River of Refuge
5155 Raytown Road
Kansas City MO 64133
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 7375100
Fax 816- 356-0134
Mission Statement
The mission of the River of Refuge is to empower working poor families with financial security through interim housing. 
CEO/Executive Director Stephanie Keck
Board Chair Cindy Bloom
Board Chair Company Affiliation Arrowhead Medical, LLC
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2009
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
There are multiple ways to get involved at the River of Refuge. We appreciates all financial support including a monthly pledge, or a one time donation. Donations can be made on-line through our website, www.riverofefuge.com or by mailing a check to our mailing address.
There are other ways to support River of Refuge as well. There are regular volunteer opportunities. The first Thursday of each month from 6pm - 8pm is reserved for volunteers for all ages and skill levels.. If you are interested in volunteering outside of this time,  you are welcome to visit our website and sign up for our volunteer list. Sign up for our newsletter for information and volunteer opportunities. 
Shop using our Amazon Smile account which directly benefits the River of Refuge; what a simple way to donate!  
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 The mission of the River of Refuge is to empower working poor families with financial security through interim housing. 
Background Statement
River of Refuge is a 501(c)3 organization established in 2009. It's goal is to impact the greater Kansas City area with services designed to reverse the cycle of poverty for working families and restore self-sufficiency for those in poverty. Working poor families are given an way out of pay-by-the-week living arrangements. River of Refuge understands that the family unit is a key foundation of any community. We strategically screen and select participants (members) with the highest potential of successfully completing our program. These families receive resources needed to be successful in permanent housing.
Through the Transitional Housing Program there are 11 family units where room and board will be provided free of charge. To receive the benefits of the Transitional Housing Program, all adults maintain full-time employment, remain drug and alcohol free, and adhere to all of the program rules. A key part of the program is financial coaching. Each program member must to pay off debt which is a barrier to homelessness. In addition to paying off debt, each program member will build savings that allow them to pay a security deposit, first and last month's rent on a new residence, as well as save 60 days' worth of living expenses.
Additional components of the Transitional Housing Program is case management, financial coaching, life skills classes,  job readiness, parenting classes and educational tutoring. Four to six weeks prior to a scheduled "graduation" date for a program family, a case manager will work with the family to find permanent housing.
The Family Assistance Program continues to help homeless families and those at risk for becoming homeless. An average of 8 families per month receive services including but not limited to: Clothing, motel vouchers, hygiene kits, gas vouchers, referrals to other partnering agencies, etc.
Impact Statement
  • In 2018 a total of 24 families were served which included 96 people including 63 children. 
  • A Program Director joined the staff to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Transitional Housing Program and an additional full-time Case Manager joined the team bringing the total to two Case Managers. 
  • Improvements were made totaling 1.8 million dollars which included outside lighting, repairing an elevator, and improving the parking lots on the entire property. 

Goals for 2019 include:
  • Beginning construction on Phase 2 of the Transitional Housing Program.
  • Increasing the number of staff to adequately serve the additional number of families. 
  •  Re-implement the Family Assistance Program.
Needs Statement
  • Funding to hire more staff including direct support and indirect support to the families we serve. 
  • Funding for the operation of programming costs (Transitional Housing Program) 
  • Funding for Family Assistance Program (Emergency assistance program)
  • Solid volunteer base to help with events. 
  • Additional board members. 
Service Categories
Temporary Housing
Homeless Shelters
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

General Collin Powell once said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” As I look back on 2017, this quote triggers memories of several pieces of the dream we all call River of Refuge. First, many people have contributed hard work and sweat to advance this dream. Groups of workers, large and small, from near and far, rolled up their sleeves and went to work on things like demolition and cleaning. There are many unsung heroes, people whose names will never be mentioned at our Gala or etched in a wall plaque, who made significant contributions to our success in 2017. For that, I join our Board of Directors in expressing a hearty thank you for everything you have done.

Secondly, our skeletal but dedicated staff has not just worked hard and been covered in sweat, but they are among the most dedicated people I know. It would be inappropriate to list our achievements in 2017 without calling out and recognizing people who have suffered personally – financially – for believing in “the dream.”

Lastly, General Powell’s quote needs one more clause added to truly represent what’s happened since day one. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, hard work and the hand of God upon it.” John Wiley, our founder, had a dream when there were no buildings, employees, or volunteers. We had nothing but the hand of God touching a man’s heart to care for the least fortunate among us.

Tim Mensendiek, Board President

The Family Assistance Program utilizes all available resources to prevent families from becoming homeless whenever possible. We provide emergency assistance for rent, utilities, food, clothing/diapers, and transportation needs such as gasoline, bus passes, and even car repairs. If families have already been evicted from other housing, we may place them in a motel while we help them assemble documentation needed for acceptance into a transitional housing program (ours or another agency) and to apply for social services which they may qualify for, such as food stamps, WIC, and Medicaid.
Because homelessness is an issue that affects the community, we work within with community to address it. We partner with other social agencies, local churches, and many volunteers to meet the immediate need of working-poor families with children. 
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Families
Short-Term Success All services provided were intended to help them stay out of homelessness or to go from homelessness to stable housing. The services provided included, but were not limited to: Referrals to transitional housing, motel vouchers, gas cards, clothing, furniture, personal hygiene items, food, Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving dinners, and more. 
Long-Term Success To break the cycle of homelessness and restore the dignity of the family. We hope to achieve stable housing as well as emotional and spiritual stability. It is our goal to equip our members with life skills that will enable them to be contributing members of society.
Program Success Monitored By We have internal monthly reporting and quarterly reporting to our board. We will be using Mac Link for tracking and reporting purposes to more efficiently track and report.
Examples of Program Success One of the families that we recently helped was a single dad with two children. He was a homeless veteran, living in his car with his kids. He was unable to obtain steady work because he was having to drive his kids to and from school because they had no place the bus could pick them up at. We assisted him by putting him and his children into a motel while he worked with Salvation Army to obtain a house. He was then able to find work since his children could be picked up by bus. Once he got his house, we helped him get furniture and brought him and his children Thanksgiving dinner as well as Christmas gifts. They were extremely grateful for the help and were wonderful to work with.
The Transitional Housing Program is designed to break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness. Adults must have school-aged children or younger, be employed full-time, attend mandatory weekly classes, and remain drug and alcohol-free to be program compliant. In exchange for this, their housing and utilities will be provided free of charge. All of their non-perishable food and hygiene items are provided. 
Financial coaching will be provided to help teach them the difference in a need and want and focus on paying the debt which is a barrier to homelessness. This debt may be past due rent, outstanding utility bills, or legal bills. In addition, program members are required to create a savings account.  The purpose of the savings account is to allow them to save their own money towards first and last month's rent, security deposits, and 60 days worth of living expenses. 
Other services are provided as well, job skills classes, parenting classes, and educational tutoring. 
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Short term successes of the program are that 80% entering the Transitional Housing Program will complete the program. Children's attendance in school will increase as well as their GPA (if applicable). Basic needs formerly neglected will no longer be such as basic medical and dental, mental health, or other needs. Program members may receive a raise or promotion at their current job. 
Long-Term Success
The program will be successful when the cycle homelessness is broken and the dignity of the family. is restored.  This will be accomplished by teaching fiscal responsibility, basic life skills and responsibility for choices. Success of the program will be measured through follow-up with the families who graduated from the transitional housing program. Examples of measurable data is:
  1. Have they experienced an episode of homelessness again? 
  2. Have they had enough money to provide for their family?
  3. Have they needed to use an agency for assistance (Utilities, food pantry, etc.)
Program Success Monitored By Success  will be documented through weekly progress reports by our Case Managers. The reports will document the attendance in mandatory meetings  as well as adherence to the personalized financial plan. These notes will also ensure that goals being set by the Case Manager and individual are being met. (i.e. applying for TANF, WIC, or supportive services)
Examples of Program Success A  member that stays in the program the agreed upon amount of time, pays any debt which is a barrier to homelessness, and is able to afford a home of their own choosing is considered a graduate of the Transitional Housing Program. To date, the River of Refuge has had a total of 15 families graduate from the program. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Stephanie Keck
Term Start Jan 2016
Paid Full-Time Staff 5
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 165
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 2
Caucasian 5
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 5
Male 2
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Cindy Bloom
Company Affiliation Arrowhead Medical, LLC
Term Aug 2016 to Aug 2020
Email cindybloom1@me.com
Board Members
Cindy Bloom
Maribeth Brennaman
Steve BurmeisterAttorney at Law
Steve GuentherGuenther, Mills Architects
Stephanie HillRetired from public school administration
Courtney Holt
Gerrie Jackson
Tim MensendiekRetired
Tyler Peterson
Dr. Myra Scales
Austen Schmidt
Greg SiemsOwner, SonRise Lawn Care
DeWayne Tate Jr
Scott WalzOwner, Internet Design Pros
John WileyRiver Family Church
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 90%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Advisory Board Members
Kevin EuDaly
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $452,564
Projected Expenses $452,564
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$486,412$367,159$305,895
Administration Expense$15,529$24,285$89,543
Fundraising Expense$21,603$16,404$53,091
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.923.89
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%90%68%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$5,410,853$5,086,861$4,550,309
Current Assets$144,818$46,299$77,313
Long-Term Liabilities$237,022$316,031$475,682
Current Liabilities$165,742$118,829$62,103
Total Net Assets$5,008,089$4,652,001$4,012,524
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.870.391.24
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets4%6%10%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose The purpose of this Capital Campaign is to raise the money necessary to build and completely furnish the second phase of living units in our transitional housing facility. The money will also be used to renovate the parking lots and exterior of the facility as well.
Goal $750,000.00
Dates Feb 2019 to Dec 2019
Amount Raised to Date $10,000.00 as of Feb 2019
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
Other Documents
Organization Name River of Refuge
Address 5155 Raytown Road
Kansas City, MO 64133
Primary Phone (816) 7375100
Contact Email info@riverofrefuge.com
CEO/Executive Director Stephanie Keck
Board Chair Cindy Bloom
Board Chair Company Affiliation Arrowhead Medical, LLC
Year of Incorporation 2009