“We’re so excited – especially about the additional parking that we’re going to have for our clients and customers. It’s going to be quite a challenge to pack up and move everything because we have every nook and cranny filled to capacity but it will be well worth it,” said Manager Pat Woodward.

LAMB House will soon have a new home.
In early November, LAMB House, an ecumenical food pantry and thrift shop, purchased a 4,849-square-foot building at 93 Morgan Street in Camdenton.
The new facility, previously owned by the Missouri Department of Transportation, is nearly twice as large as the one the not-for-profit organization currently occupies and it includes dozens more parking spaces.
“We’re so excited – especially about the additional parking that we’re going to have for our clients and customers. It’s going to be quite a challenge to pack up and move everything because we have every nook and cranny filled to capacity but it will be well worth it,” said Manager Pat Woodward.
Since losing the right to use the lot next to the building, parking at the current facility on Illinois Street in Camdenton has been reduced to four or five spots in front of the building and three or four in the back. Because LAMB House serves more than 10,000 people each year, providing assistance with food and clothing and financial assistance with propane, electric and water bills, rent and prescription medications, many people have been forced to circle the block repeatedly until a spot opens up.
Because of the parking problems, last spring, the board voted to start looking for a new location. That decision was aided when an area resident and member of a local church offered to make a very generous donation to facilitate the move.
Board members agree that God has had His hand on the project every step of the way because as soon as prayers asking for direction were offered up, the Morgan Street building was discovered and everything fell into place.
MoDOT agreed to accept an offer than was substantially less than the list price. A carpet company agreed to install flooring and a heating and air conditioning company agreed to install a new system at little to no profit. A bank agreed to loan up to 70 percent of the building price and Camden County Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said LAMB House could erect a sign on the courthouse lawn to solicit donations that will be used to pay back that loan. As soon as Habitat for Humanity learned about the project, they came alongside and offered to handle the remodeling at no cost. LAMB House will need to pay only for materials. A neighboring business offered to buy the Illinois Street building and numerous people have offered to help with the move.
Board members said the process has been nothing less than amazing. And everyone is excited that parking problems – and cramped quarters – will soon be a thing of the past. A dozen spaces border the front of the new building and another 20 or more are provided in a paved lot along the side.
At LAMB House’s current location, cases of vegetables are lined up in a hallway; hamburger, bread and bakery items are stuffed into freezers in one small store room; and cereal, peanut butter and jelly, soup and crackers and other food items are stacked on shelves in another. Volunteers are required to move from room to room to fill food orders.
The new location will have some 2,000 square feet dedicated to the food pantry. Freezers and refrigerators will line one wall and rows of free-standing heavy-duty shelves will allow volunteers to simply walk up and down “aisles” to fill the bags. Bay doors will make large food drop-offs easy.
At the current Illinois Street location, a 6-foot-by-8-foot “burn closet,” is outfitted with deep shelves on all four walls. The shelves are necessary to hold small kitchen appliances, towels, bedding, dishes, and cookware given to those who are starting over. However, they also make it difficult for volunteers to even stretch out their arms far enough to fold the blankets and sheets.
At the new location, a 12-foot-by-30-foot room has been set aside for the closet.
In addition, a large room will provide plenty of space for volunteers to sort clothing donations and will even provide space to store nicer out-of-season items. A shed at the back of the building will allow storage of extra clothing racks and shelving, and if all goes as planned, the thrift store will also include a small play area, complete with TV, to keep children occupied while parents shop.
To allow volunteers to have time off for the Thanksgiving Holiday and to pack and then move, the LAMB House thrift store will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22 through Wednesday, Dec. 6. Although the office will be closed for the holiday, the manager’s office in the current facility on Illinois Street will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27 and will remain open at its regular hours through Thursday, Nov. 30. Clients will still be able to come in for assistance with things like food, utilities and rent. The office will then remain closed until the entire operation reopens at its new Morgan Street location at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7.
“We have a lot of work to do and just a short amount of time to do it,” Woodward said, “but we’re moving forward with gusto! Everyone on the board is so excited. We believe when the community sees our new building – and all the parking – they’ll be excited too.”