Raytown Post, May 2009

New buyers lined up for Park Lane Hospital

Ben Felder, Raytown Post May 14, 2009

090422 River of Refuge outside_KNE6198For nearly 10 years the former Park Lane Hospital has sat vacant just north of Raytown city limits, but a new owner is hoping to not only bring life back to the property but use it as a service to the working poor of the region.

For the past 60 days John Wiley, who serves as pastor of the River Christian Fellowship Church, has lead a new non-profit in the purchase of the property with the intent to turn the former hospital into a facility for those looking for transitional housing.

“This is not a shelter for homeless, it is not a drug rehab facility,” said Wiley.  “It is a facility to assist the working poor who are dealing with the problem of being just one pay check away from being homeless.”

Wiley says his church has worked closely with hundreds of families who fit the description of the working poor.  He says these families often live in high rent properties due to their inability to pay high deposit fees or save enough to make the move to more stable housing.  The hope for the Park Lane property, which is being called the River of Refuge Dream Center, is to provide housing for these families.

“I saw this amazing facility sitting here for 10 years unused.  So I just connected the dots to meet a very real need that exists in our community,” said Wiley.

Wiley’s organization is in the process of closing on the property and hopes to take it over in the next 60 days, assuming they are able to meet the closing costs.  Currently $20,000 more is needed, but Wiley is confident it will be available at the time of closing.

The River of Refuge Dream Center is a separate organization from the church, but Wiley is hoping to continue the River Christian Fellowship’s ministry of service to those in need with the transformation of the old hospital.

During operations the former Park Lane Hospital housed 110 beds.  The hospital and office building combined equal close to 100,000 square feet and once the sale of the property is final Wiley and his organization will begin assessing the cleanup process.

“It was a sad day when the hospital left, and I am thrilled that both as a pastor and member of the community I get to be a part of restoring a community asset,” Wiley said.  “This is something that Raytown and Kansas City will be able to hold its head high about.”

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