In response to neighborhood complaints, the St. Louis Board of Public Service will consider revoking a permit held by the Reverend Larry Rice. Reverend Rice operates the New Life Evangelistic Center in downtown St. Louis where neighbors have complained about the homeless committing crimes. The hearings are in response to a petition from the neighborhood. The first of three hearings on the fate of the homeless shelter will start on Tuesday. Rice claims the shelter is constitutionally protected because it operates as a religious facility.
Homeless advocate Reverend Larry Rice wants to help St. Louis County build a shelter for homeless women and children.
Rice announced Tuesday that his New Life Evangelistic Center was gifted with two vacant lots in the 3900 block of Lada. That's near Natural Bridge and North Hanley just outside of Bel-Ridge. Rice says he'll give them to St. Louis County for a shelter.
Rice says it's time for County Executive Charlie Dooley to make good on his promise to help the county's homeless. "We have to do something immediately," he said. "Unbelievable pressure is being put on us with so many, many, people who are coming to us downtown."
Rice says he plans to present his proposal at the County Council meeting next week.
A spokesperson said county leaders will certainly listen.
A petition filed by downtown property owners is calling for the shut down of the New Life Evangelistic Center.
KMOV-TV reports the City of St. Louis is reviewing the formal petition signed by 167 neighbors of the homeless shelter on Locust Street. The petition mentions problems with the NLEC such as loitering, drinking in public, public urination, noise, and harassment.
The New Life Evangelistic Center is run by the Reverend Larry Rice, who is often at odds with the city, most recently for trying to establish homeless camps in city neighborhoods.