Homeless Mission Planning Another Tent City
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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Regrouping after having its “Integrity Village” homeless camp shut down last week, the New Life Evangelistic Center is vowing to put up more tents at a location “to be announced.”
The Reverend Chris Rice hosted a kind of post-game news conference, vowing that last week’s defeat on a grassy lot at Vandeventer and Interstate 44 won’t be the last battle.
“We’re taking this underground,” Rice said, “We’re not going to tell you where we’re taking it. And it could be anywhere in the greater St. Louis area, where there’s access to transportation, water and electricity. And we’re not going to tell you.”
Last week’s effort included about a dozen camping tents and one large, revival-style tent. Originally, the ministry’s leader, the Reverend Larry Rice, had warned any attempt to shut down “Integrity Village” could embroil the city in a lawsuit under freedom of religion. But Larry Rice was not at today’s news conference, and his son Chris had no information on whether a lawsuit would be filed.
The news conference also included several homeless people who claimed they were misled by the city when forced to leave Integrity Village. The homeless claim the city promised them a nice place to stay and they ended up on an “uncomfortable cot.”
When asked how a cot could be worse than a sleeping bag in an un-airconditioned tent with the hot weather and mosquito season approaching, the homeless say they want a place where they can leave their possessions all day and call home.