BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — As the temperatures begin to heat up across Central Texas, In the Streets-Hands Up High Ministry Pastor Roland Nava said they are working to repair lingering issues at its soup kitchen caused by the February 2021 freeze.
“Last year, we had some busted pipes during the freeze and we repaired them,” Nava explained. “Then, a year later, all the moisture that was under (the building) started to deteriorate the floor.”
Nava said they first noticed something was strange with the flooring about four months ago, but it wasn’t until the beginning of March that the tile began to crack.
“The floors starting to move, it started to give out,” he said.
That was just the start of his problems. As repair crews came in and started to examine the building they realized there was a lot more damage.
“The floor joists would just crumble in your hand,” Nava said.
So far, the nonprofit has spent about $45,000, and Nava said they are told it could easily cost another $60,000 to finish the repair work. It’s additional work that is needed, Nava said, but worries it could delay the reopening of the kitchen.
“We’re seeking out some help to come out so we can get the Open Doors Soup Kitchen open,” he added.
At this time, the soup kitchen has been closed for nearly a month. Nava wants to get the work done as fast as possible to get the kitchen back open. The nonprofit provides more than 700 meals each week to the community.
“It’s not a soup kitchen where people get in line and move like cattle, they come in, they sit down and we bring the meals to them,” he said. “Just because they’re not paying that doesn’t mean that they can’t be served.”
For safety, while construction is ongoing, Nava has put up a fence and he said many continue to stop by every day to ask when the soup kitchen will reopen.
Others call and text, like Justin Matlow, who has been going to the soup kitchen for years.
“The soup kitchen is just a great place to go if you don’t have a place to go,” he said.
Nava is hoping someone can lend a helping hand so he can get back to serving meals with a side of hope.
“We just want to do what God has called us to do,” he said. “A meal can change somebody’s life and I’m telling you because it changed mine.”
If you are interested in helping, you can contact Nava at (512) 317-7503.