Downtown property on Steffens Street will be converted into a business that serves those with mental and physical disabilities. 

A West Plains firm has bought downtown Houston real estate and will convert it into space that will provide services to people with mental and physical challenges, it was announced Monday.

Benita Watson, director with TJ Swift House, said the building on Steffens Street owned by Chance Drake will undergo renovations and should be open by the end of July. It previously housed a restaurant. Among the improvements is the addition of handicapped-accessible restrooms.

Initially the building will be used to teach life skills, such as cooking, arts and crafts, dance, as well as a job club that places participants out in the community and helps them complete an employment application. Later, a day center could be created for daily activities that allow caregivers a short period of rest or relief.

About eight-10 jobs will be created. Persons looking for employment can call 573-308-1110.

TJ Swift provides a similar service at West Plains. It serves clients in an area from Rolla to Thayer. 

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