themselves and their babies successfully. They are productive citizens.
CEO Comments Our programs are all designed to help assure that our clients reach their full potential. Classes and mentoring are designed to teach our young moms the responsibility of proper parenting. We feel that our hands-on approach will help reduce future child abuse. Residents continuing their education is one of our top priorities. Each girl must continue her high school education or obtain a GED. Those residents that have completed this, must continue her education through community college or a trade school. We also place high-emphasis on practical life skills. Each resident learns how to accept daily responsibilities. They learn how to keep their personal belongs and space organized and clean. They learn proper nutrition and meal planning in addition to preparing meals for a small group of people. Our classes include instruction on money management, parenting skills, personal growth, developing proper relationships, and how to interview and prepare resumes for jobs. Our goal is to instill in our residents the desire to be self-reliant.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Robert E. Zornes
Term Start Feb 2001

Robert earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from Emporia State University.  His Bachelors Degree is from Evangel University. He completed graduate studies in journalism from the University of Kansas. His past experience includes being the CEO of the LIGHT House, a home for unwed mothers and adoption agency for nine years, and he has served as a pastoral counselor at a large metro church.  Robert has conducted many parenting, marriage and family workshops and sales training classes.  Robert has recently served six years as a board member on  the Missouri Alliance for Life Board and served four years as treasurer.   He currently and has been a long time board member of the Northland Cathedral School of Music.  Robert was also a founding board member of Hope for Children, a sexual abuse educational organization.

Robert's passion for helping those less fortunate is evident in his passion for Mother's Refuge.  He is the chief spokesperson for the organization is often speaking at civic clubs, churches, schools and corporate events.  

Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Ms. Karen Gladdis Jan 1987 - Feb 1999
Ms. Marcella Lee Feb 1999 - Jan 2001
Senior Staff
Title Program Director/Executive Assistant
Experience/Biography Angel has been with Mother's Refuge since 2002. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. As Program Director, Angel writes and submits grants and oversees the implementation of all programs. Her expertise in grant writing, speaking and her compassion for youth are a great asset for the organization.  
Title Program Manager
Experience/Biography Kimberlee earned her degree from Southwest Baptist University.  She first started working at Mother's Refuge after graduation.   She served for several years as case manager.  She left to serve with two other child caring organizations, with her husband, as live-in house parents and managers.   She returned to our staff in August 2014 as Program Manager.     
Title Case Manager
Experience/Biography Julie received her Bachelor's Degree from Southern Missouri State University in Joplin, Missouri.  She joined our staff in 2009.  She provides individualized strengths-bases case management for our residents.  Julie assist each young woman with planning her educational and parenting goals.  Her objective is to challenge each resident to make thoughtful and wise decisions for themselves and their babies.  Julie is a dedicated case manager, passionate about helping pregnant, young women improve their lives and achieve success.
Title Education Coordinator

Cassie earned her MA in Intercultural Studies with an Urban Certificate from Nazarene Theological Seminary. She has been a part of Mother’s Refuge since 2011. Cassie oversees the in-house educational program and house schedule. She coordinates appointments and activities and ensures transportation is secured for all residents. Cassie also works with our young moms to verify they are learning the objectives outlined in the program. Cassie also assists in grant writing for Mother’s Refuge.

Title Events and Volunteer Coordinator

Katie Early earned her MA in Intercultural Studies with an Urban Certificate from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Katie served as a houseparent from 2010 to 2011. She then moved to Manchester, England, to serve as a volunteer at the Nazarene Theological College. After two years of service, Katie returned to Mother’s Refuge as the Events and Volunteer Coordinator. With her educational and life experience, Katie understands the joys and challenges of volunteer work which is such a valuable asset to our volunteers, residents, and staff.

Paid Full-Time Staff 8
Paid Part-Time Staff 10
Volunteers 756
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 80%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Mother's Refuge has a long history of collaborating with area organizations. We actively work with: UMKC School of Nursing, University of Missouri Extension Service, Centerpoint Hospital, Parents as Teachers, Coalition for Homeless Shelter, Division of Children's Services, Jackson Co. Juvenile Court System, Harvesters, Independence School District, Rachel House, The Women's Clinic,  ReStart, Synergy, Independence Health Department, Child Abuse Prevention Association and Sheffield Place.  Our clients utilize the services of many community resources.  When a resident completes our program, she has been equiped with the resources to succeed. 
Education Grant Kauffman Fund2008
People's Choice AwardNational Christian Foundation Heartland2012
Healthy LifestylesIndependence Junior Service League2013
EducationTruman Heartland Community Foundation2012
Applicant Defined GrantHealth Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City2012
Program MentorsIndependence Young Matrons2013
General OperationsCurry Foundation2013
Healthy LifestylesGreater Kansas City Health Care Foundation2013
Small Grant FundUnited Way of Greater Kansas City2014
Life & Justice Campaign GrantDiocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph2014
Operating ExpensesCDBG2015
Parenting Education CurriculumIndependence Young Matrons2015
Finance and Career Building Education for ResidentsSoroptimist International of KC2015
Financial Literacy CurriculumCommunity America2015
Operating ExpensesMenorah Heritage Foundation2016
Applicant Defined GrantHealthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City2015
Applicant Defined GrantHealthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City2016
Transportation SupportIndependence Rotary2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
CEO Comments Mother's Refuge takes a very hands-on management style. Being a smaller organization allows the Executive Director the opportunity to be involved in the day to day operations of the agency. The board of directors reviews financial reports at each board meeting. The organization has built in safe guards to help prevent theft and fraud. A member of the board must sign checks for payment and payroll. The board has been very active this past year in developing and writing a new employee policy handbook. The board treasurer visits monthly with the Executive Director and Program Director to make sure that the organization is on target with all current grants and commitments.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr Brett Gordon
Company Affiliation Law Clerk of Kansas State Federal Court
Term Nov 2016 to Oct 2017
Board Members
Ms. Betty Allen MSCommunity Volunteer, Retired Educator
Mrs. Ramona Cook Owner--Stumpy Originals, Inc., Educator
Captain Cindy Cotterman MSWKCMO Police Department
Mr. David Domsch Founding Board Member Emeritus, Management Consultant--Lawrence-Leiter, Board Member with Concordia Publishing House and Lutheran High School
Mr. Brett Gordon Law Clerk of Kansas State Federal Court
Mr. Ed Minor AT & T, Retired, Community Volunteer, KC Special Olympics
Mr. Chad Mitchell State Farm Agent
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Bi-racial
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 0
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
CEO Comments Mother's Refuge takes a very hands-on management style. Being a smaller organization allows the Executive Director the opportunity to be involved in the day to day operations of the agency. The board of directors reviews financial reports at each board meeting. The organization has built in safe guards to help prevent theft and fraud. A member of the board must sign checks for payment and payroll. The board treasurer visits monthly with the Executive Director and Program Director to assure the organization is on target with all current grants and commitments.
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $615,000
Projected Expenses $552,755
Endowment Value $11,365
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 9/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$290,647$251,006$252,273
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$2,608($487)$3,347
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$18,275$23,000
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$620,936$527,503$520,551
Administration Expense$48,753$51,924$50,919
Fundraising Expense$53,923$45,399$40,912
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.991.071.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%84%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%7%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$699,528$714,105$667,372
Current Assets$274,853$298,461$387,834
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$39,743$43,378$38,187
Total Net Assets$659,785$670,727$629,185
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.926.8810.16
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountA2A-State of Missouri $163,072Anonymous $147,768Anonymous $107,817
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCornerstones of Care $76,488Anonymous $62,238Anonymous $103,316
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountHealth Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City $35,000Anonymous $35,000Anonymous $25,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments Mother's Refuge has been blessed the past three years in receiving several additional grants. These grants have allowed us to provide additional services to our residents and their babies. Through a grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, we have been able to provide healthy meals and snacks and continue to increase access to medical care. We have also received additional grants from the Truman Heartland Foundation, Soroptimist International, Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph, and Independence Rotary. These grants have allowed us to expand our comprehensive services. We have also experienced an increase in individual donations. As a result, we have been able to continue an endowment fund.
Organization Name Mother's Refuge
Address 14400 E. 42nd St. South
Suite 220
Independence, MO 64055
Primary Phone (816) 353-8070
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Robert E. Zornes
Board Chair Mr Brett Gordon
Board Chair Company Affiliation Law Clerk of Kansas State Federal Court
Year of Incorporation 1987
Former Names
Mother's Choice