ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The fight over the future of the New Life Evangelistic homeless shelter downtown has been pushed back into the fall.
KMOX News reported last week the City’s board of public service originally scheduled a hearing for July 2nd, but the board voted to postpone the hearing indefinitely. The hearing will now take place sometime during the fall.
Attorney Elkin Fistner spoke about the issue on the Charlie Brennan show.
“People who’ve signed the petitions, I’ve spoken with, have all kinds of stories about seeing people in the immediate [environment] of the shelter defecating in the alley, having sex in public, dealing drugs, fights,” says attorney Elkin Fistner.
The homeless shelter could have its hotel license revoked after 160 people signed a petition complaining of public urination, fights, loitering in the parks and car break-ins blamed on the homeless.
“The police have had to barricade sidewalks in order to control this population,” Fistner says. “Now that’s almost unheard of, so there’s a direct compromise to what is required by law. The law in the City of St. Louis has ordinances that requires the sidewalks to be open and free.”
The New Life center says it’s not the only homeless ministry in the neighborhood, but it’s getting blamed for everything homeless people do wrong.
Pastor Chris Rice says they will fight to stay open as a “church” so they can’t be shut down. Rice says this is accurate because of the Bible studies, worship services and other ministries associated with the homeless center.