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Home / News / Local / Friday River of Refuge Gala to Benefit Area Homeless
River of Refuge is converting the former Park Lane Hospital into a transitional housing facility for individuals and families.

Friday River of Refuge Gala to Benefit Area Homeless

Local families living in pay-by-the-week motels to benefit from annual gala set for Saturday, Sept. 13

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Citians are invited to Raise the Roof to help put safe roofs over the heads of hundreds of homeless families at this year’s third annual River of Refuge Gala at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence, Mo.

The gala will feature dinner, a silent auction, raffle and entertainment by “The Electric Rev,” Jimmie Bratcher, a nationally recognized blues artist, whose music has aired on hundreds of stations including Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s million-subscriber “B.B. King’s Bluesville.” Dr. Jeff Adams, Sr. Pastor of Graceway Church in Kansas City, Mo. will provide a motivational address in support of River of Refuge along with the delicious dinner, auction and reception.

Last year’s gala raised nearly $86,000 and this year’s goal is to exceed that amount by $20,000. The money will benefit the campaign to open the city’s first-of-its-kind comprehensive transitional housing dedicated solely to homeless working families living in motels. The new apartments will offer free temporary refuge for working parents and their children in one single location.

Throughout Kansas City, River of Refuge estimates that hundreds of working families end their days, not by tucking their children into beds in homes, but sleeping on the floors of crowded, unsafe, motel rooms. These expensive, often rundown, motels make it difficult for families to save money to find better homes. River of Refuge is dedicated to working solely with these families to teach them the skills they need to live independently, undercover important resources and secure permanent homes they can afford.

“We know that many of the families forced into these weekly motel rentals are hard-working people who simply want the best for their children,” said John Wiley, founder of River of Refuge. “These parents pay $800 or more in monthly rent and raise their families in one-room, shabby motel rooms, because they are trapped and have no other options. Every day they get up and go to work so their children can go to school and have a place to sleep at night. It’s amazing the hardships they face to keep their families intact.”

Wiley founded River of Refuge in 2006 when he noticed a group of children loading a school bus from the parking lot of a motel near his home in Raytown, Mo. River of Refuge was conceived to specifically address the hundreds of working families who are living in pay-by-the-week motels throughout Greater Kansas City.

To purchase tickets for the Raise the Roof Gala, visit riverofrefuge.com. Individual tickets are $60 and tables of 10 are $500. To sponsor or make a donation, email amy@riverofrefuge.com, call 816.737.5100 or register online.

About River of Refuge River of Refuge intends to open a facility in the former Park Lane Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to serve as a regional lodging complex for families. When it opens at 5155 Raytown Rd., the complex will provide a direct alternative to pay-by-the-week motels as well as offer financial support and access to significant community resources needed to be successful in finding permanent housing. Until the first 11 apartments are complete at the River of Refuge (construction began this year), the organization continues to place one family at a time through donations and volunteers. For more information, please visit www.riverofrefuge.com.