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County Executive Dooley Rejects Rice’s Homeless Shelter Offer

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(KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

(KMOX/Michael Calhoun)

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CLAYTON, MO (KMOX) - Reverend Larry Rice and the New Life Evangelistic Center reiterated their offer to give St. Louis County two plots of land for a new homeless shelter at Tuesday night’s County Council meeting.

County Executive Charlie Dooley, however, wasn’t sold.

“It takes more than two plots of land for anything to take place,” he said. “You got to build it, you got to staff it. All these things need to be done.”

Dooley promised in August of last year that the county would construct a new emergency shelter but has yet to publish a plan. Rev. Rice hoped to expedite the process last week when he offered the two plots in north St. Louis County to Dooley and the county council.

“We’re making this available to them, all they have to do is agree that they will open the shelter that was promised last August,” Rice told KMOX last week. The land was donated to Rice’s New Life Evangelistic Center last year.

As of now, St. Louis County is looking at some partnerships which would expand on existing services for the homeless rather than opening a new shelter.

“We’re not going to turn anything down but just because you presented those sites to us doesn’t give us a clear path to getting it done,” Dooley said of the offer.

Dooley told the dozen homeless people who showed up to the meeting Tuesday that he is working on it, but doesn’t want to “reinvent the wheel.” He said he would rather partner with a non-profit that could run a shelter so county officials wouldn’t be solely responsible for staffing, equipment, and services.

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