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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Soup is back at the Houston House

  • It was a homecoming of sorts for the lunch crowd at the Houston House on Thursday. It had been more than four months since the weekly soup bowl had been served there.
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  • It was a homecoming of sorts for the lunch crowd at the Houston House on Thursday.
    It had been more than four months since the weekly soup bowl had been served there.
    In early August the historic building on the corner of Water and Front streets flooded with 6 inches of water and another inch of mud.
    The standing water caused the floors of the Houston House to buckle. Black mold was also found on site.
    It was estimated that the flood caused at least $80,000 in damages to the building.
    That caused the Houston House's soup kitchen to be moved to the nearby  Doolittle Community Center for the last few months.
    "Its been a long journey," said Zelma Smith who is part of the Newburg Community Revitalization Program Group (NCRPG), a non-profit organization. "But it has been a team effort and we've gotten this place back open."
    The Houston House, which is owned and operated by the NCRPG, has been offering a weekly soup luncheon for the past few years. When it is not serving soup, the house serves as a community center for the area.
    The Christmas tree was decorated and carols rang out from the nearby CD player as Fern Seest was enjoying the beef stew with corn bread. She chatted with her long-time friends, Jim Davis and Shirley Corey.
    "To be here always brings back a lot of memories," Seest said. "My uncle used to be an engineer on the railroad and spent many a nights here. This just feels like home. "

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