River of Refuge
5155 Raytown Road, Suite 101
Kansas City MO 64133
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 737-5100
Mission Statement
The mission of River of Refuge is to empower working poor families with financial security through interim housing. 
CEO/Executive Director Ron King
Board Chair Tim Mensendiek
Board Chair Company Affiliation Graceway Church
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2009
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 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 private rooms where room and board will be provided free of charge, as long as the adults maintain full-time employment, adhere to the program rules and agree to pay off debt. In addition to paying off debt, each program member will build savings that allow them to pay a security deposit and first and last month's rent on a new residence, as well as save 60 days' worth of living expenses. Included with River of Refuge provided financial advisement and coaching, other services will be offered to members, including (but not limited to): job skills classes, 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.
In 2015 the total numbers of people assisted were 193. There were 73 adults and 118 children.
Impact Statement

  • Jacki Ezell joined the staff as the Family Care Coordinator in February. Jacki created the policies and procedures for the Family Assistance Program. Through our Family Assistance Program, we offer various services to assist working-poor families that are homeless or at immediate risk of becoming homeless.
  • Family Assistance Program provided $9,000 in assistance to area families in need. Services included but were not limited to: Clothing, motel vouchers, hygiene kits, gas vouchers, etc. Total numbers of people assisted were 193. There were 73 adults and 118 children.
  • Grants were received from multiple organizations: Jackson County, Missouri, Burns & McDonnell Foundation Matching Gifts Fund, Safe Place for Kids
  • Construction of the twelve units for the Transitional Housing Program was nearly finalized. There are two, 1 bedroom units, seven, 2 bedroom units, one, 3 bedroom unit, one, 4 bedroom unit, and one 1 bedroom unit for an onsite staff member.
  • Efforts were made to make the building more energy efficient. The old low efficiency chiller-cooling tower system was replaced with a high efficiency air cooled chiller. A very old boiler was replaced with a new high efficiency boiler. A high efficiency hot water heater was installed. Old fluorescent lights were replace with LED lights, and building automation was added.
  • As we move forward into 2016 we have already hired a Program Director, Stephanie Keck, to run the Transitional Housing Program, procured occupancy permits, and have begun the interviews for the first families that will enter our program. 
  • Our main goals for 2016 are to have our first families graduate from our Transitional Housing Program, to hire another case manager, to continue to help families through our Family Assistance Program, and to increase our donor base so that we may fully fund these programs and continue to offer services to homeless families in our community. 


Needs Statement
  1. Funding for salaries to hire more staff - case manager for the Transitional Housing Program
  2. Funding for operation of programming costs (Transitional Housing Program) 
  3. Food, personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies for the families currently in the Transitional Housing Program
  4. Funding for Family Assistance Program (our emergency assistance program)
Service Categories
Temporary Housing
Temporary Housing
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 2015, 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 2015. 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 2015 without calling out and recognizing people who have suffered personally – financially – for believing in “the dream.” To Ron, Amy, Timmy and Jacki we owe more than just words; we owe them our hearts for trusting God in mighty ways through the climb up the hill. And now, Stephanie Keck, our newest employee, has joined the dream as Program Director. Her work ethic and dedication has already been seamlessly woven into the fabric of an already great team.

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. And as we left 2015, it was evident the dream would come alive in 2016.

Tim Mensendiek, 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 In 2015 we were able to assist 57 families composed of 73 adults and 118 children. 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 helped in 2015 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.
Description  For families within the program, there will be 22 private rooms on 2 floors of the building, allowing for a maximum capacity of 92 people. Each floor will have private living quarters for on-site, full-time staff serving as a floor adviser. Housing for our program members will be provided free of charge as long as the adults maintain full-time employment and a predetermined percentage of their weekly earnings are set aside in a secure savings account. The purpose of the savings account is to allow them to save their own money towards: 1) first and last month's rent, 2) security deposits, 3) past utility bills (if applicable) and 4) 60 days worth of living expenses. In addition to financial advisement and coaching, other services will be provided for members as well, including but not limited to: job skills classes, 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.
Category Housing, General/Other Transitional Housing
Population Served Families, ,
Short-Term Success We are pleased to report that construction of the first floor of our Transitional Housing Program is complete. We have finished construction on 11 family units as well as 1 apartment for a live in residential supervisor. We will have moved in four families by the end of May. Currently, this is our max capacity until a full time caseworker can be hired. River of Refuge has worked for the past seven years to get to this point and this is a huge mile marker for us. All families will be participating in the full program which includes weekly check-ins with case workers. These families have committed to a minimum stay of six months. They're "graduation date" is set by the case worker based on the amount of obstacles they must overcome to become fully stabilized once they are out of the program.
Long-Term Success To break the cycle of homelessness and restore the dignity of the family. This is accomplished by providing financial responsibility, education, responsibility for choices, and skills to interact with others. We will measure the success of the program by measuring the success rate of families entering and then graduating from our transitional housing program into stable housing.
Program Success Monitored By We will document the success of our members through weekly progress reports by our case-workers. The reports will document the attendance to life skills coaching and mentoring sessions as well as adherence to the personalized financial plan, including verifying required weekly deposits into their personal savings account.
Examples of Program Success Since we have yet to have a family graduate, we don't have examples of this yet. We will be excited to have more examples and data later in 2016. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ron King
Term Start Feb 2012
Experience Chief Operating Officer: After a career as an electrical engineer, Ron King left his job to become involved with River Family Church, where is an ordained pastor and assisted with the administration of the church. In addition, Ron became active with River of Refuge where he served as Chief Mechanical Officer. Ron has overseen the physical plant of the former Park Land Hospital since River of Refuge began looking at the building. Ron is experienced in construction and has overseen the significant input of volunteer groups that have worked with River of Refuge.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Experience/Biography Stephanie joined River of Refuge in early 2016 as the organization’s first Program Director. She will be responsible for program development for all members of the Transitional Living Program at River of Refuge, as well as overseeing donations, fundraising, staffing, curriculum development and partnerships. Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and completed her master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in non-profit leadership in 2014 from UMKC. Previously, Stephanie served as a Prevention Specialist for First Call (Formerly the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency), as a Foster Care Case Manager and as a Case Manager for Hillcrest Transitional Housing. Most recently she was employed at Cerner Corporation as a Solutions Results Manager. Both her corporate and nonprofit professional experience enable her to take on the strategic challenges of this new position at River of Refuge.
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 3
Volunteers 165
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Tim Mensendiek
Company Affiliation Graceway Church
Term Feb 2012 to Feb 2017
Email tmensendiek@visitgraceway.org
Board Members
Steve Burmeister Attorney at Law
Kevin Eudaly Owner and Publisher, White River Productions
Steve Guenther Guenther, Mills Architects
Mrs. Stephanie Hill Retired from public school administration
Tim Mensendiek Graceway
Greg Siems Owner, SonRise Lawn Care
Scott Walz Owner, Internet Design Pros
Mr. John Wiley River Family Church
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 1
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%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $3,965,995
Projected Expenses $3,965,995
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2014, 2013, 2012: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items 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 Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses($872)($57,779)($32,037)
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$71,757$56,424$25,836
Revenue In-Kind$1,365,913$0$29,241
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$240,978$167,830$183,018
Administration Expense$113,844$111,036$40,184
Fundraising Expense$13,636$16,270$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.581.511.27
Program Expense/Total Expenses65%57%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%3%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$3,376,485$2,115,760$2,264,420
Current Assets$36,162$46,349$148,434
Long-Term Liabilities$555,234$636,288$935,876
Current Liabilities$23,539$0$0
Total Net Assets$2,797,712$1,479,472$1,328,544
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.54----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets16%30%41%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Individual Donor $103,704Precision Division, Inc. $100,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Individual Donor $100,000Individual Donor $46,472
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Individual Donor $100,000River Church Family $19,490
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 22 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 $3,600,000.00
Dates Jan 2015 to Dec 2015
Amount Raised to Date $1,800,000.00 as of May 2015
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments
River of Refuge just completed Phase 1 of building our first 11 units for our Transitional Housing Program.  This capital campaign is being accomplished through Production Tax Credits through the AHAP Tax Credit program.  $990,00.00 in tax credits have been awarded to us to complete the first phase which is a $1,800,000 project.  We are about to apply for another $1,800,000 project towards capital improvements later this year and already have the donor lined up to accomplish this.  This will mean that we will have raised $3,600,000 towards our Capital Campaign this year.  Making these improvements will open up more opportunities for funding through private donations, grants and foundations.  As we place families in the Transitional Housing Program, our goal is to have businesses, churches and individuals continue to partner with us in sponsoring these families.
Organization Name River of Refuge
Address 5155 Raytown Road, Suite 101
Kansas City, MO 64133
Primary Phone (816) 737-5100
CEO/Executive Director Ron King
Board Chair Tim Mensendiek
Board Chair Company Affiliation Graceway Church
Year of Incorporation 2009