Homeless Seek Construction Jobs Downtown

Brad Choat

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Rev. Larry Rice and some homeless persons served by his New Life Evangelistic ministry don’t like what they’ve seen at the Central Library renovation project in downtown St.Louis.

Rev. Rice says it doesn’t appear 25% of the construction workforce there is made of minorities, “We’re going to be videotaping during the next 30 days the activities going on here at the library, at the (Peabody) Opera House, the park, and other construction projects in the immediate downtown area. Then we’re going to take it up with community activists to see what we can do to get some action on this.”

A homeless person named Anthony attending Saturday’s news conference called by Rev. Rice said he and others are ready to go to work, “If we’re picking up rocks and other debris, it’s still a job. Hire us for that. Hire us for all the jobs we’re qualified for. And the others that we aren’t, we can get training to do.”

Kymal Dockett works with the homeless at the New Life Evangelistic Center, “Ninety-percent of these people you see living on downtown park benches are African-American, but ninety-percent you see working on these construction projects making good money are white. What is the problem?”  

Rev. Rice says if minority participation in construction jobs downtown does not reach 25% by the end of this month, an act of civil disobedience may be considered.

Copyright KMOX Radio

  • Ed Golterman

    Revitalization of our ‘dead’ civic center has been blocked by grand center, for 2 decades. The City doesnt need this. But dont blame Rice, Slay politicized the homeless matter in 2005 and that didnt help. Larry: leave the opera house out of it, it’s nearly completed and is vitally needed. Hell, I saved it and I cant get a job there. City-listen. A blend of already-budgeted projects and some WPA built our civic center in the first place. One of the best.

  • NotEd

    It is not very good journalism to take the word of this man who has absolutely no credibility. It “looks like” something to him? He’s always been a self-promoter who takes advantage of people who need help. He then shuts them out during the day and tells them to go inhabit the library next door, doing the library no favors. Ask the library or the city — I think you’ll find they have taken pains to be inclusive. How many of Larry Rice’s people are trained construction workers? There is a lot of specialized restoration work going on both inside and out of the library building.

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