Jusst Sooup Closes Doors - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Jusst Sooup Closes Doors

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - 2011 was supposed to be a year of dreams coming true for Jusst Sooup, a local organization that helped to feed the homeless in the Rehoboth Beach area. They were featured in a Thanksgiving special by the television program, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 

The soup kitchen had a gigantic ranch built on Route 9, meant to be the kitchen's new home. But, this dream never came true after neighbors voiced concerns, and the Board of Adjustment denied the application to use this building as a soup kitchen. 

As a result, the kitchen remained in a small building on Route One. Now after nine years in that location, the soup kitchen had to close it's doors. As a result, they are now looking for a new home. 

The kitchen is run by Dale Dunning, who has been serving meals for the homeless every Monday and Thursday for 15 years. 

Dunning told WBOC  the decision to temporarily close the kitchen all started Monday, when Rev. Keith Offen, from the Rehoboth Presbyterian Church of Midway brought up some concerns. According to Dunning, the pastor informed her that the church board was concerned with problems of break-ins, substance abuse, and vandalism in and outside the hall used for the soup kitchen. 

WBOC spoke with Offen, who said the problem was not with Dale or the soup kitchen, but with some of the improper behavior near the church hall. The pastor said that they recently found out that people were breaking into the building to sleep there at night. 

Volunteer Lois Carter said the decision to leave was an upsetting one. 

"I was depressed," she said. "And I'm never depressed. But it was very depressing to clean out that back room and get rid of all the stuff. And it's no great place. It's not anything special. But it was special to us because we loved the people. It was like family." 

The kitchen was open every single Monday and Thursday, throughout that nine year period, in order to provide the homeless community with food. 

"It's just hurtful," Carter said. "It's painful for us to have let this go. But... she did not want to do anything to damage the church."

Dunning and Carter both said that this is not the end of the Jusst Sooup journey, saying that they would look for a new location. Often also told WBOC that he would be open to the kitchen returning to the Route One building if the problems could be dealt with. No matter what Carter said they will not give up. 

"We believe that if God closes one door, he'll open another," she said. "You know - the Lord called her to this ministry so there's no way that he's going to let her just go. She's not finished yet." 

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