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Soup Kitchen Still Serving Despite Collapsed Roof

Heavy rains late last week collapsed the roof of a popular soup kitchen in Uptown Charlotte. But WFAE's Julie Rose says the soup's still on. Actually, it's sack lunches and bottled water and there's no place to sit while you eat, but the Urban Ministry Center is still serving lunch to some 300 people each day. That's despite the temporary lack of electricity or water. "You know, we've been here almost 16 years and we've never missed a day serving lunch," says Urban Ministry Center Executive Director Dale Mullennix. "We have so many people who . . . have no other place to go." At least four inches of rain fell on the soup kitchen early last Thursday and the roof buckled, says Mullennix. The soup kitchen is attached to the center's main building, so power and water are now out for the dining room, showers, laundry facilities, counseling rooms and nurses' station. "So yeah, it really makes what we do very difficult," says Mullennix. Today some of the Urban Ministry Center's clients will get a hot shower thanks to an exchange with First Baptist Church. Many of the other counseling and nursing services are on hold until the roof can be repaired. Mullennix doesn't have a cost estimate for the damage. Nor does he know how long it will take to fix. He's just hoping insurance will cover it, so the Urban Ministry Center doesn't have to raise money for repairs.